Tuesday, December 29, 2009


I've discovered that there are two ways to approach life. Not discovered, really, but more remembered. This week has been one of the top ten, all-time worst possible weeks. Especially considering that it was a holiday and should have been pretty happy and easy going. My little family has been sick. My two year old got so sick, he had to have an IV because of dehydration. None of us have slept really well because of the general sickness in the house. My husband had a kidney stone the day after Christmas. My grandmother had a mini-stroke and is probably in surgery as I write this. Being in the leadership at church, we got to take care of one family who had a nearly fatal stabbing incident and another family who spent the week in the hospital after the husband almost died. It's all taken an emotional toll on me, leaving me on the exhausted and sick side, myself.

Yesterday, I was doing some grocery shopping when my mom called to tell me about my grandmother. It was like the final straw, placed so carefully on an already over-burdened back. My first reaction was to buy chocolate. After all, every emotional emergency requires chocolate as salve. I spent the rest of the evening feeling like some sort of truck had run over me and it was completely unrepairable. It felt like if one more thing went wrong, I was going to explode or something equally unpleasant.

It was in that moment that I realized that things are going to go wrong. I know. It's kind of obvious. Of course, things are going to go wrong. Which brings me back to the original premise. There are two ways of dealing with it. I can sit and be miserable, wallowing in all the wrongness that surrounds me, or I can look for the good that is hiding behind all the rotten stuff. In an effort to turn my week around, that is just what I'm going to do. Bear with me.

My two-year-old may have had to get an IV, but he didn't have to be hospitalized. In fact, today, he is back to his normal sick self, running around like nothing is really wrong. The kidney stone happened at a time when I could just take care of my husband without worrying about my kids. Grandma and Grandpa were there to watch them and I didn't have to worry about that, too. Neither of our friends died. My grandmother's stroke was minor and didn't effect any of her brain function. She has a 97% success rate for her surgery, and will likely recover without any lasting problems. I've been able to avoid the cough and cold of the rest of my family enough to take care of them.

Even though a lot of things have happened to us recently, I have some measure of peace right now. I don't want to say it could've been worse (even though it really could have). I just want to say I'm glad that there are always positive things that outweigh the negative ones if I am willing to look for them.

And this brings me to the final point. I'm going to add to my list of goals for the coming year. This one is a little harder to measure, so I'm working on the logistics. I will look for and recognize the positive in my life. Maybe this means that I will find five things every day that I am grateful for. Maybe I will have a blessings journal. I don't know yet. But that is what I want to do. It's so easy to get sucked into the "poor me"s and I don't want that for myself or my loved ones. I'm a lot more pleasant to be around when I see the nicer side of life. So, there you have it. This is my long winded way of getting there. I want to be happier in the coming year! Go me!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Week in Review

A week has happened at my house. I knew it was inevitable: that thing where the days go by and you just can't stop it. Since this week was actually the week of Christmas, a lot has happened. I don't know that I really want to relate everything here, but I do have a few things to talk about.

My sister got engaged. She's just younger than me and will be turning 30 this year. I remember being single and hoping, sometimes completely desperately, to be married before ... Before I turned 25. Before my 10 year high school reunion. Before my other siblings (I'm the oldest.) Before I got too old or set in my ways to make it fun. Fortunately, I managed to snag a great guy before my 10 year reunion, but after my 25th birthday. It was so hard to be single and want to be married and having kids. My sister has been waiting for the right guy for a long time and he proposed on Christmas Day. What a great memory! And it's exciting for someone new to join our family. Now, the race will be on for who has the first girl. We've already had 2 boys and anything could happen. She's sure that she will have the first girl. We'll see.

In other news, my boys are sick. All three of them. I hate when every one else in my house is sick and I get to take care of them. My almost 3 year old just got over a case of walking pneumonia and it's really frustrating that he's sick again. The 1 year old hasn't gotten that sick. He's just cranky. In a strange side note, he's sleeping through the night, for the first time, ever. This is three days in a row.

And then, there is my husband. He's got the cold, too, which means nobody sleeps well at night. And then, he had a kidney stone yesterday. That's right, folks. We had a charming visit to the ER yesterday. I don't remember ever seeing him hurt like that. It was actually kind of scary for a little bit, until we figured out what was going on. We were in his hometown, visiting his parents, so that made it even more exciting. At least there was someone who could watch the boys for me. Don't worry. He's fine now. It's just another great story for our book of memories.

And this, on top of the week where friends and colleagues have been in the hospital for stabbings, random emergency surgeries, etc. I'm glad to be starting a new week. Here's to more happy things and less crazy ones in the coming days!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

An Early Start to a New Year

Well, this is a new world for me. I've certainly thought about putting up a blog. I've thought about it almost to the point where it actually registered as a thought, with intent to do something about it. That's pretty serious. The last time that happened, I wrote a book. And the time before that, I also wrote a book. So, I suppose it can finally be time for me to join the rest of the computer savvy world and share my adventures, or misadventures, with the world at large.

Today, I have been thinking about New Year's Day. It's just over a week away, now. This is supposed to be the time when I look at my life and see massive things going awry and resolve to make changes. "I will no longer eat sweets." "I will read more frequently." A hundred different versions of "I will..." could probably apply to me. I think the thing that generally trips me up is the word resolve. What does that mean, exactly? I have yet to make a list of New Year's Resolutions that actually did anything for my life. In 30 years of living, I should have at least something to show for the annual tradition, but I can't think of a single thing.

This year, I'm going to try something different. Instead of having a list of resolutions that may or may not result in any noticeable difference in my life, I am making a concrete list of goals. It might take a bit of tweaking over the coming days, but hopefully, I have a good start.

1. I will revise and submit the two books I have already written for publishing before October.
2. I will use the month of October to plan a new book.
3. I will write a new book by the end of November. (I might start in on that earlier, depending on my progress with goals 1 and 2.)
4. I will write a blog entry at least once a week. (This could be about anything from my progress on writing to funny and strange things that happen with my family.)

So far, that's what I've got. I'm hoping to add to the list and refine it as we go along. That would mean I'm making progress! I am excited to start this strange new journey and look forward to sharing it with any one who happens to come along for the ride.

Merry Christmas, every one and Happy New Years!