Thursday, December 31, 2009

And so ends the year...

Tonight, accompanied by a rare blue moon, 2009 will finally come to a close.  I can't say I will be sorry to see it go.  It has been a year filled with struggles and 2010 will likely bring new opportunities.  For those of you who are wondering, I did accomplish some of my to do list this week... cleaned the bedroom/bathroom, did some laundry, worked on the finances and paperwork, and finished 12 scrapbook pages (which I happen to think turned out quite amazing). I'm feeling a little less overwhelmed, a little more optomistic, and slightly more organized.  You see, I have a plan for 2010... it may not be a good plan, maybe it won't work at all, but it's a plan nontheless (or at least the beginning of one).  I used to plan all the time and I've let that go as of late.  I realized over the last few days that part of why I always accomplished my goals in the past was because I always set goals to begin with.  I'd kind of gotten away from the goal setting and settled into the daily routine of life only to find that routine completely uprooted.  I think the key (at least for me) is to keep setting that bar higher and never let myself get too complacent.  It's easy to get too comfortable with life as it is (especially if you like where you are at), but when we stop striving to move forward, the universe gives us a big kick in butt to get us moving again.

So here's to moving forward in the new year!   I don't make resolutions as many people do this time of year... those usually fall by the wayside by Febrary anyway... but I do try to refocus on life in general.  It's a time to assess what's working, figure out how to remove what's not, and find ways to enhance the things that are most important to me.  I'm looking forward to the new year... the glass is half full and I am ready to drink it all in!

Btw... I just finished a great new book... The Sword of Avalon by Diana Paxson (on behalf of Marion Zimmer Bradley).  It's a great easy read.  If you like the story of Arthur, the entire Marion Zimmer Bradley Avalon series takes a look at the story from the point of view of the women involved.  The books are all good on their own, but if you haven't read any of them, I recommend starting with The Mists of Avalon... it's the only one that actually takes place during the time of Arthur and Camelot.  The Sowrd of Avalon deals with the making of Excalibur long before Arthur's time and is a unique and beautiful story on it's own, even if you don't like the Arturian legends.  These are also great books for anyone interested in Wicca/Paganism.  While they don't provide any information that can be used today, they do give you a feel for the history behind the current religion in a way that only fiction can do.  I've provided links in case you are interested in picking up either of them.

Talk to you all again in 2010... Happy New Year!!!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Funny Christmas Story

This story actually happened to friends of my folks and when I heard it I just  knew I had to share.... hope you all enjoy as much as I did.

This story is about friends of my parents, a very cute couple in their mid-to-late 70's.  They have 5 kids and more than 10 beautiful grandchildren (most of them high school age).  They are a wonderful couple and still very much in love.  Every year for Christmas, the husband buys his wife a beautiful piece of jewelry.  Well, this year, he decided to do something a little different.  He thought it would be nice to go buy her a couple nice outfits.  I'm guessing that he had never really shopped for women's clothing before, but I could be wrong. 

So, Christmas morning arrives.  Everyone is at the house... the kids, their spouses, the grandkids, and of course our adorable couple.  It's time to open presents.  The wife opens the clothing presents from her husband and... at age 75+... finds herself looking at 5 very beautiful maternity dresses from the store Pea in the Pod!!!  I can't imagine the husband will hear the end of that one for a very long time!!!  :):):)

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Still not quite a new year

Today has been another slow day around the house.  The constant snow outside is making it difficult to leave to get anything done.  Resting all day yesterday seems to have somehow left us all even more tired and lazy.  The girls put in one of their favorite DVDs... Mama Mia... and the boys were too lazy to go out into the snow to play football and ended up watching it too.  I'm slightly afraid of what permanent damage all the Meryl Streep chick flicks might do to them... lol! 

My weekends are usually spent a couple states away with the love of my life, but this weekend the combination of the holiday and the constant snow has made it impossible to go.... which is not improving my mood at all.  I've never liked winter, and not being able to make the drive because of weather makes me dislike it even more.  I suppose I should take advantage of the opportunity to get some things done around the house, but I can't seem to find the motivation.

So, maybe by posting some of the things I need to get done here I'll feel more pressure to actually do them... here goes...

I need to do a ton of laundry, do the weekly cleaning of my room and bathroom, scan 2 albums of photos my mom lent me so I can get the albums back to her, make a ton of scrapbook pages I promised someone I would finish a long time ago, catch up on organizing my finances, get through a mountain of paperwork and once that's all done... I need to clean and reorganize the entire rest of my house.  Hmmm... that doesn't sound so bad now, does it?  Can you hear the sarcasm oozing out my pores as I type that?!?!  Well, enough hiding behind the computer screen for today.  I'm going to at least get something done so I can feel a small sense of accomplishment when I fall asleep tonight.  Perhaps I might even tackle 2 things once I get started... hmmm... maybe this won't end up being such a lazy day after all?!?!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

An almost new year

Today was the day after Christmas.  I always seem to need a day to recouperate after such an exhausting holiday.  So, today was pajama day.  I always love pajama day.  The kids join me in my room and we watch movies, snack and just veg out all day long.  Some of my fondest memories with my kids have taken place on pajama day.  Today, we decided to watch the movie Julie and Julia.  I had originally picked up this movie to watch on my own... I figured it was kind of a chick flick and definately not something my kids (who range in age from 11-14) would like.  But they wanted to see it, so the 5 of us hunkered down and watched it... then we watched it again... and then we even watched it again.  It was such a fun, cute movie.  The girls and I loved the story and I think the boys just loved seeing all the food.  I highly recommend watching it... at least once anyway.

For me the movie had a bigger message.  You see... much like the character Julie, I have not been finding my life very fulfilling lately,  I've been missing something I can't really put my finger on.  So while the movie was running I found myself reflecting on 2009...

I was laid off in the late spring.  I've never been laid off from a job before.  It has been frighteneing, interesting, sometimes fun, and ultimately very depressing.  I did have a lot more freedom throughout the second half of the year to spend time with my kids in a way I really haven't gotten to since I went back to work.  That part was great.  I learned about the unemployment system and found that although it is difficult, with a positive attitude it's not too bad.  But mostly, I learned a lot about myself.  Unfortunately, I still don't know quite what to do with all I learned.  For example, I learned that I hate the career path I've been on.  I've been working in the administrative field for years because I'm good at it.  The problem is that I really don't like it.  I like to be creative and spontaneous, not stuck behind a computer every day.  The only problem being that as a single mom with 4 kids who is 37 years old, I have no idea how to pursue the things I would enjoy and still care for my family financially.  At the end of a long year, this has left me exhausted and unhappy.  I feel as though I have no direction anymore.  So, taking a lesson from the movie, I am starting a blog.  I'm not going to try and cook my way through a cookbook (I'm already a pretty decent cook... was even a finalist in the Pillsbury Bake Off one year), but I am going to write my thoughts and send them out into the void that is the internet.  Perhaps there I will find the answers I need to find myself again.  To those of you joining me on this journey... hang on... it might be a bumpy ride.