Ugh….

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I hate Mother’s Day…

I have no Mom.  

It’s hard to wish my Mother in Law type person a Happy Mother’s Day cuz no matter how awesome and amazing she is she makes me miss my Mom even more.

I have no kids.  Not sure I even want one.  Jealous of all the Mom’s I went to high school with who have them already and wish each other Happy Mother’s Days.

I don’t speak to my grandmother.

The cats can’t even be bothered to pay attention to me today.

Sorry for being the “Debbie Downer” but there’s just no point for me.  No matter how well I’ve been doing with dealing with my Mom’s passing lately, Mother’s Day definitely doesn’t seem to have gotten any easier.  Everyone treats it like it’s a national holiday.  Why?  Soon people are going to demand a day off.  No one died or fought in a war or discovered a country or earned labor laws, etc, etc, etc……….  Yeah, people shot little people out of their vaginas and then put up with the brats for 18 years but we’re biologically made to do it so what’s the big deal?  Cats, dogs, opossums, and a ton of other mammals do it multiple babies at a time every time.  We don’t have Opossum Mother’s Day.  

I’ll probably delete this post eventually.  I’m just feeling down and cranky.  I don’t want apologies or “It always gets easier eventually”‘s or any of the other usual platitudes.  I’m tired of those.  It’s just a shitty day full of too many tears, fucked up heartbreak, lost favorite lipgloss, missing ushers, replacement ushers that do everything wrong, disconnected squirrel tails on the side of the road, headaches, and paperwork.

Church, Tater Tots, Jetsons, and Cleaning….

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So, it’s actually been a really terrific day.  Filled with so many of my favorite things.

I went to Church this morning, I ran late as always.  I still made it on time, I’ve mastered power walking to Church.  I helped with Communion.  Helping with Communion always feels… Like an honor?  LIke a major responsibility?  It feels heavy.  “The blood of our Lord, shed for you.”  Pastor Joel (or our Lovely Lynn as it was this morning) gives the bread and the Communion assistants (my job!) give the wine.  It is truly all of the above.  An honor, a major responsibility, and a moment of prayer and reflection.  It help to put life into perspective for me.  Church always does, it also refreshes me.  I still can’t believe that I am attending Church and so involved with Church.  I love it.  I’m proud of sitting on council, especially on the executive board as secretary.  It keeps me busy.  Next week I’m presiding over the Worship team meeting.  How can I not be proud of what I’m doing there?  Serving my Church family or community if you prefer.  It makes my heart feel full and content.  

Today’s service, including the sermon, was given by the Lovely Lynn.  My Pastor’s sister passed.  Lynn talked about death and how it affects those who are left behind.  The grieving process and the time that it takes.  I realized recently that I have finally dealt with my Mom’s passing.  I’m not saying I never cry or that I never miss her, especially with Mother’s day coming up.  I am saying that I no longer cry hysterically when I think of her or miss her to the point that my heart hurts.  Thinking of her soothes me now.  I don’t wake up panicked anymore.  It took me five years.  I know that Pastor will be missing his sister, she passed so young.  I hope that he can cope with this in a healthy and happy way.  Help his parents to cope the same way.  His wife will help him.

Since I’ve come home, I have slowly been cleaning up since I have visitors coming!  No stress; clean a little, relax a little, clean a little, relax a little, etc……  Skyped with Steph for an hour or so.  Ate some tater tots, which are my favorite!  And I’ve had the Jetsons playing in the background.  An all around good afternoon.  No complaints.

This will be Gossip Girl‘s favorite part.  I also took one of the Twins out.  One of the units in my building was purchased recently.  The family that bought it has two kids, one of them is extremely allergic to cats.  Both of the kids have been *desperate* to meet our babies.  So, the compromise for the kid that is allergic was for him to meet one of the cats outside.  So, Cooper put on his harness (which barely fits him now that he’s so big!) and the leash.  We went outside and poor Cooper spent about 15 minutes outside, freaking out.  I felt bad but he’s the one most willing to be outside.  He just needs to adjust to it a bit.  He’s also been outside in the snow.  We took him to the park that time and it was easier for him.  Probably because he couldn’t see the door where his brother was sitting.  So, I let him wander for a few and then he sat in my lap where he calmed a bit.  When I took him in, he sat expectantly in front of the treats bin.  I gave them extra to make sure Cooper got to eat plenty.  What a good boy!

