Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Times Gone By or Auld Lang Syne

All this time, and I never knew what "Auld Lang Syne" meant. According to one web site, it means "Times Gone By." Now I'll have to listen to the song again to see how that translation phrase fits.

Yep, it's New Years Eve, and even though I've had a pretty good year, I'm ready for the new one. I'm ready to shrug off this mental and physical fatigue I have and start over. I've noticed lately that even my posture is hunched. Definitely need a new path.

Considering I started counting down the hours until I could go back to bed the second the alarm went off this morning, I doubt my New Year's Eve will be anything special. Mark and I will have a few drinks - wine, scotch, hot wine tea, nothing too toxic - maybe watch a movie, then head to bed around 10. Late for us. Maybe we'll be woken up with fireworks at midnight by our merrymaking neighbors. Who knows?

While 2008 seemed long and challenging, it was all good. The peeps turned one in January, Mark landed a new job and moved to KC in April. I finished out the school year at my awesome teaching job in June, and the grls and I joined Mark in KC at the end of July. We bought one house and, thankfully, sold another. We made it 1/2 across the country, from PA to MO, with no troubles. We got to spend Thanksgiving and Christmas with family for the first time in a few years, and we had the opportunity to get reacquainted with old friends. There is food on the table, some money in the bank. Yep, we're good.

No resolutions for 2009. I don't stick to them. My goal is to stop living my life like I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop. I finally figured it out, and that's what I'm doing. Life is so good right now, but for some reason I have convinced myself that it will not last. That it cannot last. I started reading the local obituaries, purposely searching for people who had died under the age of 70 so I could consume myself with ideas of all the things that could happen to me or my family while being thankful that none of those things did happen. Morbid. Gruesome. Unhealthy. I don't think I realized my frame of mind until I read The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski. In essence, I had become Henry Lamb. Look it up.

But that way of thinking ends today. I am seriously going to try to take life on a daily basis and remind myself that I have no control over anything, really. If something good is going to happen, then it's going to happen. If something not-so-good is going to happen, then something-not-so-good is going to happen and I will have to deal with it. I can't sit around waiting for it. I'm missing out on too much.

So, let's take a cup of kindness yet, for auld lang syne. So long 2008, and welcome 2009!


Monday, December 29, 2008


I'm writing because a virtual friend of mine just inspired me. She's a real writer. Columnist, blogger, award winner, and novelist as of September 2009. And since the point of this blog is to get back into writing, I thought I should stop procrastinating and, well, write.

Christmas is over. The holidays are done. We all survived, and it wasn't as bad as I anticipated. It never is. I would even venture to say the day with the fam was pleasant. That is a step above tolerable. Yesterday, I stripped the house nekkid of all the holiday decorations. Now, I'm not sure what to do. The house looks stark without the snowmen, Santas, fake snow, and plastic greenery. It was almost 60 degrees today. Trivia.

Today I worked on job applications. Did I mention I'm a second-career teacher? I had a fantastic teaching job in PA that I am hoping to replicate here. Since we didn't get back to MO until August, I missed out on the 08-09 hiring season. So, I'm starting early. I've already had one interview for an LTS position starting in March. I'm motivated to get some more apps out to local districts. In staying with the "writing more" theme, I tried to write eye-catching responses to the old standards, "Why do you want to work for this district?" and "Why did you want to become a teacher?" My responses are less formal, more narrative. At the very least, the interviewer might enjoy reading them.

And I'm outta here for now. Time to get on my jammies and read some more of The Spellman Files by Lisa Lutz. It's the first in a series of Spellman books. The jury is still out. I keep reading it, so there must be something about it I like.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Brrrrr .........

From bitterly cold temps, to snow, rain, and freezing rain, this past week we saw it all. And while I was glad I didn't have to go out in it, the downside was that I was stuck inside with the girls all week long. We went outside Wednesday afternoon for about 20 minutes. It was the girls' first time to play in the snow. They loved it, and I shot some great photos and videos. Yet, I think the time we spent outside was less than than the time it took to get them bundled up in their snowsuits, boots, hats, coats, and mittens, all of which were too big for them. They looked like powder puff versions of the little brother from "A Christmas Story." By Friday pm, I had run out of ideas and felt like I had beat my head on every single wall in the house. I was tired of them, and they were tired of me. But, we made it through. A job interview Friday afternoon and a night out with my girlfriends cheered me up.

