Monday, December 28, 2015

How I want it to go down next year

So, at the end of the Christmas season at my house, I felt a little, actually a lot blue.  Drinking wasn't really the issue - but I think a few more glasses of wine and a lot less whine might have been a good thing, Martha.

I think maybe part of it was I wasn't living in the holiday spirit - I was in the stress out about money and stuff spirit.  You know, like all this "stuff" I am buying and wrapping and hiding is causing me stress due to the sheer amount of it, coupled with how much it's all costing at an already pricey time of year.  Losing sight of what was really meaningful and important to me.

 And frankly, I lost sight of keeping myself healthy both inside and out.

And so already I am making a list for myself at how I want it to go down next year.  But I'm not ready to blog that list yet...I am slowly putting it together so I can really give it thought.  Because Christmas SHOULD feel different to me.  I really believe it should.  There should be a lot more happy, a lot less unhappy.  That's reasonable, right?

Monday, December 21, 2015

The downward slide

The state of my bedroom, pre-Christmas, stressed me out.  UPS exploded at my door, and all of the packages went back to the bedroom.  MY bedroom.  That, on top of all of the other crap going on lately at Camp Rustown  makes me want to plot my escape from my own house.  
Remember this story

I know I said last year that I was looking forward to Christmas shopping in the stores, but I started feeling like I could get so much of it done on-line, and for the most part, I paid no shipping fees.  Plus, I had 5 people to shop for. Mainly. And a lot of the things my peeps expressed interest in could easily be found on-line.

However, things arrived on top of each other, faster than I could go through them, until one day I had to haul it all out of my closet and sort it, wrap it, and list it, so that Mark and I could compare our lists and make sure we were done.  Every year it seems to get more complicated.  Maybe because our "kids" are older.  Maybe because we have more discretionary income to put towards Christmas than in years' past.  Maybe because instead of keeping it simple, and doing four of something, I instead painstakingly put together stockings and gifts that are as individual as the person themselves.  And Mark really gets into it, too.  He really thinks about each kid and what they could use or would like.

But for some reason, the ever-growing pile of STUFF precipitated a slide back into the blues.  I know that the holidays are famous for that.  I realize that I'm in good company when it comes to holiday-induced depression.  And realistically, I know that in a few days' time, it will ease up, and be back to business as usual around here.  February brings a new house note, new truck payment, new insurance policies, and tuition due for Dylan at ACC.  Plus, a whole new year of medical deductibles.  And I have no doubt we will be able to manage all of it with careful planning.  But that doesn't do a thing for me right now, while I am in the thick of commercial holiday stress.  I, really...want to escape to Australia.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Can you hear me now?

About three years ago, I got sick.  Probably strep or some other viral thing, who knows. It couldn't have been enough for me to be concerned with at the time.  I was probably busy with work and life and did my best to manage my symptoms.  I don't really remember.   If I ran to the doc every time I got the sniffles I'd have an even bigger problem, called Hypochrondria.  But shortly after that, I noticed I had tinnitus.  That kept getting louder.  And I finally went to see an ear doc.
His take?  "I wish you had come to me sooner I could have helped you."
I can't even tell you how pissed that made me feel - it's a wonder I didn't tell him to eff off.  I came to see him at the height of the tinnitis, and I doubt that even a couple of weeks before that he could have done much, or even known what to do.  Tinnitis can have a myriad of causes, and can come and go.  He actually had me get a brain MRI to make sure I didn't have an acoustic neuroma - which I did not.  A year after that, when my symptoms had not improved and I noticed I was saying "huh?" a lot, I had my hearing checking again.  BIG hearing loss on the right.   I waited a year or so and had it checked again.  No change.  
Sadly, I have come to grips with having permanent hearing loss. 
Fast forward to now.

See it?

I now have bionic ears.  Hearing aids on both ears, although I'm not sure whether I will keep the one on the left.  It's been a few days and I can tell you it's been quite the adjustment.  I can hear my husband breathe.  I can hear the wind chimes in the back yard with the door closed.  I can hear the tiny beep coming from the house alarm system.  And I can hear the cat lick herself sitting next to me.  Some of these sounds are more disturbing to me than helpful, but I am pushing forward with this.  Only time will tell if this is a big benefit to my daily life, or just another hassle.  And meanwhile, I'm trying to look at it much the same way one does when told they need glasses - get them and move on.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

If it's not one thing it's your mother

It seems to happen around here, often, that troubles come in batches.  Not three's.  Usually fives and sixes.  We slog through the shit, wipe ourselves off, and before you know it, we are knee deep in shit again.  So, let's take a tally of this month's shit, shall we?

*Hubby still on track for losing his job.
*The Escape dying.
*Grayson doing poorly in his classes, tho marching season is over, and finals are upon him
*Spencer finally moving into his own apartment, but not able to find room in his budget for food and basic necessities.  Now having problems making rent.
*The stress of  the holidays, exacerbating various physical complaints and ailments.  Hello sore throats.
*The cat continuing to vomit on floors and furniture and beds.

I get that everyone has their share of shit they have to deal with. 
And truth be told, there are some bright spots:

*We refinanced the house, shaving $200 off our monthly payment while getting a better interest rate without extending the length of the loan.  Plus, no house note until February.
*I canceled a colonscopy that threatened to ruin Christmas Eve.
*I am getting my hearing aids in a couple days.
*My job is secure.
*My people are basically healthy.
*We have plenty of food in the freezer, the heater works, and no house calamities were found by the appraiser.
*We're getting a new to us truck on Thursday which will alleviate the transportation issues - and it's in great shape with an excellent interest rate.  Plus, no car note til February.  And the credit union let us "skip a pay" on the other two notes for December.
It's easier to look on the bright side when you are past the current shit.  
But while you're in it, it stinks.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Message to myself: Slow down

 I found the cutest little dish at Tarjay that I thought would be the perfect size to put my rings and bracelets in while washing dishes. The lady asked, "Do you want me to package these up separately?".  No, I told her, just wrap it in the placemats  I'm buying, it'll be ok.

And it would have been, had I not forgotten it was in there, in my rush to get things from the store put up.  See?  Wasn't the pattern and color pretty? 

Annoyed with myself for being in a rush and making myself another mess to clean up, I went into the laundry room and retrieved this little dish that holds things I find when I wash.  Handmade by Grayson many years ago - you can see his fingerprints pressed into it.  It has great sentimental value to me.  It should be sitting by the sink where I can see and use it daily.

I cut a small piece of felt for the bottom, laid my jewelry in it, and went on about my afternoon.  No sense in crying over broken pottery.  And I should definitely slow down a bit.  You can't get everything done in a day.  It's impossible.  And when you go too fast, you miss a lot of what's around you.  And you might forget, as you rush to improve and clean and sort and organize and decorate the home around you, how perfect things already are.  The beginning of the holidays are famous for making us feel frantic and rushed.  At least it's that way for me.  This $4 reminder turned out to be a bargain lesson...