Now it’s back to the Jetsons and the cleaning.  🙂

Wow… Here we go again…

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So, I was doing better with all the icky stress.  I was, really.  Then the phone call came. My appointment to meet with the surgeon is scheduled.  They called and scheduled yesterday.  I keep having these crazy, “holy shit… it’s actually happening…..” moments where I’m just shocked that all of this is happening in *my* life.  I keep feeling like I’m looking at my life as an outsider.  None of this stress actually belongs to me.  It all belongs to someone else.  Then I realize that yup.  Sometime in the next month or two, they will actually be cutting out part of my brain.  I will actually be running the risk of loosing part of my memory or some other function.  This surgery is everything that my doctors and I have been working and praying for but now that it is actually a reality, I am so freaked out.  I know I need to just take a deep, deep breath and remember that I don’t actually know all the risks and benefits of going through with this.  I haven’t met with the surgeon yet.  Deepest breaths ever.

BUT!!

I’m typing this one handed because I have the amazing Mr. Winston snuggled into my chest.  This is one of his favorite places to sleep.  He does it to both of us.  I’m pretty sure it’s a life or death kinda thing.  If he can’t get into that cuddle, he *makes* us let him in…  And he doesn’t just sit in our lap.  He needs to be held up close to our faces and necks.  He likes to reach up for face nuzzles.  Talk about a stress reducer!

Other stress reducers?  There’s Stephie being home for her “weekend” so we’ll be spending some more time together.  There’s Cooper, who just when Winston vacates takes over.  There’s sunshine so I’ll get some work done in the next couple of hours then camp out in the sunshine with my book. 

How can you resist this cuddle?

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Opps… I said a 6 letter word…

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Hi.  It’s been awhile.  How’s it going?  My 4 followers.  We all know I try to keep it pretty upbeat around here but I don’t think that’s where this post is headed.  

Stress.  A dangerous word.  There’s been a lot of it lately around here.  I had my first truly on the spot stress induced seizure recently.  Over the top stuff is happening with my brain. Church is in mediation.  Work is in hiatus.  Student loans have become due.  I feel like it’s never ending.

I guess I should start with Church.  There’s some division going on in the congregation over a conflict so we called in a mediator from the Synod.  I actually think this is a good thing, the mediator is doing a great job helping us learn a lot about conflict and how to handle it.  Well, at least I am learning a lot.  I hope everyone else is.  This leads to the stress induced seizure.  We had to do some role-playing.  In front of everyone.  Yikes.  We all know I stagemanage for a reason.  Do not put me on stage.  I freaked out, froze up, hid behind my book, and started bawling.  I was paired with my Pastor who is familiar with the symptoms of my seizures and informed me later that I had a seizure, just a petite mal.  But really?  Bawling like a 5 year old?  In front of everyone?  And a seizure?? At least it wasn’t one of my spicier seizures.  Ugh.  All of that just added more stress to an already stressful situation.  I repeat… Uuuuuuggggggggghhhhhhhh…

The brain.  I’ve been doing a ton of testing down at UCSF.  I feel like I should just move to SF.  I was back and forth so much for awhile.  I am very lucky to have such an amazing MIL to help with the transportation.  Which is still causing stress because I feel so guilty that she has to do that.  Neuropsych testing, petscans, a Wada test (that was intense!), a week long video monitoring session, neurologist visits, etc etc etc….  Everything they need to build my case and bring it to conference.  The conference is 20-30 doctors, all neuro related, that meet once a month to look at each case and decide if the case is eligible for surgery.  The surgery will hopefully stop my seizures so I can stop Steph’s stress and get her a full night sleep and get my license back.  Well, I was all gung ho and excited about this.  Then last Thursday they had the conference.  I stressed the entire week and Steph had to take me on a forever long hike the day of to keep me from flipping out with anxiety.  They got out at 4 and by 4:30 my doctor called me.  I got approved for the surgery.  As much as I knew I was going to, I sat there in shock.  I couldn’t help myself.  My anxiety ramped up again.  Holy shit, I’m going for brain surgery.  A very good thing.

