Posted in Brain Dump, Real Life

Real Christmas

The thing I, and many others, forget year after year is how rarely Christmas lives up to our expectations or memories. As adults we subconsciously expect Christmas to somehow be as wondrous as it was when we were young children, but that’s pretty unreasonable.

As adults, many work tirelessly to try to hit some picture perfect Christmas experience we think we’re supposed to give our families. Until we scale back our expectations, plans changing, illnesses, or other forces kicking in and controlling the holiday can be devastating.

If the Hallmark channel made realistic Christmas movies, they would mostly be people spending December 25th eating brownies over the sink, avoiding specific family members, or napping. Our best holiday moments may actually happen with friends and family in the weeks leading up to the 25th. THOSE are the holiday moments to treasure. December 25th is just the day you can finally relax because you made it through the season for another year and the pressure is off.

Take pleasure in being off work, watching anything you want, and eating things you might normally avoid. Leave the Christmas lights up until YOU don’t need or want them any more. My tree may come down, but I have candles and twinkle lights in my living room that I’ll light for a few more weeks, because *I* want that.

If you are having a bad or mediocre Christmas: you aren’t alone. And if you had a great one, that’s worth treasuring. Maybe use this as a reminder that any year could be the one where you wonder where things went wrong. If you do some advance planning to account for the expected or unexpected, you can spend December 25th spoiling yourself. And that can make all the difference to surviving the season.

Hugs to one and all. I raise my glass of eggnog to each of you. Excuse me while I finish this brownie.

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Posted in Brain Dump, Real Life, stuff

Going Deep

Not Jack Handey-like Deep Thoughts, just a little interlude to unload my brain.

Not that we don’t all obsess with death, because I know we do, but I have as of late been thinking about it more than usual, and it has been dragging me down. If I still had all my girl organs I would say I was deep in PMS-land, but those have been dust for two years now.

I used to avoid posting certain things here because I knew my aunt was reading my website and she sort of became my primary audience. So I filtered a lot of thoughts and language. But we lost her last summer and that makes this a “safe space” again, but that is small comfort. I adored my aunt. She was everything wonderful (I can say that based purely on my own interactions with her. If she ran some sort of underground “Racists for Kitten Murder” group, I don’t want to know.

My endocrinologist died in April, and I just learned about it. I’m feeling a bit bereft with this one. I really liked the guy. Our last appointment was over the phone, so I didn’t get the in-person experience (which was great). I felt like a friend. I knew all his issues with the medical establishment and insurance companies (he went cash-only years ago). My prescriptions were fairly complex combinations of new drugs, and compounded drugs to meet precise amounts per his unofficial studies of how different treatments helped or hindered himself and everyone in his practice. He observed trends and solved problems I didn’t know were related to my thyroid. There isn’t possibly another person who will treat my symptoms the way he did, and now I have to face a future where I could spend the rest of my days being mildly symptomatic again. Living like that isn’t fun. I wish he’d taken my needs into consideration before allowing himself to die (I can only assume he was taken by illness, he was actually well past retirement age.)

We’re getting old. My parents are still alive, thank God and my mother’s ferocious insistence on controlling every bite of low fat, low sodium, small-portioned food my dad eats. As I ease into the age group that gets a discount on coffee at McDonalds, and the realization hits I’m never going to be the toast-of-the-town ingenue, the center of attention. Maybe I can still pull off the wacky matronly type, but I am getting into the invisible years (women of a certain age, especially if they aren’t thin and sexy, become invisible.)

I guess I need to ponder my remaining days, and how best to use them. I’ve become somewhat obsessed with RV shows and record several to the DVR. I watch the tiny house programs, knowing that I could never survive in 300 square foot shipping container, or use a composting toilet (I mean, maybe I could, but the idea scares me) but do think it’s cool to just take your shit with you wherever you go (literally). I still have to work another 20 years, if I want a chance at not dying in poverty, so maybe I won’t hit the road quite yet.

Is this is my midlife crisis? If so, good news, everyone! I’m going to live to be 104!

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My Christmas Card

I know it’s after Christmas, but you know you very much want to hear the story of how a photo of me posing with a shark and an Ewok was my official Christmas Card this year. You have your cold beverage ready? Okay.

So a million years ago or two or so years ago (one of those) my sister and her family went to Disney during the flower and garden festival. They posed in front of a Miss Piggy topiary that a person that may or may not be my boyfriend confused for an Ewok.

So I used an iPhone app I owned (KnockOut) to “fix” it after my sister said “I was looking to see if there was an Ewok in the photo with us and Miss Piggy. This combination would have been fabulous and makes me laugh just thinking about it.” So of course I had to add one to that photo.

I added him to a lot of additional photos from their vacation. They started leaving space for me in the photos, so I added myself (and others) because they didn’t take me with them.

Apparently one of my sister’s co-workers (Cathy) was very amused by me adding myself to their vacation photos (something I continued to do on subsequent vacations). In fact, she started asking where I was when my sister or her husband posted new ones. Here I am on a rope swing in Hawaii, I believe.

This December, Cathy, a person you will remember I have never met, posted a photo on FB showing the first three people who had sent her a Christmas card. Because my sister was tagged in the photo, I saw it. Now is it my fault she left a giant hole right in the middle, inviting someone like me to fill it? So I ran to the Knockout app, found a background of something Christmassy, added myself and and ewok, then added it all to her photo.

My sister’s neighbor Beth saw it and demanded “I HAD BETTER GET ONE OF THOSE!” so I had to print them out and stick them in cards for people, my first Christmas cards in years. And that’s the real story of the Happy Holiday Shark. And Ewok.

 

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Posted in lists, Real Life

Thanksgiving 2013

I have some things I’m thankful for this year. Some things I’m not, but now is not the time for that. Talk to me next week for complaints.

My son, for finally learning where everything goes when he empties the dishwasher, and for being the one person who consistently makes me belly laugh. That sarcasm 101 class at court jester school really paid off. You are top-shelf, kid, which is, by the way, where the wine glasses go.

My iPhone, which serves as my connection to the universe, my way to shop, my alarm clock, my kitchen timer, my camera, nightlight and radio. I don’t know what I’d do without an automated way to crush candy.
My parents, for everything they do for me, whether I ask them to or not. I know I’m blessed beyond belief to have you both. But I also promised to not get mushy.
My spare kid, and the girls who formed a fan club fighting to replace him, for making me feel loved and appreciated and all-powerful. I do love each of you special snowflakes. If you are reading this, you are my favorite.

Last but not least, I am thankful for second dates, and boys patient enough to wait for you to come out of your silly fog. I am thankful I came to my senses before he gave up on me. And he’s better than a plate full of turkey (but not better than stuffing because let’s not get crazy, okay?)

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