last day

It’s the last day of my winter break (aka “Christmas Break”).  I had just shy of two weeks (I know, I know–totally unfair, but one of the few perks the job offers, as the pay certainly isn’t great).

Not exactly excited about going back to work tomorrow, but not dreading it either.  Which is what two weeks doing cross-stitch and listening to podcasts can do for you.  Or, rather, that’s what it can do for me.  You should try it sometime.  Very restful.

There was some time with family, but not enough to make me crazy.  More time with the oldest niece than with anyone else (she came to visit for 3 days), which was great.

I am rather enjoying this season.  Some folks call it winter, but here it’s mostly just the “not hot season.”  We get a few days of actual winter, but mostly it’s what a friend calls “Texas-cold,” which would make those of you in more northern climes scoff.  Lots of sunshine and decent temps almost makes one forget the hottest summer on record that we endured in 2011.

Miss Famous loves the not-hot season.  She will not love my return to work, however, as she will no longer have her human at her beck and call and won’t be able to go in the backyard any time she chooses.

Today, however, she is blissfully ignorant.(Please ignore the un-raked leaves.  The cute dog is the only item worthy of note in this image.)

dipping my toes back in the water

I thought about blogging today.

That is, I started forming a post in my mind, which is something that hasn’t happened for several months.

Now, of course, I don’t remember that practice-post, other than I think it was something about my upcoming 35th birthday, which is a big one for any woman who would like to have children.

So that post may come back later, but for now, I’m contemplating St. Elsewhere’s question, which she posted, um, elsewhere:

Are you happy to leave this year behind or more excited at the prospect of the oncoming year?

I am mostly happy at the prospect of the coming year.  2011 remains in a fog for me.  Not much happened, neither within nor without.  I am feeling happy and ready to move forward, to shake things up.

Maybe I’ll even blog about it.

sock it to me

I was so incredibly excited to receive my socks from the lovely Anna Marie.  She did an amazing job picking out not one, not two, but THREE pairs of socks for me!The instructions:

Here is the topic of your post: It has been roughly a year and a half since the last SITM Exchange. Reflect on the past 18 or so months – how has support from others, either in the blogosphere or otherwise, helped you?

18 months ago I was pretty fresh off the final divorce decree and was about to start my divorce recovery class.  I was scared to death to let anyone in; I just wanted to stay home and hide.  I’m glad I did start to let people in, but the truth is that I wouldn’t have gotten to even that point without the love of my bloggy peeps.  In the 18 months or so since that time, I have slowly moved closer to opening up in the real world.  I’ve been blogging less, but I always feel that this is a place that I can let it all hang out, that I can be who I am, and there are true friends out there who care, even when I haven’t wanted to let  anyone get too close physically.  I feel like I’m moving forward, slowly, but definitely and surely, and it’s in large part thanks to all of you.  So again, and again, and again—thank you my lovelies.

And thank you again to Anna Marie.  To sign off, Miss Famous is posing here with the pair of socks that she chose in La Famosa’s honor.  They look pretty good together, don’t you think?

For more soxy fun, head over to The Smartness, where Roxy Saucebox (you may know her as Kymberli) hangs out.

hope is a terrible thing

I heard this piece yesterday on NPR and the following lines hit me in a very deep way:

“Living in hope is a really terrible thing.  People speak about hope most of the time as a very positive thing, and I understand why…But if you stop and think about the state of living in hope,  it’s a very dispossessing thing, it’s a very difficult thing to live with. When you’ve been living in hope for a long time as I have, suddenly you realize that certainty is far more desirable than hope.”

Of course, I thought about my people in the ALI community.  And I thought about myself back when the ex and I were actively trying for a baby, back when that felt so possible I could think of little else, when my arms felt so empty, partly because it felt possible, yet just out of reach.

Hope gives us reason to get up in the morning, but it is also that Terrible Gray, that not-black-not-white space that won’t allow you to let go of the dream.  You’re left in the hospital waiting room indefinitely, never knowing, just hoping.

radio silence again, apparently

It feels like just last week that I put up my last post, but apparently it has been more than a month.  Yeesh.

Back before blogging, I used to journal.  (I still do, sometimes, though blogging often takes that space.)  Looking back over my old journals, I definitely had times when I wrote more often, and then months would go by and I wouldn’t write a thing.  Seems like the same thing is happening here.

I’ve wondered if I should just shut the whole thing down, because, really, who am I kidding?  I don’t really want to do that, though.  I like having this space when I need it.

Part of the not blogging so much may be because I often feel like I don’t have much new to say.  Part of the not blogging may be because if I wrote it down, I’d actually have to deal with it.

I am doing well.  I can see definite progress in myself in many ways, and in many ways I despair that progress is so slow in coming.  And I get tired of saying that over and over, so I just don’t.