Now, medical bills are due, student loans are due, credit card, etc etc etc… And work is in a hiatus.  Not cool.  So, today I was supposed to be watching my free rental redbox but I couldn’t concentrate.  So I called my student loan company and talked to them about what was going on.  Hopefully I will get approved for an income based repayment plan.  We shall see.  That would reduce my stress considerably.  

So now I have taken a very deep breath, written this long post, am listening to my cat snore, and I am going to go give that movie a try again.  

Sorry for the sucky post but I think it helped.  A lot.

The (not-so) Giggly Giraffe

The Bucket…

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This is my Bucket List. I didn’t think I had one but then I realized that I’m 30, not getting any younger, and I’ve got shit to get done. So, here’s the list:

1. Ride in a hot air balloon.
2. Ride in a helicopter (not a seizure induced med-evac).

Ok, so, it’s a short list for now but it will grow with time. This list should include something about that hotel where giraffes come right to your window and finally figuring out what I want to be when I grow up. But really? One is too specific for blogging while walking through the forest. The other is too serious and scary for The Bucket. It will all work out with time. That I feel confident about.

E to the M

(I wrote this a few days ago while we were geocaching in the woods near Taylor Creek, nice thing about having the WordPress app on my phone.  I wanted to reread it on my computer before I actually posted it though.)

Thoughts on Careers…..

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So, I’m home from the summer job.  I have been for a couple of weeks but I’ve successfully avoided my computer since then.  I guess being home became official when the cats joined us earlier this week.  Blogging makes it even more official?

A few minutes ago I posted a status update that I feel the need to expound on.  So, I’m putting down my project to blog.  This status update was:

I used to stress about not having a career as I turn 30 but as I sit in the sun refurbishing a shelf, stopping to read stressed status updates from the teachers on my friends list, I’m loving my life.  I’m sorry you’re stressed, truly.  It’ll all work out.  You’re brilliant teachers but I’m glad I’m not one of you.  ❤

I’m turning 30 this weekend.  Whoa.  That means I’m closing out my third decade on this planet and certain expectations are usually met by now.  By my age, my Mom had two kids, was living with my Dad, and had a real job.  She certainly wasn’t still acting like a kid herself.  I mean, the most exciting thing that has happened in my life recently was the acquisition of my Batman Chucks.  These expectations are a *very* East coast thing.  I think.  I feel like life out here on the West coast is so much more relaxed.  That’s not to say that people don’t have expectations for their twenty-somethings out here.  It’s just not as rigid, per say.  Maybe it’s a Tahoe thing.  I went to college.  Hell, I even got my Master’s degree.  And here I am with no desire to use those degrees or the resulting certifications/credentials.  I don’t even like children in a classroom setting.  At least I’ve discovered that I *like* children, just don’t give me thirty of them in a classroom.

Like I said, I used to stress about this.  How many thousands of dollars am I in debt for these degrees?  What am I going to do with my life without using these degrees?  All of these people on FB that are my age, older, and now even some who are younger, all have careers started and I’m some kind of loser who doesn’t, what does that say about me?  How come I have no ambition to start a career?  What do I want to be when I grow up?  How come I’m not grown up yet?  

I could go on for hours with the questions about what my life was lacking.  What I was lacking, all because I didn’t have a career.  I had jobs but nothing that mounted up to a career.  I thought about going back to school but what was the point if I didn’t know what I wanted to be.  What direction would I take the classes in?  It was all very difficult and depressing to deal with.

Then there was my Dad.  He’s not really stressful to deal with.  In fact, as Dads go he’s incredibly easy going.  But he always wanted to know, why didn’t I just teach?  Ew.  He’s always been in a classroom setting.  He’s amazing, he worked with the severely mentally/physically handicapped kids.  Teaching them job skills and everyday he made them laugh and smile.  My Dad has the personality for it.  I think I would’ve been that ogre teacher that just wasn’t right for it and yelled too much.  We’re really different.  It makes it hard to explain why I don’t teach.  When I tell him that kids have cooties, it just doesn’t go well. All that matters is that we all know that he’s amazing, because he is mindblowingly amazing.  Which I think I’ve dedicated a whole post to before and if I haven’t I will. 

