Looking for answers to life's questions

Archive for December, 2014

In Search of the Tally

I read a comment on another blog I follow where one blogger is lamenting how little they have accomplished lately. We set such high expectations for ourselves and then beat ourselves up because we have not met those expectations.

my tree is up and tips a little to one side like me.

my tree is up and tips a little to one side like me.

I’m no different but I’m trying to take a different tactic when I start the mental abuse of myself. Yes, it’s self- abuse and most of us are very good at it. Every time I start beating myself up for what I have not accomplished by the required December 24th date, I start the list of things I have accomplished.

Decorations are up. This is what I do with old books.

Decorations are up. This is what I do with old books.

I’m usually behind this time of year. I have presents that need to be mailed and aren’t even wrapped. I’ve e-mailed a note of apology already. My mind has been elsewhere. You’ve heard the phrase, “of all the things I’ve lost, I miss my mind the most”. Well, mine wandered off alone and I’m still looking for it. I baked banana-nut bread the other day and somehow couldn’t figure out why it wouldn’t look done. I kept adding a few more minutes but still it looked undone. I had in my mind that it baked 30 minutes when in fact, it needed an hour. I’ve baked that bread for over 40 years. What the heck is going on in my brain?

We made coal for the bad kids. Now that was fun.

We made coal for the bad kids. Now that was fun.

I got the quilt top started for quilt group enough to show some progress. I managed to get deviled eggs ready for writing group pot luck and a gift bagged for a friend’s new baby. That’s where I lucked into a bottle of homemade Limoncello from a good friend. Now that’s a very generous person. I had a tiny sip. It was luscious.

The problem comes because our hearts want to do more and our bodies just say “not now”. My mind wanders off for a rest from going to too many directions but things are getting done. The Christmas cards were mailed so all those I care about and those friendships I want to cultivate would know that I’m thinking of them. I actually send out lots of cards all year but this time of year gives extra meaning to it.

There are only a couple of presents under my tree from blogging friends and my former in-laws. My den door had lots of cards taped up so I can see them as I sit to write. The number of blogs I want to get read is staggering but I’ll have lots of time later this week to catch up.

I can see them each time I sit a few minutes.

I can see them each time I sit a few minutes.

My son won’t make it for Christmas, maybe not even till after new year’s day, but he will eventually get here and the tree will still be up, the cookies will taste all the better and our hearts will be even more welcoming.

My tally says I’m doing well enough under the circumstances and I’ve decided to just relax and enjoy what’s on the plus side. I can almost guarantee, this time next year, I can reprint this blog as it will probably still apply. All I can say is I’m doing the best I can and so is everyone else. So please enjoy the family, friends, sappy Christmas movies, indulge a bit and smile a lot. Tis the season for good cheer and that means to yourself as well.

Are you being as kind to yourself as you are to others? How does your tally stack up?
Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Happy Hanukkah, Happy New Year.

From my heart to yours,
Marlene Herself

In Search of my Holiday Oomph

I arrived home late Monday evening after spending four hours waiting in a bookstore for my son to take me to the airport. I can’t tell you how difficult that was. (There was no room left in my suitcase for books) He insisted his waiting room at work would be too uncomfortable for that long. Then there was more waiting at the airport. The weather cooperated nicely and the pilots did an excellent job getting us up and down. I am always impressed by their skill. I do not like to fly even though I’ve done a great deal of it.

One of many tunneling around my son's back yard. He managed to capture this.

One of many tunneling around my son’s back yard. He managed to capture this.

I had a stop in San Jose, CA but no plane change and saw the ground was wet. Yay! They have been desperate for rain. We had some too in the LA area. You could see happy trees and plants everywhere.

My son took this California sky before the rain.

My son took this California sky before the rain.

The sale of my son’s house is back on as of Wednesday. Loan problems for the buyer resolved, for the moment. That means my son could be moving out across Christmas. It’s easy if you are moving across town, not 1000 miles through snow-covered mountain ranges. Getting moving help during the holidays is another tough trick. But we are getting ahead of ourselves here. The right thing will happen in the right time. I’m optimistic.

This is getting left behind for the new owners. Too heavy to take back down the stairs.

This is getting left behind for the new owners. Too heavy to take back down the stairs.

Arriving home brought the usual chores; laundry, grocery shopping and contacting friends and neighbors. I hauled my Christmas decorations out of storage and put up my scrawny fake little tree. Some of the ornaments are on but I’m finding myself a bit…unmotivated.

These are the stairs. Have you ever looked under yours?

These are the stairs. Have you ever looked under yours?

Maybe after my daughter comes by tomorrow to bake more for her work, I’ll get a splash of inspiration and energy. Today I’ve decided to take the day off to rest, read, rejuvenate and right. Oops, (write). More than writing about all the things I have to get done for the possibly procrastinated Christmas, when my son finally makes it here, I’d rather be catching up on what every one of you are doing. I’ll be addressing Christmas cards for a blogging exchange started by my friend at To Breathe is To Write. It’s a good way to learn more about some of those that follow her and send cards to a few that have smaller personal circle for many reasons.

My Thanksgiving was entertaining. How was yours?

My Thanksgiving was entertaining. How was yours?

My card list is smaller every year due to getting out less, my divorce and too many moves. I like real mail. I think most people who write do. Snail mail is fun and prettier if you do it right. I’m running out of time to get international cards out and have given myself till no later than Monday. The rest will follow. There will be no crafting of any sort this year. With my move into this home and my son’s move out of his, I’m out of energy and time. Here comes that old phrase you’ve probably used yourselves. “Maybe next year.”

Do you like to give and get real cards for special occasions? Or have you opted to send only virtual greetings?

From my heart to yours,
Marlene Herself