For the life of me, I wasn't going to say anything today. Or anytime this week for that matter. It's not that there aren't things to say or it wouldn't be a good idea, but I've developed kind of a bad attitude, and was more or less throwing a fit. I think I had resolved that I needed to quit whining in front of the world, and until I have something new and fresh and positive to say, I should just shut my big self-centered yap. But sitting here, on New Years Day, January 1st, 2013, I was convicted by the typewritten words of my Grandma Stecker, who, in spite of pain and frustration and a million reasons to give up, somehow found the time a reason to pound into tightly squeezed lines, all of the little details of her life. Because those words reach beyond her earthly departure in 1987 and tell me what kind of a woman my Grandma was, I feel compelled to give words to my days. I suppose for some people this seems like a meaningless waste of time, but for me, I love to hear her sometimes pain-filled voice talk about me as a tiny girl, and understand that who I am is in some way because of who she was. This is powerful to me, and if my words even live past me for a few months, maybe somebody will hear something that resonates and gives them a laugh.
We are important to each other, us human beings, and for all of the crazy, negative, horrible wrecks of human beings out there, we pull together with the dearest ones to us and we make life worth living for each other. The last few weeks have been a little rough, since I am an enormous baby, and even though I make a conscious effort to not give my pain energy, there it is, consuming me anyway, and dictating not just my life but the lives of the people I love. This is insanely frustrating, especially for someone like me who would much rather be eating the glory of being the World's caretaker, entertaining and amusing and lighthearted and gay, and I have become the millstone 'round the World's neck, dragging everyone down to the depths of my own limitations. I don't want to, but they love me, some of these weirdos, and they hang in with me, in spite of extreme boredom, mild frustration and I am sure, some repressed impatience.
My husband, God Bless him, has picked up the slack for me, as I have worked every day just enough hours to render me incapacitated for accomplishing anything else. I have done less laundry and cooked less real food lately than I usually do in a summer when I am gone. He cooks for me, and cleans up after the trail of mess I leave lying throughout the hours, sometimes hardly able to get my boots off, and leaving my work clothes in a pile near the closest available sweatpants. He runs after won-ton soup in 8 degree weather, even after calculating the thousands of dollars I spent Christmas Shopping for myself. He rubs my feet with peppermint lotion and says he loves me, even though I give him absolutely no reason to. He caters to my dining whims, my shopping whims, my bizarrely irrational justifications for fiscal irresponsibility with a patient roll of his eyes and a careful watch on the bank account balance. And with a sigh, he trudges off to work he hates to make sure there's enough in there to cover my next trip to Victoria's Secret.com. He puts up with episodes of Bones and The Walking Dead and has even consented to video game dates with me in the near future. Forget his dreams of snowboarding next to his über cute little wife or a blond in golf skirts and visors... He is a good man.
Today is the first day of a new year. A year that I plan to make better than the last for the man I love, the kids I love and the life I love. I am resolved to give back to the friends, new and old, who have given to me, sympathy, compassion, understanding, flexibility, forgiveness... I am determined to know my girls better, love them harder and put effort into them that I quit offering years ago when I was overwhelmed and self absorbed. I am excited to get better. To MAKE myself better, by whatever means necessary, and become the strength for others that they have been for me. I want to become the wife that my husband deserves, that can bring him the happiness he brings me. These are my resolutions. And then on top of that, I have a slew of superficial plans for this Lucky 13 year. Like losing 20 pounds to start - I am hoping that my diseased uterus will account for at least a few of these when they finally drag it out of me - is that cheating?? I plan on getting myself, and in consequence, my family, healthier and happier in our lifestyle. I have struggled with finding a balance between overkill resolve and an unreasonable diet plan, and total abandon to my hedonist whims. I have settled on a comfortable plan of attack that is not legalistic, but pares away the unnecessary and un-beneficial frills in our diet and lifestyle. Deprivation always results in overindulgence for me, so I plan to avoid both.
More than anything, my resolve for 2013 is to make good choices, in my actions, attitudes and responses. To be love to my friends and family. To be honesty and integrity. To question the necessity, benefit and consequence of everything I say and do. To be the same person to every person, all of the time. To extend grace, give the benefit of the doubt, but operate in circumspect wisdom in all things. In short, maybe I am finally ready to grow up.
But Tigger can reign in his blundering antics, and Peter Pan can put off some of his self absorption. That is all it takes. In my darkest times, Captain Hook's overhanging doom "old, alone and done for" echoes in my head as the ultimate failure in life. To avoid this, maybe I won't grow up, but I will balance the zeal and joy of with a listening ear and humility.
There is joy even in pain. And happiness even in struggle. There is no need to be consumed with sadness and wallow in the truth that hurt hurts. I am tired, but I am hopeful. I am loved, I am so richly blessed. Even though we know that eventually our road will lead us to an end, the not knowing of that end is exciting in and of itself. Once I prayed for the peace of a dark rest after death. Now, the fear of death that drove me to salvation as a child is evolving into a mild and patient curiosity to see what is on the other side of this adventure. Not that 2013 holds any threat of an end to me, but being able to see EVERY end as a beginning and every death as a new start, I am thrilled to welcome a new year as the last one is laid to rest. Every good thing is only good because we know what bad is. Even with the waves, it's hard to imagine life getting better than 2012, but somehow, I know it will.
Happy New Year, y'all. Let's get after it!!