What I Can and Cannot Do: Lessons from 2010

 

I am a living, breathing contradiction. While I really don’t like all this “looking back” on the TV, the radio, the internet, I must review my year as it has been a humdinger in the form of life lessons. And say my blessings. It has been good. And you have to get to good in order to move on to better.

This years started out as bipolar time. Major players in my family were seriously ill and I had the extreme pleasure of participating in my godchild’s wedding festivities which began at noon on January 1st.  Mercifully, the extremes all melded. The ride throughout the following months was not unlike a white water rafting trip, beginner level.

It’s true, you know, about the seasons of life. People come in and out. I used to think that was a bad thing, but I’ve been around long enough to  know otherwise.  I miss the loved ones whose seasons ended this year, but death cannot erase my happy memories of them. As for the others, I can honestly say it’s all good. I’m positive I will forget very important occurrences, but, for now, here’s what I am reminded of:

  • Started this blog in January. There is no way I could have imagined the richness my blog friends have brought to my life. No way. It began as a resource fueled by my need to write. While I love writing, there was no way to know that the pleasures, the friendships, the support, the caring for others and their writing would be the gift.
  • I didn’t even try to “fix” anyone this year. That isn’t my job – because I am nowhere near perfect, because I am not a therapist, because it is an impossible task. If you need fixin’, you must fix yourself. Period.
  • Laughter. I have laughed more this year that I have in the past five. With dear friends in beautiful locales, with dear friends in shit city. With strangers and acquaintances. Love this.
  • Began cooking again. Learned to bake. Practiced the art of Kanzashi until my fingers bled. Learned to step back and take a breath instead of jumping to conclusions. Began the task of clearing away the clutter, in my home and in my heart. Never stop learning.
  • Took a long walk off a short pier in several areas of life: job and personal. No regrets. Leaving what you know, good or bad, for the unknown is scary. But so pregnant with possibilities and opportunities. I am thankful. Very thankful.
  • Take nothing for granted. I try.
  • Just try to love people the best you can. I know my limits. There are those who I can throw my arms around and hang with all day. And there are others I must keep at a distance. But I love them all, anyway.

On December 23rd, I went with my dear friends to participate in a church service and dinner. It was held at The Church Under the Bridge for the homeless. I cannot express how touched I was by the crowd and the individuals I was privileged to meet. The ground is level, indeed. During the service, I sat between two men. Troubled, of course. But educated, kind, courteous, and compassionate. At one point during the evening, it got so cold. The man to my left took his blanket and put it over me so I wouldn’t suffer. Who helped who? Enough said.

As the year comes to an end, I’m full of contradictions. Armed with two editions of The Snark Handbook by Lawrence Dorfman, The Awe-Manac, A Daily Dose of Wonder by Jill Badonsky, a million ideas for my new business – well, I’ve got much to do. And much to do better than before. I will greet the new year as a single woman of a certain age, blessed with friends and family. And I will paint this life with broad, colorful strokes in bold colors, even though I am most certainly stepping out on that wire with no safety net. Just have to see what the day brings. This IS how I roll.

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL MY FRIENDS EVERYWHERE. MAY IT BE THE BEST YET!

Later.

Tasty Treasures & Kick-Ass Paper: Oh, the Places I Go

My new agenda includes going on an adventure each day. Obviously, adventures can be simple or far-flung.  Am keeping it simple for now. There are a number of farmer’s markets in my city. So, my plan for this morning was to go to one, then meander wherever the wind blew me. What a great morning!

