Looking for answers to life's questions

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

Comments on: "In Search of the Tally" (23)

  1. I like your tree. 🙂 A little crooked, but all the more perfect because of it.
    I don’t have much to do for Christmas, so I’m lucky that way. I don’t get stressed out. At least not about Christmas. 🙂
    Have a great one Marlene! You deserve a big rest and the best in Christmas.
    Big hugs my friend. ❤

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    • Thanks Jackie. I’m not stressing anymore. Just praying hard today since the appraiser will be at my son’s house this morning. Christmas is going to be very simple this year. My daughter and I are grilling a steak outside and chilling out. Nothing fancy. 🙂 Have a Merry Christmas yourself.

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  2. Oh Lor’ Marlene Herself – was that me? 😀 You are of course, quite right!

    I love how you use the old books and the old [and well loved, I presume] toys. That is a very cute and warmhearted Christmas setting! Your tree looks replete with happy baubles and already boasts some nice parcels that would have me twitching to know what they hold ……. I am glad you are back in your own lovely new home for the holidays – I always think each festival makes a place more your own. Though your son cannot be with you, will your daughter be there? I am a one child Christmas this year. I have been singing carols to Orlando and Siddy. Orlando always wants his dance time when I sing. Siddy has no idea what the noise that suddenly comes out of my mouth means – which makes me aware there has not been much singing going on lately! Probably because I gave it up to learn more poems by heart 🙂 You should be receiving some packages from the RAK by now, though I believe there will be more after the holidays. xoxo

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    • Thanks for taking the time to read, Pauline. I’m quite far behind but see the next few days as more relaxing and getting back to what I want to do. What is the RAK? I got something from mommermon. Is that part of it?
      I love the idea of you dancing and singing to Orlando and Siddy. I can see it from here. I have music on in the kitchen and dance a bit as I bake and clean.
      My daughter will be here and spend the night so we can have a bit of holiday cheer and she won’t have to drive home. I did something right there. If she drinks anything, there is no driving. She won’t ride with anyone who has been drinking.
      I’m looking forward to next week when I can start and finish projects on my list.
      Happy Christmas to you and yours.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Marlene the RAK is the ‘Random Act of Kindness’ started on my blog for you and Fran a few weeks back – the one titled ‘Sharing the Love’. You should have something from me and something from Jem A – we both sent our offerings a couple of weeks ago now. More will be coming from others later Yes mommemom is part of it. My timing was really poor and most people, including me [ 🙂 ]have been caught out with Christmas activities.

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      • Thanks Pauline. I lost my mind somewhere under the tree and have no idea what’s become of it. I’ve put out a reward because without it I have forgotten who sent what and where things came from or where they disappeared to. 🙂 Hopefully I’ll find everything soon.

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  3. Your list of accomplishments is long and impressive!! And yes, I too, look forward to the week after the 25th… quiet times with music and cards / blogs by the tree. And finally! Baking! Merry, merry and be proud! You’ve done much!!

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    • Thank you so much for your kind words. I’ve done a tiny bit of baking but this oven is new to me so there is a bit of experimenting going on. My daughter used it more than I have while I was gone. I’m looking forward to catching up on my reading. That’s why this will be my only post till the new year. Everyone is so busy that I want to give them one less thing to do. 🙂
      Merry, Merry everything to you as well.

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  4. Everything looks lovely, Marlene! It’s time for you to relax and enjoy the holidays, your work is done. Merry Christmas!

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    • Oh Jill, if only the work was truly done. I still need to deliver goody baskets to post office, mail person, UPS, HOA office and neighbors. Still have to wrap and mail to the former in laws. I’m late. But tomorrow night my daughter and I will have a light dinner and a glass of cheer. She will stay the night and we will spend Christmas day together. Today is sewing circle and eggs are ready for our gabfest and handwork. I’m having such a good time in my new home it’s hard to do more than pause on what’s left undone let alone agonize over it. Next year will be even better than this one and this one has been outstanding. Merry Christmas to you and yours, Jill.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. What a warm, cozy setting, Marlene. I love your tree skirt. I’m pretty sure you quilted that yourself. It’s charming.

