And One More…..

One more new calendar is about to be hung to remind me that, no matter what life throws my way, time still marches on.

2013…  I’ve gotta say I won’t miss you.  Not at all.

You started out one bitch of a year…  And you ended the same way.

Yes, there were some highlights….

But those highlights…  Well, they seemed to drown in the sea of pain and anguish that you delivered to my door.

I won’t miss you.  Not one bit.

Jeff said to me the other day:  “This year really has been a life changer”.

I’ll second that.

So many people I know felt like they were drowning in nothing but badness this year…  Struggling just to keep their heads above water, to see even one glimmer of sunlight, of hope, of sanity…

So many people I know just felt like they were spinning their wheels and getting no where this year.
But it was a life changer….

So much in my life altered and changed:

Friends dying….
Relationships changing….
A move to a new house…
Wee starting school…
Sickness….
Injury…
Battles with and flair-ups of my PTSD….

The list goes on.

And then there’s the good stuff…  The moments that I’ll never forget… The ones that made this year tolerable at best…  Made it so that I could honestly say yes, there is a chance that things might turn around and this year might not completely suck:

Wee growing and changing and becoming her own person….
Stability at work…
New friends….
The finalizing of my separation and divorce….
And Jeff and his children.

Despite all of the bumps in the road that we have travelled so far; Jeff and his children, they are one of the bigger highlights in my life….  I truly feel so lucky to have him in my life.  I truly feel so fortunate to have him sharing his life with me…  Building a new life with me….

Despite it all, things are settling nicely…  And we’re becoming more and more of a great fit for each other than even I ever imagined possible….

But, despite that list of highlights in 2013, I can’t wait to usher this year out and get 2014 off to a great start.

Yes Jeff, you’re right; it’s gonna be great.

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‘Tis the Season…..

Ah….  Christmas Eve….

Thanks to Nicole, the house is full of the smell of baking brownies, wee is content, Rudolph is on the TV, the dogs are napping…  And I am working.

But just for another hour…  Then I cut the chains and carry on with the Holiday celebrations and making things as magical as I can for my little girl.

Things are quite different this year in my world; 2013 has actually been quite a year…  Jeff said it best last night; it’s been a life changer.

Yes it has.

Some of it was good…

Some of it… Well, some of it still hurts…  Much of it still hurts…

So much loss…  So many changes…

This year seemed to be full of pain for so many people that I know.

This year also took the time to remind me that, no matter what, I’m always going to have to ‘prove’ to people that, well, everything aside…  I’m a good person with a good heart…  A big heart…

And despite popular belief, I’m not a monster; I’m not someone to fear.

So many people have preconceived notions…  Everyone does really…  We all have them about something.

And preconceived notions do so much damage…

Because honestly, you don’t know.

You see a big house; you assume they’re wealthy and happy; you don’t see the tears and the fears.

You see someone on the street, silently crying a tear; you assume they’re sad; what you don’t see is that their family is coming into town and they are overjoyed to have their house full of laughter and love.

You hear a house full of laughter and love; you assume all is right in the world; what you don’t see is the 60 hour work weeks, the sleepless nights, the worry, the saving, the scraping by that it took to make those few precious days with family and friends come together.

We all have preconceived notions.

We all assume.

I have grown weary of the preconceived notions that automatically come with me and my label.  Maybe it’s because I’ve had to explain myself so much since the move; or prove to so many these past few years that, despite popular belief, I’m not a monster, I’m harmless.

Or maybe it’s because there is no one left who I can turn to who truly gets where my demons have come from.

Or maybe I’m just sick and tired of the preconceived notions.  Why have them?  What purpose do they serve?

We all have demons…  We all have something that you only see if you take a good, long, hard look in someone’s eyes…  See into their soul.

Everyone has demons.

So why judge?  Why build your notions?  What purpose does that serve?

What does it gain us?

My wish for the rest of this year….  This year that is quickly rolling to a close…  Would be that we could all just forget the labels, forget the tags, forget the notions…  Hold out a hand to a stranger….. A neighbour…  A friend….  And give everyone we meet the greatest gift we could give….

Acceptance of who they are and what their situation is.

Acceptance…

The one gift that seems to be in very short supply any more.

We all have our stuff, our demons…  We all have them.  How about we stop judging each other based on that stuff and just accept….

Please give everyone that you meet a very special gift to close out this year; this year of many great changes for many people…

Acceptance.

Cravings…

I swear cravings, especially food cravings, are our body’s way of torturing us….

Think about it…  When you crave something…  Really HAVETOHAVEITNAOW crave something, is it every really, truly healthy food?

Sure, we all have our days where packing back a ton of veggies is the best idea known to man…

Or shoving back a bushel basket of fruit is just the best idea in the world….

And yes, in those cases, we do pay for our actions; because anything in large quantities, even good for you food, is gonna have a consequence.

But I’ve never, ever known ANYONE to get so obsessive over a pile of apples, or broccoli, or tofu that people actually fear the carnage and dare not even enter the same room as the person on a broccoli bender.

I’m talking here about the true cravings.   The ones that grab you by the brain and the gut and will not let go.  The craving that, if you try to ignore it, will leave you barely able to function because you can’t get the thought of the sweet/sugary/salty/fatty/high calorie/high carbohydrate goodness out of your head.

And you won’t be able to, no matter how hard you try, until you fill that craving.

Like, let’s take a moment and talk about the carnage that just hit my kitchen, shall we?