So, I’ll turn 30 this weekend.  My life will be what it is and maybe someday I’ll start a career.  Or not.  Really, who says I *need* a career.  At least this winter I’ve vowed to get a job instead of avoiding getting one so I can ski all winter.  That’s a step in the right direction, right?  Most importantly, I’ve decided to stop really worrying about it.  That’s the healthiest thing I can do.  Someday I’ll have an epiphany and realize what I want to be when I grow up, or at least I hope I will.

Posts are getting more and more sporadic…

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Ok, people.  It’s time.  I haven’t been around and I can’t exactly explain why.  Ok.  Maybe I can.  I’ll try.  Sunburn.  I am extremely sunburnt.  Or, tan.  I like to call my sunburns tan.  Sunburns are the only tans I ever really get.  I think this is going to be a post of a ton of little thoughts.  Let’s see if any of them turn into big thoughts.

First, I have another post brewing that kind of freaks me out.  It means a lot to me.  Of course, as most are, it is about love.  I think it will be a big, big, huge post.  It at least feels like it will be.  It’s about my sister.  You know, I read another blog called Single Dad Laughing.  www.danoah.com It is written by Dan Pearce and he started writing it after his second divorce as a tool to help him heal.  It is largely about his son, Noah, and parenting or at least that’s what he says it’s about but it’s not.  It’s not at all about parenting.  It’s about life and laughing.  I love it so much.  I’m starting to realize that maybe that’s what this is about.  Healing and love.  Every therapist I have ever had has made me write in some form, usually in a journal.  So, I guess that’s what I’ve done.  Without the therapist this time.

You know, it’s been over 8 years since I’ve been in some form of therapy?  I miss it immensely but I spent enough time that I gained the tools I needed to help me be healthy on my own.  Or at least try to be.  Well, to at least use those tools and reliably take my anti-depressants.

This was the most beautifully, relaxing, happy weekend.  Ever.  Full of sunburn, which apparently I can’t feel anymore.  It just doesn’t hurt anymore.  I’m a bit concerned but relieved at the same time.  As the girl who sunburns even with sunblock on, it’s a bit of a relief.  As for my relaxing weekend, on Saturday, Steph and I spent the day at Six Flags with her Dad.  During the afternoon we went to the whale show (where we got soaking wet!), fed the lorikeets, and pet the stingrays.  It was so much fun.  In the evening, after Steph’s Dad left because he had work the next day, Steph and I rode all the crazy rides.  Who knew I liked crazy rides?  I thought I hated them!  Now I adore them.  This is why we’re now season pass holders at Six Flags and I get sad every time we drive by without stopping.

Then we drove home.  Sunday morning was my final day of Church before another summer at camp.  Church was amazing, as usual.  Relaxing, refreshing, and energizing.  It was followed by the flea market that I’ve always wanted to go to.  It cost a dollar to get in and was filled with creepy junk.  While I have to admit that I got my Dad a pretty neat Father’s Day present, I was pretty disappointed overall.  I probably will not be going back.  Then there was a neat craft fair at the middle school.  Where we ran into Susan, sooo good to see her!  Best part of this series of events?  All orchestrated by Stephanie.  Ok, well, maybe not running into Susan but the flea market?  The craft fair?  All Steph’s ideas.  Why?  Because she knows I enjoy them no matter how much she does not.  Then she wanted more ideas of stuff like that, when she couldn’t come up with any she took me home and let me pick out the movie on the Netflix.  In The Proposal Post, I talked about how it was the little things, the breaks from routine that made life romantic after seven years.  This past Sunday was the perfect example of that.  She always lets me choose the movies but the other stuff?  Getting her to a flea market AND a craft fair?  There would be some serious teeth pulling involved there.  The movie was followed by a scrumptious nap and a movie (a scary one!!!) out with a friend.  Doesn’t that sound like a delightful day?  Wouldn’t that be enough?  I’d say so but then it got even BETTER!  WE HAD SUSHI FOR DINNER!!!!  We didn’t go to the usual place.  We went some place different and it was excellent.  The service was excellent, the sushi was super tasty, and they gave us free ice cream.

