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Archive for December, 2009

a look forward

As I mentioned yesterday, I spent this last year looking inward, examining myself, trying to figure out the whys…running over and over in my head why my mother didn’t hogtie me and throw me in the closet…why I was stealing beers out of icechests at 14…why I felt like I needed to act 24 when I was 15…and it’s been intense.  I think one of the most pointy and important things I’ve realized in all of this introspection is that I could never remember having one beer.  Ever.  That was a big one.

But today we look to the future, to 20-10…and that’s what I’m calling it. 20-10. It rolls so much better than 2000 and 10 or 2010, don’t you think?  I’m not doing New Year’s Resolutions.  Instead, I’m working with something that has always proven successful for me:  a to-do list.  I make one every weekend, or at least on the ones where I need to get some stuff done anyway.  I have found the older I get, the more dependent I am on lists.  I have learned that if I want to not spend $150 on jeans and scented candles and cleaning products and Drumsticks (kind you eat not the kind you drum with) when all I needed to pick up was coffee creamer and eggs, then I go with a list.  Having things written on paper that i can mark off serves two purposes to me:

1.  It keeps me on task.

2.  It allows me to actually mark stuff off so I can say SEE I GOT SOMETHING ACCOMPLISHED. yay.

So, here it is…a work in progress, ChrisYub’s 20-10 To-Do List:

  • Actively and purposefully, and prayerfully pursue a different career, and preferably one that edifies me in some way, and one that edifies others, one that utilizes my personality and doesn’t give me cramps in my brain.
  • MOVE. Not houses,though that would be fantastic, too.  No, I have stopped looking at real estate, realizing I might take a sledge to this place in order to get the home improvement ball rolling, but I won’t be packing boxes to move across town.  I mean move physically.  More than just walking to the kitchen for coffee (and something sweet, then salty, then sweet, then a sandwich).   With the moving, I hope comes weight loss and eating healthier…more green, less noodles.  It’s not rocket science but it may as well be.  Also, the success of this one is directly tied to the success of the first one, thus making the first one even more important.
  • Purge this house. I’m talking dropping off a big ol’ 30-yard dumpster in my drive way for 10 days and letting me just go crazy nuts cleaning out the garage and the sheds.  If I went out there and counted the bikes, I guarantee you I’d need two hands.  This is what I asked for for my birthday last year, for Christmas this year, and what I will ask for for my birthday this year.  I will keep asking for it until I finally get it for myself.
  • Start with the home improvement already.  We’ve lived here 11 years.  The house is older than God.  We haven’t really done anything to it other than rip out the 40-year-old disgusting carpeting and paint.  We have not addressed the electrical issues or the plumbing issues or the leveling issues.  In retrospect, I would like some of the crack that our inspector had to have been smoking who passed the inspection on this place.  For real.  Anyway, I would like this completed before I fall through the bathroom floor and have to call 9-1-1.  This will be a big one. and by big, I mean expensive.
  • Help people.  This one is interesting because several months ago, I started to feel God nudging…in my mind I just kept hearing ‘do more.’  I am not sure what it is I’m supposed to do.  Of late, I wonder if I am not supposed to be using my experience with quitting to help others, I don’t know, but I continue to listen intently.  Who knows.  I may be plowing up the corn before it’s over.

I will also be attending another college graduation this year.  My Longhorn will graduate from UT in May with her Bachelors Degree in Advertising.  I watch this video and get chills all over my body.  Plus, we’ll always be able to say that our daughter graduated with Colt McCoy.  So there’s that.

My oldest and her long-term BF turned fiance will be getting married on July 31.  We hope.  I say we hope because he is in the Marines and with that comes the fact that nothing is absolute.  It could be December.  But she has a ring and we’re going bridal gown shopping tomorrow, so it’s going to happen this year, it’s just a matter of when.  So there’s that.

After so much looking back, it is exciting to look forward…to plan.  After years of struggling with the darkness, now all I see is light at the end of the tunnel.

And it isn’t a train.

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a look back

I have just spent the better part of an hour reading back over my pontifications of the last year.  I didn’t really write a lot in 2009, hardly at all really, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t have a lot going on.

In 2009 I continued to be alcohol- and tobacco-free (quitting November 29, 2008 ~ one year on Nov 29,2009 WOOT).  I attended two weddings and two funerals after boycotting both for over a decade.

My nest got emptier and I learned that sometimes your fourth child will turn 18 and go batsh*t crazy choose to do things differently than her older sisters and it will give you a lot of grey hairs and that perhaps if there is a lesson to learn it might be “don’t count your chickens before they are hatched,” or maybe “stop being so smug about how good of a parent you are compared to the poor saps who have had some challenges in their parenting experiences,” and I have wanted to go over to Glen Rose and throw myself onto my dearly departed Mother’s grave and cry and gnash my teeth and apologize for all the nonsense I put her through and maybe film it and make said fourth child watch it so she could see how crazy she was making me.

In 2009, I began working in the church, in the nursery and in the children’s ministry, and it has been such a joy and in doing so I have made some fabulous new friends…who feel like old friends…who get me in trouble during play practice because they make me laugh and I love it.

When the 2009 holiday season rolled around and Thanksgiving was coming and Christmas pageant practice started at church, I remember feeling this panicky feeling.  My brain was screaming I’M NOT READYYYYYY.  I was worried about money and Christmas and how I was going to make it all work and I’d warned the older ones that we might just re-wrap the gifts from last years’ superfab Christmas and that would be it.

But on November 22, after we’d had our church Thanksgiving luncheon and basket auction, after I’d sat at a table with friends and laughed and watched a gym full of Methodists buy themed basket after themed basket (spa baskets and grilling baskets and doggie baskets and baskets full of chocolates and baskets full of coffees and baskets full of Mildred’s Pepper Jelly!), after I sat in the sanctuary while the alter guild and their crew of helpers dressed the sanctuary in her Christmas finery and the kids had their first Christmas pageant rehearsal and sang ‘Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel.’ something changed.

Somehow that cold, stony fear of of how I was going to make Christmas work just dissolved away and I decided right then that I was not only going to stop dreading Christmas coming, but I was going to run right up to it and grab it up and welcome it and kiss it right on the face.

And what a Christmas it turned out to be! SNOW! We had our first white Christmas since 1926!  Driving through the blizzard to go to Christmas Eve service and walking through the crazy wind and blowing snow was just magical.  Baking cookies while watching the snow fall outside the kitchen window was so much more fun than baking cookies with the windows open because it’s HOT and I’m SWEATING.  I don’t know how many times that day I would run to the back door and throw it open and yell SNOW IT’S SNOWING BIG FLAKES BLOWING SNOW LOOK! SNOW!!!

It was glorious.

The whole season has been glorious.

And for me, when I think about it, this has been the best year of my life, which is not to say that there hasn’t been sadness and tears because oh boy, has there ever been sadness and tears.  No, it hasn’t been the best year of my life because it’s been perfect, it’s been the best year of my life because I’ve LIVED it.

next up…a look forward

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