Overcrowded Gym

I went to the gym today for the first time since the new year. You can certainly tell that everyone made a resolution to get fit. It was extremely overcrowded. I was walking on the track and I think every treadmill was taken. Thank goodness I hate treadmills, so they can have them. The pool was a sea of bodies bobbing up and down. They cleaned it over Christmas and it was closed for 2 weeks. I’m taking bets on how soon until there will be a band-aid floating around and any other unknown disgusting item that ends up in the pool. And try to get a shower… forget it. I also thought it was amusing when I checked in and there is a new sign on the desk with a scanner for members to check ourselves in. Really? Now the crabby ladies behind the desk literally have nothing to do except fold towels. They may as well just hire robots.

I probably over-did it a little. I had an appointment with my trainer, then I walked for a half hour, then I did an aqua cardio class for 45 minutes. As Banya said on the Seinfeld show when he gave Jerry his jacket, “yep, I’m huge”. Ha ha! Well, far from it, but it’s time to get back on track after a few months of not doing much. My workouts lately have consisted of cleaning the house. After busting my butt today, I’m taking the rest of the day off.

Happy New Year

Happy New Year! I for one am glad to see this year come to an end. This was not a great year for me. We keep one of those jars where you are supposed to throw little slips of paper in with all the good things that happened, and then read them at the end of the year. We read them today… there were 4 slips of paper. Not cool. And one of them made me cry because it was about me turning 50 and my mom driving up from Florida to surprise me. That was the last time I ever saw her. Losing a parent will really ruin your whole year.

The rest of the year wasn’t exactly stellar. We had to make a number of repairs on our home starting right away in January. Our boiler went out and we had to replace it. I would have preferred to nurse it along to try to make it through since we are selling our house anyhow, but my husband didn’t want to chance it. He was waking up every night in the middle of the night to check on it. Many nights it was out and we were freezing. Waking up with it 65 degrees in the house isn’t great. It’s also nearly impossible to get a kid out of bed for school. Whoever buys our house is going to get a state-of-the art brand new boiler. Lucky them. We also had to replace our septic tank this summer. We knew that last fall, as it had to be ordered in advance. It didn’t make paying for it any more enjoyable knowing that we are moving. Two expensive repairs amongst a few other nuisances.

So, other than getting 2 new kittens (except that our 16 year old cat died) and taking a fantastic trip to Washington DC, I will not fondly remember 2018.

I recently read a book that asked the question “why do we suffer?” I would love to know the answer to that. Maybe we must suffer in order to realize how good we have it when life is going great. Maybe we need to pay more attention to the joyful times instead of taking them for granted so much and assuming that joy is just an ordinary day. I have suffered a lot in the last 3 months since my mom died. I don’t have many friends, so I don’t really have anyone to lean on except my husband. I cry a lot and I have also gotten sick 4 times since September. Either my immune system stinks or I am just worn down by sadness. But I also know that my mom suffered a lot in life. She had many medical issues, including a very severe sleep disorder. Although her death was very sudden, and she was much too young at 72, I have a sense that she was worn out. I know she is resting peacefully and she is with her parents. I also know there is joy in life and it’s not that I have been moping around. Lots of things make me laugh. I find many moments of joy, I just have to find my way back to complete joy again. I will get there. My mom wouldn’t want me to be sad.

Don’t take those joyful moments for granted. Enjoy your life. Enjoy your parents. Before you know it, they could be gone and life is never the same.

My great prayer for myself, my family, and all of you reading this, is that 2019 brings us all many blessings. Every time I say “this is my year”, it isn’t. I thought with turning 50, 2018 was going to be my year. It definitely was NOT. I do plan to pick myself up, dust myself off, and get started with a new year. I sincerely hope that my family’s jar has many more than 4 slips of paper next year. I hope yours does too. Happy New Year!

Decorations Down

Christmas has been cleaned up in our house. This is a little earlier than normal for me, but as you know if you are a regular with my blog, I’m over it this year. Although now it looks boring and blah. Oh well, you can’t have it both ways I guess. I really do love Christmas. I just had a hard time this year without my mom. Every year I take the decorations down and wonder what life will be like this time next year. I never imagined life would be this empty without my mom this year. Next year at this time I don’t know where we will be. Will we be living in an apartment waiting for our new house to be done? I hope not. I’m hoping it will actually be done and we will already be moved in. I’m hoping the stars align and it all actually even happens. Who really knows? We may still be right here. I labeled my boxes and bins for the movers with optimism as though they would be moved within the next few months.

I put everything back exactly the way it was before Christmas, even though I know I have to “declutter” as the realtors always say. I need to take a million pictures first. Yep, I should have done that before I decorated for Christmas. I know. That would have been way too easy. Why not put it all back first, take the pictures, then pack it up? I’m not that smart. That’s way too obvious.

