Saturday, January 28, 2012

status report

So last time I posted it was about my year of growth.  Time to measure up and be transparent on my progress towards those things.  You all have to keep me honest, keep me looking forward.  Sometimes it's tough keeping my head up.

And here's the list:

I picked up an additional night of pool in an effort to bring up my game a bit.
      Okay, played my first week.  I was nervous as heck even though I know my teammates.  Too much pressure on myself but I know I'll settle down.

I will start going to the driving range and get my swing on.
     Fail.  But I'm going to cut myself some slack on this one.  It IS winter (ssshhhh - don't look at the weather in the SF Bay Area as of late because it hardly feels like winter.)

I will exercise more. 
     Fail.  No excuses.  Oh well.

I will write more.
     Fail, although I will say that I have been practicing better writing habits.  In fact, the other night when I was trying to drift off to sleep I had a post whirling around in my thoughts.  Instead of being lazy, I grabbed my notebook and wrote it out.  Even in draft form I liked it.  It was abstract and poetic, not my typical style but one which I'd like to explore.  Unfortunately I took the notebook with me on an errand today and misplaced it!  At least I have good intentions.  Working on it.

I will read more.
     Sort of.  I've been picking up the pace in general with more free time but haven't increased since this last post.

I will have time to be available for those who might need me.
     Yes!  Tonight I am having one of my oldest and dearest friends over to toss back a few and relax in the hot tub.  It's not just me having a bad time. 

I will focus on my career.
      Not sure I have much choice on this one.  I've been going about 100 mph and I don't see any signs of it slowing down. 

I will get some new clothes to help me look good and feel better about myself - one article a month.  (I already did a little shopping spree!)
     Okay - I'm not counting January because I did my initial shopping spree the day before New Year's Eve.  February is right around the corner and my personal stylist (yes, I do have one!) sent me an email the other day asking what I had in mind.  This is such a trip.  I've never done anything  like this.  And, for the record, my personal stylist is someone I know from a bar I frequent.  I'm not that posh.

I will purge and reinvent and learn. 
     This is a bit vague.   I definitely haven't purged like I need to.  I guess I am in the process of reinventing myself and that will just take time.  As for learning, I am definitely learning more about myself and it's a good thing - if I can handle it.


On a completely separate note, my last post was my 100th!  I don't really pay attention to my stats but when I went to write this one, my summary page said 100 posts.   I actually clicked the new post button before it registered and I had to go back for the double-take.  I started this mainly because I wanted to participate in the blogging community.   I had been reading blogs for awhile, first foodie and then writers and moms.   The community was supportive and friendly and convenient.  I wanted a piece of that.  Now I write more for myself but I'm glad to be here with all the friendship and support.  Now I just need to remember to renew my domain name!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


I've seen lots of posts over the past week.  Most are reflecting on the past year or choosing a particular word or phrase to define their new year.   Personally I'd like to pretend that the year 2011 never existed so I think I need to look forward, but a word on the first 11 days.

I rang in the New Year alone.  It seems very appropriate considering the year I have in front of me.  On one hand it was perfect, on the other it was depressing.  Immediately following the new year (January 2nd) was my nineteenth wedding anniversary - now a hollow and meaningless day. 

The first work week of 2012 ended with my primary project getting pulled.   This was disappointing on a number of levels.  I enjoyed the project and the project team.  The work was new and varied, significantly complicated and really kept me busy (which I desperately need).  It also meant that I would not be able to travel back east on the company's dime depriving me of a visit with my sister and father that I hoped to squeeze in.

January 9th marked the 10th anniversary of my mother's death.  Every year I always think it's going to be notable.  Most years it is not and this one was no exception.  The thing is, I feel her loss every single day.  The passage of time is irrelevant.  The sadness doesn't go away, the pain doesn't lessen.  I have simply learned how to push the sadness down and away.  It works for me.  My therapist might disagree.

But enough of all that.  It is, after all, a new year.  In the spirit of my "life is how you look at it" attitude, I'm going to focus on the positives. 

