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Archive for December, 2011

525,600 minutes

I don’t generally make a huge deal about the flip of the year, but it is an easy time for a little reflection. Shall we?

2011 was rough for several of my friends, and I know they are happy to see it exit. I’ve had a year like that myself. 2008 was not so affectionately known in my world as The Year of Suck. And when 2009 hit the books, the best thing I could say about it was that it wasn’t 2008. 2010 brought some amazing milestones, like buying my house and finding Ruby and parting ways with my cursed BMW in exchange for the superiffic Optimus Prime, but it had some really, really awful times, too, including the devastating end of a friendship. So it was with mixed feelings that I showed 2010 the door.

Where are we now….I still think it’ll be 2014 before we get to the Year of Wendy, but 2011 was a step in the right direction for me personally: nothing really bad happened. J And I will take that. Sometimes status quo is a wonderful thing. I feel kind of boring, and I like it.

I did take the best vacation ever this year, a week in Ireland. I didn’t know you could be homesick for a vacation destination until now. My philosophy has always been to keep going to new places until I’ve seen everything (ha!), but I desperately want to go back to Ireland. The trip also brought the epiphany that I need to reorganize my priorities so I can travel like that more often.

Also this year, someone from one of those bad times mentioned above reached out to….apologize. Or something. But it helped alleviate a lot of anger I’d been carrying around, so we’ll take that, too.

I do set a few resolutions every year, and I’m trying to keep them less grandiose and more specific and realistic this time. That way I’ll feel like less of a grandiose failure when I forget about them. But something I enjoy even more than that is a new tradition my twin sister and I started last year. (For the record, she is neither my twin nor my sister.) Last January 1, we sat on my living room floor and wrote down the things that we wanted to let go of, then set them free in my fireplace. It felt really good, so we’re doing it again this year. Plus, you know, it’s fun to burn things.

My New Year’s wish for you (and for me): that 2012 brings nothing but happiness and laughter and health and good times. And a financial windfall. Yeah, that’d be good.

Two more years. Year of Wendy. Prepare yourself. J

(Random blogging observation…I have a really hard time writing without emoticons….)

Just because

Too much ickiness. This is the opposite of that.

I am a diehard Facebooker, but I love this commercial ridiculously a lot. Because I’m a diehard Muppet lover, too.

Into the heavy stuff…..

The briefest amount of background for people not around these parts: a 9-year-old girl was murdered by a family friend. The mother was sick and the girl and her two sisters had been staying with the friend for a number of days before the murder.

Here is what is weighing on me (other than all the obvious things about the horrible nature of the crime, which is so gruesome I can’t even think about it). A lot of people are posting about it on Facebook, and there seems to be a heap of guilt being thrown at the mother. I have seen a number of comments about bad parenting, bad decisions, the children not being protected from this monster. (Make no mistake – I agree that he’s a monster. And he apparently confessed, so I feel ok judging HIM prior to his conviction.)

None of us knows anything about the specifics of this woman’s situation, so we aren’t in any position to be condemning. I know people are trying to make sense of this and trying to reassure themselves that it can’t happen to THEM. I saw one post that this is why she never leaves her children with anyone she’s not related to. Um. What? That’s what makes this so scary. Child molesters, rapists, murderers – typically they are people you KNOW. Your neighbor, your friend, your spouse, someone from church. They don’t look like monsters. They don’t have a big “X” on their foreheads. And how many people are doing criminal background checks on their friends? Seriously?

I’m not a parent and I can’t pretend to know what it’s like. But the idea that people shouldn’t rely on friends, that parents shouldn’t ask for assistance when they need it, that trusting people who aren’t blood relatives is somehow wrong and that this woman is to blame for the tragedy that happened to her family makes me ill. She already has to live with this for the rest of her life; she doesn’t need the rest of the world blaming her. Let’s not be in such a rush to damn her.

I know it’s scary to be powerless. It would be so much easier to make sense of tragedies like these if there were someone to blame, if we could believe that this can only happen to someone who has made a mistake. We don’t want bad things to happen to good people. But sometimes they do. And sometimes there is no reason why, or if you’re a person of greater faith than I am, we can’t understand that reason.

I am not suggesting parents don’t need to be vigilant. Things get scarier around here (Earth) every day. But how about if our initial knee-jerk reaction is compassion for the survivors instead of blame?

Peace

“The holidays are hard.”

You hear that all the time. Especially for people who are sad or lonely or divorced or widowed or sick or some other life-altering thing. We see it in the movies all the time, so it must be true.

Even so, I was surprised (and felt appallingly like a cliché) when a gloomy cloud settled over me the first Christmas after my divorce. After all, I’m Jewishy – it’s not my holiday. Yet, I felt displaced. I no longer had any holiday traditions (or even ways to fill my time) and absolutely, positively everyone else was beyond booked. Duh, they were with their families, like I used to be, until I gave that up. It wasn’t even that I was missing my ex and his family, and their holiday traditions. It was more that the entire world was wrapped up in festive cheer and special celebrations and family time and I was not. It was lonely. I didn’t belong.

