Thursday, December 29, 2011

A New Year

I am not a fan of all the new year hype about new year/new you but then again, I never have been.  To a certain extent the premise kind of scares me what with the pressure of new exercise routines, new and better eating habits I am told need to adopt from the nutritional experts splashed all over the media and all those resolutions that need to be made to transform my less than sunny outlook on life and turn me into a more positive and self-actualized person.  Rubbish.  The real new year for me happens about nine months later with the start of school.  I have always loved that fresh start from I was a little girl--new teachers, school supplies, clothes (okay, uniforms but they were still new), opportunities to make new friends and to challenge myself by learning new skills.  So you can keep your noisemakers, confetti and lighted ball dropping in Times Square amid the throngs of drunken revelers.  I will save my celebration for the end of summer and the new year of academic exploration that follows.

Friday, December 23, 2011

And to all a Good Night!

We have a Christmas countdown clock on our front porch which serves as a constant reminder of those precious hours, minutes and, yes, even seconds remaining until the big Ho, Ho, Ho--the illuminated message on the clock when our time has run out and the Big Day is finally here.  Each and every time I pulled out of or into the garage since the begining of December,  I checked that clock.  One fast glance was all it took for me to know how much time I had left to get everything done from presents, to a Christmas menu to a school party for which I was in charge. In brief, the whole gamut of things required to 'make the season merry and bright' as found on the many lists I had been making and revising since October.  Now as I sit here with everything on my lists done and accounted for, the countdown clock no longer instills fear because it no longer represents time speeding by but, instead, it represents those precious hours that lay ahead, the sweet anticipation of one of the most anticipated days of the year.  I am trying to take the time to relish those last hours as somehow the hours of Christmas morning don't feel their full sixty minutes with the gift opening frenzy at our house but then the wrapping paper is thrown away and soon thereafter the tree gets taken down and the countdown begins all over again.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Hardest Job in the World

I have heard often enough that the hardest job in the world is being a mother what with its 24/7 responsibilites and far too little appreciation for all we do. We take care of bruised knees, egos and hearts all the while feeling every single hurt and anxiety ourselves, sometimes reliving our own childhood angst through these amazing children.  Moms spend countless hours ruminating over what is best for their children while trying to balance their happiness with teaching respect and responsibility.  As a mom, your children idolize you, come to you with all their questions, think you are both beautiful and amazing...and then they become teenagers.

Did you know that the average mom loses as many brain cells as her teenager feels he is gaining daily?  Think you are smart and interesting?  Take a moment and talk with your teenager and you might be shocked to discover just how stupid you have become.  Like so many other times in my life, I swore this would never happen to me but, alas, (as my teen would be more than happy to point out), I was wrong again.  Worse than this, I have another soon-to-be teen in the offing just waiting to knock me off my once-polished pedestal--the writing is already on the wall; the eye roll, the smirk, the overall annoyance at any and all questions posed to him. It is not pretty.  Each time I hear some newbie mom complaining about sleep deprivation, play date issues or milestone hitting, I just want to tell them to stop and savour every moment.  Those issues will all seem like child's play in a few years...especially when faced with your rapidly declining intelligence.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Sunny Side of the Street

I have often wondered if optimists were born that way or if their life experiences served to mold their positive dispositions.  Is there a happiness gene that some people get in utero that enables them to have a sunny outlook as they develop or does a life filled with plenty of positive experiences lay the foundation for lifelong optimism?  More importantly, and perhaps even more relevant to my question,  would those born with the 'gene of optimism' maintain their positive outlooks if their lives took a turn and more adversity started heading their way?  I wonder...

Friday, December 16, 2011

Friday Night

The Christmas tree lights transform a somewhat oddly shaped specimen into a beautiful and magical looking tree. The scene is close to perfect marred only by children arguing, a ridiculous movie on TV playing in the background and the squeals of a child 'leveling up' while playing on the XBox.  Ah, the joyous sounds of the holidays.