Fear Itself

So,  I was really good about posting everyday for a while there, until this week.  Suddenly, I had a lot of trouble caring about updating the world on how I've been.  I'm sure no one really cares about this as much as I do, but I felt the need to explain a bit.  It's been a crazy week.  There are a few poems I've written, that I just haven't felt inclined to post publicly, for personal reasons.  I know... this blog is my personal journal... but every once in a while, I have to hermit myself from the world.  It's funny where and when I choose to draw that line I suppose, but it's my prerogative, yeah?

Anyway, here I am.  Letting the world know: I'm not dead yet.  

Monday morning we will take our five year old in to get his tonsils and adenoids removed and get tubes put into his ears.  We're hoping that this will mean better sleeping for the entire family due to less coughing and an increased ability to properly breathe.  I asked him if he was scared yesterday and he said, "I don't need to be scared; I have everything I need."  This was, of course, after I assured him that he would not be alone at the hospital (which was apparently his biggest concern).

I have to say, that made me think.  There are a lot of things in life that scare me -- mostly myself, quite frankly.  And I get stuck on the details of this and that and how we are paying for that and how I'm gonna make this work and won't someone please think of the children!  But when it comes down to it, I'm surrounded by literally EVERYTHING I need; I just need to get that truth to reconcile my head and my heart with each other.  

I have several people in my life who are working very hard to help me to understand all this (and if you think I'm talking about you, I most likely am), but I have a very thick skull, so this could take a while to sink in.  

I can only say that my husband has infinite patience as I struggle with figuring all of this out (like what I want to do with my life if/when I grow up), and for that, I'm eternally grateful.  It seems like I'm constantly retreating "inside myself" lately, but he's always there, waiting for me to come out again, with open arms to hold me (usually while I cry about it).

I think everything that I've ever been taught to believe in is (and has been for a while now) up for debate.  The only thing I know for sure is that I know that God feels like this is okay, and (S)He loves me through it all too.  One thing I've realized, thanks to my honey, even when I turn around and try to run away, (S)He is everywhere and there is NO running away.  This is the beautiful state of grace: pushing away from those Great Arms, only to turn and land in them with the next fall.

So, really, someday I'll realize the truth of the statement my son made yesterday.  In the meantime, thanks for your support and patience.



   for Jeff, the only ocean I ever want to be lost in

Drowning in the icy blue
   makes me feel most alive
Intense sensations here with you
   in ever deeper dive

You overwhelm defenses
   and wash away the mess
You engulf me with your presence
   submerged in sweet caress

Knowing my attempts to swim
   are swept up in desire
Carried on current's every whim
   and waving ever higher

You beckon me to come to you
   to rest within your gaze
I float into your arms subdued
   anchored safely here -- amazed

Sowing and Reaping

Putting on airs
to hide lonely stares

You know you look good
   and you're better than us
And your voice shines like silver
   so you enjoy all the fuss

Act tough enough
No one calls your bluff

You take what you want
   or you think you deserve
And then scoff at the hurting
   with little reserve

You hide in your act
And forget what you lack

Your beautiful wife
   can't begin to compare
With your unreal desires
   of fanciful affair

A lost soul you keep
For a price far too steep

You'll want what you've lost
   those you've put at arms length
When you realize the cost
   in your sense of false strength

The Mercy of the Prophet

To know
To see
To grow
To be

To envision the outcome
   before it's time
To carry the sorrows
   deep inside

To desire to fix things
   but waiting first
To foresee what's ahead
   and feeling the hurt

To hold up your family
   silently weeping 
To wonder why you're the one
  chosen for keeping

To take hold of
   this struggle to cope
To follow in love
   and live for the hope

To be
To grow
To see
To know


Ants Unmarching (Learning About Death)

for Rodney

Peering closely, crouching down
Close as possible to the ground
His impish eyes stare
Ignoring bustling grown-ups
Brushing by with cares

The tiny specks amaze
Their endless movements race
Swarming in his boyish wonder
Hardly noting piles of junk
With yard sale treasured plunder

He reaches out in sheer delight
And grasps in fists held tight
He trips along with special find
Assuring no escape
In fingertips entwined

He holds them out in childish stride
to feel his mother's pride
But shrieks at his now broken toys
His mother can't protect
Her sobbing little boy