Let’s make a deal:  I’ll blog when the muse strikes, I’ll try not to avoid blogging in order to avoid my feelings, and you continue to not give me a guilt trip about it (you’ve been really great about that, by the way).

Deal?

my dad

I.

He calls just to hear himself talk.  At least that’s what it seems like.  It seems like he just wants someone to say, “Uh-huh, yes, wow” at all the appropriate places.  He has a deep need to talk and talk and talk.  And talk.  I feel like I know all his stories and can predict which one he’ll tell right before he does.  Sometimes he asks me the same question more than once.  It seems he doesn’t really listen to the answer.  He ends every call with “Lots of love!”—his way of saying he loves me.

II.

Sometimes I imagine him as the little boy he was, the little boy who had to cook his own dinner because his mother wouldn’t get out of bed.

 III.

He has a high tolerance for clutter, a high tolerance for messes.  He reads at least two newspapers a day and piles of them tend to grow around the places he sits.  He doesn’t take his own dish to the sink after eating.  He holds onto things—tools, bits and pieces he might need someday, and papers.  Filing cabinets full of papers.  I sat with him once when he was going through some old files.  He didn’t throw anything out, he just went through them—tax forms from the ’60’s, my sister’s papers from school, documents from work, old bills.  Every page had sentimental value.

IV.

He grew up poor.  I have the impression that they didn’t always have enough food.  He told my mother when they first got married that he would never complain about a high grocery bill, that she should keep plenty of food in the house.  She does.  There is always plenty of food in their house and she is the one who shops for groceries, yet he will still arbitrarily buy ketchup, or crackers, or cans of beans.

 V.

Sometimes when I’m with him, and he’s talking, running over my words with his own, I think, “He doesn’t even see me.”

 VI.

He gets to know store clerks and mechanics and waitresses.  He talks to everybody.  When I was younger, it would embarrass me that he would do this.  Now I feel differently about it.

 VII.

A dear friend I grew up with was killed in a car accident when I was nineteen.  He whispered to me, “I’m so glad it wasn’t you.”

 VIII.

I haven’t seen him angry often, but somehow we all tiptoe around him at times, as if trying to avoid his irritation.  He generally gets his way.

 IX.

I will never forget the trip I took with him when I was fifteen.  We drove seven hours to his aunt’s funeral and the car broke down on the way back.  We waited by a field of cows for the tow truck as the sun went down and we stayed overnight in a small town I had never heard of before.  I sat in the mechanic’s office all day with the wife, while he went with the old man on a three hour round trip to the nearest city to buy the part for the car.  Everyone who came through told me that the old man would talk his ear off.  He could hold his own, I said.

 X.

He planted apricot trees one year and the hungry deer almost killed those baby trees.  They never grew very big and they never bore fruit, but he watered those trees for years, hoping.

fourteen, fifteen, and a warning

First, the warning.  Actually, it’s more of a “head’s up.”  I’ve been working on accepting certain people in my life as they are—i.e. the good and the bad, not just as I would want them to be.  There is an upcoming post (like, tomorrow) that deals with some of this.  Just letting you know so when you see a non-sequitur pop up, you’ll know what it’s all about.

Now back the previously scheduled blogging frivolity.

Day 14 – How do you typically dress to run errands? Do you think bloggers dress better or worse than “regular people”?

I really can’t speak to the second question…I’m not sure that “blogger” is a deep part of my identity…but I’m pretty sure I’m not “regular people” either. :)

I tend to not get too dressed up to run errands…I usually just go in whatever I’m wearing.  This means that if I go after work, I look decent, and if I go on a weekend morning, I go in whatever shlumpy clothes I wore to walk Miss Famous.

Day 15– What was your college experience like? Were you involved in any clubs, groups, etc? If you did not go to college what was your experience like after high school?

I was not very involved in campus stuff at college.  I definitely had a good time and had good friends, but it was more “unauthorized” fun than anything officially sanctioned. :)

I went on a 5-week exchange trip to Mexico the summer after my freshman year (I was a Spanish major).  I then got the language bug big time and knew I had to go back for a longer time if I would ever become fluent.  I entered college with a lot of credits from high school, so I was about a year ahead of schedule by the end of my sophomore year.  I then went back to Mexico (to a different, more urban city) for my junior year.  The first semester I did a program for foreign students, lived with a host family, and tried hard to not speak English with my classmates.  The second semester, another one of the students who lived with the same host family (she was from Peru) and I moved into an apartment and I switched to another school where I could take “regular” classes (i.e. not for foreign students).  This was a good move and I didn’t speak much English at all that second semester.

Getting to live in another country for a year was an amazing experience and I learned at least as much in that one year as I did in the other three years I was at college.