Monday, December 31, 2012

This New Year's, I'm ignoring the countdown

New Year's Eve is all about reflecting on the past year and looking ahead to the next. Tonight, in fact, is probably the one night where you are expected to NOT be in the present moment, not be mindful of the Right Now. But the thing is, I'm always looking backwards or looking ahead. I'm never in the Now.

It's a problem. Has been for as long as I can remember.

And really, tonight, of all nights, I don't want to look back (too much) or look ahead. I am trying, once again, to make it a point to be in the Here and Now. As much as possible, although, really, all the time, would be totally stellar.

What does it say about you when the same issue haunts you, over and over again? When you say you're going to work on this, you're going to make it your focus, your goal, when your closest people who know you best in the world tell you it's a problem, and you know it's true, and yet, you're still here, another new year resolving to fix it. Is it like this for everyone? Or am I the only one who has written a blog post about changing something about myself, only to have to write the same post again, the following year, or the one after that, just in different words? But what other choices do we have? Do we give up, then, and shrug our shoulders, and blow it off: "Ah, that's just how I am."?

No. I refuse.

One of my favorite quotes: "When you stop trying to be better, you stop being good."

So here I am, another post reflecting on how I need to be more present, need to focus on the Now, need to stop multi-tasking, stop thinking about everything all the time, worrying about what's coming or what might come or what might not happen, and just Be Here. Now. In this moment. Each moment.

And really, what does all the worrying and the planning and the overthinking help, anyways? Absolutely nothing. It gives me a false sense that if I can plan out every possible scenario and worry about every possible problem, then maybe I can preempt it. But really, 2012 is proof that whatever's gonna happen is gonna happen, and all you can do is raise a toast when it's good, and step up to the plate when it's bad.

2012: What a year. It started out with an entire TV show crew at my house giving my front yard a makeover. (Well, technically, it started with a hangover from our first ever New Year's Eve house party, but that's another story.) We took road trips in our new (old) RV. We went to Paris for our tenth wedding anniversary and realized we were the exact same couple we were when we went the first time on our honeymoon...just more in love and with better outfits. I got my first new car in 12 years. We spent a couple of months passing strep and hand-foot-mouth disease and every virus imaginable back and forth to each other. There were family issues. There were friendship issues. There were money issues. My sister was diagnosed with breast cancer. I turned 40.

It's amazing how many things can be squeezed into 365 days. It's amazing how many lessons there are, sitting there, within the celebrations and the scares, if you look.

So I'm not going to reflect and ponder too much tonight. I'm not going to plan ahead for 2013. I'm not going to spend too much time dramatically looking back at the highs and lows (both of which were quite extreme this past year), either. I'm just going to try to sit  here, in my PJ's, listening to the neighborhood fireworks and my kids' congested snores, snuggle with Hubby under the covers, and be grateful for This Moment, This Night.

Happy New Year's.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Viva Las Vegas: My Life, in Lists

"Let's go to Vegas for my birthday!"

The idea was born, about a year and a half ago, during a drunken afternoon on the beach on one of our babysitting days. Katy Perry's "Waking Up in Vegas" was playing on my iPod. It was a cheesy idea even from the beginning: all based on excess and tackiness and neon and glitter and loudness.

I loved it.

I wanted to wear a fancy dress, some killer stilettos, a tad bit of glitter eyeliner, hold a cocktail, and celebrate my 40th with Hubby and my closest friends in the loudest, brightest place on earth. My mini traveling party leaves tomorrow... A far-fetched idea that was born from a bad pop song and too much sun and booze, and it became reality. I can't wait. It's exactly what I (we) need right now.