My goal over the next month and a half is to go room by room and clean closets, declutter and prepare the house to sell. Luckily I already did most of this last year for a big rummage sale we had, but need to go through it again. My daughter’s stuff will be the real challenge. The plan is to put it on the market on Feb. 15. For sale by owner and try our luck for a month. Hopefully the housing market is still a sellers market this spring. Fingers crossed!

Christmas is Over

Well, Christmas is over… thank goodness. No bah humbug here, it was just a hard one for me. We ran downstairs on Christmas morning to see what Santa brought and my daughter was so excited, she couldn’t contain herself before tearing into them. My husband made some yummy cinnamon rolls for us to nibble on while she opened her presents. We had a fun morning watching her open every fun little gift.

My in-laws came over from 11-3 and we visited and had a late lunch. I won’t lie, I was happy when it was over. I didn’t want to celebrate this year. I miss my mom and it’s not fair that she’s not here this year. My facebook feed has been filled with memories of past Christmas’ with her. I also worried about her husband alone in Florida without her. I tried to call her 2 brothers to wish them a Merry Christmas and make sure they received the package I mailed them with pictures of the family as kids. Neither of them answered, or called me back. So much for my supportive uncles. The only blood relatives I have left.

Now I need to take down my decorations and forget about it and move on, hopeful that the new year will bring some healing for me. However, I’m sad to take down the decorations because this is our last year in our house. I love this house. I don’t really want to move, but we are driving a long distance to school and it’s too much. I know it’s for the best, but it doesn’t make it easier to leave a house I love. It sort of feels like a double loss to me.

Every year when I take down my decorations, I always wonder what life will be like next year at this time. I never imagined that life would be this way. It kind of worries me what life will be like next year. I don’t like to think that way, but I can’t help it. I pray that 2019 will bring better things for my family. I pray that 2019 will bring good things for everyone reading this.

Christmas Eve

Well, it has been a day. I haven’t been in the best mood today. My daughter was acting up a little bit and everything she did irritated me. I’m guessing most of it was just my mood. The “I-wish-I-could-skip-Christmas-and-I-wish-my-mom-was-here” mood. It’s not her fault. It’s mine.

I talked to my mom’s husband this morning to see how he was doing and to make sure he has somewhere to be tomorrow for Christmas. Thankfully some friends have invited him over. I also asked if he received the package I sent him. He hasn’t. I got on the post office website to track it and it was delivered a week ago. Some porch pirates much have taken it. Evil bastards! Well, the sons-a-bitches didn’t get anything valuable to anyone but us. The package contained a calendar with pictures of my family and pictures of my mom when she was young that I thought John might like to have. Luckily, I had made copies and didn’t send any irreplaceable originals. I really hope those assholes read the card I sent and realized that they stole memories from someone whose wife just died. Jerks! I can reorder the calendar and have already copied the pictures again, but that’s not the point. It just adds to the grief when someone steals. It didn’t help my sour mood this morning.

Tonight we went to the candlelight service at church. It was so nice. They had so much music. We have a wonderful organ with powerful pipes. The choir is fantastic! The bell choir also played and a clarinet quartet played as well. As the service began, a soloist got up and sang “O Holy Night”. Her voice was stunning. I lost it and bawled my head off. As she was singing, the entire choir came up the aisles with candles and the lights were all off and they sang with her. Yep, I was done. My husband even got choked up. The service was very moving and lots of singing. Toward the end, we sang “Angels We Have Heard on High”. It has a lot of organ music, and my grandma played the organ professionally. She loved that song. There was a point in the song about the second chorus where I suddenly heard these tinkling bells in the music. I happened to look at my grandma’s ring on my hand, and I felt like she and my mom were in that church somewhere. The bells weren’t in the first chorus. It’s like they just appeared in the music. It made me feel like my mom got her wings. Somehow it just made me feel a little bit better.

We took some family pictures when we got home. Let the kiddo open 1 present, read “The Night Before Christmas”, and now we are waiting for her to go to bed. We told her Santa won’t show up if she doesn’t go to sleep. I’m pretty sure Santa is getting tired.

Elf Problems

Presents are wrapped. Just in the knick of time before school lets out on Friday. Hopefully they are hidden well enough. The kid is getting more and more suspicious. Today the elf was “teaching” math to Barbies on her dry erase board and Jingles handwriting looked a little bit too much like mine. She immediately ran up from the basement and said “why does Jingles handwriting look so much like yours?” Of course, I was born on a Wednesday, but not last Wednesday. I quickly replied that Jingles can likely take on the persona of anyone. Well, this little smart ass is too big for her britches. She shot back “I’ve never seen Jingles use my handwriting or dad’s”. I asked her what she was accusing me of and told her that I was sure that Jingles is going to report her to Santa when she flies to the North Pole tonight. I also added a note to the dry erase board from Jingles (in Jingles normal, but different, handwriting) that said “I heard you this morning. You made me sad:(”

