Saturday, December 31, 2016

End of the year thoughts

I'm not going to whine about how bad this year has been - there have been good times and bad, as there usually are.  A lot of good, even.

We started the year on a sad note, having to put Sugar down.  It was terrible to see her suffering.  In the midst of that, I got hearing aids for both ears.  I could mope about losing my cat and my hearing, but everyone has their cross to bear, right?  What's the difference between hearing aids or eye glasses?  Same same.  And maybe a new kitty will make her way into our lives next year.  The stress surrounding changes on the weekend shift was a little harder to take.  Maybe because my boss acted like a cretin.  Extra hours at another hospital this year gave me some perspective on it, though.  Applying for three positions in one year is not something I will ever do again.  And I will start speaking up for myself a little more forcibly - what do I have to lose?  My new co-worker turned out to be nicer than I initially thought, and the weekends are tolerable, but not as fun as they once were.  I am looking forward to changing shifts in the coming weeks, and though I know the change will be tricky at first, I believe it will be better for me.  I did a lot of venting to co-workers this year - thank goodness there were people who understood and were willing to listen.  Wine clubs added fun to the time Hubby and I spent together this year.  It mostly involves sitting with your feet up, listening to live music and enjoying a great view while you nosh on delicious things and drink wine.  There are no downsides to that I can see.  Unlike Hubby's new job, which was not the answer to a prayer we thought it was going to be.  But since he flip flops a lot on the issue, I don't really know what to think.  Is there a perfect job out there?  We are in no financial straits, which is good.  The drought ended this year and  we got a lot of rain - too late to save our backyard, but that can be something I spend time fixing in the spring, now that we have a new fence.   Grayson had a successful experience at Philmont and Hubby and I took an interesting road trip.  It was so good to get home, but overall I did enjoy getting to Go and Do, so we should plan something like that again in the new year.  Getting started on physical therapy for my elbow was a smart move - turns out it was tendonosis, which is harder to address and takes longer to resolve.  At this writing, it is still hurting but less so.  And the PT thinks it will continue to improve.  One thing I know for sure is that I will be more careful with treating elbow pain with Motrin - the ulcer I got from that was not worth the very small amount of pain relief it provided.  The Fall was crazy busy and I was not sad to see Grayson's senior year of marching band come to a close.  My guess is, neither was he. Finishing up his Eagle Scout work was stressful, to say the least.  But it's DONE and I know that he and Mark are thrilled.  My years of diligence with saving and paying bills on time paid off BIG as we were able to swing a purchase of land in Burnet.  It has given Mark something positive to focus on and will be a great investment for us. Spencer boomeranged home for a couple of months and I have been good about not doing his laundry and not making comments about his beer drinking and vaping and incense burning.  I am ready for him to leave the nest once and for all, and since he has found a place, it looks like that will happen soon.  Dylan is still stuck in a happy neutral with his photography job and girlfriend but things are going to change soon for him, too.. I had hoped that my mother could continue to live alone for a few more years as she is fairly capable and in good health.  But breaking her arm in a fall may be a game-changer.  In the new year, I will have a frank discussion with her.  Thanksgiving was great at our house though we were all tired from moving Chloe the day before.  I hope she will be happy and comfy in her new place with no roomie to cause her stress.  She told me that she wants Teddy classified as a therapy dog and that her outlook without him was so bleak.  That makes me feel terrible for her, but grateful that she found her furry companion when she did.  I look around at my clean and comfy home and feel so lucky that we have this place.  I have many fix-it projects to do in the new year, but we will have the resources and time to do so.
So I have to say that maybe 2016 qualifies as equally good and bad, although I miss some of the "things" in my life that I really want back.  
Real life rolled up into 12 untidy months.  
Bring it, 2017.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Running behind this Christmas

I'm really struggling this year with Christmas shopping.  I have only a few thing purchased at this late date and limited time to get it done.  So, I asked my peeps for lists, but I only got ONE email from ONE person listing ONE item.  This is not helping the general feeling of seasonal blah I have.
I got on Etsy and Amazon today and ordered a couple of things for Mark with the symbol he has chosen for Highlands.  I also have a handmade item I will do for him, a new travel bag for his toiletries and some stocking stuffers.  But I guess I will have to put on my thinking cap and get creative with these folks.  Meanwhile, time is running out and I have many other things I need to be working on!  You know, I used to be so on top of Christmas.  I started my shopping weeks in advance, had the house all done up much earlier, had menus planned...we even had time for fun activities.  I'm still going to try to get it all accomplished.  It just feels like I am running behind.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Santa puked and I feel like doing the same

I feel like it took me forever to decorate for Christmas this year.  I even changed up the routine; Put only the main tree out after we returned from the tree farm.  Decorate it.  Sweep up. Relax. In years' past I tried to get it all done the day after Thanksgiving so we could all enjoy it as soon as possible and as long as possible.

But my new plan left all of the other stuff to do after I had already worked my 40 hour week:  The kids' tree, the mantel, the other odds and ends Christmas that goes up.  Christmas in just about every room - two trees, Christmas mugs, magnets on the fridge, mini trees in the china cabinet, decorated pillows, wreaths and pinecones...And I started stressing it.  Too much Christmas.

I just don't feel Christmas.  I haven't for the last three years or so.  I know that is bratty beyond belief - we have a beautiful home and it smells good and is clean, with indoor heat and plumbing, enough food in the fridge and freezer, clothes to wear.  I just dread the commercialism and materialism and stress the holidays bring.  I want to make it more meaningful.  Somehow, Santa doesn't do it for me.  And there are Santas and angels puking all over my house.

My daughter and I had a convo about it.
Me:  There is too damn much Christmas here.  I am toning it way down next year.  Going to give some of it to you to pretty up your place.
She: Christmas is good.
Me:  Yes.  But I feel stressed.  We own so much of it.  Every year I purge it.  Every year it seems to grow by itself!
She:  Oh that's no good.  I decorated my tree as I waited for the AT&T guy on Monday.
Me:  It's a lot to put up and take down.  We decorated the kids' tree and I. Am. Done.
She:  Santa puke is pretty.
Me:  Blergggggg

I mean, I love seeing all of the things that remind us of happier times, but maybe that's what's doing me in.  Seeing those things and realizing how different our lives are now.  It's not that our life is bad by any means, but there's something about having your kids grow up and the whole family, parents included, experience Christmas a lot differently.  And the reality is, all of the decor is just noise that drowns out the focus of the season itself anyway.
I need to relax a little and try not to stress it, I know.