Tuesday, January 24, 2012


So January isn't quite over, and I have failed miserably on my one New Year's Resolution.  I could make excuses, and tell you that January hasn't been very kind.  I could whine about lots of things, but instead I will tuck my tail and apologize to the universe.  Life is too short to spend any of it feeling sorry for yourself.  My one goal for 2012 is to feel happiness and share it with others and I am doing a terrible job so far.   Here are the ways I suck...

More time with friends -- I have been a terrible friend this month.  I actually forgot that I was invited out to lunch yesterday.   I'm sure that made me look like a total bitch.  To those who I stood up, I truly am sorry.  I will talk to you in person too.  Please know that me missing out on it was a bigger punishment for me than it was for you.

More dates with my husband -- Well, dates are easier if you are in the same state, but even when we have been together I have been too whiny to be any kind of good company.  To my husband, I am sorry I haven't been better company.  I promise that we will have some quality time together very soon.

More fun time as a family -- Since I have spent a large portion of the past month moving from the couch to my bed and back again I am guessing my kids would say there hasn't been a lot of fun in our household. To my kids I am sorry, and I hope you'll give me a do over.  Giving you happy memories is the most important thing in my life.

More time to myself -- If you count laying in my bed then I have had more than my fair share of alone time this month.  However, it was not quality time either.  I apologize to myself for being such lousy company.  Even though I wasn't feeling well it is no excuse for laying around watching crappy TV for a month.

So there you have it.  My heartfelt apology to the world.  I will do better.
Even more important than the warmth and affection we receive, is the warmth and affection we give. It is by giving warmth and affection, by having a genuine sense of concern for others, in other words through compassion, that we gain the conditions for genuine happiness. More important than being loved, therefore, is to love. ~~ Dalai Lama

Sunday, January 15, 2012

My Life's Soundtrack Part 1

So it's been quite a rough week.  After Bear's meet I got very sick.  It started with a headache that wouldn't quit and ended with a diagnosis of pneumonia.  Curly is sick too.  She has bronchitis, and so we are both taking tone of medicine.  Bear is unhappy because we are both too tired to play.  John was out of town until Thursday then left again on Saturday night.  Even our cat is sick so I need to take her to the vet tomorrow.  So staying true to my resolution to be happy has been difficult. 

I decided that a fun blog post will help, and what is more fun than music.  I have had a strange and varied past when it comes to music.  I thought a trip down memory lane could be fun.

My first favorite song was "My Sharona" by The Knack.  I remember sitting on my bed next to my old am clock radio that I got from my Grandpa when he got a new one.  I would wait and wait for them to play the song.  I was only 7 when it came out, but I remember it so well.

From then on I don't have many specific memories for a few years.  I listened to pop music, and whatever came on the radio.

When "Thriller" was released I fell in love with Michael Jackson.  Of course I loved that album, but I ended up buying all his records.  I had just gotten a record player, and spent lots of time listening to his Off the Wall album.  "Rock With You" was my favorite song.

Around that same time I, like every other tween girl, discovered Madonna.  Once again, while my friends loved "Like a Virgin" I went for a less likely favorite.  "Lucky Star"  It's so funny when you consider the artist she eventually grew into, but I LOVED it.

Very soon after I found a new love WHAM!  More specifically George Michael.  I wanted to marry him.  Now I realize that he is so unbelievably gay, but I was only 12, and we didn't talk about that sort of thing then.  It's hard to say which song was my favorite. I loved pretty much every song they released.  However I am going to go with "Last Christmas" mostly because all the covers I heard this Christmas made me smile.

I also discovered Prince around the same time.  Once again I loved everything about him and his music.  My favorite has to be "When Doves Cry"  It was so different than anything I ever heard before.  It was so sexy, and I was at "that age"  I still believe that Prince is one of the best songwriters of all time.

Don't think I forgot about George Michael though.  When his Faith album came out I listened to nothing else for weeks.  It felt so rebellious to sing along to a song with the lyrics "I want your sex."  I was 14.  My favorite song was probably the title track.  Of course it helped that the music video showed a lot of George Michael's butt!

Then I got a boyfriend, and he was not a traditional guy.  He was into the Cure and since I was an insecure teenage girl I was into the Cure too.  Actually,  they arrived in my life at the perfect moment of teenage angst.  I would lock myself in my room for hours and listen to the cassette he had made me on my walkman.  In retrospect I am not sure how I escaped slitting my wrists, but I did.  Now I look back fondly at the more upbeat songs like "The Love Cats"

For the rest of high school I stuck to mostly pop. My best friend was into metal, but I never really got it.  The closest thing I liked was Def Leopard.  "Pour Some Sugar on Me" was really pretty poppy, but I think it still counts.

