Wednesday, December 31, 2008

That Cry For Help

Twenty-one years ago today
I nearly died
in a birthing room.
I've never been able to adequately describe
that white diamond like light in the corner
of the ceiling
which tried to suck me into its vortex.

Dearest one was holding youngest son in his arms.
We were alone in the birthing room.
When I told him I thought I was going to faint
he said, "so faint."
I told him if I did I wasn't coming back.

The next thing I remember was waking up with
the code team surrounding me.
I was tipped nearly upside down
so that the remaining blood
could reach my brain and heart.
There was a nurse at my head saying
"her blood pressure is 60 over 40."
Blood was pouring out of me
like milk on cereal.
I've never forgotten that sound.

My thoughts that night were not ones
where my life was flashing before my eyes.
Too weak to speak aloud,
I was talking to God in my head.
I went back and forth dozens of times
between two thoughts.
One - that I didn't want to die
but if it was His will
then so be it.
Sandwiched between that thought
were the words
"forgive me."
I didn't know what I needed forgiveness for
but I knew I was perilously close
to seeing God.

When I awoke after surgery
God had my attention.
I realized there was no playing around
with this God thing.
Either I was going to take God seriously
or I wasn't.
The choice was mine.

It took 3 months, to the day, to choose.
The only thing that got me sober,
kept me sober,
still keeps me sober,
can be summed up
in the word
That cry for help,
that started in a birthing room,
gave birth to a new life
in me.

Thanks be to God.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Hello? It's Winter. Duh.

It's cold out there again.
Supposed to be cold until the cows come home.
I normally don't gripe about the weather that much.
Honest to God, I don't!
I know you're having a hard time believing that one Chuck.
I figure there's nothing one can do about the weather
so why complain.
Then again, I probably thought that up on a hot summer day.
Not one where it takes testicular fortitude to go outside.
(You didn't know I watch Family Guy did you?)

When I heard the weather forecast last night
I said to myself, "I am so ready for Spring."
Then I looked outside.
Well, tried to look outside
but all that frost on the windows
got in the way.
The only way I could tell if Bessie was on her way home
was to put the side of my hand on the window and let
its warmth thaw out a little bit of ice.
My eyelashes nearly froze to the window
as I tried to see that darn cow.

Instead I took out my little hand held computer game.
I took a little brain test and went
from being 36 to 48 years old
in a matter of minutes.
But then you already knew that.
It's the kind of thing that mothers will say to children.
"Don't complain about the weather,
it'll age you."

Monday, December 29, 2008

Wake Up

Early, early, way too early, Monday morning.
I opened my eyelids and started planning my week almost immediately.
My body said, "sleep dammit", and my mind said "time's a wastin'".
My mind won.

Four years ago today I was received into the Catholic Church.
I rarely talk about that stuff here.
It's a toss up between it being intensely personal and private
and not wanting to offend people with what I believe.
What some people see as signing up for bondage
has been one of the most freeing decisions I've ever made.
Jesus' words: But who do you say that I am?
continue to challenge me on a daily basis.
Enough said about that.

In the comments yesterday Steve talked about how humble pie doesn't taste the best.
I agree.
I'd written that I'd take it over eating a hamster.

I've been thinking about that.
Had I simply eaten a hamster I would have come home and very likely torn a strip off of dearest one. At the very least I would have come home with a self righteous little attitude even if I never opened my mouth.
Both so wounding to our relationship and to our souls.
If you only knew the damage I've done over the years
with my triumphalism.
It ain't been pretty.

Eating humble pie, however.....puts things in perspective
and brings life instead of death to what really matters.
I just want to spend more energy on that in the end, you know?
Lord have mercy.

It doesn't mean I don't enjoy being right,
even at someone else's expense.
I can down right delight in it.
But the payoff has shrivelled over time.
In the long run it leaves me in a lonely, alone, smug place.

Oh, don't worry.
I'm not a saint.
Don't we know that.
A saint in the making, yes.
Aren't we all.
I have enough foibles to weigh me down
without eating another morsel of Christmas baking.

But the goodness that is inherent in all of God's creation?
I want that to grow.
In me.
When I enter into centering prayer I often visualize
a burning ember within me
a symbol of God's spark
alive and waiting.
I ask for the breath of God to blow on it
make it burn brighter, stronger, bigger.
And when all is said and done,
In those moments when I've climbed onto my high horse
and am looking down at whoever I feel self righteous towards
I have a choice.
Always a choice.

Lord have mercy.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Eating A Big One

In our family when one jumps to a conclusion and that conclusion turns out to be wrong, we call it 'eating a hamster.' When the kids were little one of their hamsters disappeared. One of the remaining hamsters looked bigger and fatter than normal. Having heard that hamsters can be cannibalistic I concluded that big, fat hamster had eaten the missing one. The thought made me so mad that I shook the cage. Yep, I don't do road rage, I do hamster rage. A few days later the missing hamster ran out from under the stove and well, I had amends to make to big, fat hamster. So that's the tale behind why we call jumping to conclusions 'eating a hamster.'

Yesterday I just about ate a big one.
All I had left to do was swallow.

After I braved some After Christmas Bargain Shopping I was meandering back to my car, pleased as all get out at the sale price wedding gifts in my hand, when I noticed there was something hanging down underneath my car. You need to know that this car is the first car I've ever bought and paid for with my own money in the 30 years I've had a driver's licence. Vehicles don't mean a whole lot more to me than if it gets me from point A to B, I'm happy.

Or so I thought.

When I bent down to look, I could see this piece was broken and seemingly hanging on by a thread. Harrumph-adumph-dumph!! I start imagining the car breaking to bits on the way home and wouldn't you know it but the last person to drive my car was dearest one. And not only did he drive it but when he did, he took great pleasure in showing one of his brothers how it could go through deep snow and not get stuck. Brother was properly impressed. I conclude that it's ALL dearest one's fault. If he'd stuck to the path my car would still be in one piece. From point A to B indeed.

Immediately I start planning how I will tear a strip off of dearest one when I get home. Oh, my imagination starts running wild and I was having a grand old time fuming. And fuming I would have done all the way home except for the AA meeting I was chairing between my parking lot discovery and home.

I was just starting to get the meeting room set up when my sponsor showed up. I took great delight in telling her what dearest one did to my car. She listened and nodded in all the right places. She doesn't say much other than to tell me she'd have her husband take a look at it before I leave, making sure nothing will get wrecked beyond repair between town and home.

The meeting had barely started when there was a reading about anger and how our response is our responsibility. "Oh crap" I thought to myself. That interrupts my fuming. I now had an hour to calm down and rephrase my whole tirade so I'm not ripping dearest one a new one when I confront him about wrecking my car. Kind of took the (hot) air out of my sails. Okay, I can talk to him calmly. And I can stick up for car. I can do it sane as you please, too, if I try. The other part of me was still plotting a self righteous little tirade, even if only for my own sick enjoyment in the confines between my ears.

