New Year’s Eve Is Not Always Happy

Two Candles

Two Candles (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For all the people dreading tomorrow night, I’m here. I’m dreading it too. There are hundreds of reasons to dread it and I’m not even going to bother mentioning them, because you know why? They don’t matter. You feel what you feel and no one can deny your feelings. You have every right to acknowledge how you feel, just please try not to cover them up and drink irresponsibly.

I admit, I wish I did drink, one cocktail or one glass of wine. I hate the taste of alcohol, always did, even in college when friends were trying to get me to drink watery, warm beer and I just couldn’t do it. The taste was awful. I didn’t “practice” drinking so I got used to it and I didn’t let my friends change my mind. They would go up to the bar and order two pitchers of beer and one glass of Coke.

To this day I will have a sip of someone’s drink to see if I like it but I haven’t been successful. The closest I have come is Amaretto mixed with milk or orange juice or a sour mix, sometimes I can drink a half of one of those drinks. Generally, if I take a sip or two of my husband’s wine I say “I feel it already” and I do. My adult children make fun of me but again, drinking to them is like chips and dips to our generation. Believe me, I’m not condoning it. Trust me.

Whether you go to bed at ten tomorrow night, ( I’ve done that plenty of times, ) or you and your best friend, your dog, your spouse, your life partner, relative, facebook buddy stay up till after midnight, I wish you all a Happy 2014. I don’t plan a thing on New Year’s Eve except a good dinner at a very early seating in a nice restaurant, with my husband and two grown-up children, this year with my mom because she had no plans.

I’ll be honest, at 10:20pm I will know exactly when to look at the clock, and I will remember all too clearly that twelve years ago my beloved father passed away in a hospital, with no one there by his side.  I talked to the surgeon, I asked him if I could come and I remember his gentle voice saying “No sweetie, don’t come it will be too late.” I was able to talk to the ICU nurse who promised to give my dad a message and I gave my Dad permission to leave us, telling him we would take care of each other.
I mentioned a special word that he and I used together. He passed away within minutes.

So, whatever your sorrow is, whatever your personal story is, I understand. I truly do. You can write them down here or to me privately if you feel like talking about it. Just remember you are not alone, there are people who love you and staying up until midnight is not such a big deal. Tomorrow will come, as it always does.

Happy 2014 to all my readers, to my friends. I wish you peace, health, happiness. I wish you joy.

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Free Write Friday, Kellie Elmore

House cat with a ball of yarn.

House cat with a ball of yarn. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The air was thick with humidity, Emily hadn’t seen the sun in five straight days. To say she was going “stir-crazy” was the understatement of a lifetime. It was hard to breathe, harder to move. She was home with her teenage children, her husband worked long hours and while he used to call her nine times a day just to say hello, he had stopped calling altogether. She had signed up for a clay class but she just heard that it had been cancelled. Her volunteer work at the hospital had ended three weeks ago. She had nothing to do, nowhere to go and she was starting to feel bored, restless and just a little off-center.

She made dinner for the family, most of which was eaten in silence. The cat, Ivy, purred on the sofa, her head resting on a ball of blue yarn. Emily let out an audible sigh of envy, at least the cat was happy, she thought, at least someone was, she certainly wasn’t. What was it about this summer that seemed so different? She felt so closed in, none of her friends were around and there was nothing to do, no one to talk to. She wasn’t brave enough to fly someplace alone and even if she was, they couldn’t afford it but she knew it couldn’t go on like this, she needed to do something, soon.

She thought about it that week and slowly she came up with an idea, an idea that made her smile inwardly. She came up with a plan that involved everything she loved, didn’t cost a lot of money, gave her independence and a mini-vacation. She didn’t ask anyone’s permission, why should she? She had waited on her husband and family for years but one night she told them, not asked them, that she was going to be away for a few days, with her old college roommate. They barely even acknowledged what she said, they mumbled “ok” and  her son asked ” Who is going to cook us dinner?” was the only question asked by her son. You’ll figure it out, ” she said calmly, “Dad can give you extra money for pizza.”

