Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Why Italy is a third world country.

I just realized tonight that I hadn’t posted in almost a week and was wondering why, as it doesn’t seem like I did an awful lot the last few days, and then I realized that a stupid, almost insignificant little decision I took last week has put me in such a state of high agitation that six days went by with nary a thought to my blog (or twitter or facebook).
I’ve been wanting a break for quite some time, a break from my routine, a break from winter, a break from thinking about the husband’s illness, basically a break from reality. So last Saturday I started fantasizing about taking off for a long weekend by myself, no kids, no husband, no worries, but the truth is I’m too much of a mother hen, and I simply can’t imagine not clucking around my chicks for two or three days, so that little idea flew the coop pretty much right away (and that’s enough with the poultry metaphor). And then… a teeny, nagging thought crept in… and like an unscratched itch it gained momentum, and started to seem feasible, nay, possible, and then a light bulb went off in my head and I was just like, well, why the hell not. So I’m going to Brazil next week y’all! Yep. Because my Grandma is turning 101 years old. One hundred and one. And I missed her 100th birthday last year, for obvious reasons, and the girl has never met her so I done woke up Monday morning and reserved us a flight to Sao Paulo. So there. The husband can’t come with us, and he probably won’t be feeling so hot in the next few weeks, but his mama is moving in to take care of him, better and with infinitely more patience than me, so the kids and I are heading for Brazil. Hee, hee! Where it’s summer. Summer! In the middle of winter for us. Isn’t having two hemispheres just the bee’s knees? I mean you can be right smack in the middle of a blizzard today, but the beach is just a short plane ride away (well, ok, it’s a thirteen hour plane ride away and I’m not going to the beach, but whatever!).
But this is great news, you say, then why the agitation?? Ah, I reply, you forget, dear reader, that I live in Italy. You see, Italy is a fantastic country, the food is marvelous, the scenery to die for, the history, the architecture, the people, it’s a country that makes you dream… but efficient it is not. So, Sunday night as I discuss my plan with the husband, and we iron out kinks, he reminds me that the girl has no passport. We had already had this conversation back in august, and then promptly forgot about it. So Monday I start gathering documents for this apparently simple purpose… I go on the pertinent website, I make a list, I check it twice, I take the girl to have passport pictures taken, in the only shop in Cuneo that does this. And then I go pay the first passport tax, in one office and the second passport tax elsewhere, because paying all the passport taxes in the same place would have been too damn easy and time effective, and we can’t have that here in Italy. Then I went to get her birth certificate and was informed that my ID was no longer valid since Italy is, apparently, a third world country and still issues paper IDs (yes, my ID is paper, not plastic) and it was ripped. I schlep back across town to get my picture taken for the ID (again, because having a place that takes your picture, even a simple photo booth, in the same location where you actually need pictures to get your documents done, is quite simply, too easy) and schlep back to get my new ID. By then the Questura (police headquarters where one gets passports) was closed because it closes at noon. For the day. All this was actually a lucky coincidence because apparently the law just changed and both parents have to be present to request a passport for a minor and I was alone that day. Even if they’re divorced. Or live in different cities. Because if we don’t complicate our own lives, we can rest assured that the State will do it for us.
So, finally, finally (!) today the husband, the girl and I made it to the correct office, with the correct documentation during the tiny window of time in which they were actually working, and waited in line with seemingly a hundred thousand other people and got a glimpse of the hardships of the last Great War, like waiting in line for bread, because the State has our education at heart and tries to impart lessons, in history and sociology through the most mundane activities. I then had to beg, like a peasant in Trotskyist Russia, to have the procedure expedited because my grandma turns 101 on February 5th and apparently even in a town (and in this instance, by town I actually mean village) the size of Cuneo (population 50,000) it takes them a month, A MONTH, to get a freakin’ passport out. Seriously, are they liming the calfskin to make the parchment that a blind scribe must then decorate by hand and inscribe with gothic script using a peacock feather? What on earth could possibly be going on behind the closed doors of the “Passport Office” that would require a month, A MONTH, to get a fucking passport for a one year old out? In this day and age of computers and instant information. It boggles the mind.

