Saturday, December 30

On Holiday

"God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change... "

We realize this more during the holiday season--especially during the aftermath of the wild rush that is Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Interaction with in-laws and out-laws and relatives can wear you out. Everyone sleeps hard during the holidays... when they finally sleep.

The sleeping patterns of 5 individuals were made abundantly clear this season. Someone was up all the time, I think. Middle of the night trips to the kitchen or bathroom usually involved running into someone else who was either already up, getting up or going back to bed. It made for hot topics of conversation over coffee the next morning. We survived.

Adaptability is a virtue, indeed. My children have been blessed with this. They arrived suitcases in tow, to spend the holidays with their mother and this man she married 5 years ago. The house was quickly transformed into a "girly" house complete with the smells of scented lotions and the giggles and guffaws of two young women enthused over no work or school for a few days. Both pointed out that they were "on holiday."

I like the sound of that. The girls get but a small amount of time off and I am so proud they chose to spend it here. I think I'm most pleased by the comfort level they express in their day to day actions... here in an old house we have made home.

There's a level of respect we all have for one another and for the tight quarters we share over Christmas. An eyebrow may occasionally be raised, looks may pass between one or two--but no harsh words or opinions. I think we all realize we are what we are and we've got what we've got. This is family. What are you going to do with family?

You bend for family. You maintain a certain level of discretion. You let things slide and look at the bigger picture.

But most of all you love them unconditionally.

Sunday, December 24

They're Back

Time to practice all those daily meditations... the holidays are here.

We've shopped and cleaned, wrapped gifts and cooked, and cleaned again. But are really ready? On the outside maybe, but not mentally where it counts. We've kept ourselves really busy so we wouldn't have to think how well families blend, or how well blended families blend.

Just remember your manners. They'll save you every time. Its seems there is very little grief for people with manners. It may be because folks with manners realize there is a different type of behavior more appropriate for use in public places. My Jessica pointed this out last night at dinner.

"Why are you pointing?" she said over and over to me and my other half. I never realized how much I pointed... or how much my other half pointed. My eldest explained that pointing is an aggressive gesture and actually is quite rude. My, My! I certainly hadn't anticipated rudeness or aggression in my hand gestures.

I guess I had better work on that.

Saturday, December 16

I am the Moon

I am The Moon

Hope, expectation, Bright promises.

The Moon is a card of magic and mystery - when prominent you know that nothing is as it seems, particularly when it concerns relationships. All logic is thrown out the window.

The Moon is all about visions and illusions, madness, genius and poetry. This is a card that has to do with sleep, and so with both dreams and nightmares. It is a scary card in that it warns that there might be hidden enemies, tricks and falsehoods. But it should also be remembered that this is a card of great creativity, of powerful magic, primal feelings and intuition. You may be going through a time of emotional and mental trial; if you have any past mental problems, you must be vigilant in taking your medication but avoid drugs or alcohol, as abuse of either will cause them irreparable damage. This time however, can also result in great creativity, psychic powers, visions and insight. You can and should trust your intuition.

What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

Thursday, December 14

My Camera Died... and other suprises

I was beginning to think I had it all together... until yesterday.

Yesterday I took my mother Christmas shopping again. I don't remember if we went last week. But I did go shopping with my father last week.

Shopping with Pop is much quicker... almost manic. That's a man thing and he's a 72 year old man that's used to a regime... his.

I think his main intent on taking me was to pick out something for my mother. I bravely stood on the sidelines, encouraging him to make the final decision his own. I hope he understood this and will eventually be confident enough to admit he picked out the gift.

Which brings up an interesting point--when did buying gifts become such a problem? What happenend to the "thought" part? Granted, the best gifts are those that utterly delight the recipient, but we have all done that at some point in our lives... hopefully, many many times.

But now, all of a sudden, we second-guess ourselves to the point that we can't even make a damn decision. Often times, once we do, we still second-guess the decision, after the fact!

