Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Head Full Of Nothing....or Everything?

Life is pretty busy as of late, and as I was showering at 11pm last night before my youngest daughters next round of Advil, all of these random thoughts started popping into my head. The shower often does that to me for some reason.

Since I haven't been keeping up to par on my blog writing, I thought I'd make it easy on myself (see last post-I'm all about comfort, ease and enjoyment right now) and let you take a quick peek inside the inner workings of my brain. I know, scary stuff.

Here, in no particular order, are some random thoughts I've been pondering recently.

-As an ECE and home daycare provider for the last, oh 10 years, I get a lot of gifts from parents at Christmas time. Of course, this is totally awesome and I appreciate the recognition of the time and energy and thought I put into their young children's lives. Yet, here's the thing. Over the years, I've received many, many a bottle of wine. This led me to the thought that parents either must think that after a day spent with their little darlings, daycare providers need to drink their faces off, OR, that I'm a boozehound. Of course, they'd be right on both counts. Har har. As I said, it's actually a great gift and one that you just can't go wrong giving. In my case anyways. This year, I am ecstatic that I also got two gift certificates to restaurants, cookies and something else is "coming." Hmmm. My family can now eat out every weekend for the next month! Woohoo!

-Secondly, Facebook is a strange and cool tool. I see all of these faces of people I went to school with from the time I was 5 and up through University and it blows my mind. I can picture all of these people "as we were" locked in that time frame, and it's incredible to now see them all married (or divorced, single, partnered, whatever) and with children and lives of their own. I find it interesting to imagine that "the crazy guy" is now a totally devoted Dad. The punk chick is a hands on Mom. The part that gets my curiosity is the choices we all make, and how different they are than the expectations we had for people who fell into certain roles or cliques. The "most beautiful" girl is still single and never married, for instance. I thought for sure she'd be snatched up right away, know what I mean? That leads me to the next musing....

-I would say a large majority of who I became and what I "wanted" out of my adulthood was formed by my own childhood. If you go back in my graduating year's yearbook, my "Ambition" was listed as "Realize the white picket dream." Truly, more than anything else, I wanted the security and comfort of a wonderful, happy family. I grew up with a great Mom, but one who made horrible choices in men. My home life for many years was epically horrific. My main focus wasn't a career or securing that high paying job, it was about making a good choice in a partner and raising a truly happy family. It's probably the reason why I got married at 22. You've seen it before, the person who grew up with little material wealth ends up searching for financial security at all costs, the girl who was always overlooked in favour of her brother shows everyone just how great she can be and outdoes her brother at every turn. All the same thing. That led me to my OWN children though. I wonder what their search will be? If we become who we are based a lot on our home lives and upbringing, where will their road take them? What will they see as "lacking." It's a deep thought, and kind of a scary one. Ah, parental guilt.

-Speaking of marriage and looking for the "right" guy, I was thinking about the major players in my own romantic history. I don't know how some people don't have a "type." That concept is weird to me, since my own selection is usually fairly similar. I like dark hair, and light eyes. As I was pondering the three significant relationships in my life, though, I also realized that even from a young age, I also was attracted to certain recurring traits. The boys, to men, that I've dated with intent, are all ambitious, confident, and not always well liked. They tend to be on the uber confident (ie cocky/arrogant) side. On the negative side, I also just realized something the other day. They were all also one way on the outside, to the world at large, and yet completely insecure and sensitive on the inside. All three of these guys needed a partner that saw them as the whole world. That, in a way, idolized them. I could lie on a couch and psychoanalyze THAT for hours on end, but I won't go into it here. Needless to say, this epiphany hit me in the shower and startled me a little. I'm consistent and true to form, at least. I'm not going to come out of left field and date somebody completely off kilter. It's always dark hair and eyes, uber confident, cocky bravado, with a smirky, teasing, flirty charm. He's never a bad boy, but rather just a bit of a flirty cad. I can give you a famous example as well, if you'd really like. Try a young Mel Gibson, (before the Sugar Tits fiasco) or a Robbie Williams (look him up for all you non-Anglophiles).