Like a Radio

for Mel

Her voice whispers over wires
   and she lifts a glass for me
   showing what the liquid means

With words that buzz
   out of static and fuzz
   in my brain's lost and frightened haze

When last we gazed
   face to face
   and caught each other's eye
A decade, since, has turned the page
   and life keeps passing by
Vastly miles separate
   but still our souls connect

With simple phrase
   or whispered prayer
   or bottled sorrows spilled
She's somehow here
   when I'm in need
   an unexpected friend

And after all the time and space
   I find I need to feel
She gives my hand a glass to hold
   and pours another drink


A Bonding of Souls

CAUTION: What follows here is a highly blunt and honest post (like so many of mine are).  I share for the benefit of fellow travelers on this road of life, so they may be wary the pitfalls before them...

When I was in Christian high school, it was hammered into us (several times a year), that sex was EVIL.  The argument went something like this (my paraphrase of multiple lessons pulled from the recesses of my faulty memories):  
Sex creates a bond between two people that can never be broken.  God intended this bond to be created only within the marriage relationship, with the intention that it would serve to bring the husband and wife together in an unbreakable bond.  And that is why you should never have sex outside of marriage.  

If you do have sex with someone, it's like gluing your soul to theirs.  (Enter object lesson here: hold up two different colored construction paper hearts and glue them together).  This is fine as long as you're in a strong and stable relationship with that person.  But look what happens when the bond is made and then broken... (Tear the two hearts apart from one another and note the remaining bits of paper stuck on each of the hearts from the other).  You leave a bit of yourself behind.  The more you bond with various people in this way and rip those bonds apart, the more shattered and torn your heart becomes (you can figure out how this works in the object lesson, right?)...
So, of course the theory/argument is... Don't have sex and you won't have this problem.  Great lesson for teens, right?  


I'm  not debating the truth in this lesson.  There is something about saving sex for a marriage relationship that I obviously think God had figured out.

My problem is this... there are other ways to bond one's soul to someone else.  I would know.  I'm still dealing with a few wounds of my own in this "soul bonding" area in past relationships that have absolutely NOTHING to do with physical acts of sex. (And, not to get on a side trail, there are those that can convincingly argue that there is the ability to have a physical act without any actual soul bonding taking place.)

So here's the thing... The bond begins long before the first physical touch.  If you let a person inside your soul, there will be a bond... and that will do far worse when it's broken than just "leaving a few pieces of yourself behind"... 

Frankly, it will rip your soul to pieces.  And while time, space, and a healthy dose of grace and forgiveness can heal the pain, there will always be a scar.  Even when you're "over" one another and no longer share in that way, the person who put that scar there, will ALWAYS be able to rip it back open again, unless you figure out how to stop them.  

And if you do... please let me know.  

I'm tired of bleeding.

Pondering the Speed of Light

for Tony

   at the speed of light
If I turn on headlights 
   what will be?
Does time stand still?
Will anyone be able to see
Does light 
   follow light 
      follow light...
In an infinite question 
   of nil?

Einstein wonders, 
   "Can I become
synchronized worldly 
   at once--
To everyone 
   now a glow of light
the relative 
   ray of right?"

Becoming light 
   through logic astute
a brilliant beacon beckoning

The speed of light 
   becomes pursuit
of purpose for life reckoning

I had a lovely philosophical conversation with my friend Tony a couple weeks ago, who has been "pondering the speed of light" for a long time now.  As a result, I too have been pondering this conversation and some of its implications ever since.  I do not pretend to understand the scientific aspects of the speed of light or even of Einstein's theory, but I was struck with the concept of traveling at the speed of light and the possibility of "becoming light" as a result.  It boggles the mind really.



Shivers running down my spine
In your thrall, I'm losing time
Freezing in your hot embrace
Pink blush creeps into my face
You're relentless as you make me ache
I lie exhausted, forced awake
This quaking that burns deep inside
At times I think I'd rather die
I cannot run despite the pain
Attempts to fight you all in vain
Drifting into fevered dreams
The chains you bind me with still gleam
Lost inside my private hell
Praying that I'll soon be well



Shining softly in shimmering shifts
As tenderly treasured tresses trail
Graciously gleaning glimmering gifts
In vastly vulnerable avail

... lovely ...