The meeting was really good. We were not the usual bunch yesterday. There were just as many new faces as old. Good sharing. Honest sharing. The kind that makes me a grateful alcoholic. One of our members walked in near the end, having travelled across a time zone earlier in the day to be there. He realized he hadn't changed his watch after he arrived nearly an hour late to the meeting. He sits down and apologizes. He's a sweet man whose honesty always touches me. Unbeknownst to me his mom has passed away over Christmas. I sat there listening to the last person to speak within the allotted time and pray about what to do next. Should I wrap up the meeting on time or should I give this member a chance to share? I can't shake the feeling that I need to give him some time to share even if we should be passing around the cup already and getting to the announcements.

I announced that the meeting time was over so if anyone needed to leave, feel free to do so, and that I was going to ask this member if he'd like to share anyway. We were only a handful present. No one was in a hurry and we all listen as this member shared. He relived the past week and all that has transpired. It was touching and I was so thankful I sat there and prayed about which direction to take. I can get so hung up on rules and following them that sometimes I panic if I don't follow them to a "T". By nature I'm a letter of the law kind of person and it's good for me to not let that tendency rule my life. Even so, I still sometimes worry that I'm doing it all wrong and that people are going to walk away from the meeting pissed off that I didn't end it right on the dot. When I heard this member share though, how thankful I was that I didn't let those worries trump my gut instinct. He shared after the meeting how he hadn't had a lot of emotion about his mom's passing so far and how when he walked into the meeting he instantly felt teary. Then he said, "That's the power of a home group."

So the meeting ended. We stood around visiting. My sponsor went out and asked her husband if he'd check my car. She came back in and told me he was out there if I wanted to talk to him. I went outside and he graciously explained to me what was broken and how simple a fix it was. I was relieved and I still wanted to have a little hissy fit at dearest one. My sponsor came out and said her husband thought it looked like my car must have seen a bit of snow for it to be broken in that place. I looked at her with that sick triumphant little gleam in my eye. She smiled back at me.

I think we're sharing a moment.

Her husband waits just a split second before he tells me that by the way, he noticed that piece hanging down under my car when I drove up at the last meeting. You know, the one that was 3 days ago. That would be before dearest one drove my car through all that snow. OMG. I could tell by my sponsor's face that her husband had told her that before she'd come back in to tell me he was looking my car over. Well, we all burst out laughing at the same time. We stood there and laughed and laughed. I thanked him profusely for telling me that little piece of information and how it just saved me from having a little tirade at dearest one's expense.

Believe you me, humble pie tastes a might better than eating a hamster.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Better Late Than Never

We arrived over an hour late.
We used to be right on time
only to be the only ones there.
Sometimes for an hour.
I'm normally early for everything.
It goes against my grain to be late.
I make an exception for family get togethers.

This way the whole thing was going
by the time we arrived.
We weren't the last to show up either.
C'est la vie.

The time spent was good.
There was thought provoking conversation.
Which is an unusual happening.
I managed to keep my mouth appropriately shut
for the most part.
And ask some hard questions, too.
When I took inventory last night
I could see where I had slid into triumphalism
a time or two.
As in "ha. got you there."
Not a pretty trait.
Lord have mercy.

Friday, December 26, 2008

The Reality Of A Thing

"No nine year old daughter of mine would be wearing makeup and dressing like that."

"All that means is that you have different values than the mother you saw let her daughter dress like that."


A conversation something like the one above took place in group counseling one day when I was in rehab. It was not only an eye opener to the woman who was adamant her daughter would never be allowed to look like an adult before her time, it was an eye opener for me to hear how a difference in values was simply that and nothing more. It was a brand new perspective for me. I've often judged others (and still do) for having values differing from mine. I remember thinking something along the lines of "You mean I don't have to feel threatened by someone else choosing a different set of values than me?" Which is another spin on not making everything about me.

A few days ago I was thinking about what I'd bought dearest one for Christmas. I must've been attaching value to what I surmised because I realized I could only be having that train of thought by elevating myself to somewhere beyond reality. Then yesterday I was thinking about a post I'd read where someone described a certain individual, a sort of stereotypical description that wasn't favourable. I thought to myself, "What if that person simply was and there was no value attached, good or bad, to how he looked, that he simply was who he was?".

What I heard in rehab seems to be sinking to a deeper level. I am grateful. Ha. Attaching a value to even that, you see.

I think more than anything I've been influenced for several years by a little book. It has 31 short chapters and I read one every day. The author, Anthony DeMello, was a Jesuit priest from India. There are some great videos of his teaching on youtube that sum up much of what this little book has to say.

A few days ago I read this little snippet for the umpteenth time:
"If you wish to get in touch with the reality of a thing, the first thing you must understand is that every idea distorts reality and is a barrier to seeing reality. The idea is not the reality, the idea "wine" is not wine, the idea "woman" is not this woman. If I really want to get in touch with the reality of this woman I must put aside my idea of womanness or Indianness and experience her in her thisness, her concreteness, her uniqueness. Unfortunately most people most of the time do not take the trouble to see things like this in their uniqueness; they just see the words or the ideas, they never look with the eyes of a child at this concrete, unique, fluffy, alive thing that is moving out there in front of them. They only see a sparrow, (or)they never see the wondrous marvel of this unique human being here in front of them. They only see an Indian peasant woman. The idea therefore is a barrier to the perception of reality.

....This thing or person is good or bad, ugly or beautiful. It is barrier enough to have the idea of Indian or peasant when I look at this concrete individual. But now I add a judgement and I say, "She is good," or "She is bad," or "She is attractive and beautiful," or "She is unattractive and ugly." That further prevents me from seeing her because she is neither good nor bad. She is "she" in all her uniqueness.....Good and bad are in relation to something outside them. Inasmuch as they suit my purpose or please my eyes, or help me, or threaten me, I call them good or bad."

That nine year old girl dressed like a young woman is not good or bad, neither is her mom. She is "she" in all her uniqueness. Free to have a different value system than mine. I often pray for eyes to see. Really see. (Then there are the moments when I want to be momentarily struck blind. Truth can sometimes be painful.)

This afternoon I'll be with dearest one's family, who live a very different lifestyle than we do. I've gotten better at accepting our differences. I've gotten better at being okay with me. Occasionally I let what I perceive as their judgement, affect me and am tempted to give it back in spades. I spent years doing just that. Nowadays I struggle with when to speak up and when to be quiet. I often want to be the voice of everyone-who-is-not-them and force them to see the world through eyes not their own. I want to play God. I want to attach value to their groupthink. I want to tell them their values are wrong. And mine are so obviously right. Sigh.

