Showing posts from December, 2011

Writing My Storybook Ending

Back in my early twenties, I loved reading novels. But I’d only choose books with predictably happy endings. This must have frustrated my mom, the librarian. To her, books shouldn’t be limited by perfect ending boundaries. The way I saw it, if I wanted to relax with a book, the ending needed to be happy.

Of course, I wanted my own perfect storybook ending, but my chances weren’t increased because I had read dozens of perfect examples. My world of fiction couldn’t change my own reality. My life story was mine to write—and all of its chapters and its ending would largely depend on me.
Life happens and I can’t control all the action, but what I can control is my reaction. Often my reaction is what can either take away or bring me joy.

Why is it that I can look back and remember my past with fondness even though my life had actually been far from perfect? It’s the rearview mirror perspective. Things aren’t as big in the rearview mirror—those old problems have resolved, and what was a bi…

Celebrating the past

Emails, facebook, and Instant Message are my go-to communication tools.  But come mid-December, you can find me affixing stamps to our family’s annual Christmas letter. I can remember helping my mom lick stamps and envelopes, and then carefully stacking the cards in neat piles. Fifty years later, I do the same.
Each December I pull out my tattered address book. It’s fairly small with tiny address tabs for each letter of the alphabet. My grandma gave it to me when I was a teen along with an ample supply of stamps and stationery so I would WRITE to her (this was before personal computers, cell phones or Internet).
I still use this same address book. Wisely, I used pencil. It’s now like a diary of the nomadic life of my friends and family. Some addresses are erased multiple times as moves took them to new homes or towns. For others there are handwritten additions with names and dates, reflecting growing families.
Still others have lines through them indicating a loss of contact, or a divor…

Merry Costco Christmas

I know I can’t go back to the magical days of childhood. Back then Christmas meant anticipating presents and being so excited it was hard to sleep. It was waiting weeks to discover if Santa really heard me.

I admit there are days when I wish I could pull the covers over my adulthood and wake up with that childish exhilaration again. Over the years, my children helped rekindle some excitement—and now seeing Christmas in the eyes of my grandson brings fresh smiles. I can almost anticipate Christmas again….

But then I go to Costco. It’s like my one-stop shop for the holidays. By Halloween I have to push my cart around aisles of outdoor holiday decorations. By the next visit there’s even more.  Next come the holiday clusters--- those huge piles of slippers, gloves, and other gift ideas.
By the time I’m deep within the bowels of the warehouse (where I get no cell phone signal) I’m sandwiched between holiday cookies, sample carts, imported chocolates, and pies the size of car hubcaps.


Derailed by Distractions

As I did my morning work out, I listened intently to the admonition coming from the TV. The advice was to cut the distractions in my life.  I needed to evaluate my time-wasters.

I have the same 24 hours that I’ve always had, but my clock seems to run faster than my body holds up. I'm easily derailed by a To-Do list that's longer than my day. 

Work life takes a big chunk. So my leftover time is valuable. However, I’m not entitled to sloppy living just because some things aren’t fun. I do my daily workouts before I'm fully awake, which helps, trust me. Doing dishes, washing clothes and housework take time, but that's my part of the deal--and it doesn't take all that much time.

It's the distractions that steal away precious time. My computer offers multiple temptations. I’m continually lured into the economic headlines and can spend a whole evening reading things that won't change my life. Of course, for fun I head to facebook—I can’t forget to count that tim…

The Secret List

You’d think after more than a quarter century together, we’d not get uptight about sink basket strainers. I honestly did not have ANY idea that it made a HUGE difference how often I had NEGLECTED to put the sink basket strainer in properly.  I recently found out. 
I think there’s a secret list couples keep from one another, until other things pile up on the grievance side of life and then all of the sudden every foible is magnified and irrationality ensues. Suddenly stupid sink basket strainers rank high on the list of relational offenses. Secret lists are usually unimportant acts, that aren't all THAT bothersome---until the stress levels reach the red zone. Holidays intensify red zones.

Secret lists are just that: Secret. You can’t really draw them out during courtship. Sorry. One stumbles upon them after the knot is tied. Marriage longevity depends on many things. Couples deal with day-to-day life, the occasional crisis and THEN there’s coping with the secret list.

Neglectful si…