I was told that they would do their best to have it by the 4th, the day we leave, the day before my grams’ birthday. This basically means that the insane amount of stress I’ve been living with for the past two days (I get agitated like that) will continue until Friday next week. Will we leave? Won’t we? Who knows. Either way, I’m packing a bathing suit.

Thursday, January 20, 2011


Faith is a funny thing, you either have it or you don’t. My parents were both raised Catholic, neither one in particularly religious homes, just your run of the mill, church on special occasions, no meat on Fridays Catholics. Due to a slew of reasons I’m not going to get into, my parents decided not to baptize me or my younger brother. They instilled a certain amount of respect towards the Church, and most of our values are Christian values, but religion was never really a big thing at our house. And right now, I’m not sure this was a good thing. You see, I was raised without the church (a church, any church) so I don’t really feel the need for it now, I have almost no relationship to it. I have little patience for some of the more, let’s call them “old-fashioned” views the Catholic church holds, and I simply feel no need for organized religion. I respect it, my parents taught me that much, in fact, I respect all religions, I am fascinated by how deeply religion and cultural heritage are intertwined. In fact, I kind of miss it, and sometimes wish my parents had made more of an effort to bring religion into our lives. You could say that I’m an agnostic of sorts, I really don’t know what’s out there, if anything, I like the idea of there being a “God”, but I can’t honestly say whether I really believe in him (her, it) or not. I don’t have faith, and I wish I did, in something, anything, cause sometimes in life you need it.
This is why I decided to baptize my kids, we live in Italy, so there isn’t much choice, Italians are catholic. But I didn’t really care which religion my children were raised in, compatibly with our culture, of course, I just wanted them to be part of something, some sort of community, an ideal. My parents are Catholic, my husband is Catholic, so my kids will take the sacraments and go to catechism and learn about their religion, I will take them to church and hope that they learn to have faith in it, in God, in something. Until the day that they are old enough to decide what they want to do with their spiritual selves, the important thing for me, for now, is that they learn to have faith, that they nurture their spiritual selves and when they’re grown they’ll decide. Because, unfortunately, I don’t have faith and I honestly believe it has a lot to do with the way I was raised, I wasn’t taught it, it wasn’t part of my life, and it’s not something that comes easily (or at all) to me. This is a difficult post to write, I’ll explain what prompted it, maybe it’ll be easier for me to get my point across (there is one, a long-winded one, so bear with me!).
This morning I found out one of my neighbors passed away. She was in her late fifties, had lung cancer, did the chemo and seemed to be in remission. I didn’t know her very well, but she was the first neighbor I met when we moved here, she was the first person to welcome us to the neighborhood, she always went out of her way to say hi, and have a quick chat, whenever I ran into her, she was a genuinely nice lady. I saw her a few weeks ago and she was in great spirits, she thought she had the cancer beat, whenever she ran into the husband she would say to him “you’ll see, we’ll be fine, you and I, we’ll get better”. And then she found out the cancer had spread to her brain, and yesterday she passed away. Another neighbor came by to give me the news this morning, and she apologized, because she didn’t want to be giving me bad news after the year we had. I thought that was strange, everyone has bad years and good years, and last year was certainly better for me than for my neighbor’s family that is now dealing with this terrible loss.
So anyway today’s news prompted me to start counting my blessings, of course, and during a phone call to a friend I mentioned all this and added that I wasn’t so upset anymore at having been up all night with a sick baby, because I got to cuddle the girl and hold her and breath her in and that’s a blessing in itself, and we forget how lucky we really are when life, with all its minor inconveniences takes over. And my friend mentioned how it was strange that life’s little inconveniences still take over and we forget our blessings after all we’d been through.
And finally I get to the point of this. This afternoon the husband came home early (we were supposed to go to Tai chi) and announced that the hospital had called, and his last bone marrow biopsy turned up a small amount of malformed cells. So the doc suggested we go in and have a chat. I felt like my blood was freezing in my veins. And then I went into panic mode, followed swiftly by anger mode, followed swiftly by fear mode. The husband stayed surprisingly calm. And this prompted today’s little mental loop on faith, because throughout his illness everyone said to me (even I said to me) we have to have faith that everything will be alright. But you see, I don’t have faith. And today I managed to put into words what’s been at the back of my mind this whole time, I have no clue whether the husband is going to get better. Days like today make us feel like this illness will never end, will never go away, that he’ll never really be better, that we can never relax and plan for our future because we have no clue whether there is a future to be had at all. But the thing is, we don’t know because we can’t know. We can’t plan for our future with absolute certainty because there is no certainty. You can be fine, be perfectly healthy, leave for work and die in a car crash. But this doesn’t mean you stop planning, you stop living. I’m writing about faith today because I wish I could convince myself that there is a higher power, a grand design, a puppet master of sorts, but I can’t and it makes me a little sad. I don’t know if the husband is going to get better or worse, no one does, but I wish that I could hold on to some sort of faith system that allowed me to believe he’ll get better, because it would make this time easier, because sometimes believing something will happen is enough. As I’m writing more things come to mind so I’m thinking this post will be one of a series, cause if I keep writing this will become less a blog post and more a tome and I don’t want to put anyone to sleep quite yet. For now I ask you this, do you have faith and does it help you get through the rough patches?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Clutter, be gone! Behold, Order.

