Sunday, December 30, 2012

You What???

Back in the early 90s, we used to play this game. A group of people would each have 5 or 10 one dollar bills, or quarters or whatever. Then you go around the room and say something you have never done before. Anyone in the group who HAS done that thing has to give you a dollar. You keep playing until one person has all the money. So obviously you want to try to think of things you haven't done, that most other people HAVE done.

So one day we were playing, and this girl who was about 20 years old at the time says "I've never played in the snow". Of course everyone in the game had to pay her, but this ensued a conversation. I mean every kid plays in the snow, right? We asked had she grown up in the south. No, she lived in in Kentucky her whole life. She said her mother just did not allow she and her siblings to go out in it. Maybe she was afraid of them getting sick? Maybe she didn't want them tracking in a bunch of messy stuff and a mound of wet clothes? Whatever the case, we all thought it was perfectly sad.

So today as I sit and look out my back door at the blanket of beautiful snow, I can't help but wonder if the girl ever got the opportunity to make snowballs, or a snow man, or snow angels. I wonder if she ever got to take a bite of the stuff. I wonder if she ever got to knock all the icicles from the roof of the porch. She surely has children of her own now--i wonder if they are allowed to get out there and romp around? I sure hope so.

Friday, December 28, 2012

How's The Plan Coming Along?

The other night Kitty asked me an interesting question. "What would you do with your life if you could remove all fear, all limitations, and all financial worry?". It didn't take me long to give her an answer. I felt empowered. I felt like I had a plan.

Today Sally asked me what steps I was making in my 12 month plan of action. Had I made any plans? The answer is yes. But with planning, I ran into reality.

The cold hard truth is there are limitations, fears, and major financial roadblocks in my fantasy. In my plan.

That doesn't mean I'm going to give up. It only means I have to do some work. Well okay, a lot more work. But at least there's a starting point.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

"What, Are You Gonna Cry Now?"

Today is my birthday. I am now 49 years old. For some reason this feels like a very big deal to me.

I have this fear of turning 50 and saying "I hate my life". I can't allow that to happen. I'm going to work very hard these next twelve months to ensure it doesn't.

Remember that scene in "A Christmas Story" where Ralphie is walking home, and gets plastered square in the face with a snowball? This is the incident that triggered his insane rage, and caused him to beat the living shit out of Scut Farkus.

In the past weeks, life has bombarded my face with several attention getting snowballs. And I need to muster up the courage to do something about it. Just like Ralphie.

I'm not where I need to be. Not yet. But Good Lord willing, I've got a year left to get there.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

The New Normal

Life changes. The days of my mom and dad having Christmas Eve at their house, with me and my sister and our families, are gone. I didn't even see my sister or her family this Christmas.

My kids no longer run down the steps on Christmas morning to see the toys Santa so painstakingly spent half the night assembling and arranging. This morning my son wanted to take a shower before opening his gifts.

And I have no idea what next Christmas has in store for me. I guess none of us do, really.

But I know I am not the only person struggling with changes. Many people I love are doing the same. Last night my friend Marty-Marr and his family came over for awhile. When they left, Marty-Marr said "Well...I guess this is the new normal".

Merry Christmas to all my friends and readers. And for anyone out there struggling to embrace the new normal...good luck. For those who are fortunate enough to still have their families and their longstanding traditions; count your blessings and enjoy it. You never know when life is going to throw you a curve.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

I feel absolutely exhausted. Like someone drained the life from me. I have huge bags under my eyes. I've never seen those things before! I don't even look like myself.

I'm going to sleep now. Please God, let tomorrow be better.

Monday, December 17, 2012

A Day That Will Live In (Mary) Infamy

Hands down, the number one worst day of my life to date, was Wednesday, April 23, 2008. The day I buried my mother. They day my sister and I had a terrible, terrible argument. The day my husband guzzled an entire bottle of vodka and went in to an alcoholic rage.

The second worst day was just a few days before that. Sunday, April 20, 2008. The day my mother died. As Forrest Gump said..."That's all I have to say about that".

The night I checked my husband in to inpatient rehab, and the drama that ensued before and after, was the third.

Today, Monday, December 17, 2012 might have just found it's way into the top five. I may not be able to recite the date later, but I'm betting I'll never forget this day as long as I live.

Right this moment I can't go in to all the details of what has happened. But there are multiple components. It started on Friday. It climaxed today. The ironic thing is, the things that have happened are all very clearly, answers to prayers. For big prayers, I got big answers. But as so often in life, the answers God gives us aren't always the ones we wanted. But like it or not, God and the Universe know what we need. What is best for us. This is one of those times.

Also, even though the answers weren't exactly what I was hoping for, I believe the end results will be. Even though I feel extremely sad tonight, I also feel extremely relived. More relieved than I have in awhile.