Dignified daring decisiveness dreams
Forgiving the folly of fanatical fools
Listening inside for silent screams
Reflecting the rain of reality's rules

... lovely ...

Silvery soul serenely sings
Possession of poise, poignantly pondered
The brightness and beauty she brilliantly brings
In willowy wandering wings of wonder

... lovely ...

Faithfully found in forests forlorn
Hopefully hosting heavenly hearts
Tasting tears so tirelessly torn
Prophesying peace she patiently imparts

... lovely ...

She's lovely

Understanding Poetry: Lesson 1

I've heard several comments recently (as I've started posting more poetry on my blog) --  comments from people who "don't like poetry" or "don't get poetry" and I have to say, this kills me and my inner poet every time. 

"I don't like poetry!"
Here's the problem.  Poetry has been hijacked by marketers and twisted into becoming nothing more than a few catchy (if we're lucky) phrases that rhyme, thrown together to promote the remembrance of some product.  Poetry is NOT some corporate whore, people.  No wonder people don't like her.  That is NOT poetry; I wouldn't want to hang out with that kind of tramp all the time either.

"I don't get poetry!"
Here's the problem.  Poetry has been abused, raped, and beaten to death by English teachers everywhere, who feel the need to overanalyze each and every poetic device ad nauseam (it's okay; I can say this as I was one of those teachers for a couple years).  Poetry is a thing of beauty.  It's meant to be admired, adored, and loved -- not clawed and pawed at, undressed unceremoniously and left to quiver nakedly under some malicious scrutiny.  What a horrible way to cheapen poetry into some dirty little tramp in a darkened back alley!  No wonder people don't get her.  I wouldn't be looking to understand someone I was treating that way either.

So how do I enjoy poetry then?

For the men reading this, welcome to what women REALLY want as well; take notes! (lol)  You ready?  Here it is: Treat Poetry like the amazing woman that she is: 
  1. Like any woman, Poetry needs to be wined and dined.  She has secrets hiding deep within like any woman.  She wants to be known like any woman.  But, yes, you are going to have to take the time to get to know her.  Seek her beauty and she will reward you in kind.
  2. Savor the moments.  Like a fine wine (and yes, this analogy still applies to women too!), poetry cannot be rushed.  Inhale the scent of the overall bouquet -- the beauty of the soft sounds whispered solemnly (poetry should be heard as well as seen -- read aloud).  Every sip must be rolled around on the tongue.  Taste...  Every... Word...  And feel the rush that follows -- the beautiful agony of burning desire.  Appreciate the pain from which the beauty came, the crushing of the soul to squeeze the last drops of sweetness.  The capturing of each and every image, thought, and feeling... and the time, the churning, and the careful attention that it takes for them to mingle and age into something of worth.
This is your first lesson in understanding poetry.  More to come.  Above all, wait for True Poetry (the ONE).  Accept no imitations or substitutes.  Nothing satiates the soul like the throes of poetic passion and the amazing afterglow that awaits.


Initiation Rite

Cutting flesh deep
Dark confidences keep
Baring naked souls
Then fend off the cold

To be where you live
This favor you give
A place to call home
You make me feel known

In calling me friend
My honor you defend
Held true sacrifice
I trust you with my life



I'm tired now. Literally exhausted. I watched the inauguration on CNN while taking care of kiddos. Didn't catch all of our new president's speech, but caught enough to be proud of the new day dawning in our country. And even that phrase makes me feel jaded as I reread it. "A new day dawning" is so overused, that it feels cliche to me. And if it is, well, maybe it's okay.

I started the day with such hope, such fervor, such anticipation for what I felt was going to be an amazing history-making day. And it was.

But now I'm tired.

Because in the midst of all the joy that I feel due to the new page in our book of history, there is still an undercurrent among people that I love, of judgment, bitterness, and (in some cases) outright hatred. I'm tired of it people. Open your eyes and see, "There is more to heaven and earth... than is dreamt of in your philosophy." (Thanks to the master, Shakespeare, himself!)

I don't have all the answers (Thank GOD for that, yeah?). No one person does. NO one... including Obama. We will see where this country will go in the next four years. He will inevitably make mistakes. If he didn't, he wouldn't be human (and regardless what you may THINK you hear from his supporters and/or followers, he IS human)!