I almost forgot t one of my best memories from high school.  I was a band geek, and whenever we took a bus trip we would spend it singing.  We sang lots of current pop songs (like the aforementioned Def Leopard song), but every trip we would end up singing "Lean on Me." I know it is cheesy, but it makes me so happy to remember it.

So that is only the first half of my life, but it is a good stopping point for now.  Looking up all these favorites did the job for me; hope it brings some happiness to you as well!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Happy New Year 2012

I realize that it is Jan. 2 and so I am late in posting my annual resolutions post.  I have the perfect excuse though.  I was busy enjoying the new year.  I got to spend time with friends.  I had a lovely day alone with my amazing husband.  I got to hang out at home with my kids just lounging around and singing karaoke.  I even got a few hours alone just sitting in a book store.  Truly all those happy moments have shaped the resolutions I have decided on for this year, but first I need to recap this year.

First my resolutions from last year...
1. Nurture my family relationships
2. Nurture my soul
3. Nurture my relationship with the world
4. Nurture my body

I made some good progress on each of these goals.  I an especially proud of the first 2/3 of the year.  I am in better health than I was a year ago.  I wrote on the blog consistently, We took more field trips, I worked to reduce clutter in my home, and I most definitely remembered to be thankful for all my many blessings.  I never got around to learning meditation, and I still have trouble delegating, but otherwise I feel pretty successful in terms of my resolutions.

All in all 2011 was a good year.  We went to Florida in Jan., and although that trip involved some drama with my brother's family, a little Florida sunshine is always welcome in the middle of winter.  After that the winter passed quickly.  Bear's very busy and successful gymnastics season added excitement to the dreary winter, and we made some new friends through it too.  Because we ended up going tp Florida again in June our summer seemed far too short, but we tried to make the most of it.  We swam and went to parks.  The girls did a couple of drama camps, and it seemed like we visited 100 local carnivals.  Curly also got to spend time with a new friend who is the sister of one of Bear's teammates.  They have become great friends.  She also tried out for and made an elite dance team which brought even more new friends.

So that brings us through August.  This is when things seemed to go wrong.  We were over scheduled to be sure.  A necessary change in Bear's gymnastics schedule left us with activities on both Sat. and Sun.  Around the same time Bear started having her health issues which was very upsetting for me.  Then Curly had some issues with some friends, which ended well, but also stressed me out.  Before I knew it the holidays were in full swing, and I felt totally unprepared.  We ended up having a nice Christmas, but I never got fully in the spirit. 

So now it is 2012, and I have only one resolution.  I will be happy in 2012.  That's it.  I know it seems oversimplistic, and maybe it is.  John started me on the path.  He is reminding me to take my vitamin D every day.  Lack of sunshine makes me moody in winter, and so the vitamin D is worth a shot.  Research shows that exercise is also a great mood elevator.  As usual I will try to start and maintain a workout program.  My kids constant bickering is a definite downer for me.  I have a couple of ways to combat that this year too.  However, there is one simple path to happiness for me.  I must make time for the specific things that make me happy.  Which leads me back to the past couple days, and how great they were. 
  1. I need time with friends.  I am in a strange predicament because I have several distinct groups of friends.  This means that I need to make time to get together with at least 3 different groups.  Still I should be able to do that at least once a month.  There are people I have been missing simply because I haven't made seeing them a priority, and that needs to stop.
  2. I need more dates with my husband.  At least once a month we need grownup time. A nice meal without kids can be just the opportunity we need to remember how much we enjoy each others company.
  3. As a family we need to do more fun things.  Because our lives are so hectic we tend to veg out whenever we have down time, and that is ok.  But wasting all our free time on our computers doesn't help us bond.  The girls are growing up so fast. I can't help but worry that it won't be long before they don't want to do things with us.  For now we need to spend more time engaged with them.  They can help cook dinner, or we can play a game together.  Just quality time together (without them fighting or John and I getting easily aggravated) needs to be valued.
  4. I have struggled with this resolution for several years now.  I have wanted to put it on the list, but I feel guilty admitting how much I need it.  However, with the idea that my happiness will impact the happiness of those around me I am ready to put it down on paper.  I need some time to myself.  I think 4 or 5 hours once a month would be enough.  This time needs to be all at once, and it has to be separate from the time I devote to spending with others.  The time needs to be spent doing something I couldn't (or wouldn't) do with others.  I might shop for clothes, sit in a bookstore, or hang out in  coffee shop.
So there you have it.  I promise to make time for fun this year.