I started the year with a massive hankering for some order. And not just your run of the mill, it’s a New Year so I need to clear out the old, type of hankering but more of a, I’m drowning under the weight of crap accumulated over the last ten years, throw out, throw out, THROW OUT!! So I made myself a list. I won’t share the list, because, frankly, it’s boring as hell, plus it’s four pages long, but I will share the method behind the list in the hopes that it turns out to be useful to someone else.
I’ve always had a hard time being organized (ok, I’m not organized at all) but I’m fatally attracted to orderly things. I love the Martha Stewart Living tips on organizing your life, or gaining control over clutter, or a meticulously orderly sock drawer, I’ve just always thought that these things were unattainable to me, I've always thought, "I wish we had a Container Store in Italy, but we don’t, so I’m doomed to clutter in my life". And then this year I had an epiphany of sorts… I have too much crap. That’s why my house is a mess, that’s why I create the infamous “black holes” all over the place, that’s why I never find a damn thing to wear in two closets full of clothes. I. Have. Too. Much. CRAP. And you know what the solution is? I’m throwing crap out. I’m serious, it’s that easy! What? So I just hadn’t thought of this before!
Of course me, being me (or is it I being I?? or possibly me, being I?? anyone have time to look it up?) I had to leave myself a few loopholes… Like Saturday I cleaned out my closet and the rule was if it doesn’t fit throw it out. Except I’ve been saving some things for years (remember two pregnancies in a row, two breastfed babies) that I may yet fit into… so I allowed myself to keep five items per category that don’t fit yet (but did fit right before the pregnancies, I threw out stuff from, say, college). This made it easier for me, and I have a goal to work towards, and I still filled two large garbage bags of clothes for charity. And I’m so thrilled with the result, I feel pounds lighter! You should totally check out my underwear drawer, it’s amazing, and I found some really nice bras I had completely forgotten about hidden under all the maternity and nursing crap. I would totally post a picture, but it’s my underwear, so that would be a little weird.
So basically I divided my house into areas of attack, not by rooms, but by items, like clothes, cds, books, documents etc. Last weekend I attacked my clothes, next weekend I’m attacking the baby clothes boxes. I don’t know if we’ll be having any more kids but one thing I learned between baby number one and two is that the seasons may not be just right, babies grow at different rates, if I didn’t use it with baby number 1, I probably won’t use it with baby number 2 and also, when a new baby comes you still get presents, and you still want to buy them stuff, so there’s no point in saving everything. Again, I get to keep five items, per kid, per size. So I won’t be torturing myself by trying to throw everything out, but I will get rid of a LOT of crap, and making room for new stuff in case another baby is in our future.
And lastly I’m investing in a couple of hard drives and a paper shredder. Hard drives because I have an insane amount of music on CDs that we no longer listen to what with the ipods and iphones and such that have taken over our lives. CDs are taking up useless space in the house, the cars and the attic, so we’re getting rid of them and just putting all the music on hard drives. This will take forever. But it will be sooooo worth it that I almost can’t wait to get started. Almost. But I’m going to do it, I’ve got a whole year to do it, so it will get done. And a paper shredder because I have piles of documents, bank statements, utilities statements, credit card statements… from the nineties… do I really need to keep all that crap? So I’m scanning what I may need, and I’m shredding the bejeezus out of everything apart from passports, birth certificates and car deeds, stuff I REALLY need to keep. The rest is CRAP, so out it goes. 
And so on and so forth all through the house. The bottom line is I’m only keeping stuff I actually use at least once a year. Every year. The rest? Crap. And you know where that goes!
Wish me luck, I’ll keep you updated, and please, hold me accountable, cause by the end of this year my life must be rid of useless crap. So I’ll have a beautiful, orderly, organized, de-cluttered house, with loads of room.
For me to fill with new crap.
Such is the cycle of life.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Who's this guy in my bed, and where the hell is my husband?