Here's the thing though. You may not agree with the man, but here are the facts:
  1. He IS the president of our country. As such he demands our respect, our support, and above all our prayers.
  2. He may be a supporter of freedom of choice in our country, but that does NOT make him heathen, a murderer, or any thing else that I've heard him called in an effort to vilify him. It just means that like all great leaders, he's able to look beyond one or two details and see a larger picture, one which most of the general public may NEVER be able to understand.
So, let's put away the hatred.  Let's reserve judgement for God and God alone.  And let's support our new leader, and strive to create the change that we so need and that he has promised to promote in this country.

This is Nean, signing off...  I can't take anymore of this.

Inauguration Day (White on White)

Sun-kissed crystals hang from trees
Soft-moon sliver silvery streams
The breath of morning rising dawn
Shines a silent promise song
Silent struggle of moon and sun
Day is here and night is done
Cleanly painted snowy white
Faintly water-colored quiet skies
Colors merge; brightness floods
Through pain that's bought with blood
The darkness gone, a new day gropes
Bitter anger silenced by hope


The Space Between

I'm working hard at living in the in between spaces of late.  I tend to be an "extreme person".  The beauty of the bipolar tendencies, I suppose, means that I swing from one extreme to the other and have trouble finding the "happy medium."

It's like this: I either love you or I hate you.  I'll tell you everything about anything, or nothing at all.  I'm either obsessed with something or bored with it.  I either feel like super mom, or like social services should come for my children.  I either feel like the most loved, most cherished, most confident, most beautiful woman alive, or I feel like a worthless nothing that no one would ever want to be around.  Welcome to the fantastic roller coaster that is me.

So, I'm trying to learn to live in the space between.

The thing is, I don't think I'm alone in this.  I think, in fact, that there are millions of "extreme" people all around me.  The question is what to do with us.

There is the world around me as it is: broken, miserable, dirty, chaotic, and lost.  There is the world that God intended it to be: whole, exuberant, pure, beautiful, and purpose-filled.  And then there is me, waffling in the middle, being pulled by both sides, by the desire to touch and connect with those who live in such desperate need of true contact with something real and honest.

And it's hard not to be swayed... to be pulled into the despair and hopelessness.  

It's also hard not to be swayed to ignore it all, to live with my head in the clouds, knowing that "God has something better than this"...  I don't want to live in a place of irrelevance to those around me either.

So, I swing back and forth, knowing that I've been given this "burden" of desire for a reason.  Knowing I'm not alone in this need to live in the in-between places.  And I'm not alone in my struggle for the "middle ground."

Wasted on Grace

Is your love enough?
Was this pain all in vain?
This trust still unjust?

We're asked to drop masks
   to seek to be meek
   to knock down road blocks.

We sacrifice our vices
   to concede what we need.
Practice mere cowardice
   to excuse what we choose.

We learn from the burns
   and reveal that we've healed
Hoping to cope
   to find that in time
Our soul's lost control --
   wholly wasted on grace.



Lost in layers
of barely-there clothes
Chasing her cares
in passionate throes

She longs to connect
to something more real
Than what she expects
From monetary deals

She peels pieces back
Knowing what she's lost
And every scar keeps track
Of monumental costs

Shifting stops 

She gathers golden
   shattered shards
Of rhinestone prayers
   and crystal hearts
And wonders when
   and how
   and where

Her life turned
   from whirling
   from twirling
   from swirling
To something suddenly
   so harsh and hard

And suddenly no one expects
More from her than meaningless sex


Voir Dire

To seek the truth
  in silent stares
unknowing proof
  of laissez-faire

To note a smile
  or hidden cry
based on style
  or sullen sighs

The proof contested
  mere suggestions
time is tested
  and jurors selected


Surviving Jury Duty

I made it through my first day of jury duty.  It wasn't so bad... Aside from a lot of "hurry up and wait" today, I met a lot of cool people and played spades for hours.  Without little people interrupting every 10 minutes.  Almost got called to trial this afternoon, but didn't make the final jury cut.  So back again tomorrow for day 2.  What will it bring?  More poetry?  Lots of time to think I'm sure.

