Tis the Season

holiday

Does anyone else sense that something is different about this holiday season? We all know that Christmas and the winter holiday has become very over commercialized. For some time now, it has seemed that stores have pushed the season up. This year seems different to me.
It seems as though the season is early, but it’s the people and not the commercial establishments that are off to an early start. I notice on social media that lots of folks put up a Christmas tree before Thanksgiving. Now, there are no rules about when to put up your tree, but it does seem a bit early. Driving home from my daughter’s house on Thanksgiving evening, I noticed several houses that had their tree shining and decorated, on display in the window for the world to see. Quite a few houses had holiday lights trimming the house.
What’s this all about? I have a theory that we are craving the joy that comes associated with the holidays. We are all out there looking to “make spirits bright.” I’m hopeful when I see this if I’m even close in my analysis. It seems like we’ve all been at each other’s throats this year, and anything that serves as a distraction from that can’t be all bad.
As an optimist, I look for the good in things. I am usually excited about the holidays and the end of the year. I am a firm believer in our ability to change course and reinvent ourselves if we’re unhappy with our current situation. I love the end of the year. The new beginning. Starting over and pledging yourself to new resolutions.
Some people are more cynical about the holiday season. I know that there are lots of people that are lonely and unhappy at Christmas time. Emotions run high, and patience seems to be in short supply. We’ve all had someone cut us off and give us the finger during the holiday season. It seems to be more unsettling when you’re in a holiday mood.
Is anyone else experiencing this sensation of people pushing the holiday? Are you striving for that warm feeling yourself? What’s different about this year?
2017 is my first year in a long time without having to be in a retail environment at Christmas time. I enjoyed sleeping late the day after Thanksgiving. Not having to be somewhere at 5:00 am is something to be thankful for, to be sure.
I know I’ll be making more posts about the end of 2017 as the month continues. But, you know, I thought I’d just get started early. I wish you and your friends and family a beautiful holiday season and end of the year.

– Cat

Collared Shirts

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Relationships can be fun, and they can be hard work.  The best relationships are a little of both, I would say.  I’m lucky enough to have had two chances at love, and I’m currently married to my perfect match.  That is to say, the Yin to my Yang.

We are definitely different.  I sometimes explain the relationship by saying “He is retired military, and I am not”.  He keeps me grounded and I teach him to laugh at things.  He is common sense, I am whimsy.  He’s a few years older than me.

One thing about this journey we travel together.  It does not involve v-necks, scoop necks, or crew necks. He insists that women of my age should wear collared shirts.  I never saw this one coming 20 years ago.  All I can say is thank God that polo shirts count as collared.

Sometimes I am a real renegade and wear something without a collar.  I will wear a crew neck shirt, for instance, when I’m going to the grocery store by myself.  He’s horrified by what I wear to get a pedicure, my cut off sweatpants and t-shirt.  But when I’m with him, it’s a pretty safe bet that I am wearing a shirt with a collar.

People look at me funny when I say this.  Some roll their eyes, and say that they would never let a man dictate to them what they wear.  It violates a person’s individual rights.  It’s ridiculous! It’s a form of abuse.

Here’s the thing… This is not a battle that I care anything about.  If it pleases him that I dress conservatively, and wear a collared shirt, it is just not a big deal to me.  There are things that mean a lot more, and I will argue until the end on these topics.  Going forward, for the rest of my life, I will only buy collared shirts.

He does some things that irritate me, but not a lot of things, and not a lot of irritation.  I’m sure he would say the same about me.  Most people have qualities that we love about them.  Then they will have some traits or habits… not so much!  On the big issues, we see eye to eye.  We work together on most things.  We didn’t always, but we do now.

He supports my job, he supports my hobby, and encourages me to do everything I want to do.  He doesn’t send me flowers, except sometimes on Valentine’s Day and our Anniversary.   But, he pulled his back out to surprise me with a big, fat Christmas tree this past weekend.  I came home from work, and it was up with lights on it.  Magical!   He sometimes helps me see things from a different angle.  I think that is a big plus.  Two heads are better than one when it comes to a lot of issues.  I persuade him to my point of view on some things.

I don’t have a PhD in psychology. But, I know that when you’re in a relationship, you have to decide for yourself which points are the ones you won’t budge on.  If everything bothers you, and you’re fighting all the time, reconsider your relationship.  If everything is great all the time, you are living in a TV sitcom from the 1950’s. 

Editing this, it looks like a testimony to my relationship with my husband.  The point I am trying to make is that sometimes you have to stand up and make your feelings known.  At other times, you just put on a collared shirt and get on with things.

– Cat

 

I’m My Mom. By the Way, My Daughter is Me.

So, the audiologist looks at me and says “You have mild to moderate hearing loss”.  It sunk in.  I remember when my Mom started losing her hearing.  I would get so annoyed when she would ask me multiple times to repeat myself.  Sometimes she would answer the question she thought you asked.  Never mind the actual question.  My Granny, Mom’s  Mom, was deaf at the end of her long life too.

I’m older now.  I am becoming my Mother.

In so many ways, I’m lucky to be like her.  She always says hello and starts a conversation with strangers.  She likes to help.  She’s quick-witted.  She has a weird sense of humor.  She has the Scrabble gene that runs strong in our family. She loves music.  She doesn’t watch sports.  She loves to hear and tell stories.  I’m so lucky to have her.

I have a daughter now.  She is the very best parts of me and her father all mushed together.  Although we’ve always been friends, I always admired her because she was different than me.  She never went through that bitchy teenage phase. I did.  She always seemed very quiet and private to me.  She is an artist.  She used to be embarrassed when I talked to strangers.  She always seemed wise beyond her years, and sometimes I wasn’t sure who was raising who.  She’s all grown up now, married, and has a son.  I love him to pieces.

We share a lot of things.  She calls me nearly every morning and we talk about EVERYTHING.  We both love music, even though we’re not musicians. We share and build playlists together. All her brothers are musicians. She and I are fans.   She encourages me, and I return that encouragement.  She talks to strangers more than she used to.  We play a game of Scrabble now and then.  She’s good at it.  She has a weird sense of humor. She loves to help, and teaching is her passion. I’m so lucky to have her.

My daughter is becoming me.  Still different in so many ways, but I’m starting to notice the similarities more. She’s older now.

She’s having a baby in June.  I hope it’s a girl.

 

  •  Cat