And while it's true that no nine year old daughter of any of them would wear makeup (maybe I could tell them that I know this crack addict who would agree with them? They have no idea I was in rehab last year) I don't have to take our differences personally. Anthony DeMello more than once reminds one that we see others as we are not as they are. Food for thought as I go through my day today.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

This Creature Is A Stirring.

"Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse."

Well, this creature is going to town today - taking in a noon AA meeting and getting an attitude adjustment as a bonus. I haven't started my car in nearly a week and haven't done much more than poke my head out the door since then either. I even woke up an hour earlier than normal this morning. How can you tell I am chomping at the bit to get out the door?!

We usually have a pretty low key Christmas. Dearest one's folks will join us for dinner and the meal will be simple. Boxing day we will gather with his extended family and that should see upwards of 50 people come together. There will be laughing and eating and playing, too. Thankfully in the past year there have been no deaths in the immediate family. Dearest one's father has prayed the same prayer before meals our whole married life. I used to chortle inwardly at what seemed like a rote repitition. Used to get right up on my high horse about it and look down on him. These days, when dearest one's father, who has made it through 3 open heart surgeries and is still alive against all odds, prays, I think to myself about how this very well may be the last family gathering we hear his voice echo in our ears and those words that I once made fun of, have become something to cherish.

I won't be posting tomorrow.
I wish you all a very Merry Christmas.
The waiting will be over.
The Light will have broken through the darkness.
And they all said, "Thanks be to God."

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Cave Dwelling

I've been cleaning out the cave we call our bedroom for most of the day. Dearest one just came into the bedroom and asked me why I was doing this. I looked at him and said, "As opposed to seeing how long we can live in such chaos?" We both grinned and then he tackled a container of his papers. For the first time since we've lived here (3 and a half years now) we'll have a closet that we can find the floor in and nothing lurking in corners or under the bed. I've emptied at least half a dozen plastic containers full of papers and such. Several bags of clothes are ready for the local thrift store. And a big bag waiting for the shredder. In amongst it all I found a few quotes scribbled on a piece of paper and I didn't want to lose them. For all I know they're in my quotes to share folder. In any case they are worth repeating.
" We don't get his love by living up to his standards. We find his love in the most broken places of our lives. As we let him love us there and discover how to love him in return, we'll find our lives changing in that relationship.

And really fitting if you find get togethers at this time of year challenging:
"Other people's contempt can't touch you if you're not playing their game." ~source here

"When you're not content with reality you will always worry about the way things appear."

I'm pretty sure all quotes come from the same place.

Just need to vacuum and make the bed and I'm ready to call it a night.

Moseying Along

She was really trying to be helpful. I was trying to win a round of an online word game. I lost. Moments earlier she had simply rested her head on the keyboard. She's missing our daily walks, too.

A herd of elk made their way through our yard this morning. They were quite the sight. I'm always amazed at how close they come to the buildings. They're gone now, having made their way across the road and into another field.

It feels like Monday today. Most likely because it's the first day since late last week that dearest one and youngest son have headed off to town. It's my turn tomorrow. And they all said, "Thank God."

PS: For Lou

Twelve Different Languages

"...the things we don't know about a person are the things that make them human, and it made me sad to think that, but sad in that reassuring way that some sadness has, a sadness that says welcome home in twelve different languages...."
~ Nomi in A Complicated Kindness

That line jumped off the page at me last night. I am always more comfortable around people when they show me their humanity. This book is all the more enjoyable because it's set in a fictitious little town that mirrors the community I live in. You can tell the author has lived in one, too. She most likely knows some of dearest one's relatives because they are scattered around her home town. I see myself within the story - inside the main character's head and in the lives of her neighbours, too. The ones who mean well but are out of touch with reality. That's not a flattering comparison but it's true. Been there, done that. Try not to live there now.

Which makes me think of one Sunday quite a few years ago. I was taking off my coat and boots in the church foyer when another woman asked me how I was. Instead of the polite "I'm fine" reply I looked at her and said, "I'm bitchy." This look of utter relief crossed her face and she told me how she really was. Getting those words out diminishes the power of the feelings. That's been my experience anyway.

Monday, December 22, 2008

One Dead Certainty

"Out of each of his meditations there always emerges one dead certainty, and this is the fact that he still has a long way to go.~ The Best Of Bill

I read the above little snippet yesterday morning and promptly underlined it. Although I have moments when I am not happy that I still have a long way to go, they are outnumbered by moments where I am grateful that I know with all of my being that I still have a long ways to go. I don't beat myself for that reality, either. I'm not sure one can acknowledge they do have a long way to go without self acceptance. Self loathing and perfectionism seem to go hand in hand for me.

That's about it for me the still frozen north where our thermometer shows -40C this morning. I am getting serious cabin fever. There's no break in the weather for 2 more sleeps. Lord have mercy. Last night on Mythbusters they showed that cabin fever was a real possibility. They drove all the way to Alaska to prove it. They could have stopped at my place (half mile off the highway to Alaska) on the way there. It would have saved them having such a long ways to go.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Crabby and Crabbier

I told Chuck that I'd quit my bitchin' about the weather after seeing this video on his blog. Because I've been crabby and crabbier this weekend, the only sane thing to do is write a gratitude list.

Curling is one of my favourite sports. This whole weekend there's been curling to watch on TV. My friend Karen and I used to discuss the games and call each other just as the last rock of the final game was being thrown. She normally watched curling with her folks. I've often thought of them during this first curling season without her. I am grateful for the memories I have of Karen. I still haven't grasped that she's really gone.

I am grateful that I don't have to try and solve my crabbiness by drinking. And that I don't even want to. There's this fine line between acknowledging how I feel and not letting my feelings rule my life. I'm still learning how to navigate that. Thank God there is lots to learn in life and that God has given me time to continue to do that.

We have Christmas lights on the deck, on the bay window amongst the nativity set, on the tree and on top of the kitchen cupboards. I still feel childlike at the sight of those glittering lights. They are a comfort to me for some reason. I resist taking them down and putting them away. Which is why they stay on the top of my cupboard for years in a row. I'm grateful that there is child like and childish and that I have moments of childlikeness. Not so glad to be childish but hey, hopefully the one will trump the other one day. There is always hope.

I don't remember what I was watching on TV this weekend when I thought to myself, "My God, I am glad I can breathe on my own. Glad I can walk and talk and get up off the couch all by my own effort." I try not to forget what it was like not to have the energy to lift my arms to wash my hair, yet some days I do forget. I am thankful to have my health back to nearly the level it used to be. I have an appointment with the geneticist and cardiologist in Spring. When the geneticist's assistant reminded me last week that this is a disease of peaks and valleys I wanted to protest and tell her that I would only be riding the peaks from now on thank you very much. And for today I do pretty well. I can't even adequately put into words how grateful I am not to have to count my spoon supply on a regular basis.