Morning Commute

I will not slip softly
  into decaffeinated chaos

The delight of dawn
  to the luxury of liquid love
  and steaming strength

The escape to ecstacy
  from blessed bitterness
  and bittersweet beauty
  to voice of divinity
  and caffeinated clarity


Guest Poet

I'm pleased to announce my very first guest poet on my blog.  While sitting at the kitchen counter having a cup of "snowman soup" that Nana gave us, Little Man (obediently following the directions on the packet which told him to think about sunny days) started talking.  Those of you who know my son know that most of the words in this poem are his own (including "void" and "allergic") and the phrasing is all his, I just rearranged what he said into a poem to share with you all. 

Here's a little sunshine for everyone!

For the Sun
   by Little Man -- age 5
   (with a little help from Mommy)

A big, bright ball
   hanging in black void
It helps us see color
   a whole lot better
Sunny days are good
   for playing outside

On winter days
   when it's very cold
You can go in the house
   and have cocoa
Some days the sun
   is not very bright

The sun is allergic to my eyes


"Give me something concrete --
too much shifting sand --
I need to understand,
to believe and not retreat."

Asphalt shimmers in summer's heat;
The air ripples and waves
and the hard surface caves --
what seemed solid just under our feet?

Truthfully, I felt incomplete
Got lost -- unknown and alone
so turned myself to stone
and I don't want it to repeat

Do you really want concrete?
I want to give you more
-- to soften this hard core
and show you underneath.


Princess Cut

trauma of time
rarity of region
strength of surrender
carat, color, cut, clarity

defects affect assets
hardness heightens worth
multi-layered facets
signify phases of growth

extraction of treasure
means finding the weakness
the skilled cutters pleasure
designing uniqueness

hammered and scraped
fragility sliced
polished and shaped
by one of greater price

distress is the duty
love is the loyalty 
refining the beauty
reflecting our royalty


We Interrupt Your Regularly Scheduled Blog Entries...

... to bring you this very special Public Service Announcement ...

Saturday, January 10 at 9PM
Bube's Brewery in Mount Joy, PA
will be hosting a special concert
to benefit a special young lady, 
Hannah Garman

For more information, please visit the following sites:
Many others in the area are talking about this too and I don't feel the need to retype all the information since they've already done so quite adequately.

Please forward this post via your own blog by word of mouth.  This child is the same age as my son and is the niece of a former classmate of mine, so this particular cause hits close to home for me.  While I don't know if I will make it personally to this event, I will do my part to pass the word.

Above, all, please keep Hannah and her family in your prayers, as this is a difficult time for all of them.

... and now back to your regularly scheduled blog posts ... 

Winter Weather Advisory

Frigid silence falls
Shielding all 
in glass-like walls

Faltering through
Obscured view
Warmth eludes

Pelted by more
I try to ignore
This icy allure

The beautiful pain
The crystals of rain
Cut through the strain

Chipping away
At this wintry gray
A small price to pay

Soon it will break
It will shatter and flake
Melting mistakes

For love -- honest and true
And strength that's renewed
In a warmth here with you


Norman Rockwell has LEFT the building...

When I was a freshman in college, I brought my best friend (who was from upstate New York) home with me for Fall Break.  Since I only lived about 45 minutes or so from school and my family actually cared that I came home for the break and brought friends, this worked well for both of us.

We wandered around my little town during our few days off.  We met up with a local friend at the pharmacy down-town and my college friend was delighted that she could still get a cuppa joe for only five cents.  We sat outside and drank cheap coffee and locals passed us, many with a smile and a wave.  A few even stopped to chat.  

Beaming, my college friend pronounced my little town to be, "the perfect Norman Rockwell town!"  She wanted to hang pictures on her dorm room walls to remind her that such places actually existed in real life.

Now, this incident happened 14 years ago and a lot has changed.  The pharmacy with the five cent coffee is long gone.  It's been replaced by an organic cafe.  Cute and quaint, but not cheap.  Other local businesses have changed hands or moved on and the "square" looks quite different than it did then.

