Friday, December 30, 2011


I've done it again.

Its almost New Year's Eve. I've planned a lovely party with some of my favorite people and my house is a disaster. The dishes have piled in disgusting stacks. Laundry is clean, but not folded, let alone put away (and frankly, there is no room in the closets or drawers). I haven't swept or mopped the floors in longer than I should admit, and the dining room table is covered in empty grocery bags and miscellaneous crap. The cat boxes are disgraceful.

I know that keeping an orderly house is a great thing and that I am capable of many great things. I know that when my house is clean I am happier. I know that I enjoy having friends over.

I just can't seem to keep up with the upkeep.

With a disastrous mess it becomes exhausting to clean completely. We start to cut corners and just hide things in order to be done before the first guest arrives... There is, right this second, a growing pile of clean laundry at the foot of my bed. This pile has been transferred from the living room couch. There is no time to fold everything and put it away because there are no clean dishes, I haven't started the food preparations and it is midnight.

Right now I just want to go to bed and sleep for a long, long time. I want to cancel the party and buy a pint of Ben and Jerry's and crawl into my bed for the weekend.

I also want a lovely evening with good friends and good food.

Of course, after the party we are usually exhausted by the manic cleaning and the party itself. So we won't continue the cleaning.

We will let it slide.

At least, that is our usual routine.

This time I want to try to fix this. I want to be the kind of person whose house is always open to friends. I want to be the kind of person you can call when you're in the neighborhood and who can produce coffee or wine and snacks as needed.

We will keep cleaning.

At noon I will drive an hour each way to pick up my brother and then I will clean some more. And Sunday? I will clean some more. And Monday? I will straighten the rooms in my house and fold laundry.

Maybe next weekend I'll clean out a drawer or two.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Tis the Season

Nine years ago I was falling in love with Jeff.  He was shy and so very surprised that I wanted to spend time with him.  I called him when the first snow fell and we talked on the phone watching the snow fall, thick and juicy flakes.  There was something romantic and lovely about standing in the snow, his voice in my ear.  We watched The Muppet Christmas Carol over the phone too, and then we started spending time together in person.

Eight years ago he proposed on New Year's Eve.  His love for me was so very apparent to anyone who watched him watch me.  I felt that love every day and I trusted it.  I trusted that I would be loved by that man for the rest of my life.  I trusted that I could love him and that he would never leave me.  That I would always come first.

Five years ago we celebrated Christmas in our new home.  It was a sad Christmas; his father died on the 14th and he was immersed in grief and working very hard to take care of his mother.  I believed that we would make it through this time, that together we could get through anything.  I believed our bond would be stronger for the journey.

Four years ago I realized my marriage was irrevocably damaged and a few months later I found out my husband was too  .I did not come first.  And he relied on Vodka to get him through.  His relationship with alcohol was stronger than any relationship we ever could have had.  And the alcohol took him from me on a rainy night in March.

Jeff was the last age appropriate single man I allowed myself to fall for and his death has damaged me in ways I can not deal with all at once.  There are layers of damage as sticky and impossible as the ancient wallpaper we pried from the walls before we moved in.  And I worry that the walls in my heart are as crumbly and delicate as the walls in the dining room.  I no longer trust my heart to rebound.  I no longer believe that I can sustain another break.

Every step I take away from the sadness feels more difficult than the last and I honestly don't know if the movie ends with me in a healthy relationship or not.  I do not trust that anyone will love me the way he did and even he didn't love me enough to stay. 

I know he was sick.  Irrevocably and absolutely sick.  Alcoholic, mentally ill and suffering so very quietly from pancreatitis.  I know that love can not cure these things.  I know that he was very sick even before I fell in love with him...

That's what scares me.

I know there are no guarantees, that anything can and will happen, but I find myself paralyzed by the thought that I could allow myself to be hurt in this way again.  I don't love halfway.  I love all the way or not at all.  Beth used to say I didn't jump off the cliff, I fell backwards with a big smile on my face. Now I'm so afraid I don't even approach the cliff. I stand well away from the edge and develop crushes on boys who will never be interested in me.  It's safer this way.

I want so much to stand on the edge.  To look into the eyes of someone who thinks they will never hurt me.  I want so much to believe them. 

But not this year.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Back to it...

I have not been as committed to any of my goals as I intended to be. I faltered. The difficulty in missing a beat is not the failure, but the ability to hit the next beat and keep going.
I tend to adopt the "oh fuck it then" mindset and drown my sorrows in McDonalds fries.
I'm going to focus on finding the next beat instead. I'm going to re-commit to my goals and I am going to take those baby steps to meet those goals. If I can teach the kids on my caseload to do this I can surely manage it as well!
In other news, Blankie has done well despite my lack of focus in other areas....