Friday, December 21, 2012

Another Other Side of a Year

Once upon a Blog I posted THIS.  Indeed a year and a half ago I wondered about things like this:

  Next year is sure to be rather momentous for all of us.  I can only hope that a year from now, I am again celebrating our strong bonds and our accomplishments!
Most of that post was about the kids - how they had changed after a year of college - their bonds, our bonds.  And I was contemplating the big move to Florida - would we survive as a family unit?

Now I am at the other side of a year and I think perhaps some of you are wondering how things are going. (Thank you Chitown Girl for hanging in there and checking in, even when I didn't respond....)

A little over a year ago when we all started contemplating Christmas plans for 2011, I was again stressing, terrified, stewing.  OK OK I was overanalyizing and obsessing (happy mom?!).  Would the kids feel comfortable in the "new" house?  How would they do when the Captain's kids came for Christmas?  How would they intermingle with the Captain's family?  Would it feel like Christmas?  Would they come....and would they ever come back.

I wrote the kids both a long email about the upcoming holidays 2011.  I laid it all out for them - how I felt about them, how important they were, but how I had to get on with my life, too.

They responded in a way that shocked me, but honestly it should not have.  They responded with love, with caring, and with a little bit of the Family Sarcasm, "Really mom?  You stress too much.  We love you.  We love the Captain.  It's all good."

The holidays were wonderful.  We took them sailing for New Year's Eve and Son, who has been sailing since 2 years old said, "This is the BEST sailing ever!"  Yes, the Captain is a bit more of a free spirit on the boat than my old family and I have to say, sailing is a lot of fun.

Spring break came, and so did the kids.  Lots of them.  Our tiny 3 bedroom beach house had 8 college kids (well mostly just 6, but one night we had some extras).  They shared one bathroom, did the towels, did the grocery shopping, shaped up one night when I ranted about the mess I was tired of coming home to after a long day at work, and generally we had a BLAST.
Fast forward to summer and where did Daughter opt to live?  In Sunny Florida with me!  Yes it was hard for her - her friends were in MD, she was lonely.  But she got a great job, her friends came to visit, we had a blow out week(s) of celebration when her brother, his girlfriend, and his best friend came for almost 2 weeks right before she went to spend the semester abroad.
Son then opted NOT to go back to school.  And where does he live?  Why right here with me in sunny Florida!  Yes he is bored many times.  But he found a job, has saved a signficant amount of money (no one to go play and party with!) and he has gotten his stuff together to go study abroad next semester just like Sister!!
This year the holidays again are at my house.  Their dad is a bit of a Grinch so they say.  And this year Son declared, "this Christmas is going to be the best ever.  It won't be all, 'Hey nice house Captain and nice to meet your son,' it will be 'Hey Forr Good to see you again I missed you!' and jokes and shopping with the Captain.  Great times mom!" 
Just days after Christmas, Daughter and Son will leave for dad's house.  I will see Daughter sometime in January to deliver the car she uses (she flies to his house, he drives her to school).  I will see Daughter in the spring for the annual Bridge Run.  Son will be off to Spain and I'm not sure when I'll see him.  They have both decided to take summer classes - he to catch up, she to add a couple more languages to her life (4 is not enough?!). 
The old me would have sweated the future, "When will I see them again?  Do they love me?  Do they regret this move?"  The new me knows unequivocally that my children and I share a very special, very strong bond.  We will weather any storm together.  And even if they live 1/2 way around the world, our hearts will always be together.
Yes indeed the other side of another year is looking very bright.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Don't Tell Me How To Grieve

We all have our own way of handling grief, responding to tragedy.  Don't tell me how to do it.

I am upset about Sandy Hook as is most of the world** and certainly most of the US.  I'm sad for the kids, for the parents, for the teachers, for the community. 

My way to handle grief is outrage.  My way to handle grief - after grieving for Columbine, Aurura, after living through the sniper shootings (yes that was my nieghborhood - my Ex was at that grocery store shopping the night it all began), this time I am doing more than crying.  This time I am outraged to the point of looking for ways to make a difference.  I want CHANGE.

No, I am not "taking advantage" of the grief to put forward my "political agenda."  I'm not defiling the graves of those innocent angels with my "political rhetoric."

Did you know some of the families of Newton hopped in their cars and drove to DC to voice their opinions about gun control?  Apparently I'm not the only one who is actively battling her grief.

So don't tell me NOT to post my opinion on facebook, or not to say/do anything "right now."  Don't tell me, "Now is not the time."  Maybe now is not the time for you.  And if it's not the time for you, I won't email you, talk to you, post to you about my grief and my concern.

Unlike you, I will respect that you will handle your grief in your way.

Let me handle mine in my way.

**I say "most of the world" because honestly, my daughter is in Spain right now living with a family and studying abroad.  The family is well educated, hosts exchange students regularly and has been very, very good to my daughter.  Their response to this tragedy?  "What's the big deal?  This is what happens in America.  It's how you treat each other."   

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The Obesity Conspiracy

 There is definitely a conspiracy to make America fat and it includes the vending machine at work.  No, not just that we have a vending machine, but the prices of what's inside.  Recently I've noticed that they have started to include healthier snacks like popped chips and baked chips. 

 But tell me WHY oh WHY are these $1.00

And the very same size of THESE: 50 cents??

I think they're trying to make us fatter so we'll buy the cheaper chips!

And don't even GO THERE as to why I'm at the vending machine.  I ate my fat free cottage cheese and my edememe.  But I ran 4 miles (in 37 minutes thankyouverymuch) and walked another 1 with the dogs this morning and dammit I'M HUNGRY.

So I got the baked ones which, fortunately, left me no money to buy a second bag.

Wait maybe that's why they're more expensive, only buying one bag.....

naaaaaaah would've been more fun to buy 2.


Back to the gym.