-As my friends and acquaintances of late seem to be going through divorces and custody situations, I dreamt that I was going through the same and wondering how we'd divvy up days. Oh. My. Word. That was NOT a good thought. I really don't know how people do that, or are okay with it. How would I LIVE not seeing my kids EVERY day? Wow. I truly couldn't and hope I never have to make those arrangements. I think it would break my husband and I both to have to do that.

-Lastly, as Christmas approaches, I've been thinking a lot about people and times in the past. I guess the holiday season brings out some reminiscing delusions of "the way we were." I'm someone who is always, always, always thinking. (as you can see by the myriad of above thoughts from one days' shower and sleep!!!) It made me wonder if all of the time I spend thinking about others, if they ever think of me. What do they think? You know how you have an impression of "who you are" or "who you were" as a teen, I wonder if those peeps who look me up on Facebook have an impression of me. I wish they'd share what it is/was. I think it would be interesting and maybe I'd learn something new about myself. I did have that happen recently. A girl I went to elementary school with looked me up and her first words to me were, "wow. I remember you so fondly and how you always made me laugh! In a good way! You were always so funny." Ain't nothing wrong with that. I know I was also often a jerk and could be kind of a bully, but I hope I gave more laughs to people than tears.

So, that's the end of the rambling randoms for one blog post. I don't know that I'll be back until after Christmas with everything wonderful and chaotic that it brings. I wish you and yours Happy Holidays. May you have many happy, interesting, arousing randoms of your own.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Sleigh Bells Ring....Are You Listening?

I sometimes wonder how Christmas, a one day celebration, has now become a month long event? Or, was it always this way?

Don't get me wrong, I love me some Christmas. Yet, it's always crazy stressful too. By the time Christmas day itself actually rolls around, I'm exhausted. My husband works long hours during this season, and that means that while he's bone tired and his legs are killing him and he's lost weight from "no time" to eat, I'm the one scrambling around doing EVERYTHING to make this one day "special." For everyone near and far.

I'm the one doing Christmas cards and shopping for gifts for family, friends, teachers, bus drivers, and who knows who else. I'm doing all of the wrapping. I'm making sure they have what they need for parties and school events. I'm mailing things out on time. It starts to feel less "fun" and "magical" and a little more like one more item on my To Do List that needs checking off, STAT.

On top of that, it's usually the wrap up for swimming and dance lessons and visiting and general running around. I try to stay cheerful and "merry and bright" but I have to admit-sometimes the pressure is high.

I talk to friends that are also feeling the crunch. It's not just the schedules and the baking and the shopping, it's the demand that we be happy and cheerful and joyous while doing it all. The reality is, the Christmas season can be burdensome for many. Parents want to make the day wonderful for their children, but often the stress of financial worries and family issues and the fact that we just can't do it ALL comes creeping in to mar that splendour.

I know I've been literally counting down the days that I'm finished "such and such" and can have one more demand off of my plate. That's horrible, isn't it? Real life, however, doesn't stop because Santa is coming.

This year, I've decided to enjoy the time even if it kills me. I'm sending cards, but I'm not crafting them or doing anything fancy. In fact, if you get one a little late, enjoy the fact that your cards are continuing into the New Year. (I have a friend that actually DOES send her cards, on purpose, in the New Year as opposed to Christmas cards! Oh, the horror! She said it removes that pressure, and she can really put more into them, and people enjoy getting a card into the New Year. She just might have something, there.) I'm not doing a ton of baking this year. I bought two huge buckets of cookie dough from the school, and I've made a few dozen cookies. I'm buying some, and I'm also going to enjoy the loaves my Mom made me, at my special request. (almond/dried apricot. To. Die.For) I'm not feeling pressured to give "so and so" a gift, or a card, because they gave me one. I'm not going crazy on spending for gifts either. I bought a few things as the months led up to this, and I'll add a few traditional gifts, and a few things the girls really wanted.

Even Christmas dinner this year is going to be laid back. We're joining our neighbours and their family-which means we'll only have to contribute to a meal as opposed to making the whole thing from scratch. We'll do a traditional tortiere dinner on Christmas Eve, and I think we'll have a special family dinner on the 27th, but again-the theme this year is low key.