You remember all those thriller/suspense movies they used to make where the main character got like a heart transplant and started feeling all these new emotions or a brain transplant and remembered things that had actually happened to the donor? I think that’s what’s happening to my husband, or whoever this new guy sleeping next to me is. Because this guy is not the same guy I started dating ten years ago, in fact he’s not the same guy I was married to last year today. I’m not being tragic or anything, but I am talking major changes… like I think the donor was insanely verbose, because, since the transplant, my husband never shuts up. Unless he’s mad, then he won’t talk for days. There is literally NO MIDDLE GROUND. He’ll start talking about something, and I’ll be listening and at some point I start to think that he’s winding down, that there really can’t be more to say on the subject, everything’s been repeated twice, taken apart, analyzed and dissected and that’s when he gets his second wind. And that’s when I start banging my head against the wall, cause I already have two kids who never shut up, even the one who doesn’t talk yet just babbles non-stop 24/7, and this new guy I’m living with, I just think he’s trying to kill me with all the talking. Oh, and we’re not even talking about astrophysics or applied mathematics or, you know, 13th century French literature, no, we’re talking about the merits of switching toilet bowl cleaner brands. For hours. And two weeks later, when I happen to come home with the same toilet bowl cleaner, for example, he’ll be like “but we discussed this” and I’ll be all like “yeah, well, you discussed this, I was thinking whether arsenic was the way to go or if I should just drown myself in the toilet bowl to get out of the torture of this conversation”.
But that’s not all folks. This new guy… he went shopping. Twice. Just this week. My old husband? I used to have to go buy him stuff, he’d try it on at home complaining throughout, then I’d often have to go back to the store to change the size or color or possibly both, but not on the same occasion, and then bring the stuff home for him to try on again and complain about and on and on and on. The salesgirl at the store, she almost had a heart attack when she saw him. She was all like, so did you get divorced? is this your new boyfriend? And I was all like, well no, this is actually my husband. And she was like, wow, I thought you had, like, made him up or something, cause in the five years since you’ve been coming here I had never once seen him. And last week we went shopping twice. He bought six pairs of pants. This is an event so rare that no one can predict the consequences. Seriously, the donor must work in fashion, or he’s gay, or more likely he’s a gay shopaholic who works in fashion, because my husband, the old one, had shirts in his closet from 1983. I’m not kidding. Whereas this new guy, today he filled two garbage bags of old clothes to give away and this week he went on a veritable shopping spree.
So every day I wonder, what’s this new guy going to do now? Like the other day, we went to Ikea and didn’t fight, we didn’t so much as have a spat, nor a tiff, we didn’t even have words. He didn’t complain about being there, he didn’t complain about all the useless crap I was buying, he didn’t even complain about the lines or about how much money we were spending for useless crap. Trips to Ikea were the antechamber to talks of divorce with my old husband, to apocalyptic, slow motion, spittle flying in the air, and frothing at the mouth fights generally in the sofa section. But this new guy, he just moseyed along, looking around, totally relaxed, not a care in the world. But when we got home he waited for me to assemble most of the furniture. The guy who owns 3 drills and 4 electric screwdrivers. The guy who bought the official Ikea tool kit so he would have all the correct bits specific to assembling Ikea furniture. The guy who practically used to assemble the furniture in the car with one hand whilst driving home with the other. This guy let me put together the furniture and didn’t once check whether I was doing it right. And then he complained bitterly about having to drill holes in the walls to mount the stuff. Who is this guy??
So now I wonder, can the donor’s bone marrow be changing my husband, much like it’s changed his immune system? Are these changes permanent? Because after seven years of marriage and two kids I don’t think I’m ready to be married to some new, random guy I didn’t pick. I didn’t even get any of the benefits of a divorce settlement, or you know, the new exciting sex of a budding relationship. I feel gypped. Plus, I liked my old husband, though I do see the potential of a new shopping buddy and brighter, happier trips to Ikea in my future. Hmmm. Now we just have to work on the new, exciting, sex with a stranger, bit and it may not be all bad.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Judge not, lest ye be judged