Monday was Stephie’s sleep late day.  Followed by breakfast in bed.  Followed by continued vegging and snuggling and happy.  Alllllllllllll day. Oh yeah.  And napping.  More napping.*  Then nerds.  Never enough nerds.  Nerds = Big Bang Theory.

So, yeah.  Best.  Weekend.  Ever.

Actually…. The weekend wasn’t all good.  The reason we were in the general vicinity of Six Flags?  We had to drop our baby cats off at their summer house.  Where we go for the summer we can’t take them.  So, we’re home without our 4 babies.  Although we’re relishing the opportunities to leave things around the house that they would normally destroy, chew on, or steal, we miss them dearly.  The naps and cuddles?  Normally there would have been a four legged furry body in the middle of it all… Life is bizarre without a cat in the middle of it all.

*I’m practically required to nap as much as my body will let me.  So, lots and lots of naps for me.  And Steph works and goes to school a lot.  And she did a lot of driving this weekend.  So she earned lots of naps.  Plus her unending patience with me always earns her lots of naps.

Make new friends but keep the old…

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A few days ago now, I received quite a surprise… A voicemail that just said “Emily…” it was three seconds of pure confusion for me. I didn’t recognize the phone number or the voice from one word. When I called back to discover it was an individual I hadn’t spoken to in nearly five years… Whoa… Out of nowhere. Talk about overwhelming? Surprising? Ridiculous? Absurd? Startling? A bit mind-blowing? Pick your descriptor, any of these would work.. I was completely blown away.

A quick back story? Five years ago my Mom died, ok, nearly five years ago. When my Mom died, my life essentially fell apart, we’re talking zombie mode here. When your life falls apart, you call your closest friends, right? Your support system. I told him and he blew me off. The call lasted just a few seconds and he never called me back. We went from talking nearly daily, at least every 2-3 days, to this. So, even more reason to be blown away.

Now, my life right now is really focused on love and forgiveness. Love is something I’ve always had an abundance of and I’ve always given more than generously. I’ll happily love anyone that needs it or proves to be remotely worth it. The part I struggle with is forgiveness. I don’t hold grudges, per se, I just don’t tend to forget very easily. So, when I was pushed away at a moment when I needed this friend the most, it was hard for me to forget. Maybe I’ll never forget but I’ve certainly forgiven. There was never any doubt that I would.  I always knew that the moment we connected and spoke for a few moments I would forgive him. C’mon if you knew this guy, he’s easy to forgive.

I tend to write a lot about getting older and how it is affecting my viewpoints. This is because I am absolutely mystified over how I am turning 30 this year. Now you’re all probably thinking that it’s just a number, you’re only as old as you think/act, and therefore you’re *obviously* not 30… yet. However, chronologically I have graced this earth with my presence for nearly 3 decades and in that time, I should have acquired the necessary grace and poise to handle difficult situations. Grace and poise, you know, those pesky things that keep you from crying and yelling at someone you barely know anymore.

I got really lucky, I threw grace and poise out the window (that is if I ever actually acquired either) and made this person understand how badly he hurt me. By crying and yelling. Opps. Somehow, instead of being really defensive and getting mad, the typical human reaction, he took my words, felt bad, and comforted me. Apologized profusely even. We then spent an absurd amount of time catching up. Talking about everything, right down to what our hair is doing these days. I’m obviously an open person but it was refreshing to be THAT open. This is someone who has always known pretty much everything about me since I met him. A 5 year absence? Yeah, I felt that.

I’m very joyful that he reached out and wanted me back in his life. I am definitely very lucky for that. Old friendships are very important, so are the new, but these classics are the ones that know us best. They are the ones that know how to comfort us best and know just which words will hug us just the right way when they physically cannot.

(The best part? We’ve shared texts and phone calls since I started writing this, so, it looks like he’s really back. 🙂 I couldn’t be happier!)

((And my apologies for all the typos in my original posts… I have since proofread and made many corrections.  Yikes, I’ll never post anything that was obviously not ready to be posted again.  I promise!))