I interviewed for a long-term sub position at a school district about 30 minutes from our house. The job is right up my alley: 7th grade reading. I guess I impressed the district folks because they said they would have the principal call me after break to set up a time to meet. The eight-week assignment doesn't start until March, so I have a little bit of time. Although the interviewer mentioned trying to get me in to sub before the assignment starts. We'll see. The girls start part-time at a local Montessori school in mid-January. I don't think it will be a big deal to bump them up to full-time in March. Until then, I'll have to sub on the days the girls are in school. I'm hoping to get a few more applications finished this week. Maybe something closer to home will pop up between now and March. You never know.

Last night, Mark and I watched "A Christmas Story." We had a choice between that movie, "It's A Wonderful Life," or "Miracle on 34th Street." All great ones. I chose the comedy. I sipped some hot wine tea from a recipe one of my Facebook friends offered up; Mark drank Jim Beam Black Label. All in all, just a quiet night. before the chaos of next week sets in.

Today was the coldest day we've had since last January, and the weather isn't looking too great this coming week. Bitterly cold again tomorrow. A tad warmer on Tuesday. At least warm enough to take the girls around in the car, but possible snow Tuesday night. I'm just hoping the weather is clear for Christmas Day travel.

I hate being cold!!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

All Scrooged up

For a long time now, I've felt like everything is such a hassle. From making a phone call, to making coffee, to getting together with friends. Everything seems like such a pain in the
a%$. I dread many of the very same activities I used to love. I don't think life is supposed to feel like that, but I don't know what to do change my attitude.

I'm always excited to receive an invite for a meet up ... until the barrage of e-mails starts. Where should we go? What should we do? What time should we meet? No one can agree on anything, and usually one person has to disagree about everything. So the flurry of e-mails ensues for days until somehow, miraculously, a decision is made. The same thing happens every single stinkin' time. I stay out of it because it exhausts me, and I truly don't care too much where we go or what we do. But by the time it all gets settled, I don't want to go. I dread the drive over and the conversations that may or may not take place. When I get there, it's usually ok, and I have a great time. But it's everything leading up to it. I used to look forward to a few hours with the gals. When did I start dreading spending time with them?

Instead of looking forward to spending Christmas with my family for the first time in four years, I'm developing coping strategies to get me through the day. I find myself complaining about having to drive to my parent's house on Christmas and then do it again two days later for a family reunion. I used to love family Christmas' and events, but something has changed over the years. I would just as soon stay home with my own little family than make nice.

Taking the peeps to visit Santa? Chore. I'm trying to justify not taking them by telling myself that they won't know the difference this year. Then I think about them looking through photos many moons from now and asking what happened to their pictures of their second year with Santa. And I will have to tell them their mom was too lazy to take them. How's that for motivation. We'll get them on Santa's lap before the big day.

Listening to other people's stories and problems? Can't stand it anymore. I still listen with the same polite, caring, concerned coutenance. But I no longer have the compassion for others that I once carried in my heart. Instead, I'm thinking, "Stop talking. Just stop talking. Please, please stop talking. Suck it up and stop talking. Stop whining." I assuade my guilt by telling myself that I'm not the only person in this world who does that.

I'm not depressed. I know that much. I've been there and done that, and I'm not suffering from depression. Maybe I'm just overwhelmed with life right now. I don't know where the mothership of this apathy is residing. But I need to figure out what's going on before the stranglehold it has on me gets any tighter. I hate feeling like this. I have too many people and things to be happy and thankful abut for me to sulk around, being irritated and angry.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Really? There Was a Grande Finale?

My sister, niece and I cruised down to Union Station awhile back to enjoy a performance of “A Grand Night for Singing.” When we arrived, I knew I was going to have to tell them about my “little problem.”

Me: Um, I have to warn you. I might fall asleep. If I do, wake me up, ok?
Sister (chuckling): Sure. I’ll slap you really hard. It’ll be fun!
Niece: Just don’t embarrass me.
Me: I’m not joking. There’s a really good chance I’ll fall asleep. I can’t help myself. Usually, I start fading during the grande finale, but it could happen at anytime once the lights go down.

And in that moment, I divulged my dirty little secret: I haven’t seen an entire live show or even a two-hour movie in years. Yes, years. I’m pretty sure I have some sort of mutant form of narcolepsy. Is there such a thing an entertainment narcolepsy?

It started years ago with a “Les Miserables” performance at the old Midland Theatre. Yep, I grabbed some shuteye during one of the most talked-about theatrical presentations ever. I still have no idea what that story is about.

Then there was the film, “Whales” at the Caesar’s Palace IMAX in Las Vegas. I enjoyed a siesta while whales splashed, dived, and frolicked in the open sea. My slumber lasted until an ocean liner’s horn blasted me awake. I missed so much of the film that I didn’t remember seeing it when I returned to Vegas a few years later. My friends and I bought IMAX tickets and settled in for the show. When the ocean liner appeared on-screen, I realized I had "been here, done this." Hey! I’ve already seen this!” I proclaimed loudly, much to the chagrin of my fellow IMAXers.

