post-holiday report

30 Dec

I have so much to say, and good sense would dictate that I not publish it all.  I think that I will try to be vague, even though I hate not being able to say what I want to. 

I have a friend who was seemingly healthy one month ago and now she is in the painful grips of pancreatic cancer.  This is bad.

Another close friend is also sick and in the hospital.  He can’t afford an infection as he does not have a strong immune system.  I am very worried about him.  He deserves his own page in my blog under the category of gentlemen I have known.  He is absolutely exquisite and accomplished and he means the world to me.  He has given me some of the best dating advice I have received so far, specifically: “don’t.”  I will draw him out about that when he is released from the hospital.  Or maybe he’d like an inquisitive, soul-searching visitor, asking all the hard questions to distract him from his illness?

The children are home!!   (I am sorry, but this does call for 2 exclamation points)

I have the nicest children ever.  No disrespect is intended for any of you who also have children – I am sure that I love yours, too, and sometimes, late at night when they are finally asleep as mine are, you think they are the best kids ever.  That’s all this is.  Appreciation from across the house while they sleep and don’t talk back.  Wade received roller blades from Santa Claus and has been wearing them non-stop around the house.  Janet Jackson played Tootie on the 80’s TV show, The Facts of Life (which we only watched when my parents were away).  Tootie was always on roller skates, and Wade reminds me of her.  This evening, we walked Hattori, Jack and Curry.  Wade was on skates and Henry and I were just in regular shoes.  In just a week away from me, though, Henry has grown up.  He is so vocal and bossy and busy and no-nonsense.  He fussed at Wade and me the whole way.  But the dogs like him.

Then I took them all out to supper and made them share entrees, as I often do.  Nobody complained.  I love them when they don’t complain.  Then we toured the Christmas lights one last time before they take them down, while listening to 1990’s country music – my personal comfort food.  I built them a playhouse-garage (from Pottery Barn, but it had to be assembled) so that Wade can have his own space, but I don’t think Henry will allow it.  He said “Yade, you’re my best friend, aren’t you?” and Wade said “of course I am, Hen.”

Anna has been dancing every step of every part in the Nutcracker.  Even the big girl dances, like Kissy doll.  I never knew how much that wild thing was absorbing – I always assumed she was too distracted, but she has really got this ballet thing down.  I don’t know whether I will be able to avoid Nutcracker 2011.  As much as I want to.

We are about to enter January, the month preceding Annie Get your Gun!  It is going to be wild, but the Civic Theatre is just down the street and not in the hinterlands of North San Angelo, so I think we will be all right. 

Anna brought up her one line, and said, “mom, I am afraid this is setting a bad example, but my only line is ‘yeah.’”  I told her that theatre is art, and we make allowances for art.  As long as she knows to say “yes ma’am” in real life, she can say “yeah!” from the stage and I won’t hold it against her.

I’ve had some disappointments that I won’t discuss here no matter how much you beg me to.  You’ll just have to call me if you want the personal stuff.  I hate being disappointed.  Especially about something important to me.  But I have been so low before that the only thing holding me together was gratitude for how much I really do have – materially and in my friends.  And while it feels pitiful and painful, it’s not a terrible state.  It can give birth to a unique way of approaching the world and a determination not to let the small things pass you by unnoticed.  I now try to notice everything and see whether there is anything good about it.  Or at least whether it means anything.  Or maybe it’s funny?  The absurd can be redeeming, too.  It is such a rich life.


3 Responses to “post-holiday report”

  1. Robyn December 30, 2010 at 3:40 pm #

    I love your positive approach! I’ve been trying to be more positive the past few months and I’ve really noticed a difference. Not that things don’t sometimes still suck, but I find I’m able to keep them in perspective more. I hope your friends recover and that your children continue to bring you happiness!

    • brightenthecorner December 30, 2010 at 4:14 pm #

      Robyn, you know what they say, if we weren’t trying so hard to be happy, we could all have a pretty good time. btc just gives me a place to record what’s happening so I can remember someday what we were doing, because it’s going by so fast. I know you have some difficulties, but they are just facts. If you let them bleed over into the doing puzzles on the floor or the pretty days outside or the novelty of a snowstorm, those will be ruined as well. And the scary thing is our ability to influence our children toward a bright outlook or a fearful one – because there is plenty to be scared of. Recently I have realized that some people think I’m not very aware of the problems or the dangers because I don’t focus on them, but that’s incorrect. I am very aware. I just process those things differently and refuse to let them color everything else (to the best of my ability). We could become bogged down in the details, but we still have healthy, bright, alert children, supportive families, sound houses, cars that run, no felony charges pending against us, jobs where we feel valued and have worked a long time, you have free museums and I have affordable private school, you have a boyfriend, I have dogs who make me happy. Our standard of living is high and our quality of life is amazing – if we choose to acknowledge it. It’s not that I’m all that positive by nature – I just have to try hard not to bog down in worry and guilt and fear. This works for me.

      • Shelly Lodes Ladden January 6, 2011 at 6:46 pm #

        I think this reply entry needs to be posted for the world to see. As a chronic worrier, everything has the potential to bleed and spill onto the pleasant, amazing and downright outstanding moments. I think I will copy/paste your “doing puzzles on the floor and the novelty of a puzzle” line onto my screensaver as a pretty constant reminder to stay positive. If that proves not to work, I could have it tattooed onto my forearm.


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