For some folks I know, 2014 has been a rough one and for others, their best year ever. Ain't it fun, the lovely roller coaster that is this life thing.
As always, I am disappointed that my life is not following the path I was told it would and should in the movies and books and TV shows. And, as always, I am relived that my life is not following the path I was told it would and should in the movies and books and TV shows. Yet another year of transition; working through stages five and six in the stages of grief; good ol’ depression and acceptance
But, as we move into the New Year, I am fascinated to find myself less fearful and more curious with what is to come. I am thinking that is a much better way to live life.
This growing up stuff has a way of sneaking up on you.
Happy New Year, all!
Husband and I have never had a traditional marriage, or even a traditional courtship. We met online and got married eight months later in a drive-thru in Vegas. As our wedding announcement said, it was only “Twenty-five dollars to meet. Twenty-five dollars to marry. A lifetime of happiness = priceless.”
Even our gift giving has not been traditional. Gifts tend to be practical from him and bizarre items that aren’t off his “list” from me. Other couples I know give/get jewelry but that has never been a gifting norm for us. He did have a necklace made for me just after we met but that was a total anomaly.
We both wear the same titanium wedding bands that we bought online for $99 and, since he never proposed, I don’t have an engagement ring. I count the necklace he had made for me as my engagement ring. In fact, the truth is, Husband believes that if it doesn’t plug in or turn on, it’s not a gift. The closest he’s come to giving me jewelry since we’ve been married was a few years ago when Apple upgraded/recalled their iPod mini and made them small enough to be worn on a watch band. That year, I got a bright green watchband to host the iPod mini.
Add to this gift-giving oddity, because our birthdays are so close to Christmas, Christmas for us is not really a gift holiday, our birthdays are the big gift day.
This year for Christmas he spent (Thank you Amazon points) a whopping $2.99 on a digital watch in bright green from China. Let me tell you, that $2.99 was quite a bargain since the watch tells you the future time, gaining minutes ever hour. And, since the rock-bottom price was so tempting, he also bought himself one and now we play, “WHAT TIME IS IT NOW?” with each one. If we’re looking for the current time, his watch always wins. If we’re looking for the time in some other country, mine might actually be right – if you change the country each time you look, that is.
I got a bit sidetracked here, as usual. I was talking about nontraditional gifts. This year on the birthday gifting front, Husband outdid himself.
I’m currently writing this IN my office /studio that Husband “gave” me for my birthday. And by gave, I mean, busted his butt and finished the floor Christmas night, cleaned up the room and set up my tool chest so that on my birthday morning, I could go downstairs and start filling it up with my stuff. And, if that weren’t enough, he bought me (Thank you again Amazon points) a few tools to use to make my various art pieces out of the stuff he calls trash.
BEST GIFT EVER.
I now get to pull my things out of the boxes they’ve been living in for two years and put them about my space and feel whole again. And he gets to complain that I have “too much stuff “and it’s “all junk” and “Why does your crap have to be everywhere?” BUT since it’s my space, I don’t have to do anything but smile.
Now the question becomes, will this space enable me to finish all the things brewing in my mind? Maybe. Maybe not. All I know is that I feel like I have a space to breathe again, and that, dear friends, is the best gift of all!
The end of every year brings about an evaluation of my past self and a want, a wish, a goal for my future self. As my day of birth is just before the end of the year, I think I get extra intense about the introspection and overly optimistic about the possibilities for change.
Or I did. Now I’d like to think I have gotten more realistic about what I’m capable of within a given year and more aware that what matters to me and my self-growth isn’t always what the masses choose to attempt. Weight loss, for example, isn’t something that drives me. It’s something I should do, especially if I don't want to buy new clothes, but don’t want to do so it doesn’t make the list anymore.
A few years ago, I realized I was living in fear of things. I didn’t try new things because everything scared me. I spent the year trying to do things that terrified me. Riding a roller coaster, flying a very small two-person plane, sharing my poems with a friend, all things that kept me up at night and not one of them killed me. And I learned a lot about myself, and not just that I can scream very, very loudly.
This year, I’d like to focus on truth. I’d like to spend the year actively working on being honest. Why? Well, because I’ve come to realize I lie. I lie a lot.
