The sunday Edition

Finally, snow, the air filled with tiny swirling flakes and the road covered and a solitary track of some brave soul stretching down the road.  It isn’t bad, the snow, and probably won’t amount to much, but it is finally here, covering up the drab browns and grays and making the world look just a little brighter and cleaner.  I slept in until the unheard of hour of 8:20, so am just now sipping my coffee and sitting here in my pajamas, with the lights on the tree twinkling in the corner of my eye.  It is a good morning, the kind that reminds me that no matter what the outside circumstances are, no matter how they might get me down and make me weary, underneath it all I have such a rich life.

I remember this time last year, when we were all very much shattered, walking around in a daze and trying only to get through each day, and I realize how different things are this year.  So, we don’t have any more money, or even less money than we did last year, but we are strong and whole and together in a way were simply not able to be last year; how then can I look at my life and say that nothing has changed?  Everythinghas changed.  This time last year, well, I would hear Hannah crying in her room and feel as if she would never recover, and this year, I hear her laughing on the phone with her boyfriend or fighting with her brothers and doing such normal, exasperating teenaged things that the mind fairly boggles.  This time last year, things between Steve and I were so precarious and I was so worried, knowing that the only thing  I could do was sit back and let life and consequences happen to him; all I wanted was to be able to spend Christmas with him, you know?  And this year, he is here in my home, this  home and family we are trying to create together; this is something I never thought would happen, so how can I say that nothing has changed?

I can’t and won’t apologize for my feelings of despair last week (and I don’t believe that anyone is asking me to, let me clarify that.  I am loved and supported so much, by all of you readers and my real-life friends.  Just wanted to clarify that), nor can I guarantee that I won’t feel them again.  I don’t think any one of us could say that life isn’t really, really hard sometimes; sometimes I just feel so beaten down and I get weary of the fact that it is so hard to simply survive, to have the stress of trying to make ends meet every single month, and yes, it hurts deeply.  But-there is much good, too, and while I have never forgotten that, sometimes it seems sometimes the harsh reality makes the good fade some.  Not disappear, but seem less accessible.

But today is a good day.  We are, in fact, going to the party for his dad’s side of the family tomorrow, and I have mixed emotions about that-but I will walk in knowing in my heart that if they had to deal with a fraction of the things we have, they would cave-and I don’t mean that in a mean way, but in acknowledgement of the strength of my own family.  Also, they all do have large amounts of money, but I don’t know how many of them are truly happy (and aside, though: I know other people who DO have money, lots of it, and they manage to be happy and content and genuinely kind regardless; money can either be a tool or a weapon, depending on what goes on inside a person), and I think that on the whole, we are-and that is something I can be so glad of even amongst the sidelong glances.  I am going to walk in with all these kids and know that each one of my kids is loved and guided and disciplined and are good kids-and I will not let them make me feel as if my kids are a liability.

And for the rest of the day, well, I just don’t know.  At some point I will finish my coffee and take a shower, and I haven’t done any housework all weekend so I suppose I might need to do that.  No matter what I do today, though, I am going remember my center and recall all of the good things my life has to offer, and keep moving forward.

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If Money Were Not An Issue….

Cat over at Young Old Crone was writing this morning about what her ideal holiday(s) would be if money were not an issue…and while I don’t really know what that would mean to me in my wildest dreams, well, here is where I would start:

Want to help someone who really, really needs it?  Go check out Karen Sugarpants.  We all (okay, I) feel like things are rough for us, but you know what?  I am so blessed, and I have been where this woman Karen talks about IS, and I sat here at my desk and wept when I read this post.  It is cold, and I-well.  I don’t even know this woman, but I know her.  If any of you find yourself with an extra $10, send it her way.

Also, Heather over at The Extraordinary Ordinary was writing about these beautiful bags made by women in Haiti, and although I can’t describe the situation as well as SHE did by far, I know the bags are beautiful and each purchase serves toward lifting some woman out of poverty and into independence.

I don’t know how many of you use MyPoints, but did you know that you can donate your points to the Red Cross?  Or you can look in your area for a blood bank and donate blood. 

Maybe it doesn’t seem very Christmasy, because there isn’t something tangible to give or get, but have you thought about becoming an organ donor?  If you need to know more about becoming a donor, here is one website that gives you both a wealth of information about organ donation, and also ways to help.  Check it out at United Network for Organ Sharing, or visit Hallie over at Wonderful World of Wieners.

Also, prompted by my own needs, we will be going through our closets and drawers this weekend and culling out our unworn or outgrown items and donating them.  I know that locally, there are a variety of different organizations accepting donations right now, and Freecycle is also a great place to find someone needing what you surely have. One thing I have done in the past is also put a gift card in the pocket of an adult clothing item, or in an envelope in the top of the box.  If you prefer to remain anonymous, check your local charities or get a tag off a gift tree at your local store or bank.  Since we already cooked and ate a 28 pound turkey I bought while feverish and ill, we will be donating the turkey I got from my boss to our local Christmas council. 

I would presume that most of the people reading this post have hands, and a heart, and the ability to do good work; I don’t know about the rest of you, but I know that what I need far more than toys or presents or anything like that is simply knowing I am not alone.  And maybe it seems paltry in comparison to everything else, but that is what I am going to give back-because you guys?  You give that to me every single day.  So I will smile more, and offer to help where I can, and simply be present.

As for the rest?  Well, hell, who knows?  Oh-NOT true; I think I would take my kids to Disneyland and meet April and HER kids.  Then, I would take Steve and go to this place, or somewhere like it.

What would YOU do?