I was reading an article on the Mamapedia newsletter the other day about mothers judging other mothers and it got me thinking and noticing…. First off, we all judge and I can’t really say whether that’s a good or bad thing in general but I do believe that it’s bad if it makes the person being judged feel bad. Now, I speak from having been on both ends of this since I am occasionally quick to judge. I’ve been paying attention to this behavior now and I’m noticing it more and more often in myself. And let me just say, that now that I stop and think about it, once I find myself “passing judgment” as it were, I realize that 99% of the time I’m making assumptions, allowing myself to  feel superior and generally not taking into consideration the reasons why that particular person is doing that particular thing. Now, I’m not saying we need to be all p.c. all of the time, but I do think that the person I think is somehow messing up, or not doing the right thing, or not using the correct parenting technique probably doesn’t need to hear my opinion unless they specifically ask for it. And even then, I think it’s important to present our opinions in a way that’s not categorical. More of a “there’s this option as well” and less of a “this is what you should be doing”, because, really, can we justify being so arrogant as to think that what works for us will also work for Tom, Dick and Harry?
 As the occasional judgee (i.e. person being judged, did I just make that word up? ) I get irritated at all the unwanted advice, especially as it often feels like criticism of what I’ve been doing. Although, I realize that when you have a blog and complain about certain things it is par for the course, but if I’m chatting with my friends and get repeated, unsolicited, let’s just be honest and call it judgmental advice, it raises my hackles. And though on the one hand, I know that if I don’t want to be judged then I shouldn’t bitch and moan about things like my kids don’t sleep, or eat well, or whatever drama of the moment is going on in my life, on the other hand, I assume that other mothers have been there and could be more accepting, more understanding, more empathetic and less just leave them to cry it out, or put them in your bed, or send them to bed hungry, or cook them another meal or whatever option worked (or they just wished had worked) for them. Because I read all the parenting books too, and am aware of the options out there, but maybe, maybe I’m still trying to figure out the one that works for me and my kids and it may not be what worked for you and your kids. In fact, that’s what I tell myself now, right before I open my mouth to tell a friend how and why she’s screwing up with her kids.
There are so many options out there, there are so many theories we can follow, or partially follow, or mix and match to create our own, that there literally cannot be a correct and incorrect way to do it. And this relates to all things in life. As far as parenting is concerned, if you’re not hurting your child, and by that I mean seriously physically or psychologically harming, not “hurting” by using disposable rather than cloth diapers or something like that, then it’s none of my damn business how you raise your child. And, when you come complaining about the fact that you can’t get your toddler to eat his vegetables anymore, I promise I’ll make you coffee and commiserate, I won’t suggest you serve them differently, or hide them in pasta sauce or whatever, and if you ask for advice, I promise, no diktats just suggestions, because what the hell do I know! And as far as I’m concerned, on this blog, comments are welcome, appreciated and loved, judgments not so much, but they are accepted. That’s what we get for putting ourselves out there. Just remember, I’m doing the best that I know how as, I assume, are you, and that’s all any of us can do, right?  