Little Green Army Men…. <3

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Maturity is a scary thing.  It changes our views from, “Oh no! That can never, ever happen!”  To, “Oh, ok.  I get why that might need to happen sometimes.”  Or, at least it has for me.  Or even the opposite in some situations.  I have gone from staunchly supporting something to understanding why it is definitely not the best decision for me (Skanky Whore, I’ve always admired this view point on a certain touchy subject).  The most amazing part is that these were viewpoints that were never, ever going to change.  That were always going to stay the same for me.

Now for people that have known me since I became old enough to form opinions, I am about to shock you, at least a little bit.  For people who have known me, I have always been vehemently anti-war.  Pretty much that stance has always been about being anti-violence, anti-death, and pretty much all around anti-assholeism.  No, we shouldn’t be taking over other countries, even if we don’t agree with the way they are being run or otherwise behaving.  We can lend a hand, some advice, or a bit of training but completely take over?  That’s not cool.  Although I am grateful everyday to be living in this amazing locale, did we really need to kill and destroy the lifestyles of an entire race of peoples?  I mean, Lake Tahoe is my backyard, how much luckier could I be??  Oh yeah, in the summers, Yosemite is my backyard.  My life is ridiculous but how many people died so that I could live this life?  Or so that places like Long Island can be covered in strip malls?

To sum it up?  I’ve always been vehemently anti-war.  I despise the early Americans, even if I am a direct descendent of them, for their actions in “claiming” the land that we now “own.”

Ok.  Ready for the shocking part?  Recently, I’ve started to understand why war can be so necessary.  I still despise violence, death, and assholeism but I get why sometimes we need to fight for our country’s safety.  Keyword: safety.  I would much prefer if we could just talk it out, followed by hugging it out, but this seems to be something the human race is incapable of.  We all have mommy and daddy issues coupled with chemical imbalances which lead us to having anger issues so we solve our problems with violence.  AKA tradition.  It’s how we’ve always done it so why change it now?

I didn’t intend this to be a statement of my beliefs about war and the military, so much as I meant this to be about how time alters our beliefs.  I feel like I had to outline my beliefs because I had to show how they had changed over time.  And then defend them a little.  As we grow older, we learn about life and the world and this teaches us what we need to know to understand why we need some of these things.  Maybe when I was younger and so adamantly against war, I just couldn’t see the whole picture and I couldn’t understand or accept that if we’re over here acting peaceful and trying to avoid war, we may be setting ourselves up for attack.  In no way am I condoning war, I still think that it is morally reprehensible, I am just beginning to understand why it may be necessary sometimes.  Incredibly awful, inexcusable actions are taken in the name of war: rape, torture, deprival of food, bombings, etc etc etc…  So, obviously I am still very anti-war but with a very different understanding.

During my undergrad there was this kid.  We hung out a lot but he was, like, a gazillion years younger than me.  Or at least it felt like it.  In reality, he’s probably only 3-5 years younger than me.  I remember sitting on my bed talking with him and thinking that he needed to quit smoking and grow up.  Now?  He’s in the army, has been for a long time, and does crazy computer stuff.  I don’t know if he’s quit smoking but it’s been several years and he’s grown up quite a bit (kinda).  We’ve recently begun talking again and I’m impressed with how much he’s grown up.  I’m sure that’s not all the work of the army but I’m guessing it hasn’t hurt.

It was a bit odd to realize that this change had occurred.  I realized it a few months ago pretty randomly when I was watching the news.  I believe they were doing a story about how a handful of locals had come home from Iraq, showing the families being reunited at the airport, interviews with excited kids, lots of kisses, etc etc etc…  I was touched as I had never been before.  Since then, I’ve noticed other changes in my various points of view that I never thought would change.  Not about inconsequential things such as how I should wear my hair (I’ll be 50 and still rocking pigtails) but important things like abortion and religion.  I’m proud that I’m turning 30 and still growing up.  I hope I make it to 75 and I’m still growing up (and rocking pigtails).

