Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Hang Up The Stockings or Put Out Your Shoes

Today could not be more beautiful if it tried.  Last night snow started falling at about 10 pm--the kind that looks like powdered sugar and settles on the ground as if diamonds were just thrown about.  This morning, in the dark at 6:30, much to our surprise, there was about 4 inches of icing sugar everywhere and drives to school to worry about.  Alas, not a snow day for us rugged mid-westerners who can plough through anything!  Our backyard has been transformed--the lake that we live on froze over to the smoothest silver grey glass with not a ripple in it-a beautiful mirror creating a reverse world where all of us must be doing things backwards! And the sky is piercing blue, the color that almost hurts your eyes when you look at it while the sun has everything sparkling!  All this beauty however does mean one thing, baby--it's cold outside!  SO glad I don't have to venture out in it unless I want to! A perfect day to get ready for the upcoming holiday.  Last year at this time, I was struggling with some health issues that required major surgery and to complicate things I scheduled it for 2 weeks before Christmas.  Shopping was done on line which I had never really tried before and let me tell you--I am a convert.   Being able to click a button and "proceed to check-out" is a gift in itself.  As much as I love the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season, I find that as I get older I would rather pick and choose what I hustle and bustle over.  Like giving parties and making gifts for people and baking great things that we save just for this time of year-- like gingerbread cookies and Italian fig goodies--following an old recipe that my great aunt passed down.  Having my daughters in the kitchen with me, one helping me bake,  her twin playing DJ with the Christmas music and my youngest testing the dough is exactly what I want happening in my pre-holiday routine.  Tonight is a biggie in our world--St. Nicholas visits those of us who have been good girls and boys.  I know this isn't a tradition celebrated by everyone--perhaps my eastern European ancestors brought it with them from Prague.  My girls still love digging in to find what was left in their Minnie Mouse stockings-(Mickey for my husband).  He is the biggest baby of all.  When they were little, Polly Pockets and gummy bears were enough to keep them happy.  Now i-tunes and Starbucks cards bring smiles.  As long as no one finds a piece of coal we know it has been a good year.  

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Hot Showers

Some things I can't be without in a shower:

This may be way too much information but I have my best, most enlightening thoughts in the shower.  It is one of those huge cavernous ones with duel shower heads and really, you just don't want to get out once you are in.  For some reason things become clearer for me there.  Maybe it is the solitude or the whole cleansing thing.  I don't know but honestly, I could solve the world's problems if I had to.  But usually I stick to my own and those of my loved ones.  Today it was all about me.  Thoughts were randomly floating around in my brain, which happens a lot, and I zero in on them and work them through.  Which is the beauty I think of being open and present so that when I am faced with something I am able to acknowledge it.  So different from when my girls were little.  I remember being so wrapped in my head that there were times when through the fog I could hear their tiny voices saying "mommy" and finally would come back to the present.  Today my thoughts had to do with being stuck in the past and wanting to move forward to the future.  A few years ago, we went out to Las Vegas to visit my mom and dad who retired out there. (yes, I know it's a weird place to go visit Gramma and Grandpa but that explains much about me!) We were at Hoover Dam and there is a point where you can straddle 2 states--Nevada and Arizona.  This morning that scene came back to me as I stood there with feet firmly planted in 2 different places and thought that is exactly how I feel about my life right now.  One foot is in my past literally and figuratively and the other is in the future and wants to get moving.  It is that darn back leg that is almost cemented into place and no matter what I do, it won't budge.   I think a better way to look at it is that it doesn't really know what direction it needs to go in.   And if it did, how would it get there--to the future.  To all the things that swirl inside my head and heart aching to come out as the new me.  I am thinking that fear or failure or the fear of failure is the biggest issue for me.  How do I make all the changes I need to make and will all those around me be ok with it.  As I write this I a little light bulb went off in my head and realize that that is it--how will my family handle it all. I am so use to putting them first that I can't go to that selfish place and put me first for a bit.   That is where the change has to come in my head and my heart.  For me to know and for them to know that I can be other than what I have been for the last 27 years and still love them as much today in a new role as I have over the years.  
Hmm....well that is my homework for the day--to work through that!  I knew writing this would get me somewhere!