    I too am glad you’re home in your new place, doing some of the things you love (baking, reading, decorating to name a few). I hope your hard work and travel haven’t been hard on your Bell’s. I love seeing your cards on the door. I will never, ever, ever get tired of receiving happy mail. I’m sure you feel the same.

    I hope things are well with your son, and look forward to hearing about his upcoming move. It’s good you had so much time together, albeit working hard.

    Merry Christmas! xoxox

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    • Thank you, Alys, for taking the time to read this. I don’t know how anyone has time to read posts right now. I’m just responding to those that took the time to comment. Yes, I did make the tree skirt and have several more started. That was before the Bells. Will still try to get them finished THIS year!

      I did get a tiny bit of baking done and you should see the look on the Postal workers faces when I brought in treats for them. The forgotten warriors this time of year. I stuffed treats in my mailbox for the mail lady and left some out for UPS delivery people.

      Things are not going smoothly for my son but we are taking things as they come. If it doesn’t go, then there is nothing to do but start again armed with more knowledge and experience.

      I have nothing but gratitude for my wonderful life and all those in it. I got more happy mail today from Pauline. How can a person complain about anything with such a wonderful circle of friends? I have my young friend and her 2 month old son on their way for a short visit. Babies under the tree!!!! How fun is that!

      Have a VERY Merry Christmas too.

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      • Marlene, I’m sure the postal workers are used to complaining and verbal abuse, not a charming soul like yourself arriving with baked goods. I’m sure you made their year. Thanks for being the thoughtful person that you are.

        I’m delighted to hear you’ll have a baby under the tree, as well as in your heart and your home. Happy mail from Pauline sounds wonderful, too.

        I’m really sorry the escrow fell through. I hope another worthy buyer is just around the corner. You’ve worked hard to make his place beautiful and appealing to interested buyers. Best of luck.

        Wishing you a more settled and healthful 2015. Hugs

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      • Escrow didn’t fall through, just delayed. It may still close this week. He’s home today trying to finish last minute fixes required by lender even though he told buyer he was investing nothing more into a house he was giving away. It’s been a hair pulling experience. (you know what those are like) but I fully expect to see him here as soon as he figures out the best way to get his stuff moved over the mountains this time of year. It will happen. Just in it’s own time. The buyers moved in emotionally at first look. They will do anything to get it bought and my son will do everything to get it sold.

        The young friend that I have been a listening post for has a 2 month old she brought over for a few hours for me to hold and cuddle while she off loaded her worries. I think that’s my job in the world. Listening and being a friend. The fringe benefits are so cute! Happy New Year Alys. Let’s hope it is more settled than the last one.

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  6. Marlene, I think we all beat ourselves up wishing we had accomplished more. It must be that superwoman mentality we took on and are trying hard to shake off. I read this last night when I couldn’t sleep, it must have played on my mind once I dozed off because today I woke and looked around deciding it was time to put the place together a bit more so it looks like I’ve accomplished more than I have and I can pretend for a bit. 🙂 My bedroom was seriously needing attention, it’s been my catch all for those projects and materials being used around the house. Now it’s clean and tidy and makes me smile.

    Your tree is perfect in your new home. I noticed the bookcase with your treasured books sitting off to the side. Any place with books is home for me and I know they make you feel the same.

    I’m sorry your son won’t be there till closer to New Year’s but that may be a good thing for you. By leaving the tree up until he arrives and not having big jobs on your plate between now and then it should give you some time to sit back and take in all you’ve done to make your house a home and finally feel the energy it has.

    I would love to grill outside for Christmas, it’s going to be a bit too cold here for that but I’m still taking it easy on the food. A simple roast and veggies for the meat eaters in the slow cooker and a rice and veggie dish for the granddaughter (who is a vegetarian from birth) and myself. Of course we have a small pie and a plate of brownies to finish the meal off.

    Have a wonderful Christmas and I’ll be looking forward to your new posts in January.

