Friday, December 31, 2010

Say, "WHEN"

I haven't quite gotten the concept of when to say, "When."  It's that thing you're supposed to say when someone is filling up your cup or plate.  As it gets to the point where you want them to stop pouring or spooning the item, you simply say "When."  It's a great concept when it's food or drink.  But I find it doesn't work so well when applied to other areas of my life.

Last year I had a list of New Year's Resolutions that I was completely stoked about!  I was feeling more positive than ever, so I just went crazy.  What was I thinking?  I looked back on them a few weeks ago.  There were eleven. Yes, eleven.  Ten would have been a nice round number.  But eleven?  Talk about setting yourself up for failure.  When the number of your New Year's Resolutions is great than or equal to the first double-digit prime number, you need to learn to say "When." 

There were eight "healthy" items on the list.  There were three creative items.  I failed at all the healthy ones.  I managed to complete two on the creative side.  Creatively, I was successful.  Kudos to me!  I completed two resolutions.  (Let's not discuss the other nine.)

So this year I came into this venture with one resolution that was a bit of a joke!  In fact, so much of a joke that I'm not sure I want to blog about it.  Let's just say it involves one particular person in my life (who I adore) and alcohol.  In many ways, although a silly resolution, it would be an easy one to fulfill.  I should have stopped there. 

But then I got to thinking (which was my first mistake).  What if I combined a little bit of wellness with the creativity?  I was thinking about the possibilities when a friend sent me an e-mail about The Brave Girls Club and their upcoming Soul Restoration. Brave Girls Club is a community for women everywhere who want to do big things, overcome difficult things, and believe in doing things with kindness.  It was founded by two sisters, Melody Ross and Kathy Wilkins.  Melody was the founder of one of my favorite paper companies, Chatter Box.  They have what look like fabulous retreats in Idaho which are booked solid all of the time.  But they have this upcoming Soul Restoration program which is a six-week on-line session which begins on January 11th. So I signed up.  At this point, I should have said, "When."

Facebook is just a bevy of information! I happened upon something else called Big Picture Classes.  Big Picture Classes is a worldwide community of creative teaching and learning. There are on-line workshops and self-paced sessions.  And just perfect . . . wasn't there a session that was geared toward wellness.  With just three days to spare, I managed to sign up for Wellness Journey - a six week workshop starting on December 29th.  With a click of several buttons, I was enrolled.

I'm feeling a little overwhelmed now.  I have these commitments to creativity, wellness, soul restoration, exercise, eating right . . . and, here again, I had another opportunity to say . . . "When!"

Oh, but a friend then said, "I'm signing up for some classes on finishing quilts."  Great!  I have quilts that need to be finished.  I have quilts that need to be started.  Do I dare discuss the "college" quilt.  Great mother that I am, I made a beautiful quilt for my daughter Tracy a few weeks into her first year of college.  I had planned to do the same for Kelly.  I started, ran into a snag, and never finished.  So I started another, but got busy.  Kelly has now graduated from college.  I need to finish a quilt for that girl.  So I signed up for a class on binding quilts and machine quilting.  Here I go again.  "When!" 

I'm keeping my resolutions to three, and that includes the silly one.  They are (in no particular order):

1 - I need to work on wellness, and that includes body, mind and spirit.  So I will complete these workshops that I've sign up for, and will try my best to keep up with NOT JUST THE CREATIVE PARTS, but the wellness portions as well.  This will be my toughest of the three. 
2 - I need to complete some of the quilting projects that are started, but not finished.  So I will take those classes, and I will finish at least one quilt.
3 - Here comes the silly one.  I am not one to drink a lot of alcohol.  In fact, I have probably done more drinking in the last three years then I have in my entire life.  I must be making up for my goody-two-shoes teenage years, or the fact that I didn't go to wild and crazy college parties.  However, that said, there have been a couple of occasions where I have found myself calling a designated driver, admittedly not walking a straight line.  It's a side of myself that is somewhat foreign, but each and every time it has happened, I am always with this one awesome person in my life. It's gotten to the point where my husband, upon hearing that I've had a few too many, has said, "Oh . . . I know who you were with."  The resolution . . . I need to have a few too many with someone other than my favorite person to have a few too many with!  It won't be nearly as much fun, but I can do it just once to remove the stigma that she is a bad influence on me.  I can be my own bad influence at the ripe old age of 49, and I promise to know when to say "When!"

So that's it.  As I write this, I am about four hours from 2011.  Hopefully there will be no time for me to sign up for any additional on-line ventures in the next couple of hours.  


Friday, December 24, 2010

Passing Down the Magic

It's that crazy magical time of year.  It is magical because good old St. Nicholas is hard at work throughout the land.

I miss the Christmas magic of when my girls were younger.  I envy those who have young children.  When you have children, you see the magic firsthand.  How easily I recall reactions to the broken pieces of cookies and the notes that Santa left.  I remember the hoof prints in the snow.  I remember broken carrots and bits of reindeer feed that fell from the roof to the back deck.  I especially remember the time that one gift never made it down the chimney, but landed instead on the roof.  Santa was a busy guy.  

Once upon a time there were two little girls sitting at a breakfast bar, having some cereal before school.  The younger of the two girls questioned whether there really was a Santa Claus.  The older of the two girls responded in a very matter of fact manner . . . "Kelly, think about it.  Do you really think that mom and dad would buy us a bunch of toys?"

Just a few days later, Santa brought American Girl Dolls with accessories for both girls.  The girls had been perusing the catalog for months and didn't know if even Santa would be able to come through.  They were high price items.  But that man has all the moves.  If only we would have had enough money to buy all of those gifts for our children.  Tee hee!  

 It has been 16 years since the American Doll Christmas.  For me, Christmas is about family and friends.  It is about making contacts and reaching out to people.  Christmas is also about tradition, and tradition runs deep!  On the tree . . . real or artificial?  For our family, the tree depends upon the mood.  Some years it is artificial.  This year it is real!  On the lights . . . white or colored?  The lights on our tree are always colored, and my family knows that if there aren't at least 500 lights on the tree - that's a minimum of 500 - mama won't be happy.  I like my twinkly lights!  I think about Kathleen Kelly (yes, "You've Got Mail") who while facing adversity in her business as they approached the holidays announces that she's putting up more twinkle lights.  If only twinkle lights were the answer to everything.

Does Santa wrap, or does Santa not wrap?  At our house, he never wrapped.  He just brought the toys and left them in front of the gifts that the family had wrapped.  And how does he know that it changes from one house to another.  He's just an amazing guy.

Gift opening on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day?  Well that's easy.  Everyone opened brand new pajamas every Christmas Eve.  Gift opening was always on Christmas Day.  Just try suggesting to my adults girls that we open on Christmas Eve.  It's met with much negativity.

Christmas is also about passing down the magic.  I consider myself a success.  The magic has been passed down this Christmas.  There are balloons "under" my tree.  One says, "Mom, pop me!"  The other says, "Dad, pop me!."  Inside are our gifts from the girls.  Doesn't matter what they are . . . it only matters that the magic has been passed down.

Count your blessings, one by one.  Make it magical.  Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

I Know Why They Whisper

I always wondered about the whispering that goes on behind me at events that my husband and I go to . . . hockey games, the movies, plays, or concerts.  Sometimes people will get up and move.  And yes, I know my husband is tall, but how bad can it be.

So there I was at Madison Square Garden.  My seat was killing my knee, so I decided to move to another seat where I had a little leg room.

A quick cell phone call to my husband . . . "Rick, there is a seat right in front of me.  I'm in section "blah, blah, blah."

Minutes later, this is my view of the game!