The next morning, after everyone had left she packed her car, turned on the music, her music, on loud and headed to meet her old friend in Boston. She knew they were heading to the beach, which beach she wasn’t sure. She would stop at a motel or an Inn, whatever appealed to her on the way. There were no rules, no rules except for her to have fun and to do whatever made her happy. She had packed a few books, she had her radio and she felt peaceful. She was going to pick up Jane and then Jane would take over the driving. Leaving had made her happy, that was something to think about on its own.

They hugged tightly when they saw each other, it had been years since their last reunion. Jane took over the driving while Emily, now wearing her new sunglasses, put her arm and hand out the window in joyous rhythm to the music she loved. She tilted her head back, grinning, laughed happily and sang, loudly off-key.

Carry on Tuesday: All the world’s a stage

Dorm Room

Hey, it’s me, Jeff, in my dorm room and I’m in a weird ass mood. Don’t know what’s going on with me but I feel sad and strange. Like yesterday I was sitting in the student lounge with my friend, Ericka, and like everyone else was being so damn pretentious. I hate that. It’s like they were kinda showing off to each other but not in an overt way, more subtle. The girls with their short skirts pretending not to care how they looked, the guys in their fancy striped shirts, mostly unbuttoned, they all think they are so cool. Cool? Dude, they were smoking cigarettes and blowing smoke into each others faces and second-hand smoke into mine. Am I supposed to like that? Hell, no. I can’t help it, not everyone is happy.

I had my guitar and I was playing songs and Ericka was singing along and they looked at us like we were the uncool kids. So not right. I mean I kinda like college, I think, but I just don’t like those stupid cliques, that is way too high school for me. I know it’s just my freshman year but I thought college would be so much better, more grown up but it’s the same old shit, just different place. My mom and dad say to “give it a chance” and you know, I am trying, but it’s not helping. Plus, gotta say I really miss my dog, Denver. That stupid dog followed me everywhere and he knew what I was feeling better than most people. What if he forgets me while I am up here? I don’t think I could take that, I really don’t. Am I like the only person that misses their dog and stuff?

All the kids talk about is how much beer they drank and how many times they threw up. Like it’s an accomplishment or something. I don’t fit in, least not yet. I tell my parents that I am mostly happy which is kinda a lie. I don’t tell them about the really bad grades I’ve gotten. The teachers here they take themselves so damn seriously, Dr. this and Dr. that. Big deal, they have a Ph.d it’s not like they found the cure to cancer or anything.

In my English Lit. class the professor starts quoting “All the world’s a stage” like I haven’t heard that one a million times before; dude, like I am living it. Hell,  I pretend to be happy and well-adjusted but I just don’t feel right here, maybe I’m not ready. Maybe I should have taken a gap year and worked, I kinda think my mom was right but I can’t tell her that. Ericka feels the same way that I do, she misses home a lot too. Hey, maybe we can leave on the same day if we both go home, but I gotta say, I would miss Ericka, and her house is like four hours away from mine.

People assume that once high school is over everyone will go to college with their new shit from Target and be happy. Okay, for real? Not gonna lie, I don’t like it here. Jeez, I wish I did. I’m gonna try to get my grades up, cuz I can’t bear to think of the shit I will get from my parents when I get home and fail like most everything except for Philosophy which I just aced. Yeah, like that. I will “give it a chance” which my parents tell me on every text or phone call. I know what I feel.  I just kinda miss the way things used to be, my old pals, my town, yeah, even my stupid younger sister. Here, I just hang around alone or with Ericka because everyone else is just partying  and doing dumb shit. I’m giving it a chance, I really am, but I swear, if I’m not totally happy here in like two to four weeks, I am so going home.

Not Everyone Is Happy On Mother’s Day

Yellow tulips Deutsch: Gelbe Tulpen

Yellow tulips Deutsch: Gelbe Tulpen (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Mother’s Day, like Father’s Day is not necessarily a happy holiday. Either holiday is miserable and sad for MANY people. My dad passed away nine years ago and I still head to the card section in June every single year. I miss him, it’s hard not to have a living or nice parent or a child on either of these holidays and people are often insensitive. So when I say Happy Mother’s Day, I include pet owners, aunts and uncles and women who love others.