The cardiologist is hung up on the number on the scale. I was telling my doctor this week that she wouldn't care that I'd lost 50 pounds since I saw her last, she'd only care that the number on the scale still lands me squarely in the obese category. He gave me my most recent blood work report and told me to show her that and try to make her happy. My good cholesterol is up by 30% in the past year and the bad stuff has decreased by 25%. I went from being borderline glucose impaired to being back down in a healthy range. This fits into the 'change the things I can' category and I am grateful.

I am glad to have made it to the shortest daylight hours day of the year. Today there is 7 and a half hours from sunrise to sunset in my neck of the woods. It gets better from here on in. This year I was not counting the days to this day and for that I am glad. Some years I am gritting my teeth in anxiety for this day to get here already.

I am really grateful that crabbiness isn't a permanent state.
I have stuff I can do for others today. Stuff that can get me out of my head and focusing on someone else. Within the four walls of my home. Within phone distance. Within internet distance, too. And I can even make it through one whole post without giving you a weather report. Now, that's something to be glad about.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Be Happy

As the sun inches closer to the horizon this morning, the thermometer inches closer to -40C. I'm grateful that I phoned someone last night and asked them if they'd chair my home group AA meeting for me. Traveling for an hour in this weather borders on insanity. It's fine if you get there without vehicle trouble. It's not if you get stranded. In reality the cold weather doesn't stop many people from getting where they're going. I'm just glad to have a choice whether to stay inside or not.

Well, dear internets, it feels like my brain is in freeze up mode because I have nothing of interest to write about this morning. The weather will cease to be the hot topic of conversation once it gets above -30C. According to the forecast that won't happen until Boxing Day (that's the 26th for you non boxing day people).

What's that catchy song say?

"Don't worry. Be happy."

PS - Here is a link to info about Boxing Day. It's usually a crazy day of shopping for people who like that kind of thing but I see it started out as something far more altruistic than that.

Friday, December 19, 2008

To Sleep, Perchance To Dream

Because I'm weary and have a mounting sleep debt I'm going to take part in 7 Quick Takes Friday.

It's going to be steady at about minus 30ish for the next few days. Our windows are covered from top to bottom with Jack Frost's creations. I marvel at how trees and mountains and leaves appear overnight, or in my case, are there 24 hours a day as long as it is this cold. Some days I feel like my middle name should be Linus. I carry a blanket most everywhere to stay warm. When I get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom I can tell it's warmed up if I can see out the bedroom window. There's something warped about telling the temperature that way. Hey, I do live in redneck country.

I have not felt much holiday cheer this season; be that as it may. I have to admit I felt a twinge of jealousy yesterday when I read on FB that only daughter's boyfriend's mother has laid in a stock of wine and is looking forward to sharing a glass with only daughter over the holidays. For some reason I felt jealous that having a drink together will, Lord willing, never be part of my shared story with my adult kids. I know that's screwed up to feel jealous. Yet that pang was there momentarily. Then I remembered that even though I was a fun drunk, I was most likely only a fun drunk to myself and not the larger world around me as I liked to think. And to have a drink with my children as reality and a shared story would most likely guarantee solitary Christmases for eternity. Thank you God, thank you God, for my sobriety.

We have 35+ neices and nephews on dearest one's side of the family; many of them of marrying age. The weddings have been happening at a fast and furious rate this past year. We receivged a wedding invite to one in the mail this week and a phone call this morning of another one in the works. In dearest one's family's culture a girl starts to be considered an old maid at 25 or thereabouts. People feel sorry for her single state. I wish there was a place in their culture for the possibility of being called to singlehood. To see how it could be celebrated and encouraged without a person feeling somehow second rate. When I hear people talk all starry eyed about the love of their life completing them I want to howl with snarky laughter. Bring the fullness of who you are to marriage people; the fullness, that is the beauty of who you are, sans marriage. I'll shut up about that now because I feel a rant coming on and it wouldn't be pretty.

Okay, I can tell I am sleep deprived, can you? Unless I've been bone weary at bedtime I haven't slept through the night since before last weekend. It should follow that I sound a bit babyish by today, shouldn't it?

Nine times out of every ten that I've eaten out in the past 18 months, I've eaten at Subway. Sometimes I feel like I could give Jared a run for his money. I'm 50 pounds lighter and know most of the Subway staff at all 5 locations. They keep getting moved from one place to another and greet me enthusiastically when we see each other at a new location. I think it says something for Subway that they still have this core group of staff after that long, a record for a fast food place I should think.

The year my older sister sent me some little dollar packages of Norwegian flags for my Christmas tree I cried. They top the list of my all time favourite Christmas present. My grandparents always had them on their tree as did my great aunt. We never know what traditions are going to be the most heart felt in years to come. I get very homesick every single Christmas and those little flags make me feel connected to my family far away.

Yesterday as I was rushing down an aisle in a department store I saw an elderly woman try on a lovely red suit jacket. She turned this way and that and I stopped to whisper, "It looks beautiful on you." She turned and looked a little sheepish and a lot pleased. She told me there wasn't a mirror close by so she couldn't see how it looked. I assured her it looked just great and went on my way. I wonder when she looks in the mirror does she see her older self or her younger self.

I have a sneaking suspicion if I don't get some good sleep soon youngest son and dearest one are going to be looking at each other way before supper and asking, "Is it bedtime yet?" Oh, I remember those days when supper couldn't come fast enough because that meant bath time and bed time and sleep for us all. Methinks they are going to be hoping it's my bedtime way before supper is on the horizon.

If you want to read a post that will make you laugh and cry, hop over to Da Momma's blog. This woman no doubt can't wait for bedtime either, but my goodness she parents with a wisdom and wit that I can only dream about. Dreams are good though, it hopefully means you're getting some sleep.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Growing Up, Seeing Anew

"If your prayer is not enticing you outside your comfort zones, if your Christ is not an occasional 'threat', you probably need to do some growing up and learning to love. You have to develop an ego before you can let go of it."

"We must never presume that we see. We must always be ready to see anew. But it's so hard to go back, to be vulnerable, to say to your soul, 'I don't know anything.'"

Both of the above are from Richard Rohr's Everything Belongs.

I could write a lot on both those quotes and what they mean on my journey. Suffice to say I am still growing up and often feel like I'm choking on my words when I admit I don't know anything. I guess the good news in all that is that I can say that today without beating myself up for where I'm at. What is, is.