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Simple Ratatouille and Clutter

One of my New Year’s resolutions is to de-clutter my life, more posts coming about that soon, cause, you see, I’m a bit of a hoarder, not in the crazy, can’t walk around my house because of all the old toilet paper rolls sense, but I do have a hard time throwing stuff away. What does this have to do with a vegetable dish? Well, part of what I’ve been “hoarding” lately is food, and consequently, fat. So, forgive the mental leap here, but, as I said, I’ve decided to de-clutter my whole life, not just my house and belongings therefore I’m de-cluttering my body too. I don’t want to call it a diet, because when I try to “diet” I usually end up gaining a few kilos (just from being contrary by nature…). Let’s just say I’m embarking on a food voyage to try and eat as much as I want of the good stuff and way less of the crap and we’ll see where we go from here. I had this for lunch today, and though it's not necessarily a "cookbook" dish, sometimes we forget the simple dishes and simple is what I blog about when it comes to food! So, this is an easy, yummy, guilt-free dish, because though I don’t have a clue about whether it’s low-calorie or not, I do know that no one’s ever become fat from eating too many vegetables!

This is what you need:
Makes 6-8 cups - prep time 15min – cooking time 20 – 30min

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Middle of the Night Mayhem

This is a story about how I was up at 5.45am changing sheets and pjs, though no one was sick, while simultaneously strangling my husband.
When one of the kids wakes up at night, and, yes, anytime before 7.30am is considered and treated like the middle of the night at my house, the standard procedure is milk, diaper change, back to sleep.
This is what happened last night: I’d been up with the girl from 4am to almost 5am, cause evolution is a bitch and decided to put babies through excruciating pain just so they can develop a full set of utensils necessary for their survival (i.e. teeth). So when the boy woke, probably annoyed at all the noise his sister had been making and wanting his share of the nighttime attention, I timidly turn to the husband (who, incidentally, is exempt from nighttime duty for a few more months due to the leukemia and all) and ask him to take care of it. Amazingly, he not only heard me but woke up and went to tend to the boy. Unfortunately, when they wake up it’s all “mama, mama” and last night he was all “mama, where you, need you” in a tragic voice, like mama doesn’t love him and went away. so up I got. The husband got the bottle ready and I started to change him. And this is when all hell broke loose.
Because, you see, men, they don’t have the same reaction times as women do when it comes to their offspring; sure, if he heard an intruder in the house my husband would probably be fully alert and halfway down the stairs armed with something heavy in 1.5 seconds, but when it comes to the kids…. that’s my department. So he goes to put the bottle in the boy’s mouth and almost drowns him in milk, because, you see, he had managed to get the water temperature right, put in the correct amount of formula, and mix it, he just forgot to screw on the bottle top. He did not screw on the bottle top. So the boy, sputters, catches his breath, and starts screaming bloody murder, I, on the other hand, had not a clue what was going on, cause we do all this in semi-darkness. Suffice it to say that the boy’s crying woke up the girl, so they were both screaming, the husband was still sleeping cause he couldn’t follow even the simplest instructions (for example, get me clean pjs), and that’s how I found myself changing sheets, pjs, and calming down a traumatized boy at 6am even though no one had vomited. Of course, once I got the boy calmed down, cleaned and back in bed, made a new bottle and then left the husband with strict orders not to move from his bedside until he fell asleep, I went over to the girl to calm her down cause at this point she was almost vomiting from all the screaming. And as I was rocking her and thinking of cruel and unusual punishments to apply to the husband, I remembered the image of the poor boy choking on a bottle full of milk in his face and just couldn’t help laughing… kind of how you laugh at people being woken up with bucketfuls of cold water on tv. I know, I’m a terrible mother.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

When I grow up.