For my Mother’s Day my daughter gave me a bunch of yellow tulips, a very sweet card and the stomach flu. I know she didn’t give me the flu on purpose but yesterday as I kept running for paper towels and bringing her buckets I figured I had a good shot at getting something. So far, my husband is safe. Our son is still in college and will be back this week, he sent a very loving card.

I took my mother to brunch this morning even though I felt horrible and could barely eat a bite. It’s not in me to cancel and I wasn’t feeling that bad in the morning. Mothers know, of course, and she asked me what was wrong, I just wasn’t hungry as I excused myself to the bathroom a couple of times. I didn’t want my mother to be alone on Mother’s day and the setting we had picked was beautiful. The food? So-so. The scrambled eggs were stone cold, (I admit it, I complained) and there were various breads, muffins, slices of turkey, pasta salad, fruit and chocolate and vanilla cake. I could eat none of it.

I dragged myself home in my car, not wasting time to get gas, which I sorely needed, headed quickly for the highway. I longed to put on my soft green v-neck  tee-shirt and crawl into bed. I e-mailed my husband to cancel the reservations (that I had made) at a local restaurant for my own Mother’s Day celebration. The truth of the matter was I felt so sick I didn’t want to go, my son was not yet home from college and there was no reason to force ourselves to go out because of the name of a day.

I’ve been in bed all day, my dinner consisted of an American cheese sandwich and a can of Diet Vanilla Coke. Mother’s Day can wait until I feel better and together. That’s the thing about Mother’s Day, it is a commercial holiday that I buy into every year for my mom because I want to acknowledge her, she deserves it and I don’t know how many more years we will have together.

Apparently, after I left, she was home alone when a mutual friend called her and she was sobbing and feeling “very sorry for herself.” You can’t make people happy all the time, no matter what; Mom missed my dad, she felt very alone and she is getting older. She made a remark about “how many more years would she still be my mother?” which concerned me but it’s natural too; she’s a young 85. For that reason alone, I wanted to be with her today.

I can’t solve all her problems, like she can’t solve all of mine. I could just attempt to make her morning a bit nicer, a little less lonely, even when I wanted to stay in bed. I’m saying good-night to Mother’s Day by sitting on the couch with my hubby, sipping on flat Coke with crushed ice and munching quite happily on ginger snaps watching the Survivor Finale.

Oscar And Cranky Me

English: A housecat named Princess who highly ...

*If I was a cat, this is what I would look like today. Cranky, disgruntled and sneering. That’s me in cat form. Just call me Oscar. At least I got to stay inside today while the human me had to go out. Oscar wins, as usual. Can’t you see it in his eyes? I’m a cat, stupid human, haven’t you learned that I always win? This is why in real life, I have a dog. She would NEVER look at me like this.

I started my awful day going begrudgingly to the grocery store. I didn’t have the “Senior Coupon” for the five percent discount but the not-so-sweet cashier just glanced at my lined face and said it was okay, that should have made me happy but it didn’t. AT ALL. I came home and noticed my dog pooped in the house, (SHUT UP OSCAR.)When she has an emergency she only poops on my favorite rug in the living room with the multicolored squares, that did not improve my mood. Our new white outside door that has been fixed numerous times broke while two friends and I watched it whip off the hinges when there was a burst of wind. I felt like we were in the “Wizard Of Oz.”Now we need a new door. Then, I tried to sneeze and it got stuck and I got the stabbing needles in my nose that I hate.

My husband  has been in Seattle for four weeks with a three-day break home and that is just not right. Yes, we are grateful he has a job but this time of commute is hell for a marriage and a family.

He’s coming home in a few days and I don’t know if we are bickering because he has been away for so long or we just don’t know how to communicate well with each other anymore, especially long distance. He used to call me seven times a day and now it’s once at night and before was too much and now it’s not enough. I don’t think that’s good but that’s life and I have to deal with it, rather, we have to deal with it. I’m getting tired of dealing with everything all the time, alone. We do have two children who are teenagers, one is in college, the other a senior in high school, no words are needed. I’m on my own.

I’m tired of being chronically sick with pain, Fibromyalgia and TMJ, in the winter months especially is draining and all I want to do now is sleep but when I sleep my hands and fingers get numb and I googled that which is a very bad thing for me to do. DO NOT GOOGLE medical things, I have told others but once in a great while I slip into bad habits and google something for myself, which ends up in an anxiety attack, for sure.