It was about a ten-minute drive to the market. Little white tents dot the area behind a vibrant shopping behemoth. Under those tents are treats galore! With fans blowing and the tents sheltering vendors and shoppers from the sun, I actually felt comfortable even though it was 9:30 am and already 90-degrees. Live music added to the happy ambience here. Love that! Because I could have a deep conversation with a tree, I spent my time wandering from vendor to vendor, asking questions and hearing stories. Very cool, very peaceful, everything local. Purchases include:

Market Loot

  • Two lovely Portobello mushrooms (am open to any recipe ideas)
  • A sweet round globe of a watermelon (if I were a fruit, I would be a watermelon)
  • Six organic oatmeal/cranberry cookies baked by a Brit with an Australian accent
  • One plastic bear of Orange Blossom honey (my tea will be very happy)
  • One jar of incredible skin balm called “Awakening” by Forrest Glynn Botanicals; the creator is a delightful woman and her products are “Tested on Friends. Not Animals”

There were so many beautiful vegetables, homemade cheeses, marshmallows, and prepared meals by traveling chefs… well, I just had to say, “Stop the Madness” to myself. I can go back next Saturday. Or go to a new market. Or walk a lobster.  Next stop: bookstore.

I. CAN'T. WAIT.

Books are my crack. I am an addict. “My name is Izziedarling and I am a book freak”. No apologies. So excited to score two out of the four book I now own.  Have been after One Day by David Nicholls for months. Same story for Laura Munson’s memoir, This Is Not The Story You Think It Is … A Season of Unlikely Happiness. Happy, happy, joy, joy. Stumbled upon The Tower, The Zoo, and The Tortoise by Julia Stuart; this looks great … an eccentric tale about a Beefeater living in the Tower of London. Good Grief by Lolly Winston is not new, but it was in the bargain section so …..sold!  This is an “aha” moment for me; when I know not where I am headed, I used to purchase self-help books. In search of answers. Which I never found. And hated the books because they could not do the impossible. May not be sure of my next step, but I haven’t bought a single self-help book. This is an epic win on my journey. Rah me.  Next stop: cupcake shop.

You better be good......

Oh my! There is a paper store right next to the cupcake place. I love and respect paper more than some people I know. Paper Source did not disappoint. Found so many great items, but had to exercise some self-control. So I bought Karma Checks. I can’t wait to use them. Advertised as “60 checks to keep the world in balance”, these come in a little checkbook holder – good/bad karma – 30 each! Examples: Bad karma – “for being aggressively passive-aggressive”, Good karma – “For demonstrating an advanced degree of friendship”. Sold! Walked next door to purchase sweets.

These are pretty; I suck at photography

The cupcake mecca is Sprinkles. Am here because eldest daughter told me about it AND they have key lime cupcakes through the end of the month. While I could care less about klc, I know this flavor will make my cooking partner do a happy dance. Because I don’t want him to have to dance alone, I chose a banana cupcake and a chocolate marshmallow confection. I love sweet endings.

Now I’m brewing tea for my Orange Blossom honey. And trying to decide which adult beverage goes with a cupcake dinner. And making a list of potential karma check recipients. And liking this multi-tasking adventure ….

Later.

A Quickie and Two Hummers

Get your mind out of the gutter, not that kind … a quickie post and two of those ridiculous vehicles! So … 

  • Am baking my ass off – not complaining … sighing heavily, but not complaining.
  • Ok, here’s my read on the reality tv finales:  Pussycat Doll should win Dancing With Stars, hands down.  The skater dude is good, but he’s already won a gold medal at Olympics. Spread the love, judges.  That woman can dance.  American Idol – I think Lee and Crystal should tie – a first for the show – why do you think they did that duet?  If that doesn’t happen, and one wins over the other, it will have no effect on my world as I know it. 
  • Big news on MSN.com:  “Last Two Hummers Roll Off the Line”  – if I was not so damn tired, I would make this R-rated; all I have to say about it is … ho-hum, who gives, not me!
  • A nice woman came to measure my windows this afternoon.  The windows are enormous and located on the second floor.  Where there is no landing.  I was up to my eyeballs in dough, literally.  Cooper was doing his best rabid dog imitation, and her tape measure was … bendy.  Bendy?  What?  The windows are 8 feet tall and you brought a bendy tape measure?  As my rolls go flat, I have to dig around the house, flinging dough hither and yon, to find a NORMAL tape measure.  I paid $50 to have my windows measured.  I think I need a refund.  On further thought, I think I need a drink.  Make that a double.  Gin and tonic, two limes, please and make it snappy.

Later. Maybe.