We’ve been watching the Shrek series with the boy in the past few weeks and it got me thinking about fairy tales and cartoons and how they affect us…
“When I grow up, I want to marry a charming prince on a dashing horse, I want to live in a majestic castle and have gorgeous, well-behaved, blonde, blue-eyed babies, with dimpled smiles and winning personalities. I want to be beautiful, soft-spoken and cultured. I want long flowing locks and bejeweled gowns, rosy cheeks and a dazzling white smile. I want to pick flowers in my secret garden as I sing romantic songs about my enviable life in perfect tune. When I grow up.” This is what I imagined my life would be like when I was a little girl, give or take a few details. Thanks Walt.
Do I feel short-changed? Not really. In the real world, I married a prince who indeed manages to be occasionally charming, though also often irritating to the point of madness (or, alternatively, to the point of stabbing him repeatedly with a dull knife in the back), I live in a decently sized house (for Italy), though it’s only ours for another three years when the lease runs out. I have two gorgeous, occasionally well-behaved, blondish, brown-eyed, babies. No dimples, but great personalities that I haven’t managed to screw up completely, for now. I am neither beautiful, soft spoken nor cultured though I do invest quite a bit in books and cosmetics so one could consider me a work in progress. Flowing locks and bejeweled gowns are unfortunately not conducive to my lifestyle, so it’s short and easy to style and jeans and sweaters, but I do enjoy the glass slippers. Rosy cheeks and dazzling smiles can be bought, but the singing, I’ve realized, is annoying for all especially me. I kind of wish we had the dashing horse though.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Moving right along

Happy New Year and Happy Monday to all!
As we are wont to do at this time of year, and as  much of the blogosphere is doing, I too spent the past few days reading about and thinking about the last year, my life, and how to move forward, cause forward we must go.
And I realized a couple of things:
First of all, doing the year in review post forced me to go back and reread most of last year’s posts and let me just go ahead and apologize for all the whining. Because, seriously, I annoyed myself, so I can’t imagine how the rest of you kept reading! Which brings me to my first “resolution” (what, you really thought I wasn’t going to do them?), this year I’m going to try and take a long hard look at what upsets me and try to put it into perspective. Which brings me to the second thing I realized.
One of the comments to this post in the “Living with Leukemia” series really hit home and made me realize that what I dubbed The Worst Year Ever, really wasn’t. Because let’s be honest while December 2009 was indeed T.W.C.O.A.T (the worst Christmas of all time) cause the husband was diagnosed with leukemia and at the time the outlook was crappy cause he had one of the most aggressive forms of leukemia, one of the hardest to treat because it hit two cell types and blah, blah, blah, 2010 was in fact not a bad year at all. What? that’s not what you’ve been saying at all, Moomser, have you gone crazy? Well, I realized this very simple thing: the husband is here, and he’s better. So 2010 is most certainly not T.W.Y.E. because that would have entailed a scenario I’d rather not think about. So my second “resolution” is to hold on a second and think, think, think (as Pooh would say) before coming up with stupid generalizations and acronyms.
And this segues straight to the other thing I realized, which applies to both my life and my writing (cute, huh?). I need to review my adjectives. Last year was stressful, tiring, scary, irritating, sometimes terrifying, often exhausting cause it was sleepless and worrisome, and upsetting but it was not horrible, it was not “the worst”. And here’s the “resolution” remember to always look at the good that always counterbalances the bad, cause last year was also, beautiful, hopeful (as in really full of hope), amazing, fun and funny, and so many more adjectives that aren’t coming to me now. Because, and I didn’t really mention this enough in the past posts but we have the girl and the boy, and they made it all bearable, they made it all better.
So to recap, the husband is here, he’s better, he’s not great but he’s improving steadily every day. We’ve got two wonderful children that light up our lives. We’ve got food on the table, a roof over our heads and money for rent and stuff. I’ve got my health, my youth (yes, my youth), my beauty (shut up! This is one of those motivational posts, m’kay?!), and my sense of humor. We’re hanging on to our marriage, we’ve learned some important lessons, we’ve become better, stronger and hopefully kinder and more tolerant through them.
So hat’s off to you 2010, cause though you were a hard year, you were not a bad year, and you made us the better for it.