I’m fantasizing about a vacation somewhere sunny and hot; I have a childhood friend Debbie who is living the winter months in Belize. If I didn’t like her so much I would hate her but it’s nearly impossible to dislike this person. I’m just envious of her “easy, breezy Covergirl” lifestyle.”It’s all about her, whatever she wants to do and when and I don’t know what that would feel like anymore, did I ever? Choices. Good for you, Debbie!

Last night, I tried to recreate a brussel sprout recipe that I had in a restaurant but it didn’t even come close. I have lost 15 pounds but I seem to be stuck here and that is getting very frustrating. I know it all, plateaus, blah, blah, blah but still, I can’t give up and I’m food deprived and please don’t lecture that I shouldn’t be hungry because the lecture won’t work on me AT ALL. I’m as stubborn as hell and that’s the way I am and always have been. I also cooked a veggie burger that I managed to destroy and it ended up as hard as a hockey puck, I thought it was just still frozen so I ate two tiny bites and then microwaved it again, tried it  and I couldn’t even chew it. I ended up having a huge portobello mushroom with a piece of old, hardened Alpine Lace cheese and I hated my dinner. I also woke up all night long with sharp pains of TMJ stabbing me in my cheek and jaw line and it hurt, a lot.

So here’s a post about nothing and everything, all in one. Nothing lyrical or poetic, nothing emotional or powerful, just ordinary stuff on a night when it’s freezing outside and no one really understands how you feel. Once in a while you have to accept these days of pain and loneliness, bad food, bad spirits and no one can make it better for you, not even you.

Unhappy Birthday To Me

birthday

I generally savor my approaching birthday all year-long. As soon as I have one birthday I start the countdown to the next. I love birthdays, anyone’s birthday, it’s a celebration of Life. I had thought briefly about having a party for my 55th birthday in our house; there is no way THAT is going to happen. First, I don’t have a house. We are homeless at the moment. It’s under construction, five minutes away from demolition if you ask me. Second, I’m a little depressed and I don’t feel like celebrating now and third, while I like being the center of attention once in a while part of me is very shy. The side of me that loves attention is totally unreliable and generally lasts a mere five minutes. Fourth, I HATE surprises. I plan to skip my birthday totally this year and it is not because I am turning double nickels, I don’t care about age; I care about feeling happy.

Our tiny cozy house is not a home anymore. What started as a kitchen renovation became a total house renovation. We are not living there but carpenter ants and mold are. Not healthy living conditions for us, and the fact that there are no bathrooms that work makes it just a little more complicated. There was a lot of hidden damage in our house, unbeknownst to us, so imagine our horror when one room after another needed work. Long ago, there was a movie called “The Money Pit.” Basically, we are those people.

This year, my birthday will be just  another day. My husband will still be on crutches after his Achilles Tendon surgery, we won’t be back in our home and overall, it’s been a very rough year. In addition to the non-house situation my birthday falls on the most solemn holiday in the Jewish religion, Yom Kippur. While my family does not belong to any temple, nor are we particularly religious, celebrating my birthday on the most solemn day, the Day of Atonement, just does not feel right. Besides, my mother would kill me.

I hope some day I will get back that child-like feeling about birthdays. It seems so sad to have lost that. Our house? I hope that I can also love it again the way I used to. Our house betrayed us, people we’ve trusted have ignored us. I accept that not being happy on my birthday is okay. There’s always next year.

Rx: Anxiety

Anxious

Image by Brian Auer via Flickr

Arthritic, gnarled witch fingers

crawl into my bloated stomach

weaving in and out, with fire lit thunder bolts

pounding their way through my blood engorged arteries.

I want to scream for it to stop and I do

but no words come out.

I hear the words perfectly pegged with accuracy but no one else can,

as they lean into me, their black eyes engorged, their breath hot on my face.

I am living in the deep, dark labyrinth where there is

no beginning and no end just twisted corners turned around.

The veins on my hands pop up aqua blue

against milky white skin that is painfully translucent.

Breathing in labored breaths,

I swing my torso around and tuck it into my body cave, fatty, yellow globules mixed together.