I made it through the Rockette’s performance in Branson a few Christmas' back. But by the time the grande finale rolled around – a live nativity scene complete with live animals and orchestral music on high volume - I was visiting the Land of Nod and becoming increasingly annoyed that all the “noise” kept waking me.

Finally, there was the Wayne Brady show at the Venetian in Las Vegas last year. Wayne is one talented man: he sings, dances, and cracks jokes. His improve is out of this world. The guy can get his groove on, and I was right there with him until … his grande finale. Lights flashed, music blared, the bass pumped. Wayne and his crew moved and grooved. The audience moved and grooved. Me? I sawed logs.

My poor husband, bless his heart, still invites me to movie night every Saturday. I see the hopeful look in his eyes. I know he’s thinking, “Maybe tonight will be the night she stays awake for the whole movie.” I psych myself up, “I can do it. I can stay awake.” Alas, week after week, I disappoint.

I guess I should feel guilty, but I really don't. I should lament the fact that I'm missing out on some fantastic entertainment. But the truth is, these sleepy time jaunts provide me with some of the best sleep I've ever had. As for last Saturday, I was bright-eyed and bushy tailed during the entire performance. Maybe there is hope for me yet!

Analyze THIS!

I rarely write down my dreams, but I had a dream the other night that was so vivid and so strange that I can't get it out of my mind. I dreamed that I became the mother of quintuplets - all boys. But wait ... that's the tame part of the dream. Keep reading.

The dream began right after I had the babies. Sort of. I was in a Target store and kept running to the back of the store to check on the babies because, apparently, in addition to housing inventory, the back room also served as a medical facility. I think I kept running back and forth because I had the twin DDs with me in the store, although they didn't appear in the dream. I was wearing clothes I normally wear and had my makeup and hair done. No signs of pregnancy or of having just given birth minutes before. It was just a typical day in my life other than the nurses, with the help of two of my older nephews, just kept bringing baby boy after baby boy and placing them side-by-side in a hospital-type bassinet. The babies were fraternal and wrapped burrito-style in white blankets. The nurses asked me what I wanted to name them. I said, "Well, one is Adam Edward and another is Christopher James. I have no idea about the other names because my husband and I only picked out two boys names. I'll have to wait until he gets back to talk to him about it." I have no idea where DH was, but the feeling I got from the dream was that he was either at work or out of town.

Suddenly, in the dream, it hit me that I would need five more car seats. I remember thinking that there was no way I could fit five more car seats into my Ford Escape. I realized then that we were going to have to buy a minivan. Then I started wondering how I was going to haul seven kids to the doctor, the store, and anywhere else I wanted to go. And, I began wondering how I was going to feed five babies because handling the twins was a struggle. I wasn't panicked or upset, just sort of stunned that I hadn't thought through all of the details in the time preceding the arrival of my sons. And then I woke up.

So, for anyone who analyzes dreams, what do you think? I thought it was strange that my DH and DDs were not in the dream, but I knew that they existed. The two boys names I chose in the dream were the two names DH and I decided on before we found out we had two DDs. And the idea that I didn't have anything organized or planned before the quintuplets arrived is 100% against my character. I'm an organizer/planner/worrier. So, what gives?

Following the Herd

I'm finally taking the time to start a blog. I know, big deal. EVERYONE has a blog. My blog is more of an attempt to ease back into the habit of writing regularly. Once upon a time, I was a habitual writer. But somewhere along the way, I lost the desire. Maybe it was the corporate writing jobs that slowly sipped away my creativity. Maybe it was the occurance of life events that edged writing to the back burner. Who knows? What I do know is that I think about writing all of the time lately, and I've been inspired by a spectrum of people who write professionally (me, in a former life) and for fun (again, me, in a former life). I figured a blog is a good jumping off point. It's a safe bet very few people are going to come across my musings unless I direct them here. Perhaps if I scratch the surface deep enough, I'll uncover that lost passion for language.

Why "Our Little Rodeo?" Well, because over the past two years that's what life has felt like. Two years ago next month, our twin daughters made their grand entrance into the world, and life transformed into a rodeo before my eyes. Sometime my husband and I are the bulls ... most often we are the clowns. It's been a wild ride. I'm sure the peeps, as my husband and I affectionately refer to them, will take center stage here every once in a while. How could they not when they make up my universe?

Until next time ...