But the sad part isn't this list of changes.  No, the sad part is the "rise in crime."  Now everyone is having this issue everywhere, but here are our highlights (all within the past five years ):
  • In a development just across the field from where I lived in high school, a young man shot a cop who was trying to arrest him for a minor driving violation (obviously there was far more to the story uncovered later).
  • Not two months later, in the development that my boyfriend in high school lived, our little town made NATIONAL news thanks to a "good Christian" 18-year-old boy who shot his 14-year-old girlfriend's parents and "kidnapped" her.  The couple ran across state lines and finally got caught in Indiana.  This was the same weekend that my brother got married, and the month after my in-laws moved to our town, looking for a nice quiet little place near their grandchildren.  This same boy and some of his friends (one of which apparently lives around the corner from me) video-recorded themselves on "night raids" where they would enter homes with weapons while inhabitants were sleeping.  
  • Last summer, there were a series of break-ins in the area, and the police were asking everyone to alert them if they planned to be out of town overnight.
  • Within the past year, our local school district has been in the news for both racial violence in the parking lot AND for the band director(s) having affair(s) with students.
  • TODAY... as I was typing this, there was a "hostage situation" in a bank just a few blocks from my house.  Thankfully, it turned out to be just a "suspicious package" from the sound of things, but the entire "downtown" area was shut down for a couple hours by the bomb squad.
My memory is a tad fuzzy on the details of all of these things (so if I got some wrong, I'm sorry); frankly I try to forget them, but I highly doubt that you'll find these things in a Rockwell painting.  Sigh...


Releasing the Inner Poet

One morning, about a week or so ago, both my husband and a friend of mine make comments on twitter about the sky.  The statements came to me simultaneously and I found it ironic that two people who don't profess to be poets made such musical praise for the beautiful gift we'd been given that morning.  I've been mulling these ideas over for the past several days and it finally came together into a poem, just for them.

Revelation Skies
    for Jeff & Jaime and their inner poets

Drowsy divinity dreams
Nestling deep in celestial fleece
Silver cloud covers brightest beams
Dim-lit expectations release
A hopeful morning dawns and gleams
And lends the snowy kiss of peace


Current Playlist

It's January and I'm tired, and my family is sick.  I feel like I've been so incredibly depressed lately, but tonight I will go to sleep with music in my head and hope for a brighter tomorrow (beautiful cliche, isn't it?)...  Here are three songs that I find personally very meaningful at the moment:

"I won't be satified; I won't be found alright 'til I find who You are.  I'd climb every mountain; I'd travel the deepest valleys to find who You are....  You calm the storms at night; You turn the dark to light.  You're everything and that is who You are...." (Desperation Band)

Above All Else
"Jesus, my passion in life is to know you; may all other goals bow down to this journey of loving you more....  Savior the more that I see your beauty, the more that I glimpse your glory, my heart is captured by You... nothing this world can offer could ever compare to You.  So hear my heart's cry, and my prayer for this life: Above all else... give me Yourself...."  (Vicky Beeching)

Sweetly Broken
"At the cross you beckon me.  You draw me gently to my knees and I am lost for words, so lost in love; I'm sweetly broken, wholly surrendered...." (Jeremy Riddle)

Goodnight world.  See you in the morning.


Ghost Town

Wispy wind whirling
Tipsy time twirling

The wraithlike remnants
   of relived lives
   and deathly dreams
   of abandoned apathy

I haunt them now
   wanting to know
Feeling so...
   unheard I disavow

Ripples rending
Breath unbending
Echos ending

Another one

I'm on a poetry roll today apparently:

Dream Deference

I wish that I could understand
Confusion hidden in your eyes--
Haunting spaces in between
The awesome stillness underneath

We sift through more of this than planned
So much here, we sympathize
Seeking out the things unseen
Our deepest secrets to bequeath

Dark Poetry

I don't know where these came from... but these have been floating in my head for the past 24 hours or so.  If I don't let them out, they'll eat me alive.

Traversing the world
Hiding inside unfurled

Waiting for someone
A home
With friendship undone
I roam

Unsettled inside
Too stressed
The torment subside
Need rest

Clawing, scratching
forced deep down
Thawing, hatching
Laugh to hide frown

Overriding all my power
From within me it devours

Please don't call the asylum yet.  I refuse to go unless you come too.

Post-Holiday Blues

This morning I'm tired.  

It seems like for the past several years, the first week of January brings more than just the typical post-holiday let-down for us.  Inevitably someone seems to get sick -- often several of us.  We spend so much time and energy preparing for the holidays and hopping from one gathering with family or friends to the next -- and this often lasts nearly two weeks for us.  