First off, a gift is just that--something one gives to another. How marvelous! Isn't it nice that someone thought enough of us to share? To go to the trouble of presenting us with something, expecting nothing in return but our gratitude? (Okay, I added the gratitude. That's a "me" thing.)

The bottom line is, the giver wants to make us smile. A gift is a token of appreciation and is not always a tangible item, either.

I try to follow one rule of thumb--to always give something I would genuinely appreciate myself.

Sunday, December 10

Happily Ever After

My childhood was filled with marvelous fairy tales... tales of wonderful romantic meetings, trials and tribulations which ultimately led to "happily ever after." I've been accused of believing too much in the good, pristine side of things--so much so, that I fall pretty hard when reality presents itself. Perhaps.

But what I have found, is that we are all responsible for our own version of "happily ever after." There is no storyline to follow. We have to create our story and maneuver around all the dragons to get to that happy place. No shortcuts, no fairy godmothers. But sometimes a few magical things can happen.

If you stand up to the dragons, most often they will not devour you. If you have faith in you, if you continue to be you--as if by magic, the dragons will become smaller and smaller, until they are pretty much nonexistent.

Thursday, December 7

How Clean Is Your Floor?

I've had two old friends resurface within the past 48 hours. The holidays are known for that. People get that "holiday cheer and good feeling" thing going and begin to try and figure out how to keep it going the whole year. Can't blame them for that.

It's tough to be nice all the time, though.

I blame a lot of my crankiness on hormones. Hell, I'm 3 or 4 years into menopause now. I understand it generally takes 5, so I'm optimistic--I think I can hang on. But I think the whole menopause thing is wearing on the fam...

I try to channel all those racing thoughts into positive energy, like scrubbing the kitchen floor.

So, a word to the wise: If my kitchen floor is clean, it's safe to come in.

Sunday, December 3

Erma Saves the Day

Everything is fine... really fine.

I finally got the dreaded freezer defrosted... and partially restocked in anticipation of the holiday traffic. House still needs a good thorough cleaning, but I have been moving in 50 different directions with the sewing and the shopping and the partially done remodeling. (sigh)

I always say that life is a tradeoff. Why do I always forget it, too??

I know everything does not have to be perfect, but I strive for perfection anyway. Insanity, pure insanity.

After a rushed day Friday, my other half calls to say he's taking off early. I get home just 15 minutes or so ahead of him and put away the groceries. When he arrives he announces he'd like to have company for dinner. Of course, I totally flip out, because after all--the house is a wreck! We all know the bathroom should sparkle and the kitchen floor should be smooth as glass before you have company over. That's when I thought of Erma Bombeck.

One of the things she regretted during her last days was her lack of spontaneity. She said she wished she had worried less about grass stains and spent more time sitting in the grass.

"If I had my life to live over again I would have waxed less and listened more. I would have cried and laughed less while watching television . . . and more while watching real life. But mostly, given another shot at life, I would seize every minute of it . . . look at it and really see it . . . try it on . . . live it . . . exhaust it . . . and never give that minute back until there was nothing left of it. . . . "

Old Erma was pretty wise... I've decided I'm taking a cue from her this entire holiday season.

Friday, December 1

Merry, Ho Ho

Time for the mad rush which is Christmas.

My mother and I have started the weekly shopping trips. At 70 years old, she boasts of 14 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren and shops for every single one... along with their significant others. She's definitely "showing the love."

I'm still learning to love. I have a wonderful book of meditations I read every morning with the intention of getting my day off to the appropriate start. It reminds me of things I should already know, but find myself forgetting.

My Jessica made mention of one such point yesterday... Fear creates anger. Fussiness, being a grump, crankiness... whatever form it takes, often stems from something much deeper. Human nature often makes us reactive to anger, rather than taking the time to understand the source or the real problem. Being reactive, of course, just adds "fuel to the fire."

But, if we take the time to try and understand the fear associated with the anger, there won't be any brushfires to put out.