Yes, I am blogging at work (shhhhh....), but sometimes when the mood strikes, I can't concentrate on anything else.
I have not found much to be happy about this holiday season, as you already know if you've read my previous posts. An update on my brother and his wanderlust: he called me yesterday morning to inform me that he and his wife were forced to come back to town by December 30th because she has to work on the 31st. So I suppose I should be happy that she is one of the minority that will be working that day - otherwise, we would have been blown off for the entire holidays. And it gets better. Our marching orders are that as soon as they hit the Tonawanda city line, we are to congregate at "The Home" for a "Quick and Dirty" present exchange (his exact words). No dinner, no drinks, no living room pleasantries. As we are gathering in the living quarters of an Assisted Living Facility, I suppose some of us will be sitting on the floor. How incredibly festive.........
I am trying so hard not to let this be the last straw, so I have decided to engage in the time-honored tradition of counting my blessings. Here goes:
(1) I am married to a man who, even though he can be quite unevenly-tempered and can be a bit of a control freak at times, loves me unconditionally and makes me laugh harder and more often than anyone else in the world. He will bend over backwards for people who he doesn't even know that well, and he will walk through fire for people he knows. Our relationship has matured into one that places less and less value on material things and more emphasis on identifying the things that are really important and pursuing them. We will never be the picket fence grandparents. I like to think of us as following in the footsteps of Auntie Mame.
(2) I have a daughter who continues to amaze me and to exceed any expectation that I ever had for her. I was so afraid to let go of her last year because I was afraid that if she failed so far away from home, she might not recover. Not only has she not failed, she has blossomed into the most incredible and crazy-successful person. Sometimes I have to pinch myself because I can't believe she's mine. She is my daughter and my friend. (Yes, I think she is old enough for me to be able to say that!)
(3) I have an appreciation for all of the living creatures on Earth. I am the self-named "Crazy Cat Lady", and I love being this person. I think that cats are intelligent, individual personalities who are extremely loving and loyal to people who return that favor. I also find most cats to be breathtakingly beautiful, and I feel blessed that I can appreciate them and enjoy their presence in my life.
(4) Musical talent. I can't imagine what state of mind I would be in right now without music in my life. It permeates everything I do, every day. Even now, music plays in the background as I type. I also feel blessed that I am able to appreciate many different genres of music. I remember the debut of the Barry Manilow recording of "I Write The Songs" and how I felt incredibly superior even at the age of 11 or 12 because I was one of the few people I knew who really understood what that song actually meant.
(4) I have an occupation that allows me to pursue my passions. It, in and of itself, is not one of my passions, but that's ok. I have come to accept that I will never earn a living wage doing what I love to do. But I will die with a smile on my face.
(5) I've reconnected with my sister.... on Facebook.....after she moved to Kentucky without even saying goodbye to me. We've had more meaningful exchanges in the past 3 weeks than we did for ten years prior. Just one reason why I will always defend Facebook.
(6) I have a best friend who has been the miracle in my life. She sees things in me that nobody else does and she is not afraid to point them out to me..... again......and again...... and again, until I am able to accept them in myself. Meeting her was the turning point that meant the difference between a very sad and mediocre existence and a life that now seems very full of promise. She has captured the heart of my daughter and the respect of my husband. Most recently, my daughter said to me - "I love Gail because she has helped you to believe in yourself so that you can do the things that you've always wanted to do, and I can see how happy you are now." I think that quote says it all. I can only hope that I am, in some small way, returning the favor.
So, I guess what it all boils down to is that we must continually strive to value the good things that are right in front of our faces and endeavor to let go of that which would never really be ours without a lot of struggle. Not that there aren't things out there that are worth struggling for. I'm just not sure anymore that "family unity" is a realistic goal for me. There are so many qualities of the show "Sex and the City" that I love, but this is probably my favorite quote because it sums up everything that the show was about:
"The most important thing in life is your family. There are days you love
them, and others you don't, but in the end they're the people you
always come home to. Sometimes it's the family you're born into and
sometimes it's the one you make for yourself."
Crazy Cat Lady