The sleeping and eating schedules are disrupted and there seems to be more than the usual sugar, caffeine, and "junk" consumed.  Even when we try to be conscious of it, it seems to hit hard in our house.  We're so completely creatures of routine in our family, that even the slightest disruption sends at least one member of the family into a melt-down (and yes, it's me as often as the kids).  Now... add a million holiday disruptions and I guess it's no wonder that we end up sick the week after the holiday rush.

And my house is a wreck... and this is no one's fault but mine.  Nothing like trying to clean and reorganize when no one feels well to begin with.

Emotionally speaking the week after the holiday is hard for me too.  I'm surrounded by family and friends for weeks and then we suddenly have nothing.  No celebrations to look forward to suddenly.  It's sad.  Thankfully, this year, I at least have an Over the Rhine concert to look forward to the first weekend in February and a promised weekend away with hubby that we have to schedule.

So, I'm off to decide what to do to get me out of this funk.  I guess cleaning would be a good start if I can get up my energy.


Bring It...

I'm reading a lot of blog entries of friends regarding the new year.  I even posted one myself yesterday, since I had this moment of nostalgia and ... whatever it is.  Some people are incredibly hopeful with the "new beginning" and are busy making goals, resolutions, etc.  Other are intensely cynical about all the hooplah and "pretense" of new starts and the "artificial" deadlines that surround our plans and goals when we rely on the "new year" as the only time we set goals.  I find myself falling somewhere in the middle actually.

While I don't want to use January as the only time I do this, I find nothing wrong with the concept of evaluating one's self at the new year, with setting goals for the next year (although I balk at calling them resolutions -- because that feels like setting yourself up to fail).  It's good to be in constant mind of where you're headed, or you become in danger of making a wrong turn and finding yourself pretty hopelessly lost -- much like I did last year.

We found ourselves at hanging out with a few very close friends on New Year's Eve this year.  The topic for discussion for a large part of the evening was, "What was your high and your low from this past year?"  My ultimate low (and indirectly my high as well) was the fact that I got lost this past year.  It ended up rocking the foundations of my life in ways I had no idea were going to happen a year ago.  I found myself having totally rearranged my life in the past year.  

The negatives (the lows) to that were the toll this all took on my marriage and family, and even on some of my friendships over the past 12 months.  I was so busy being caught up in my self and what I needed that I missed the fact that I was failing everyone around me, including my employer... resulting in a change of occupation as well this year.

The positives (the highs) in this come down to the realization of what amazing friends and family I have, not the least of which is my incredible husband.  I'm finding myself and I'm rediscovering him too.  I'm learning who I can depend on to be there for me -- no matter how often I fail them.  We finalized the adoption of our daughter this past year, which was a definite high as well, but even more than that for me is the falling in love with my hubby that is happening all over again.  I'm rediscovering myself, my inner poet/romantic/writer, and I've written more this year than I had since college.

Frankly, I never wanna repeat 2008.  It was a dark valley in the overall picture of my life.  There were distinct moments of sunshine, of course, but I found a few paths in that valley that I wasted a lot of time on since they were leading to nowhere.  2009 is a year of promise... a year for restoration, regrowth, and reconciliation for me.  There are relationships that need to be re-established and/or redefined, and it's a long road, but at least this one has an ultimate destination worth pursuing.

The pain and passion that I'm sure 2009 holds for me... I'm ready.  It's never easy, but I'm ready.  Bring it on.


Carpe Diem!

For New Beginnings

January dawning clear and bright
  Marking end to Silent Night
December's shadow-longing cast
  The false-hope parting come to pass
Seeing worlds before my eyes
  Bubbling laughter -- tearing dry
Pre-occupation last year left
  Errant longing calmed, bereft
The bitter wine poured over time
  Make midnight dreaming more sublime

I don't make resolutions, but I confess to having wasted a lot of energy and time on the pursuit of... nothing in 2008.  I sincerely hope that 2009 proves more productive for me in all areas of my life.  Our time is what we make it.  My wish is to make this year and myself into the things they were created to be.  May I do justice to this gift of a new beginning, by appreciating each and every possibility it presents....

Happy New Year, All!