So here are some of my birthday wishes for my big "Forty and Fucking Fabulous Birthday Bash:"

1. I want everyone to laugh. A lot.
2. I want to dance. A lot. (It'd be awesome if everyone else did, too, but honestly, I might end up as that girl who is dancing by herself with her eyes closed, oblivious to the rest of her group members.)
3. My heels won't hurt (that much).
4. I will get a lovely Vegas buzz going each night.
5. My lovely Vegas buzz will not turn into a horrid Vegas hangover the next morning.
6. The nightclub crawl tour we bought for Friday night will be more like the Vegas scenes of Ashton Kutcher and Cameron Diaz in the "What Happens in Vegas" movie than like a bad 2012 version of a Chevy Chase vacation movie.
7. My group will do a shot together (or several)...hotel rooftop not required.
8. No one will slip a roofie into any of those shots.
9. I will not lose my camera.
10. I will not fall down.
11. I will not throw up.
12. We will stay up until at least sunrise at least one of the nights.
13. I will have sex. Lots of it.
14. I will remember the sex.
15. We will make it to the places on the itinerary, but I will not be so anal as to continue to insist on sticking to the itinerary.
16. I will enjoy whatever restaurant/bar/club I am currently in, and not worry about whether there's a better one somewhere out there on the strip and I am missing it.
17. I will not complain that my super-cute-but-possibly-too-thin-for-Vegas-winter-weather-coat is not warm enough.
18. I will not worry about my children, my sister, or the bar tab.
19. I will not worry about whether everyone else is having fun.
20. Everyone will have fun.
21. I will not reflect, ponder, wonder, resolve, or over-analyze anything heavy, major, important, or life altering for the duration of my trip.
22. I will not mentally check stuff off this list as they occur.

So raise your's a toast to my next decade...may it be a blast!

Friday, December 7, 2012

A little out of it

I haven't been here in forever.

I must admit that this time around, it is not just Life, and the usual excuses of being busy or tired. Yes, I am busy. Yes, I am tired (perpetually). But really, the truth is I've been avoiding this place.

I don't have anything to write, I think, because I actually have too much to write about.

Does that make sense to anyone?

There's been too much going in life, and therefore, in my head, lately, and I feel like coming here would be like opening up Pandora's Box. And sometimes, you really gotta get in there: yank that sucker open and delve in. But other times--and I think this is one of those--that I'd rather lock it up and sit on it like an overstuffed suitcase.

I just don't want to Go There. Not yet, anyways. I know the time will come when I will need to ponder, to question, to try to make sense of stuff, and to get it all out. But for now, for just the next few weeks, I would like to practice a little bit of denial. Ignorance is bliss, and all that.

You see, I feel like if I reflect too much, I might have to face some harsh realities: my sister's current situation, the fact that I'm about to hit a major age milestone, and the sudden awareness of the passing of time. (I have not forced myself into such ignorance that I do not realize the obvious link here.)

Since my last post, my sister is healing well. (Thank you to all who have prayed, sent well-wishes, asked about her...) She is still not at the end of her journey (as if any of us ever are), and the family is still struggling day-to-day. There are Big Lessons here. Big. I just don't have the energy to try to figure those out yet.

There is this birthday thing: 40. I will be 40 in just a couple of weeks. That's pretty big, too. And I feel like I'm a little too fragile right now to get all self-reflective and melodramatic and poignant.

My babies are gone. I can't quite come to terms with the deliciousness that is my 4-year-old and my 7-year-old who I feel are growing up so fast, I can't bear it.

And the holidays...this time of year always makes me all pensive.

So I am doing something I usually am not so good at: avoiding. Instead, I am choosing to immerse myself in the busy-ness of this time of year and the excitement of my upcoming birthday trip (Vegas BABY!). There will be plenty of time (and I know myself well enough to know that I don't avoid for very long) to poke around in my subconscious and try to figure out some of the emotions that I've been try to  make sense of or come to terms with or have some sort of epiphany or Something...but for now, I'm just going to put my energies into figuring out which stilettos will look the best and hurt the least in Vegas (as if!), and what Santa is going to bring my little boys. There will be time for heavy stuff. Right now, I just want light.