And it persisted in the following years. Today I thought I’d blog about it in some fashion, this unexpected melancholy. Then I realized….I’m not feeling it this year. I was sitting on my comfy couch under Fuzzy Blankie, with my snuggly Ruby Tuesday, in my cozy house, and I felt totally at peace. I could have been content spending the entire holiday weekend just like that, but I have new traditions now. On Christmas Eve my dad, grandma and I go to the movies and out to dinner. My dad goes through an elaborate exercise of mapping out movie times and calling every restaurant in Fort Wayne to see who is open and until when. On Christmas day, it’s round two of the movies, followed by dinner at our friend Rachel’s house, who has graciously welcomed our family into hers, and also makes a kick-ass meal. And a friend who is going through his own “displacement” is joining us.

And it’s complete as far as family traditions go – it has a touch of dysfunction! By the end of the two days, I am MAXED OUT on spending time with my dad and grandma. (Sorry, Dad, I know you’re reading this, no offense. Besides, I know you will be overloaded on your parent, so you can relate. J )

That’s not to say life is perfect and without its challenges and heartaches, because it’s not. But for today, life is good. And I’ll take that.

And on a complete tangent, please note definition 3 for melancholy. Eww. 

Merry Christmas! J

NAKED

Perv. WordPress suggests using attention-grabbing headlines. Worked, didn’t it? But you’ll see – it’s relevant.

This is going to be harder than I thought. Again, not writer’s block. I’ve finally stopped tweaking the shade of lavender, and even though I’m sure there’s a way to make the “W” at the top of the page bigger and more interesting looking, I’m reminded that this was supposed to be a writing endeavor, not a design project or a software lesson, and since I know how to write and post, I should stop fucking with the way the page looks. (Holy. Crap. That’s a long sentence.) (And oh yeah….in case you don’t really know me, I cuss. A lot. And if you don’t like it….fuck off. AHAHAHAHAAAA!!!) (Kidding. Kind of.)

So what, you may ask, is the problem? Exposure. Much like I started seeing the world in Facebook stati, blog topics are appearing everywhere around me. I am not at a loss for ideas. The challenge is getting beyond being quippy and revealing my gooey center. Today I considered and rejected a variety of hilarious topics (possible overstatement) that ended up being very personal. Duh, Wendy, that’s what blogging is. Apparently I just hadn’t thought about it. If I’m going to do this, clearly I need to grow some thicker skin. And then I can run for office, because I’ve always said I take things too personally to do that. Of course, I’ll have this blog out there rife with f-bombs, and no one will elect me. 😀

AND, anyone can read this, which means if I say something about my ex-husband, for example, he might read it. (He won’t. But still.) Not that I would. (Ok, I might.)

Or you might know my friends, so mayhaps I should use clever nicknames to make it harder for you to identify whom I’m talking about. Like if I talk about my friend Mourtney, that’ll protect her identity, right?

Anyway, it’s just a new set of considerations, which I hadn’t considered. I thought about establishing some ground rules. Things like: don’t tell ________ if I write about him/her/it. Yeah, that’s cheating. If I put it out there, it’s out there. I’ll work on that part – putting it out there. And hopefully this will be the last post about not actually writing a post. If that makes sense.

OMG. The things spell check wants to correct are awesome and hilarious. Apparently “Mourtney” isn’t actually a word.

Blogging, take 1

Friday night on the couch. Dinner plans canceled at the last minute. (Not one, but TWO boys down with some sort of digestive issues I really don’t want to know about. Boys, please note, chicks don’t need that kind of information. We already know you’re full of shit, enough said.)

I do love Friday night on the couch with the dog, but I was feeling a little restless, perhaps because I’ve already seen most of the episodes of “Say Yes to the Dress” on tonight. (Shut up.) Surely there must be something I’ve been wanting to do for a while that there just hasn’t been time for. Let’s see. Holiday cards were mailed today. 1200 pictures were downloaded off the phone earlier this week. The book I’m reading is upstairs and surely I don’t want to go all the way up there to get it. OOH, I could start a blog!

I just decided this week that “write more” is going to be my new year’s resolution. Kristin (you’re just going to have to learn who the people are as we go along) sent me someone’s blog post this week about online dating because she thought I would get a kick out of it. My response to her was, “I could do better.” Her response to me: “Start a blog.” So here I am, with a free evening, laptop on my lap, ready to roll.

Except it’s not as simple as just write. First you have to decide what platform to use. Then you have to learn how to use the damn thing. And even more importantly, you have to decide what it’ll look like. Writer’s block is not going to hold me up nearly as much as choosing colors and fonts and photos and layout and and and. I seriously have to look at every theme. Twice. I am your worst nightmare in the paint department.

You also have to name your blog pretty much before you do anything else – even the previously mentioned consideration of eight million themes with endless color combinations. Perhaps most people already have this part figured out before plunging in. I am not most people, especially when it comes to having a plan. And it’s SO MUCH PRESSURE. It’s like naming a baby or something – ok, maybe not quite that extreme, but first impressions are important.

So here I am, three hours into this, and I am writing this in an email window because I still haven’t gotten to the part in the tutorial (yes, I’m a tutorial girl) that tells me how to actually post content. (I just split an infinitive. Ouch.) And I want to go to bed. Fortunately, I don’t HAVE to read the tutorial, always, so I figured out how to post it. Tomorrow I’ll be back to exploring every possible font option. But now, I bid you goodnight.