What is it that Anne Lamott says? "We're the children of God and we are loved and God loves you exactly the way you are and too much to let you stay like this."
There is hope for all of us.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Eyes To See

"When we can see the image of God where we don't want to see the image of God, then we see with eyes not our own."
~ Everything Belongs

This was just one of many gems I read while I was waiting in the doctor's office yesterday. I love this book and if I read it too many more times I'm going to have it underlined from beginning to end. I continue to pray to have eyes to see.

I slept for 12 hours last night. Lovely needles in the shoulder....not. "Ouch," I say more than once yesterday as the doctor tries to find the right spot. "Sorry," the doctor replies, "I hit a bone there." Makes me grit my teeth just typing that. Lord, give him eyes to see. Past the bone. Please.
But the good news is that I haven't needed the shots for nearly 6 months and hopefully that trend will continue. It's much better than weekly ones.

The injections usually make my heart act up and it was going double time for a bit yesterday when the energizer bunny got lost in the bush. I'd bought her a fluorescent orange jacket this past week. She knows already when I pull it out that means we are going for a walk. She sees it and starts whining and making a ruckus. She loves going for a walk. Once out on the road yesterday she decided to follow one of the other dogs (yes, we have two outside dogs, too) into the bush. In my more paranoid moments I am convinced that dog purposely led her on that jaunt to lose her. She is the pack leader and does not like the energizer bunny one little bit.

Anyway, I briefly thought about that as I saw the two of them head into the bush, then continued on my walk with the other dog. When I got back to the yard there was no energizer bunny to be found. It wasn't too long until night fall so dearest one and I headed in the bush to find her. There was fresh snow so that helped, but it was still a tad bit too long until she was found. She'd got hung up on a branch and wriggled out of her jacket. We assumed she'd whine and howl that she was lost, especially when we yelled for her, but instead she happily walked back and forth on her little trail in the bush, waiting to be found. By that time she was shivering with cold. She happily snuggled into his jacket on the way back to the house. I told her maybe there are guardian angels for dogs. And she shouldn't keep hers out in the cold so long. No more side trips for her. No sirree.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Whatcha Looking For?

It's off to the doctor today for some pain relief.
Good thing I called yesterday.
Today is his last in office day until after the New Year.
That was cutting it pretty fine.
If I'd procrastinated I'd be SOL.

Sleep was elusive last night.
Getting some sleep is better than no sleep.
I vouch for that.
Tomorrow I should be as good as new again.

The mail was full of wonderful packages yesterday.
They were all for me.
(Ya didn't know it's all about me?)
Several Christmas cards in the mix, too.
They look pretty hanging on a gold string across the bay window.

I feel ambivalent about Christmas this year.
My Advent journey has felt empty and
barely on the radar screen as well.
I don't like either of those feelings.
Most likely because I want to
judge myself for where I'm at.
I want to be the King of the castle.
'Cause it's all about me.

Yet, for today, I'm accepting that where I'm at
is where I'm at.
Tomorrow may be different.
I've wasted oodles of energy in times past
pretending or wishing I was
somewhere different on my journey.
But today is what is before me.
Who I am is enough. Right now. As is.
You, too.
Remember that.

I'm grateful for the gift of life today.
For the ability to make choices.
For knowing not to take it all so seriously.
And for succeeding in doing just that sometimes.
My closest friends describe me as intense.
So any day I manage not to take myself or life too seriously
is a day to be celebrated.
I'm sitting here rolling my shoulders and loosening up.
For you never know what the day will bring.
If I look for the good, I'll find it.
If I look for the negative, I'll find that, too.
I often pray that God will give me
the eyes to see
the ears to hear
and the heart to respond
to Him in everything.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Life Giving Choices

Dearest one had a hard time getting one of the vehicles to start this morning. It's -38C with the windchill factored in. Yet, it's colder in other parts of the prairies. Lovely, lovely winter. I'm grateful for a warm house and no need to venture outside today.

I've been in increasing pain for the past few days. Nothing that a needle in each shoulder won't fix. I haven't needed trigger point injections since the end of June and I am grateful for that. I am disappointed to need them again. I honestly thought they were behind me forever. I am grateful though, for an alternative to narcotics. Eternally.

Christmas baking and house cleaning are on the agenda for today. Dearest one and youngest son will be enjoying butter tarts, nanaimo bars, fudge and peppernuts by the week's end. It's all good.

I am grateful for life today.
I'm feeling a little teary and vulnerable this morning.
I'm grateful to be sober.
To be able to pick up the phone and talk to my sponsor.
To be able to sit quietly and let God love me.
To be able to extend that love to others.
To have the ability to make choices, ones that are life giving.
Thanks be to God.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

A Little Banty King

Here, north of the 55th paralell, it's a good day to stay inside.
There's a cold snap that's running from here right across the prairies.
The furnace has hardly taken a breather in the past 12 hours.
I'm thankful there aren't chores to do outside this morning.
For several years we had chickens and sheep to care for.
Often the chickens would sit on the backs of the sheep.
I still miss the sound of a Banty rooster.
The way he announced, first thing in the morning,
that he's still king of his own little world.
Woe to anyone who challenged his call.
I can be like that little rooster some days.
Except I am never, ever voluntarily awake at sunrise.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Jack Frost's Handiwork

The windows are covered from top to bottom this morning with Jack Frost's handiwork. The beautiful patterns intrigue me. It's supposed to be cold all day and worse yet tonight. When it gets to -30 I am quite content to be inside although I do miss my walk. Anything warmer than -25 and I am out there all bundled up and walking. Being cold makes getting warm all the more gratifying.

I'm off to my AA meeting this morning. I missed last week's because of icy roads so am glad to be going today. I've learned my lesson though, that volunteering to chair for the month of December, when I live an hour from the meeting, is not a good idea. I'll stick to the months of the year without cold and ice from now on. The good news is that I am capable of picking up the phone and asking someone else if they can chair for me. Which is what I did last week. I don't need to make a big drama out of it in the meantime. Did I mention that I love my home group? And am loved in return. That's the kicker. It's sometimes much easier to love than to accept being loved in return. For me, anyway.

Yesterday afternoon dearest one was having a nap when I decided to join him. The energizer bunny was sleeping right next to his head. I crawled into bed and she adjusted and I laid there and waited for what I knew was coming next. Sure enough, she gently lowered her chin down onto my head and went to sleep. It was oddly comforting although I imagine it would have made a strange photo. Dearest one asleep, my head on his shoulder and energizer bunny's head on mine.

