Sunday, December 28, 2008

Coming Up for Air

Sigh.  Christmas is over.  [NIW does a sprightly Happy Dance!!!] 

Daughter Dear is off on a fabulous vacation with Wonderful Boyfriend's family. This is a very good for her.  She will have fun and have lots of fabulous new experiences. On the other hand, it will give her a whole year's worth of ammunition regarding why our family is not as cool as WBF's.  What DD doesn't know is that I am totally okay with the fact that our family is, as a matter of fact,not as cool as WBF's.  I have no desire whatsoever to be as cool as his family. They are very nice people. I like them.  I love the fact that they are so wonderful to her.  They are cool and fun and social. I am none of those things and I aspire to none of those things. I have no desire to compete with them.  Someday I would like for DD to understand that.  Failing that, I would settle for her getting off my ass about it.   

Dear Husband is in the throes of Football Playoff frenzy, which means that (even more than usual) he is oblivious to everything but what is important to him, which, at this time of year, involves certain teams winning their "big games." I'm not sure which teams are important other than all teams from Florida. I really don't give a damn, but I don't dare say that out loud. (I am so unspeakably thrilled that I will be on a business trip the night of the BCS Championship game, I can't tell you. If I watch the game at all -- which I do not plan to do -- it will be with a group of people who don't care about the outcome.)  

I am presently on the brink of my annual post-Christmas, pre-New Year psycho-spiritual spasm, experiencing the pain of the disconnect between the life I actually live and the life I think I ought to be living.  On or about New Year's Day,  I conduct my annual general examination of conscience. 

I know. I know. Good Catholic girls make an examination of conscience more than once a year.  Well, this Good Little Catholic Girl discovered a while back that too much religion is TOXIC.  These days, if I can't avoid it altogether, I take my religion in very, very small doses.  I ditched most religious practice several years ago, but I decided to keep the Examination of Conscience. Instead of doing it daily, however, (which I think only causes wallowing in guilt and unhealthy self-criticism) I do it once a year, around the New Year.  

About a decade ago, I developed a reflection format for my annual psycho-spiritual self-exam which has been very helpful in many respects. Someday, I hope when I'm dead and gone, my daughter or somebody who gives a damn will read it and understand that I'm not quite as crazy as I may seem.  There is some internal consistency and logic in my behavior. It just isn't always apparent from the outside. Frequently, it isn't really apparent from my perspective until I ponder it contemplatively for a while.  This year has been such a hell of a year, I'm actually very nervous about the results of that little exercise! (Which makes it all the more important to actually DO the exercise!)

And so, the wheel of time turns again. I used to look forward to the New Year with either a sense of hope and excitement for what is to come next or, occasionally (after really bad years), a prayerful aspiration that the New Year will be at least better than the previous one.  This year, I'm thinking that about the best I can hope for is the will to keep on keepin' on.  

Then again.... who knows. Maybe I'll discover that pony in the pile of shit I've been digging in.

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