And by a lot, I don’t’ mean “I don’t know why he’s dead and why my fingerprints are on the bloody knife.” kind of lies. More like the little white lie to the waiter as I’m choking down my dry chicken, “Oh no. Everything tastes great!” Or there's “Yes. I did find everything I was looking for.” lie to the checkout girl as she rings up everything I’ve put in my cart but the one thing I came in for that I couldn’t find or they didn’t have. Or, “No, it doesn’t bother me that you said that thing or didn’t say that thing that’s left me sobbing in the corner.”
Well, no more. I’m going to spend this next year being truthful. I’m going to cut down on the little white lies and live a more honest – at least with myself – life.
My goal isn’t to hurt anyone. I’m not planning to go around telling people they do look fat in those jeans or that their song and their singing sucked or I hate their stupid face. I am in the South after all. We can say all that with a smile and a simple "Bless your heart." No, I’m just going to try and think before I automatically respond. I'm just going to try and say what I really mean, what I really think, be who I really am inside my weird little head.
Now, is this going to change my life? I don’t know. I can only hope that it makes me more aware of who I am and what I’m saying. And maybe, just maybe, I will spend less time thinking, “I should have said…” and regretting that I didn't and spend more time just breathing.
Happy day of birth to me!
Opened up Facebook last night and got the BEST BIRTHDAY WISH/POST/GREETING EVER!!!
I mean, what could top that???
And sure, I could explain the backstory that led my friend - a woman I've not actually met - to think of me and opened bottle of KY lubricant at the same time but why? Why spoil the perfect post with details?
I can't read it and not Laugh. Out. Loud.
Last night I threw Husband a birthday party. Actually, “threw” and “party” are not really the right words for what I did. Throwing a party implies invitations and themes and party platters and mood lighting and origination. Like I am about life, I’m a passive aggressive party planner. I just invited folks via Facebook messenger to show up at the bar he was playing at and wear stupid hats I bought at the dollar store if they wanted. See, not really “threw a party. “But, despite my passive aggressive, very non-party planning plan, it had the same effect on him as if I had done actually thrown him a party. HE HATED IT! So much so that when we’d said goodnight to everyone and loaded his loot up into the car, he turned to me and said, “Don’t ever do that again.” Not in a mean way at all. In a tortured, angsty way, “this is the worst thing you could have done to me” way.
It was awesome.
Why? Well, because I am the type of person who will go out of my way to get the grumpy checkout girl to smile. I feel great joy when I can eeak a smirk out of a driver in traffic. It makes my day when I get people standing in line with me to snort at a joke. And Husband, Husband is grumpy the entire month of December so getting a smile out of him – even if it’s forced because people are singing to him – is a win.
So was watching him sing his pretty songs while wearing not one but two birthday hats made my night. And seeing him actually eating the cake the lovely hostess of the writer’s night made him, something his food issues prevent him from normally doing, was a joy to watch. And sneaking peaks at him while he chatted with our Nashville friends, new friends who showed up to wish him a happy birthday and tease him about his angst made me giddy. And I couldn’t stop laughing when I caught him wincing as the other writers sang him happy birthday. I enjoyed myself so dang much – almost as much as he HATED IT!
The thing that’s so neat about his friends is that they get him. All the weird quirks and funky sense of humor, they get that. His buddies from Scotland – new friends to us – gave him this so he can make himself chips -
How funny is that? A gift of Scotland; deep-fried chips. Chips they offered to come over and actually make them for him but because of his eating issues, she made a comment that she’d have to cook them while wearing gloves and that she “wasne` gonnae do that!” Hence the fixings for chips AND instructions on how to make them. Hysterical.
Another friend made him fudge – and gave the box to me because she knows he can’t eat it but she’s ever hopeful he will. How awesome is that? I love how they all love him for him.
Anyway, a good night! Good fun and someone else's angst make life worth living.
On a totally unrelated note, I decided to cut my hair yesterday. As friend of mine would say, I got a wild hare – pun intended. I used a lip-gloss as a measuring stick and pulled each twist up along side it and cut off the bits past the ends. Very scientific. Very much not the way to cut your hair – no matter what kind you have. Especially when you forget that springy Afro hair that is long and droopy when pulled out gets much, much shorter when it bounces back. Much. MUCH. Shorter. (I was going to post a picture of the hair no longer on my head but no matter the angle, the pile looked like some kind of creepy bug so no picture will follow. You're welcome.)
And so that makes BEST thing about the party for Husband, that the two party hats on my head distracted him from the bad haircut. Win WIN!
My name is ej. I'm a girl. I say that because with the short hair and the short initials, folks aren't always sure. More brilliant insights to who I am in About me