Friday, December 12, 2008

The Little Things

I'm in a 'grateful for the little things' mood this morning.
  • the furnace is working.
  • the fridge has food in it.
  • the energizer bunny has a little jacket to keep her warm on our walks.
  • I have a new yoga DVD to try.
  • Wearing my new winter jacket makes me feel like Mary Tyler Moore.
  • Dearest one is home from work. His cold/cough/flu is temporary.
  • I get to go for a walk before the temperature drops to minus 30ish tonight.
  • Then I get to come back into a warm house and enjoy a cup of tea.
  • I love having a shower. We used to have to haul every drop of water we used ,so to now have a well and plenty of water....sometimes I still stand there and count to 10, enjoying an extra 10 seconds of water....a habit I started when those 10 seconds were a luxury. After going for a walk and doing some yoga, I'm going to indulge in an extra 10 seconds of water. Methinks they are still a luxury.
  • That making a gratitude list comes easily. I used to think people who were grateful were lying through their teeth.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

From East To West

It's the middle of the night and insomnia is my companion. Dearest one is having the bed and covers all to himself. I rarely have insomnia anymore and for that I am grateful. With all the hoopla from the furnace being out yesterday, I was late in taking some medication, which usually throws my sleep schedule right out the window. A little blip on the radar screen of life. Every time there's a full or nearly full moon, and the sky is clear, once during night it shines right through the bedroom window onto my face. It feels like being kissed by God.

A few days ago I didn't get outside for my walk until the sun was just about to disappear over the horizon. At one point I thought there was a car coming up behind me. As I turned to see, I realized I had mistaken headlights for the moon breaking through the clouds. It was shining brightly on the road. It felt a little surreal. For on one side of me was the clear, dusky sky and sunset. On the other was a dark sky filled with the moon and a few stars. Between the two were dark, black clouds. I kept stopping and looking from one side to the other, in awe of the view. There are times when Creation evokes a deep gratitude within me. I stood there and whispered 'thank you' over and over again.

Last month, when I found myself in a deep funk, I took stock and asked myself what was I doing when life was at its best. What works? Two things that I had let slide from my daily routine were yoga and a 20 minutes session of meditation. That period of meditation puts me squarely in the present. Being in the present scares me. Whenever I practice this period of meditation for any stretch of time, I eventually end up abandoning it, because it shakes me up at the core. On the flip side there is also a sense that it is working within me at levels my consciousness can't touch. I've heard it referred to as 'Divine Therapy.' Over the past few weeks I have slowly returned to the discipline of meditation.

Yesterday after the 20 minutes were up I felt different. When I stopped to assess the feeling I thought to myself, "oh, I'm in my body." After years of having vacated my body due to childhood sexual abuse, it feels like an incredible gift to trust my body enough to be in it. Anytime I stop living life from the neck up is cause for celebration. I'm trusting that as I continue to heal and grow, inhabiting my body will become the norm.

Yesterday, during my time of meditation, I got this sense that who I am is enough. Right now. This moment. As is. I felt myself open up and receive that who I am is enough as Truth. What other response can one have to that except 'thank you'? It's a little like seeing the sun set on one side of the road and the moon shining brightly on the other. The whole of who I am can be embraced. Thanks be to God.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Cold Feet For The Bed Hog

I'm just about typing with gloves on this morning.
Winter has truly arrived.
There must be at least 8 inches of fresh snow out there this morning.
The furnace has been out since God knows when.
Dearest one accuses me of being a blanket and bed hog - to which I plead guilty as charged. He usually spends Tuesday nights in town at oldest son's place so that
he can be at the hospital bright and early for Wednesday mornings with his students. That means one night a week I can hog all the covers and all the bed without feeling one bit bad about it in the morning.
During the night though, I was cold and thought to myself how wonderful it would be to have dearest one to snuggle up to and get warm, and then I promptly went back to sleep.

When I woke up I thought it was just a tad bit too chilly in here. When the furnace didn't respond to my attempts to turn up the heat I knew it wasn't good. I had just taken the cover off the furnace - although I have no idea what I would've done next - when dearest one came in the house and asked why was it so cold in here.

He's been sick the last few days so he cancelled his stint at the hospital today. He told himself all the whole way home that he when he got here he was drinking something hot and then crawling into bed. On top of the cold/cough/flu he has going on he has the remains of a migraine this morning, too. You can imagine his (not)glee when he came home to a furnace that needs fixing and no furnace repair people available. Which means he'll have to take it apart and fix it himself. When I plugged the ceramic heater in this morning it said the inside temperature was 40F. Yesterday it was supposed to be just about at the freezing mark this morning (which is good and warm for this time of year) and it's no where near that warm outside.

The furnace is still out. We have the gas stove going to help boost the inside temperature. Dearest one got called to the neighbours because the ambulance was stuck in her yard (long story). He isn't home yet. Methinks it will be several hours before he can crawl into bed and warm up. I may just join him. And while I normally laugh when he threatens to put his cold feet on me, and then I shriek when he does it, today I may just put up with it.
And then I'll pull all the covers to my side of the bed.

Beware Of The Dog House

In case you need a laugh here's a video to make you smile.

The Doghouse.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Linky Linky

Oh, that title is all wrong.
It makes me start rhyming nonsense in my head.
I think I've been playing too much Scramble on Facebook.
But I did want to point out that I have added new-to-me blogs and ones I've been following for a while
on my sidebar.
Check them out.

It Wasn't Always That Way

Forty eight years ago today my brother Rodney died. He was born premature and lived for 2 days. I've told his story before on these pages. I think of him every year on this day.

It wasn't always that way.

My mom was in a drunken, teary state when she told me she had no idea when he was born or when he died. She knew the month and the year but that's all. At that time he would have been 28 years old. What a long time for her to carry that alone. She didn't know where he was buried either. I had to go to my dad to find that out and then later I called the cemetery to find out his date of birth and death. And where exactly his grave was.

I promised my Mom a long time ago that I would buy a tombstone for his grave. This coming Spring I will be doing just that. I mentioned this to my mom when I saw her last month. A lone tear coursed down her cheek at the mention of his name.

The doctors told my mom the best thing she could do to cope with his death was to get pregnant. She did and then miscarried. Then she got pregnant with me. I was born at the same gestation as Rodney. We were 3 ounces different in birth weight. My mom said the nurses used to massage my chest with their thumbs to get my heart going again.

Especially because of Rodney's death I try not to take life for granted. On my birthday I thank God for another year, another breath, another step forward on the journey. Sometimes I feel guilty that I lived and he died. I know that's irrational thought but it still crops up from time to time. Other times I wonder if he would have been a protective older brother or another perpetrator.

There were many little silver numbered discs surrounding the area in the graveyard where Rodney is buried. Other little babies who only have a number to mark their life and death. Sometimes I wonder what their collective stories are and who remembers them still.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Pre Kindergarten

It's my blog anniversary today.
In blog years I'm in pre-kindergarten.
As a 4 year old there is hope for me yet.
That is good, good news.

