Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Giving it away

I'm honestly not sure how it is possible that, despite knowing all day long that today was January 31st, and in fact anticipating and planning for today (the birthday of my first and best friend since childhood), it only JUST struck me that it's the last day of the month. That January has in fact already come. and. gone. Tomorrow, a new month. Effortless, and in fact fairly frightening in how smoothly and effortlessly it has just slid by.

Is it the weather? Is it this weird non-winter winter where it was, today, 51 f.? Is January usually a month that seems to take a lot longer to pass because it's usually so cold and snowy and miserable? Seriously, I can't figure this out. Where did the month go?

Maybe it's a good thing I didn't go the whole *resolutions* route this year, given that I've somehow let 4 weeks just evaporate on my watch.

Oh well.

I'm trying to give something away every day; not exactly a resolution, although it can on some days connect to the whole clear-out-the-house-of-unnecessary-stuff project. And it doesn't have to be a "thing" -- I can give a kindness, give way to another driver, make eye contact with the security guard (or grocery clerk or other person in a job that tends to render him or her invisible to most) and wish him a nice afternoon. I gave away several full-to-the-brim shopping bags of art and craft supplies to a friend at work with young granddaughters; I had all kinds of beautiful beads and feathers and paints and paper and really, just loads of beautiful things that Dean has outgrown or passed over. It felt so good to send everything off, knowing it would be used and loved. The funny thing, the wonderfully funny thing, is that my friend went out and got me some special tea and the perfect tea mug and some fuzzy socks (to know me is to know how much I love fun socks) -- funny what comes back when you give things away.

Thursday, January 19, 2012


I've been slow on the whole new year's resolutions thing this year; older and wiser, maybe, about how real change happens? Less concerned with deadlines, and embracing the ability and right to start fresh at any time? Avoidance of acknowledgment of the passing of time? All parts of whatever the truth is.

One thing that will be true of this 2012 I've got in front of me is change. Lots will change, whether I want it to or not. Dean will graduate from 8th grade and go on to a new high school (not that I don't want that to happen, but there's a lot of emotion around it). I've done all the hard work (checking out schools, getting the applications in, going on the visits and interviews) and so now we're all just waiting for the decisions from the schools, and our own decision.

Lots will change that will require real effort from me to make it happen. We'll be moving to a new house this year, one way or another. And within that, I can also see the need for making little, daily changes that will add up to my feeling pretty delighted at the end of this year (getting organized, completing some craft projects, reconnecting with old friends). I need to keep pushing myself along, and I need to be careful not to hide from the small changes behind the big ones.

Do you sometimes find yourself dragging your heels in the face of change? I'm trying not to get stuck in resistance, but to be renewed by pushing through and embracing. That's what I think this year is going to be all about.

Monday, January 16, 2012

5x7 Folded Card

Because I really cannot resist Valentine's Day, and need a next holiday to prepare for!

Picture In Landscape 5x7 folded card
Tell them you love them with Shutterfly Valentines cards.
View the entire collection of cards.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


Dean does not have strep throat. This is a big relief to me, even as I acknowledge to him that "not having strep," and "feeling 100% better" are two entirely different things. He definitely has a cold, and with it some variety of virus that's particularly awful on the throat.

He felt too sick to go to school yesterday, and I know that I can totally trust him in this regard -- that if he's says he's too sick to go to school, it is true. I looked at my own work schedule for the day and, given that I was already dressed and prepared, thought that I perhaps should leave him with clear instructions and go on to work. Again, I know I can trust him, and I know that he's comfortable and capable managing a day on his own.

But then I reflected -- in an instant -- on how wonderful it is to be taken care of when you're sick, and how incredibly short the window of time in your life is when someone DOES actually stay with you and take care of you. Has there ever been a time in your adult life when you've been miserably sick and you haven't wished that your mom or dad were there to take care of you? Isn't it always what you wish for?

And so I stayed home with him and made him scrambled eggs, and hot tea with honey; I played board games and watched some tv with him, and sat reading next to him while he read. I wrapped him in blankets and got his pillows for him and made him put down his book and close his eyes for a while (*just in case* some sleep might follow!). And he, even he who is growing up and becoming independent and wanting to do things himself, was grateful.

Raising a teen is an interesting journey. I think it's challenging to balance giving and expecting independence with giving support. No, not babies any more, but still not adults. It's OK to want both things, I tell him -- to want to do it yourself and to want help. And so that's the journey we keep taking together.

Sunday, January 1, 2012


A fresh set of 366 days to do with what we will.