Here I’m sitting, on my mushroom, minding my business, doing my work…  When BAM…  It hits. Ignore it… It’ll go away.  You don’t need a snack.  Drink some water.  Finish that cup of coffee. Ignore it.  Keep working.  YOU DON’T NEED A SNACK…

Insert work stoppage.

No point in faking it…  One more word is not getting typed until I shove something bad for me in my head.

Sigh…

So, a bowl of tortilla chips with melted cheese with sliced olives with salsa with cream cheese later….  Yup…  Yum!!!

Sigh…

I’m blaming this week for that….

But, did it stop there?  Oh hells no!

On to the tortilla chips with hummus…   YAY!!!

Then I gave the side-eye to the cookies that are cowering in their Tupperware container that Jeff baked this week….  Nope… That’s not it… You’re safe…  Lucky!  

Back to the fridge….  Sigh…..

Pickles…  Yup…  That’ll do.

Finally the beast fell back to sleep… And the thought of work crossed my mind again….  Not before thinking about the carnage….

Sigh….

I’m blaming this week.

I’m one of those people that, when the stress is high, the chips are down, the week is long, the nights are longer…  And life just can’t give me a moment to even catch my breath…  I turn to food.

It’s comfort.

Unfortunately it’s rarely healthy.

Philly cheese steak anyone??  Yup!!!  Extra cheese on the grease please.  Nachos?  Sure!!  Heavy on the cheese and sour cream.  Chocolate???  GETOUTOFMYWAY!!!  Don’t touch my chocolate!!!!  Meatball casserole???  You bet!!!!  Heavy on the cheese and carbs and calories there too please.

Sigh….

How do I not weigh a million pounds??

The Christmas Insanity….

Everyone suffers from it on some level…  The hustle and bustle and never ending list of things to do, it eventually eats at you and drives you insane.

Yes, on some level, we all enjoy the Holiday Season…  The family, the friends, the gatherings…   The hustle and bustle…  The looks on the faces of the children as the day grows nearer…

But on some level, it drives all of us crazy.

And this year, it’s driving me extra crazy.  

Time is flowing past at an alarming speed.

Christmas shopping…  Not done yet.  That’s right folks…  ME.  The Master of Prepared…  NOT DONE MY SHOPPING!!!

Gifts that are bought…  Well, not wrapped yet…  They’re mocking me from the closet as I type this and fret over my work list that never EVER seems to end….  EVER!!!!  Crime, or the crimes of other people at least, truly does pay; my bills anyway.

Baking…  Hahahahaha   That’s funny.  I haven’t had more than two hours of sleep in 48 hours and I still need to think about my Christmas baking???  HAHAHAHA!

And then…  Just to make things interesting, top all of that off with a belly bug of unknown duration, origin, or classification.  The only thing I know about it is that I have had a four year old lump on my couch complaining about an upset belly since she came home from school Monday morning after blowing her breakfast all over the playground.

I hope the ‘not right’ feeling I’m feeling is just exhaustion and not me catching what the germ ridden toddler has brought home from school; cause let me tell you friends, I have far too much to do to be sick… And one more ‘hiccup’ in life and I may have to cancel Christmas this year.  

Thankfully Jeff is being kind and patient while I go insane…  Thankfully.

And he’s doing what he can but, he too is very, very busy…

It just seems like time is in such short supply right now…  That the demands on our time never end…  And that there will never be enough time to get it all done….

Thankfully, we work well as a team…  So I think we may be able to pull this off okay.   I think we may be able to get through this with minimal permanent damage to our sanity.

If not, I’ll be the person in the corner, holding the bottle of wine, crying.

And Here We Are…..

Staring down the barrel of another Christmas Season….

Times are tough for many.  I know many people who are scaling back Christmas this year just because of how tough things are.

I know so very many people that are working themselves into complete exhaustion just to try to provide for their families a meagre Christmas.

I know so many more people that are finding ‘free’ and ‘extremely cheap’ ways to put gifts under the tree this year.

And I know a few who are foregoing gifts altogether and trying to take this time of financial hardship and teach their children more about family and togetherness than about gifts and getting.

I know things are going to be scaled back this year at my house….

And I know that it’s for the best.  

And I know Wee knows and understands why this is still the case.  And I know she understands and appreciates more the things she does get…  As well as the sacrifices I make to ensure that Christmas is, in some way, special for her.  

We’ve had a lot of hard and humbling lessons over the years that this blog has tracked…  And those lessons have taught us well.

They’ve taught us that true family and friends care more about time and less about stuff.

They’ve taught us to save when the money is good so that when work isn’t quite as busy for me, we have something in the bank to rely on.

They’ve taught us to do without wants… To really see the difference between a want and a need, and to do without the wants.

And, they’ve taught us to be humble; enjoy the simple pleasures that life has to offer; and be thankful for what you have rather than wanting the next big thing.

Our life, and the financial struggles she and I have faced, well, it’s brought us closer together.  It’s taught us that life isn’t about what you have, but who you have in it.  It’s not about getting everything you want but appreciating what you have.

And it’s taught us to be honest; honest with ourselves and with each other.

Sure, she’s young…  Just a little mite…  But she values honesty.  She values open conversation. She values the little things in life….

And because she values all of those things so much, it has forced me to stop, slow down once in a while, smell the roses, and find the fun in the simple things.

She has taught me that together is more important than any want that we could ever have….

And she has shown me unconditional love and what that really means.

And that my friend, you can’t put a price on.