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    • Thanks for taking the time to read and leave a comment Lois. I’m finally starting to relax. It felt odd without my son as he is the one that most embodies the spirit of Christmas. But life is what it is and we had a wonderful day. I have many bookcases. I am always loaning out books or audio books. I have been showing everyone the bookmark and my next blog will highlight it. I’m so thoroughly impressed and appreciative. The weather was kind this week. Next week we will get quite cold so we did enjoy cooking on the grill. I’ve done it when we had 6 ft. of snow on the ground. We just moved the grill to the front porch that was covered and I dressed warm. Don’t know about you but I’m ready for the new year and staying home getting projects done. Can you use some embroidery floss? I have a lot and can’t use it anymore.

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  7. Merry Christmas, Marlene! It has been a very different year for us…and I’m kind of enjoying “not” getting everything done. Maybe, I should try slowing down each year. Best wishes for the New Year – Missy

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    • Hope you had a good Christmas. Mine was quiet and small. Loved it. Nothing traditional about it. I started making changes years ago as every Christmas was different. Story of my life. Thanks for reading.

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  8. You are right: we set such high expectations for ourselves, but we certainly don’t need to push ourselves till we stress out about it. You certainly sound very busy and others should look to your for tips on getting things done, as well as having a good attitude about it all. You tease about losing your mind, but who wouldn’t with all that stuff packed into it?

    I hang up my cards too! I use them as decorations. I leave the cards up till February, practically, because I love seeing all the reminders of people who are in my life. Merry Christmas, Marlene. And here’s hoping for a good 2015.

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    • Thank you Crystal. Wishing you a wonderful New Year too. I’m looking forward to it. Got your letter today. Will finish reading and get back to you.

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  9. Feliz Navidad Marlene! Tis’ Boxing Day Boomdee here, LOL. I was nodding my head thru your entire post in agreement, “yep…… right-on…… amen sista” because I’ve been going 100 miles an hour and still couldn’t keep up. We’re currently out of town, rushed out yesterday morning to join friends for Christmas Day. The night before, we zoomed out the the lake to spend Christmas Eve with our friends there, the day before that I worked…..see what I mean? So, I’m going to take your advice and consider all that I’ve managed to include in this holiday. Smiles, check. Big hugs, check and check, tree decorated Dec 23, check-mate. No Christmas coal for me (although they do look yummy, are those Haystack cookies?)

    Realistically, I should begin in October to finish what ‘I think’ I want to do for Christmas. But who’s in the mood in October? I got your wonderful Christmas Card on Monday! Thank you ever so much for your message delivered by the aqua angel of Christmas 😀 You might not have got my Christmas wish, as I sent Christmas Post Cards this year from San Diego, LOL. What? you’ve not heard of that tradition? LOL. I also has a wee teeny tiny fun thing to mail, it’s still on my desk :/ So you will have it for Ukrainian Christmas. Oh, BTW, you have really awesome handwriting, just thought I’d mention that.

    Your tree is charming and I can see your plum full library standing there too. Yay! we are both in our own homes for the first Christmas. M, you’ve managed so much since you moved in! Doesn’t it feel wonderful? How nice to still have your sons visit ahead of you. You won’t be suffering the Christmas Crash like the rest of us. Merry Christmas and a Happy! Sunshiney New Year too my dear. Love and Hugs Kelly

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    • That was one of seven bookcases. My sister thinks I’m crazy to have so many but she’s always here looking for something else to read.:) Truthfully, cards and things have been swallowed up by this house but I have not seen your card as yet. A lot gets lost in the Christmas shuffle at the post office too. Those poor people look really haggared by Christmas Eve. Daughter and I went to a coffee shop for breakfast yesterday since they were open. Daughter says “lets go and leave a big tip since they have to be there” It was the most fun we’ve had in awhile. Our server was cheerful and on the spot in spite of working Christmas morning. so the 50% tip was easy. My daughter has such a good heart. I love Christmas but am never, ever ready. Dec 26 is my favorite day of the year. 🙂 Enjoy the slide into the new year. Hugs.

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