Monday, December 31, 2007

Simple complexity

Well, Happy New Year everybody. I can't say it's sad to see this year go, but every reminder of how fast time flies leaves me a little melancholy.

Christmas was ok. Ken evidently had a great time because he is on the floor in my kids' bedroom surrounded by naked Barbies.

My mom and cousin Marilyn have been here for the last couple of days. We had a barbecue yesterday and my nephew Joshua was here on leave from the Navy. Nathan's best friend, Sam, was home on leave from the Marines and came by a couple of times, too. Life goes on, doesn't it?

I just finished reading a book called, "The Shack." It was a quick read and probably did the best job I've ever seen as far as simplifying God, the Trinity, and answering hard questions people always have about God, like why there is so much evil in the world if God is a loving Father.

I have never had that question. I have never doubted that God intends good for us and that God works everything out for the best possible outcome - even our bad choices. I have never doubted that if it were the best thing for all of us, Nathan would have lived. I don't doubt God's wisdom. I do, however, doubt myself on a regular basis.

The thing I find hard to wrap my head around is how He can love us so much. I struggle with that one quite a bit. It is hard for me to be still and know that He is God and He loves me. "The Shack" was a potent reminder of God's love. It brings back to the forefront that we are His children and were created to be loved. That's nice.

Here's to remembering He's great in 2008.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Aren't we cute?

Merry Christmas everybody! Here's a pic of me and my clan this year: Katie is 13, Zach is 22, Joseph is 10, Savannah is 7, and everybody knows how old I am. Now it's off to bake a cake, wrap the last of the gifts, and take a shower. Ho-Ho-Ho!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

And a partridge in a pear tree

I'm sitting at the kitchen table in warm socks with a sweater on, a fresh cup of coffee in my hand, and a roll of toilet paper by my side to blow my very stuffy nose. It's dreary outside and all I want to do is go back to bed.

Sinus infection aside, I am doing pretty well. My bills are paid, Christmas cards have been mailed, and I had spaghetti for breakfast.

In fact, all of the wallowing in myself lately has not been a total waste of time. It’s led me to discover some things about myself over the past couple of weeks, and not all of them are bad:

1. I am such a girl. It doesn't matter that I'm a self-made, sophisticated, intelligent, fabulous woman who just happens to be over the age of 40. I want to be told I'm pretty every once in a while.

2. Getting caught up in the mad, Christmas shopping season isn't necessary. There is an amazing thing that happens when you don't have the money to shop. You actually get to relax. If my kids don't have 1400 gifts under the tree, the world isn't going to end - it's just going to be less stressful.

3. I don't have a life plan. I just finished reading an article called "The Top 7 Things That Will Sabotage Your Career." One of the top 7 things was to not have a life plan. Who knew? Nobody ever told me I had to have a life plan; I can barely come up with a grocery list. I'm just starting to get to used to the idea that I have to find a career at all, much less plan my entire life. I wonder what being a beer taster pays?

4. I still get excited when I see my name in print.

5. If I take a cocktail of ibuprofen, Drixoral, Mucinex, nasal spray, and vitamins, I will still have a stuffed up nose full of snot PLUS I will be sleepy and hyper at the same time.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

For better or worse

I went to a wedding last weekend. Yeah, a big one. Six bridesmaids, six groomsmen, catered, ballroom reception. A great big, beautiful, expensive, extravaganza. I'm so glad it wasn't mine.

The bride cried, the groom looked so uncomfortable it made ME sweat, and I'm pretty sure that there were a lot more people at the reception than were at the wedding.

It was great. Especially the dual champagne and sangria fountains. But it confirms my resolve to never have a big, formal wedding - ever. That's not just my divorce talking. It's my age.

I feel SO old, but for once I appreciate it. I realize big weddings almost always end in big divorces. Traditional ceremonies are boring and unimaginative. And time is liquid.

Maybe that's why people have big, traditional weddings. They're trying to hold onto a piece of time in an event. You might as well try to hold onto a river.

Marriage involves a lot of work and pain and heartache, but you can't tell a bride and groom that. It's like trying to describe labor and delivery to a woman who is pregnant for the first time. There is no huffing and puffing or labor coaching in the world that can prepare you for the depth of pain and exhaustion experienced in childbirth. You just have to go through it. There aren't any shortcuts.

Ah, but the rewards.

When you come out of the hard years and have someone by your side who's gone through everything with you, seen you at your worst, knows you inside and out, and still chooses to be by your side - or when they hand you that baby you forgot you were even having because you just thought you were dying - it's like the best Christmas morning ever.

Big expensive ceremonies, lamaze classes, and all our endless planning can't make it any better.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Or Campbell's Tomato Soup, for that matter?

After a full week of wallowing in depression I learned this: One can spend an entirely entertaining and thought-free day watching the NFL channel. Who would have thought? My dad would be so proud.

I've been doing a lot of praying and soul-searching. There were many cobwebs in that cave, but I think I'm coming out of the other end. Time and a mass quantity of Flaming Hot Cheetos heals all wounds.

I am hitting the sales trail hard. The magazine is actually a fabulous marketing device, so it's just a matter of finding businesses that understand that. Does anybody have Guliani's campaign manager's phone number?

My column came out in this issue. I think my eyes look puffy, but at least my double chin doesn't show. It's the little things in life that matter.

I wonder if this is going to use up my fifteeen minutes of fame? Or was that used up when I worked for the radio station? Do we each get two sets of fifteen minutes? Does the fame count if it's only county-wide?

Where's Andy Warhol when you need him?