I'd have to say that writing these posts
has been life changing.
That's not an exageration.
Damn. I can't figure out how to spell that word.
I feel cross eyed when I look at it.
But I do try not to live it.
Spell check has no suggestions for me, either.
Which means I've spelled it wrong by a long shot.
Good grief.
Now that looks plainly stupid.
But it's right.

Isn't that just like life sometimes?
Looks plainly stupid.
Feels plainly stupid.
Because of a warped sense of reality
and a good dose of denial
doing something a different way
looks ridiculous sometimes.
But notice I can spell
There is hope for me yet.

Anyway, writing these posts
has been life changing
because it's freed me to look at myself.
Freed me to ask for help.
Freed me to get some help.
To grow and change in ways
I never could've predicted.
And that's a good thing.

Some of you have been with me from the beginning.
Through thick and thin.
Ha. Thicker me and thinner me.
Seriously. Thicker and thinner me means diddly squat
in the whole scope of life.
There's been some pretty sick shit on this blog at times,though.
And swear words, too.
Although I'm trying to stop using them so much.
I heard at a Round Up this past Fall that
as sober alcoholics we don't need to talk like that anymore.
Cover your ears fellow pre-kindergarteners because
I instantly had the urge to say 'fuck' over and over and over again.
Instead I pondered whether I was capable of swearing less.
I decided I wanted to try.

I think I love the word hope more than ever.
I have more of it now than I did 4 years ago.
I'm so glad hope is not a swear word.
May it continue to grow in us all.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Building A Child

"It is infinitely easier to build a child than repair an adult."

If you click on the above link and then choose the very short video Baseball Season: Johnny and his Dad you'll hear more of what Earnie Larsen has to say surrounding the above quote. Every video under that section is worth a listen.

I don't have much else to say except that
I was one of those 'finding 5 things wrong parent'.
I'm grateful that life's given me enough time to learn a different perspective.
I'm also grateful for the people in my life who constantly cheer me on.
We all need a bit of that.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Ten Points - Honest To God

Mary Christine over at One Sober Alcoholic gave me an honesty award. Being honest as far as I won't tell a bold faced lie comes easily to me, always has. Being honest, as in being upfront about how I feel, doesn't. Okay, now that I typed that out maybe I'm not as honest as I thought I was. (Waves hand up in air to get Mary Christine's attention and promptly confesses. Mary Christine turns Hope around in the direction of the confessional and says, 'there you go.'

There are rules.
List 10 honest things about yourself.
Pass around some linky love, seven to be honest.

1. When my kids were little I wouldn't let them pick up rocks from the road and take them home. I told them those rocks belong to the government. (Hold the laughter.)

2. If I had grandchildren I'd let them fill their pockets with rocks now and not feel bad at all. (Sorry adult kids.)

3. I am scared of spiders and mice. When my kids were little I pretended to love them and bravely let spiders crawl on my hands so that my kids wouldn't have phobias. Their hamsters could do no wrong. (except the day I thought one hamster had eaten another hamster and then I shook the cage with anger. The other hamster turned up running around the house several days later. Ever since we've referred to jumping to conclusions as 'eating a hamster'.) One day I decided I no longer had to pretend to have a love affair with either - don't think only daughter has forgiven me yet. She has no phobias about critters or bugs or such stuff. In fact, she skinned and gutted a mouse that her cat lovingly brought her and stretched the little hide, too. She then considered being a surgeon. She chose acting instead. There's some irony in there somehwere. (I do think I deserve an award for not becoming a screaming ninny when a Daddy Long Legs walked right over my hand and I took it in my stride and remarked about how wonderfully made it was even though I was a total screaming ninny inside.)

4. At heart I am a purse.aholic even though I only own one. I secretly covet those pretty purple, red and green purses that are in stores right now. The practical side of me frowns at the wanna be purse.aholic side of me.

5. When I'm in a public bathroom I cannot bring myself to use the toilet paper that someone else touched. To get around that I tear off the piece that they touched and if there's no garbage I simply let it fall to the floor. I always feel guilty about doing that but I just can't bring myself to use it. Now my kids will become screaming ninnies because I am the queen of telling them not to litter. I can just hear them telling me what If Everybody Did that?. Go check out that link. I really read them that book and often reminded them that if everyone did whatever crime it was they were doing, the world would collapse into chaos.

6. I love shovelling snow. And shit. When we worked on a dairy farm I cheerfully shovelled out the holding pen every day. This was before I sobered up. It should be noted that there were no bulls in the holding pen. Just me and the cows. (You did know a bull is not a cow, right?)

7. I like to put a puzzle together all by myself. I get ridiculously possessive of every puzzle piece as if I gave birth to all one thousand of them. At our Christmas family gathering with dearest one's family (40+ people) I sometimes avoid the puzzle table for exactly that reason. It's irrational, I know. Last year I made myself sit there and put puzzle pieces together but I really wished I had the puzzle all to myself.

8. I hate watching movies by myself. Once a year I watch the movie Braveheart. Now that only daughter lives far away I watch it by myself. When William Wallace yells out "freeedommmm" at the end of that movie I always get shivers. I pray for the courage to live with such integrity.

9. I cannot count the number of times I've sat in the car, ready to take off or even gotten part way down the driveway and then freaked out that I left my curling iron plugged in. One would've thought the world was coming to an end....Our house would then burn down. (Seriously a girl I knew in grade school set her house on fire by forgetting to unplug her curling iron. Another friend was at a United Nations meeting and left her curling iron plugged in and heard over the loudspeakers in every known language that would the person who left their curling iron plugged in please go take care of it.) So do you blame me for such irrational behaviour now? Dearest one has turned around more than once so I can double check. Every single time it's been unplugged. Sigh.

10. I love seeing elderly women with faces lined so deeply with wrinkles. I think they look beautiful. Yesterday, I looked in the mirror and saw crow's feet wrinkles bunched up around my eyes and then I frowned in the mirror to see what kind of wrinkles I'd have by doing that excessively. When I relaxed my face again and saw no permanent frown lines (a miracle I tell you) I decided that I'll take crow's feet over frown lines. However, if there was a cream that would make my wrinkles disappear I would buy stock in the company.

I suddenly have an urge to do a sixth step on nearly all these points of honesty.

I tag:

Stumbling Barefoot

Friday, December 05, 2008

One Step Is All It Takes

"Insight isn't change and words are not behaviour."

~ Believing in Myself

That sentence was in my daily readings yesterday. It brought me back to a time 20 years ago when a good friend came over and found me sitting in a chair surrounded by chaos. I told her I was praying for some inspiration to start cleaning. She looked at me and said, "You have to get up out of the chair and then God can inspire you." I'm sure my mouth dropped open in disbelief. That sure was a new thought to me. Many times since then I've found if I just take some kind of action, change happens. That action may be turning a heart wrenching situation over to God, it may be getting up physically and doing something, whatever it is, the action instigates change of some kind, most likely a change in my attitude.