My life is what it is and I have to make the most of it.  I have to get used to having an entire week where I have nothing to do except what I want or need to do.  There will be no kids to feed, reprimand or bathe.  No homework to monitor.  No arguments to referee.  No dinner to cook if I don't feel like it.  It's really quite an odd feeling.  All this free time after 16+ years of doing stuff for everyone else.

Therefore, 2012 will be my year of growth.

I picked up an additional night of pool in an effort to bring up my game a bit.

I will start going to the driving range and get my swing on.

I will exercise more.

I will write more.

I will read more.

I will have time to be available for those who might need me.

I will focus on my career. 

I will get some new clothes to help me look good and feel better about myself - one article a month.  (I already did a little shopping spree!)

I will purge and reinvent and learn.  I (almost) have a blank slate.  I can make myself what I want to be.  Bring on 2012.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

i'll tell you what i did

It's a new day.  It's a new year.  Really it's a new life or will be soon for me.  I could be all dark and dreary about how awful 2011 was for me.  Or, I could sit and try to pull out any strands of silver to line that cloud.  Or I could just tell you how I spent my New Year's Eve and maybe you can tell me how you spent yours.

But first I will begin by telling you the traditional New Year's Eve.  Tradition had lots of people coming to our house, kids in tow, overnight bags in hand.  We would laugh and drink, half watch the random NYE special on the big screen.  Little ones would run around and play like mad - even they could feel the excitement in the air.

At 9 pm, we'd call up friends and family on the East Coast and do teleshots.  (Teleshots, in case you're wondering, are where we're all on speaker phone toasting and drinking a shot of whatever our favorite flavor happens to be.)   We would munch on the table full of treats, some homemade, some bought.  We would crack more beers, open more wine and have a few more toasts. 

At some point we'd gather the little ones in the master bedroom.  We'd setup the bean bag chairs and sleeping bags and pop a movie in the TV.  Little little ones would be put to bed in one of the front bedrooms and the rest would be allowed to stay up til midnight for the celebration, as long as they behaved. 

Shortly before midnight I'd scramble to find enough champagne glasses, and there never were enough.  Corks would pop and glasses filled.  Even the little ones had their sparkling apple cider.  When the clock struck midnight, "Happy New Years!" would be shouted, hugs and kisses making the rounds, adults and children alike.  Glasses would clink as we would drink our sips of spirits.  Music would blast and we'd all get our boogie on, at least for a few songs.

At some point soon thereafter most of the kids would be put to rest.  The hot tub would be fired up, if not already, and the night would continue on.  I remember several years of being up til 4 am.  But eventually we'd all crash.

The morning would start with someone staggering to the coffee maker and getting a pot on.  People would trickle out of their sleep and join those of us already awake gathered around the center island in the kitchen.  The guys would make their way to the living room in front of the big screen and put some movie on - usually one of the Lord of the Rings or Star Wars. Sometimes a game of Risk would be played instead.  The girls would tend to the kids, making them breakfast as we'd clutch our coffee.  The hot tub would be fired up again and perhaps a mimosa, bloody mary or two would be consumed.  Somewhere around whenever, people would eventually make their way out the door, invariably leaving something behind.  And the clean up would begin.

These memories are golden.  I cannot think about them without a feeling of warmth and smile upon my face.  For me, there could not have been a better way to ring in the new year.  Until this year.  This year I did something totally different.  Many people thought I was crazy but it just seemed like the right thing for me.

This year I farmed out the kids to their friends' houses.  The going-to-be-ex left on Thursday and went up to Tahoe for the weekend.  And I stayed home alone.

In the afternoon I watched three movies.  None were particularly good and, in fact, I dozed off during one of them.  Later on, I opened up my laptop and chatted online with some friends.  Feeling slightly cheery I pulled out a bottle of champagne I found tucked in the back of the garage fridge.  I simultaneously sipped and chatted, watched movies and then read.   I think I was asleep before 11:00 pm.  Definitely not the traditional NYE but it was pretty much perfect and exactly what I needed.

To all of my friends near and far, Happy New Year!  

What did you do for NYE?  Was it your norm?  Was it better or worse?  Do you have traditions that you could imagine skipping?