Tonight, there are no answers, just questions and mind numbing

sadness with extraordinary swells of sweating fear.

Dear Me (in response to Phylor’s blog)

Cast all your anxiety

Image by Lel4nd via Flickr

Dear Me,
I keep asking myself why I hurt so much. Why do I feel like razor blades are cutting into my shoulders, why does my back feel so tight that it could break completely in half at any minute. My joints ache yet I haven’t been diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis….yet but a friend told me she tested a false negative for five years. Is that something I am supposed to look forward to?
My mind and body are also anxious. It comes out of nowhere and I don’t know why it’s been happening lately. I do get anxious once in a great while but this has been going on for a little while already. Stop. OK, please stop. I’ll do anything to get rid of those pests inside my brain and my body that are hammering on my insides until they get through to my skin and I want to attack them like I would swatting at flies.
I’m not happy, nor am I happy. I feel dull, blah, not joyful yet not tearful. I want to feel something but I am incapacitated at the moment. Perhaps I fear my own fear. The world at large is a very scary place, I want to help, I can’t ignore it but we have no control over our lives. None. That is some scary stuff right there.
Just when I want to have an adventure I have to think about my Fibromyalgia and Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. Why did I have to get these together? I can’t even differentiate pain anymore because I ache all over. Muscles, joints, legs, all of it together, all the time. I am getting scared and angry at this stupid disease that doesn’t even have a cure for it yet. I’ve tried all kinds of pills, I’ve done everything I can do, yet nothing helps. Worst of all, some people don’t even believe that what we have is real. Why would anyone make up pain? So, there it is, my ups and downs, my sad to bad feelings, my utter feeling of helplessness in a world that is scary enough without any control whatsoever.

My Prophetic Dream

baby kai

My husband and I had been trying to have a baby for over two years. I had taken fertility drugs, had daily shots administered by my husband on my then-firm butt. Early every morning, before the sun reached the sky, I drove to the fertility clinic like a robot to get my blood drawn. My veins looked like pieces of bruised, rotten fruit, like a once delicate peach or apricot. I was depressed and cried easily and often. One night I had a dream that G-d told me everything would be okay and that I would get pregnant and I would have a son. I clung to that message and told no one about it until now. That single dream and memory kept me going. Weeks later I found out I was pregnant. Nine months later, I gave birth to my newborn son.

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On Sickness, Stress and Candy

I’m discombobulated, anxious, confused. I feel funny, like there is something wrong, and there is. It’s not me though, which is worse, it’s that my son is sick and my daughter is disappointed. I hate it when my kids are sick/unhappy. I have a feeling this never ends, the worry moms have for their children. My husband is as involved with the kids as I am, but not in the same way. It’s a completely different style. He isn’t worried, he takes things in stride, he lives in the moment. I wish I could do that. Believe me, I’ve tried.

I wake up and feel that something is wrong. My stomach feels uneasy. Something just doesn’t feel “right.” I don’t think it’s because my daily routine has been jarred, I think it’s my heart. The inside part, the one that cracks a tiny bit, the one that is directly connected, like the umbilical cord was, to my offspring.

There is also this: the incredible stress of unemployment, for my husband and myself. I have been really good, patient, relaxed (as much as one can be) but now these other factors are making my anxiety index reach the sky. I know that things are out of control in my brain, when I can’t put my finger on exactly what’s bothering me and than realize everything is. I try to breathe slowly, it doesn’t help.

Months ago I had lung problems and a non-stop cough. It was horrible. I was then given a nasal spray to help me but I did not know that the taste in my mouth would be vile. VILE, in capital letters, on purpose. I thought that buying some candy would somehow dissipate the gosh-awful taste in the back of my throat but it didn’t. The Good n’ Plenty that I bought for a remedy did not work but at least it reminded me of easier times, when I was a child, eating those pretty pink and white candies, swinging on the swings in Forest park, surrounded by my friends and their moms. Everything was easy then, at least to us kids. Our parents, well, they probably were experiencing what I am experiencing right now. Being a grown-up.

I will get over myself I’m sure, when my children are healthy and happy.  I think then, I can handle my own stress, my own illness, manage my own pain. As long as it’s not the pain of my children, I can handle anything.