This morning I'm headed to town where I have a few errands to run and then a therapy appointment. Dearest one and I are going out for lunch afterwards. I don't know how it is for you, but for me it's the littlest things in life that bring me the most joy. And that kind of change, the one where for today I'm not looking for life to go according to my plan in order to be happy, or for big things to happen in order to find joy, is the best change of all. Thanks be to God.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

The Best Ever

Jack Frost has left a beautiful design on the windows this morning. The sun is just starting to peek over the horizon casting deep shades of pink before it. I'm grateful to be inside where it's warm.

I'm hoping to get Christmas cards finished today. I remember strings of cards up on the wall at my grandparent's house. Everyone in the community would send to one another. Sparkly and pretty, they are a good memory of Christmas for me. This year, for the first time, I'm sending out one of those form letters that let people know what the past year has held for us as a family. Those of you who read this blog know so much more about this past year, the stuff that really matters, than many who will be receiving a Christmas card from me.

I always think the year that was, has been the best ever. I love that life unfolds that way for me. The best ever might mean that it was one of incredible growth, coming only through much pain and struggle. The best might mean other things other years. Today I am grateful for the gift of life and all that encompasses its days.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Joseph and His Cohorts

I have a lovely pot of tea at the ready as I type. And yes, it's just like the picture over there. I love shopping at Ten Thousand Villages. A few Christmases ago my presents all came from there and I was pretty pleased. I have two matching cups to the teapot, too.

I've been sleeping extra long this week. I'm a thinking that writing the book took way more spoons out of me than I realized. It didn't help that during the writing I would wake up at night thinking of plot twists and turns. Just before I woke up this morning I was dreaming of being in a class with mothers and children. One little boy was telling his mom that he was scared as they went around and around and higher and higher up a mechanized stair like ride. She dismissed his fear. I spoke up and told her that he needed her to affirm his feelings so that she didn't have to deal with the fall out 20 years down the road. That his fear wasn't a reflection of her parenting. She promptly got off the ride and in the dream I imagined she was reporting me to someone for speaking so frankly to her and that I was going to be banned from the building immediately. If only someone had spoken so boldly to me way back when. I needed to hear it - although whether I would have dismissed that person, too is another story. Being right was just so darn important to me for so long. Oh, who am I kidding? Let's be honest, I still love being right but I can concede now that being right all the time is akin to not living in reality.

The energizer bunny, on the other hand, loves to go around and around and she's not scared of heights, either. I'm pretty sure she loves being right, too. And while dearest one teased me yesterday for refering to her as a person she truly is just a dog. A dog who loves it when dearest one comes home. She starts whining and howling when she hears his car come into the yard. Often she jumps up on the bay window and just about wags herself right off onto the carpet as she watches him make his way to the door. Yesterday I set up my nativity set in the bay window. She took one look at it and did what any sane dog would do. She stood there and barked and barked at Joseph and the shepherd boys as if they were intruders. I half expected to see them on the floor this morning all chewed up, but they are all still in place.

Well, the teapot is empty and I need to tackle the mess that is my desk today. With any luck we will have high speed internet by this evening and I do want the installer guy to be able to find the wall without having an avalanche of papers fall on top of him. Seriously, my desk has so much stuff piled on top of it that it's threatening to slide off onto the floor. Besides, the energizer bunny is smart enough that if she saw that happen she just might start piling things on the bay window in hopes of ousting Joseph and his cohorts. I'm sure there's a lesson in there somewhere for me.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Too Much Testosterone

I have a little snowman music box that's been sitting smack dab in the middle of the diningroom table for nearly a week already. It's been waiting for me to turn it around and around so it can dance the music out of its system. It plays "Let It Snow." And today is its lucky day. It's snowing as I type.

Youngest son bought that little snow man music box for me at Christmas time quite a few years ago. These days he'd most likely buy me one that plays music that would make me scowl at him. He does like to get under my skin in a most devious "I love you" way. The other night he and dearest one ganged up on me and had me going real good when I told them to phone oldest son to get his perspective. I still don't know how they did it because I sat there and listened to youngest son talk to his older brother and then he handed me the phone so I could plead my case. And wouldn't you know it but oldest son played right along with his sibling and father and strung me along a little further. And I believed him!! I told them I was surrounded by way too much testosterone (only daughter where are you??)for my liking and not to expect me to make them supper the next night. Such a terrible threat isn't it? As if neither of them are capable of cooking. I nearly followed through on that too, except I decided at the last minute that would be taking their good natured teasing a bit too personal. Youngest son did ask me what I put in his supper last night - like was there any poison mixed in it? I told him that he was very fortunate that I restrained myself. I am so, so gullible and they delight in teasing me every time I'm gullible enough to buy it. Which is way too often. And truth be told, I may bellyache about it, but I would miss it if they stopped.
Which is what they tell me every chance they get.
Last night I did tell dearest one though, to please put away the rifle that was resting against the couch.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Stepping Out Of Line

Monday and the first of the month.
Lord have mercy.
That combination used to trigger insanity for me.
Used to be the day when I would promise myself
that this month I would get my shit together,
would revamp my life,
would chase after perfection.
It would be the month when I got all my ducks in a row
and woe to the one that stepped out of line.
I just might shoot it.
(Kid.ding. We have guns in the house and I never so much as touch them. They make me nervous. Well, me handling a gun makes me nervous. It should make everyone around me nervous, too. Did I ever tell you about the time youngest son was fixing a rifle for someone else? He was about 12. He brought it upstairs to show me the cool lever action, reassured me he had counted 22 bullets in and 22 bullets out, and promptly shot a hole right through the wall just inches above the dishwasher. We were all standing very close. A coat zipper on the other side of the wall stopped the bullet.)

Well, that was quite the tangent.

As you can see, the ducks have no fear of having to be lined
up perfectly these days.
They know I'm not going to shoot a one of them.
I'm grateful a perfectionistic mindset is not running my life anymore.
I have no other goals for today other than
what I'd have if it were any other Monday.

I had a very full weekend.
Two AA birthday meetings - a treat for me.
When I hugged my sponsor hello yesterday,
she asked me to present her card and medallion to her.
I sat there and had quite the conversation in my head
about what I was going to say,
reminding myself that it wasn't about me,
and prayed that I could simply speak from my heart.

The funniest moment was when an elderly member said his goal was to live to be 100 and then get killed by a jealous husband. I imagine his ducks will have to be slightly misaligned for his goal to come true.