Why did this topic come up today?  The revival of a friendship and this puppy picture:  http://thechive.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/animals-i-love-funny-0.jpg

Friends, helping friends, and cat toy smorgasbords…

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Do you ever wake up really early, like 5:30am, bright-eyed, bushy tailed, ready to go?  This happened to me the other day but because I am required to get as much sleep as possible every night, as sleep deprival causes seizures for me, I forced myself to go back to sleep until my alarm was set to go off.  This created the groggy, cranky Emily monster when I finally woke up and then by 1pm, I was exhausted and falling asleep again.  If I had actually started my day when I woke up, by 1pm I would’ve been the picture of productivity and still off running some absurd marathon of hyperactivity.  I hate that.

I’ve made a few friends since I’ve moved to Tahoe and I adore all of them.  Absolutely all of them.  In fact, I have several that I think of as family, I’ve posted about that.  These people are pretty amazing.  I am so lucky to have them.  I spent the weekend with Steph, laying low and catching up on sleep because last week was a whirlwind of friends.  I spent a lot of time helping friends.  And you know what?  I’m pretty sure that’s the ultimate reward in life.  Sandi came over with the kids so that the eldest, of these three at least, could type a paper using my computer and print it out.  This always turns into a movie and snack marathon for the middle.  And an exploration adventure and cat toy smorgasbord for the baby.  Apparently cat toys are really baby toys in disguise, no matter how many times they’ve been dragged across the floor.  And the cats?  They really don’t mind being smacked in the face with the toy as long as the bell is ringing.  Although, it did take a day or two for them to really believe the household was really back to normal and behaviors to return to normal.  And suspiciously?  All of SunnyGirl’s favorite pink stick toys have magically disappeared.  As these are irresistible to her and these are the ones the little one kept hitting the cats in the face with, I don’t think they’ll show up for awhile.  I try to provide non-TV oriented activities for the kids but it can be difficult because this is also Sandi and I’s catch-up time.  I know that they don’t watch a significant amount of TV at home, so I let Netflix babysit.  Opps.  Anyway, Sandi and the kids wound up staying for dinner.  Sandi is vegan and we were able to manipulate some lentils into a very delicious soup.  With quinoa.  Who knew quinoa could be so tasty!

I have seriously digressed.  The point being.  Sandi was here with the kids and I really enjoyed it.  It was originally supposed to be just a couple of hours and they were here until nearly 10pm.  They came again the next morning and then I got to emergency babysit in the afternoon!  All because I was getting to make Sandi’s life easier in some way.  Her youngin’ using the computer, she was doing laundry, she was actually getting to relax a bit, etc etc etc… Tomorrow, I’m going to spend the day tutoring a friend in math.  I have been helping him for some time and I have helped him with a few other projects as well.  I’m lucky enough to have become fairly close to this person through this time spent together.  He is a very sweet person and I know that if I ever need anything, he would be more than willing to do whatever is in his power to do it.

Long Island was never like this.  No one ever asked for help or maybe I wasn’t as open to giving it?  I’m not sure but I am so excited to be able to give this help.  I’ve also extended help in a variety of other ways to other people that surround me.  Once this winter I even offered to shovel the driveway of an elderly woman as I walked by, despite the condition of my knee.  Maybe Tahoe just offers more opportunities to give it or I’ve finally slowed down enough to see these opportunities?  Either way, I like it.

I’m not writing this because I’m looking for any kind of recognition or anything like that.  I’ve just been reflecting on the love in my life, where it is coming from, and how it has become so strong in such a short period of time.  I’ve blogged in the past on the state of my biological family as compared to the families that I’ve built and been built into amongst my friends.  I think these families are stronger because we learn to rely on each other in different ways and for different things.  Yeah, maybe my view on the traditional family is a little skewed because the closeness was never there emotionally or physically.  We are all spread out – New Hampshire, Massachusetts, New York, Florida, New Jersey, Australia, and now California.  Even if we were all on Long Island, nice, close, and within driving distance, we wouldn’t have been close.  My family just didn’t like each other.  Point being, I’ve always looked to my friends first.  I’ve heard of friends looking towards aunts and uncles.  This seems like such an alien concept to me.

 

What are your opinions?  Who do you look to first?  Ohhh… I’ve never asked for opinions before.  How exciting!