I'm tired of the hustle and bustle. I want to enjoy my time, my family and my friends. The season is meant to be savoured and it's meant to bring peace and joy. It's not about commitments and time constraints and money and gifts. I've taken many things for granted over the years, and I have learned hard lessons. Life can change in a moment. What was, can be gone. I intend on slowing down a bit, and soaking in what IS, right now, at present.

In the quiet lights of the Christmas tree, with my family around me, I'm starting to focus on the real reason for the season and the meaning behind it all. I'll be capturing the moment in my head, to save for the days when things catch me off guard once again, and I'll be wearing a knowing smile.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


All of the press lately about Tiger Woods, which started with a simple yet inexplicable early morning car crash, has been over the top. In the beginning, it seemed likely that he either was drinking or that he and his wife had been fighting. Those two scenarios seemed pretty evident in my mind. Now, though, this whole thing has turned not only into a PR nightmare, but into a huge personal disappointment of another fallen "idol."

When women started coming forward, it was easy to dismiss them as gold diggers. Now, however, with voice messages being played, evidence that his company was responsible for flying out the "newest" mistress and women crawling out of the woodwork, it's pretty hard to pretend it's all just gossip and rumour.

The final nail in the coffin, of course, is Tiger's own recently released statement about his "transgressions" and that he has failed personally. Umm. Three plus years of affairs is not a "transgression,'' Mr. Woods.

I don't expect celebrities to be beyond human flaws and failings. If anything, I expect them to be exposed to "more" of whatever it is that they want at the moment. Infidelity in sports and in the celebrity world, as well as the "normal folks" world has been going on for longer than we can even count. Yet, there seemed historically to be a higher moral code or standard that people felt held up to respect. Where did that go?

Our generation, it seems, is very "me" focused in terms of getting what we want, when we want it. I don't even understand why Tiger GOT married if the infidelities have been ongoing since the beginning of his relationship. If you don't want to be committed, why commit? Is it that age old cliche-that he wanted the wifey and children at home, and yet a little something on the side? The Madonna/Whore thing? It seems he picked the perfect wife in that respect. His wife has been a very private person, much like Tiger himself. Could that have been a very conscious decision on his part?

But I digress. Back to what I see in the world around me in terms of a very narcissistic society. Everywhere you look, people of my age (give or take a decade to either side) seem hellbent on doing what they please, when they please. They want what they want RIGHT now, woe to anyone standing in their way. This goes from the workplace to home. The even scarier thing is, we all just seem to cluck our tongues and yet ACCEPT that this is just "the ways things are." Really??? Are we truly okay with the current status quo?

North America has the highest divorce rate in the world. This doesn't even factor in all of the people who choose NOT to get married but just live with each other indefinitely because marriage is "just a piece of paper." What are we saying about the commitment we make then, when we choose to partner with someone, and worse still, bring children into the world? Have we decided that it's truly impossible to be monogamous, or that marriage only lasts as long as it lasts? Oh well? Have we decided that a life long commitment is an impossible dream? It would certainly seem so.

Studies have shown that human beings that are married are healthier and live longer than their single counterparts. I believe that especially as we age into "old age," we do better with a caring partner by our side. As human beings, we NEED each other, and we need someone who can look out for our best interests-in health and in general. As I said, that's not just MY belief. Scientific study backs up my hypothesis.

All of the broken marriages and broken individuals out there are contributing to a breakdown in future society in more ways than one. Their children are being raised in broken homes with role models with broken values. They lose their intact families for step-parent number 1. Then 2. Then however many as we continue to have so many "throw away" relationships with whomever suits our current fancy. What then do you think our children's relationships are going to look like as they grow? Ya. Not pretty. Who do we have to blame? Ourselves.

What about OUR futures? I have a feeling there are going to be a lot of lonely, and alone, senior citizens out there in the years to come. Many who might look back and realize that their "transgressions" for whatever many moments of pleasure, might not have been worth it after all as they die alone.

I used to really like Tiger Woods. He didn't just seem like an incredibly talented golfer, (which he obviously still is!) he seemed like a decent human being. How the mighty have fallen. Yet, I'm not shocked. It seems the norm these days, and that's the most distressing part of all.

It's not about celebrity, or money or fame or wealth. It's an ongoing crisis our society is facing at present. It's a sign of a growing epidemic whose casualties are too young to show the scars.

That's what is truly, disappointing.