One friend told me today that things will get better with each passing day. I know she is right. My tears will dry, and I will move on to wherever it is I'm supposed to be next.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Lyrics I Like

When you were young and your heart was an open book
You used to say
Live and let live

But if this ever changing world in which we live in
Makes you give in and cry

Say live and let die

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Reflections On A Typical Wednesday

There's at least one advantage to having a busy, racing mind. Sometimes in just one days time, a lot of interesting things can happen to me. Today was one of those days.

Some of it happy, some sad. (I cried more than once today. I also laughed). Some enlightening, some reflective. Some hopeful and satisfying, some frustrating and confusing.

But all in all, a good day.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Dealer's Choice

Tonight I feel peaceful. I'm not always sure what triggers peaceful days or anxious days. Sometimes the weather, sometimes something someone says to me, but more often than not, good days and bad days are triggered by my own thoughts.

Picture a very large stack of playing cards. Kind of like the ones at the black jack tables in Las Vegas. Now pretend each card has a different thought on it. For example:
This coffee makes me happy
I've put on weight
Angie looks cute today
I need to go to the grocery
What did that text really mean?
I need to clean out some emails
Survivor comes on tonight
Did she just give me a funny look?
I'm sleepy
Wow, that was a great session with Kate today
I forgot to answer Scarlett's question
I want something chocolate
I need to return Sally's phone call
Why did I just say that???

Now picture a dealer. Every 5 seconds, the dealer pulls a card from the deck and slaps it on the table. That's my thought for that fleeting moment. That's about how badly my thoughts often bombard me. Every few seconds, a new card. But then I get fixed on a card. If its a good card like "man, that was a great session with Kate today", then I'm good. In fact, that's kinda where I am tonight. But if I get fixed on one of those bad thoughts like "why did I just say that??" then it's over. There could be hours of over thinking. There are going to be distorted thoughts. There are going to be worst case scenarios played out in my head that would terrify any sane person.

So I have to try to think about what I'm thinking about all the time. If I find myself pausing too long on a bad card, I just need to ask the dealer to keep drawing until I get a decent one. As Kitty always says, "keep your thoughts positive or neutral".

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Saturday Strategy

That's almost impossible to say.

It's Saturday morning. I had to get up early to take my daughter to her prospective new high school to take a placement test. I can't believe this time next year I will have two teenagers in high school!

It's dark this morning. Dark and rainy. A perfect day to let my distorted thinking take over. There are a couple of stress triggers happening in my household right now, and I feel I could easily withdraw today and succumb to depression, but I'm not going to allow that. I'm going to have some quiet, alone time, then finish this coffee and take a shower, and get my day rolling.

I've made a slight dent in my Christmas shopping. I've done almost all of it online. Much better than going out. Also I am looking forward to a visit from my brother in law, Kitty's husband, who arrives next Saturday. Bobby makes everybody in my family happy.

I will sit here until my coffee is gone and my feet are warm, then I will move on with my day!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Time To Get A Grip, Mary!

It feels like my eating and my drinking are out of control right now. I so love to blame anything I can think of for my overwhelming desire to over consume. Stress, hormones, PMS, other people....the MAYANS!! Anything to avoid thinking its just me allowing myself to splurge. I need it. I DESERVE it. Well I DON'T deserve it.

I can't keep doing this til the new year. No way.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Best Christmas Ever Part 3

Back in the day, my friends and I played board games pretty much every day. My games were often under the tree at Christmas. They would be an easily identifiable gift.

The games we played over and over and over again, were Clue, Masterpiece, Monopoly, and my all time favorite, Life.

I would say I probably received that game for Christmas sometime around age 10, and I think it would be safe to say it was played hundreds of times. I was always the red car. There were little pink and blue plastic pegs that were used to represent the members of the family in that game.

My game looks like the one in this photo, but scrolling through images online, I see there have been numerous box design changes over the years, and a few variations of the game, such as a Spongebob themed one. Now there are versions of Life for your electronic devices as well. I once found a Life slot machine in Las Vegas, and won some money playing it.

A couple of years ago a new version of the game came out. Life Twists and Turns. It is a board game, but also electronic, and you get a debit card instead of paper money. I found it a little complicated, and not nearly as fun. I think we played it one time. Not worth the $35 I shelled out for it. But Santa got his money's worth with the original, which features a photo of Art Linkletter, and reads "I heartily endorse this game". Me too, Art!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Best Christmas Ever Part 2

When I was about 8, I got this exact doll. Thumbelina. She was 9" long and had a pull string in the back, that would make her slowly wiggle around like a newborn. I was old enough to take really good care of her. I was careful where I laid her, and wouldn't let anyone irresponsible pull her string, for fear they may jerk it or pull it too far out and get it stuck!!

One day I went to fetch Thumbelina, and to my horror, discovered someone (my young neice, who was a toddler at the time) had taken a blue ball point pen and scribbled all over her face and belly. Believe me when I tell you I had a melt down.

I've since forgiven my neice, who is now 42 years old. I guess it was karma's way of paying me back for ruining an autographed black and white photo of the Monkees, that belonged to my older sister.