Having a child who still believes in Santa is exhausting. Especially at her age. For one, she’s way too smart. She’s much smarter than I was at 10. I don’t remember that far back, but I’m pretty sure she is. Either that or my mom wasn’t as good as hiding it and coming up with good fibs. As I was wrapping presents, I have to write all the tags in my special “Santa” font that is very swirly and fancy. I can’t slip and make them any different because I’m sure she analyzes each one. It’s exhausting! I also have to sort out which presents are from us and which ones are from Santa so everyone gets appropriate credit. We’re giving her the best ones this year though. She wants to be an astronomer, so we got her a telescope. She’s going to freak. No WAY is the big man getting credit for that! I also have separate wrapping paper for Santa presents because she can’t think that Santa sits here and wraps presents. How could he possibly have time to do that?! So I hide the Santa paper in a separate spot from all the other paper. Ugh! It will be so much easier when she knows the real deal. Although then I’m sure she will accuse us of lying to her all these years!

Oh well, I much prefer it this way. It’s a lot of work and I hold my breath every night when I move that stupid elf that she doesn’t hear me or happen to come downstairs when I’m moving it. But, I so much want to preserve her innocence. That year when you’re a kid and you finally learn the truth is a real letdown.

Shots in the Head

Today was shot in the head day. Yes, you read that right. Every 6 weeks I get trigger point injections for migraines. I get about 20 of them in the back of my head, my neck, and shoulders. It is not fun, and it is certainly the least exciting part of my day, but it helps tremendously and generally lasts most of the 6 weeks until the next one. Or at least 5 weeks and I suffer greatly the last week until the next one. My head gets very numb immediately after he injects the steroid and stays that way most of the day. It will start to wear off about 7:00 and then I will start to hurt and need a couple ice packs and go to bed early. I have an appointment with my personal trainer tomorrow, and clearly completely forgot I had this appointment today when I made it. Probably not a great idea, but it is too late to cancel now. She is pretty good if I tell her I can’t do something. She knows I have migraines and fibromyalgia, so she will just have me do a different exercise instead.

Well, I am in a real mood with my daughter’s school. Again. They seem to have a real need to micro-manage us parents. OMG! First of all, I got no less than 6 emails that there was a PTO meeting yesterday. I shit you not. So… are you trying to tell me there is a PTO meeting on Monday? Do you think they are trying to get people to attend? Geez! And then there is the “Fundraiser that’s not a fundraiser”. If we donate this much money, it will prevent them from ever having a bake sale, if we donate $xx it will prevent us from selling wreaths and wrapping paper, etc, etc. Yep, I doubt it. You will still try to make us sell stuff. Forget it. I put in my years as a Girl Scout leader and sold several thousand cookies. Been there, done that. Until you come up with something people really want to buy, I’m out.

Also, yesterday we got an email to make sure we pull up “all the way to a certain spot” when we drop off in the morning to “ensure a proper flow of vehicles”. And don’t drop your child off until they are fully ready to exit the car. OMG! You really have to waste an email on this nonsense! Why don’t you just shoot me in the head? What a serious waste of time for the writer and the reader. Give me a freakin’ break. Also included in that email was a “social media challenge”. You’re gonna love this. They want us to sign an agreement to add the school’s Facebook page to our Facebook. And if our children are over 13, to add the school to their Instagram. Ummm, no. I’m not wasting my time to print it, sign it, and send it back. Again, give me a break. I have better things to do. I already have them on Facebook, but now I want to delete them for spite. If my kid was 13, maybe I wouldn’t necessarily let her be on Instagram. Did they ever think about that? Hmmm?

Lastly, I want to strangle the yearbook club advisor. She really needs to get her shit together. Seriously. Let me tell you why. All the other clubs have nice calendars of when they meet. Nope, not her. 3 weeks ago, we had a date on the calendar for the yearbook meeting, but it wasn’t on the school calendar, so we weren’t sure if there was a meeting. I told my daughter I would call the school and find out and told her to listen to the announcements. I called the school and there was no meeting listed. Also, no announcement, so I picked her up at the regular time. On her way out the door, a friend asked if she was coming to the meeting. Sure enough, there WAS a meeting. Terrific! She missed it. I sent the advisor an email to inquire why it wasn’t posted on the website, announced, or why the office didn’t know about it, and could she please provide a calendar. No reply.

Today there was supposed to be a yearbook meeting. It WAS listed on the school calendar, but there was no announcement, so Hailey thought it was cancelled and she sent me an email to pick her up after school. Again, walking out the door, the same friend asked if she was coming to the meeting. Again, there WAS  a meeting and she missed it again. Because I drive 20 minutes one way to school, I was already in the parking lot waiting by the time the friend told her there was a meeting and this continues to happened. Hailey was pissed off and said she isn’t staying on the yearbook staff. I sent another email to the advisor referencing my message from 3 weeks ago and kindly asked her to get her head out of her ass and reply. I really just asked her to get herself organized, which probably wasn’t nice either, but at this point, I don’t really give a hoot.

Anyhow, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. End of rant.