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Goodbye, 2008.

I’m not sad to see this year go.

Not at all.

I gave 2008 a sporting chance, but I’ll admit – I was ready for it to go by March. This year has not been the best.

I lost a baby. 

I spent a lot of time being disillusioned. By a lot of things. I lost trust in people I should have been able to trust the most. Jobs were lost. Things have spent more time in the air than on the ground.

I’ve done a lot of grasping. It’s been lonely. Embarrassing. Heartbreaking.

I don’t mean to sound ungrateful. I am very blessed. I have a healthy family. My children are phenomenal. I have a good job and I work for amazing people.

With every new blow I’m dealt, I find strength I didn’t know I had. I keep telling myself that one day I’ll look back and know the reasoning behind everything – everything – that has happened. I certainly hope that’s the case.

Tomorrow is a new day, a year unborn. I hope this one is better. I hope I can look back this time next year and say that I was right, that this one was worth waiting for. I hope.

 

Happy New Year.

(Comment moderated)

“Learning to love comment moderation…”

That’s what it says, there at the top of my dashboard homepage. It’s a help topic, for people who I assume don’t like the extra step of having to scan through the comments the first few times someone leaves a thought on their site. A bone thrown for the truly lazy ones, I suppose – or those against any censorship. Or those who ENJOY the “Size DOES matter!!!” comments.

Anyway, I digress.

I like comment moderation. I’d like to have that feature in my real life.

For instance, last night we went to a soiree at a local curiosity shop – a friend of ours invited us, and we decided to stop in and have some wine and a look around. I found myself sucked into the birdcages, wanting to send them across the ocean for the twins’ nursery, eyeing vintage chandeliers, and lusting shamelessly over a striped settee…while sipping white wine and chatting with friends we’d found hiding in the back.

My friend Michaele and I were introduced to a gentleman who also happened to be a hairdresser, and as Michaele made her purchases she mentioned that her long, wavy hair was in need of a trim. Just an inch or two. I agreed with her, that mine, too, had gotten decidedly too long and needed attention.

“Oh, god, yes, ” he said, looking over his expensive glasses and sending us both right back to junior high in the self esteem department. He stood up and ran a hand through first Michaele’s hair and then mine, and then he disappeared.

Um, what? Now, listen, my hair is a little too long, but it’s NOT THAT BAD. It needs a trim. Which I was freely admitting. There is really no need to kick a girl when she’s down. I looked over at Michaele and she was clearly just as miffed. I mean, really.There was wine, there was cheese. Cookies. This was a joyous night. Why on Earth did our hair have to be the downfall?

Not a moment’s peace, however. Not a moment. Here he was with his silver hair and his creamy business cards, spouting off business hours so we could get “taken care of.”

Needless to say, his comments would have been moderated. If only.

Chop

arrowsIt never occurred to me to put up a guard.

Okay, it did.

But at some point one has to let the guard down. And I suppose that’s when you are struck. Naked, exposed and vulnerable. Trusting, you take the next step on a tenuous suspension bridge. The plank snaps. Deafening. Chop.

The chaos of survival ensues, and in survival you find out who you really are.

When you’re presented with a situation you didn’t expect, you go into survival mode. Or any normal person would.

Me, I start to ponder the entire situation of my existence. I check out degree programs and long for an education I abandoned. I make plans that could come to fruition but then I wonder what I’m thinking.

I suppose what I really need is a concrete goal. An aim.

It doesn’t help matters along that part of the ponderings lately have been in matters of faith, triggered by various things. For instance, if I believe in God (and I do), and I believe he has a plan (which I also do), then why do I feel so out of sync? Where do I find this plan, this plan I’ve heard about since I was small?

I’m not looking to debate God or religion or any of that. I have my beliefs and you have yours – that’s fine with me, and I really am not looking to be told how wrong I am or how everything will be made better if I just read a King James Version of the Bible while wearing a dress and staying at home honoring my husband.

I’ve talked with a lot of people lately about faith. It sounds weird, I admit – the entire concept of believing something that just isn’t there. And I wish for something resembling faith and then I find myself wishing for something like this – something that would directly contradict that claim to faith.

I’m still human. I get so frustrated.

And I just wish there were a giant arrow pointing in a general direction. Any direction would do. Except, you know, into the sewer. Or the toilet factory.

*inspired by a writing prompt from First 50 Words

Thanks

Today, it snowed. In December – when it’s actually supposed to snow. When the world and normal people expect snow, it actually complied here in Mississippi and…it snowed. I wasn’t in the part of town that actually saw brief accumulation, so my attempts to take pictures were…well, unsuccessful.

I find myself unsatisfied during extreme seasons. The spring and the fall simply can’t last long enough for me. While I’d much rather be cold than hot, on days like today I find myself freezing even with umpteen layers and a heater by my feet.

Yesterday, we helped a dear friend unpack her Christmas decorations and decorate her house. This will be her first Christmas without her husband. I think about how she must feel, and I think about how I’d feel in the same situation. I realize that no matter how many problems my life hands me and how many times I find myself thinking someone else has it better, I am very very lucky and very blessed. Problems can be overcome as long as there are still two people there to try.

This Thanksgiving I was gently reminded that no matter how many times I forget it, I will never cease to be very blessed.

I’m thankful for my children, they remind me of the best parts of life.
For a good book and a warm blanket.
For waking up to a cartoon that I love just as much as the kids do.
For gadgets and gizmos.
For knitting needles and yarn, and a newfound hobby with all sorts of rewards.
For family of all kinds.
For old friends, and the laughter that only they can bring.
For feelings so strong they get stuck in my throat even as I type.
I’m thankful for my problems, they mean I’m not numb or forgotten.
For all the possibilities.

Many times I skim over all that I’ve been given and I focus on what I’m missing or what I want. When in reality, all that I’ve ever needed, I have – and have always had.