I’m writing this on the 23rd and of course it is posting on Christmas Eve. Between the cold I’m suffering from and the stress of preparing for Christmas day and a trip to NC, I’m low on insightful reflections. I thought I’d just take a paragraph or two to tell you what’s on my Christmas list.
I’ll start with the simple stuff. These are the items I’ve shared with Mark and may or may not be receiving on Christmas day. I want an Ipod dock/charger/player. I love my Ipod but get so annoyed when I have to charge it on the computer. It takes a few hours and I have to constantly check to make sure the computer hasn’t “gone to sleep” thus halting the charge. I’ve gotten to where I just forget to do this and then when I’m all psyched up and ready to go to the gym, I realize I have no music. Having no music to listen to while exercising has become excuse number 1 not to work out at all. It’s a vicious cycle that I feel confident will end once I have an easier place to charge the Ipod.
The other item on my list is a bible (King James version with Jesus’ words in red). For as much as I write about spiritual stuff I am embarrassed to admit I don’t have a bible in the house. I’ve had my mother searching her house for the bible I had as a teen and she hasn’t had any luck finding it. I’ve said before that I read a lot of books by people who quote and talk about the bible, but now it is time for me to practice what I preach and read and study it for myself.
Now for the more complicated wish list. These requests truly require a miracle Santa to make happen. What I’d absolutely love is to have more time and money to take a few trips this year on my own. The first is a cruise or Caribbean vacation with my two best friends, Heather and Kristin. The second is the Goddess Retreat at Amrit Yoga Institute. The third is the BlogHer conference in New York City with my Twitter friends @2MuchPerfection, @OpinionatedGift, and @Kitterztoo. I’m pretty sure the first of these will happen. It will be a small miracle if I am able to participate in two of them and an extraordinary feat if I’m able to do all three.
Now what about you guys? Care to share your Christmas wish list….
While on vacation I read the book “Finding Your Own North Star: Claiming the Life You Were Meant to Live” by Martha Beck. I randomly picked this book off the $5 shelf at my church bookstore and took it with me on the trip because I knew it would be easy to tote to and from the beach and wasn’t worried if it got sandy or wet. This book turned out to be a gem! It has made me think so much and has given me a lot of ideas for blog posts (that I may or may not remember to write).
There was a chapter in the book about emotional wounds. In the chapter, there was a quiz with about 8 questions with 1 point and 2 point answers. At the end of the quiz you were supposed to add up your 2 point answers and if you had more than 3 of them, you probably have some emotional wounds that you have buried deep down. I almost didn’t take the quiz, thinking about people I know who’ve got real wounds…wounds that run deep and hurt in a way I can’t understand, but I decided to take it and surprisingly ended up with about 5 of those 2 point answers. I started thinking about what it is I could possibly be sitting on. I came up with 2 situations immediately, both of which happened during junior high school. One I will definitely blog about another day and the other will probably go unmentioned. I was also able to associate one of my “issues” with some childhood stuff. But beyond those, I was unable to think of a real emotional wound….until today.
Today was Bella’s first day of school. My friend and I walked to the elementary school with our little ones in strollers to pick up the big girls. When we got back to our homes, my friend’s daughter and the little girl who lives behind us came inside to play. I checked my email and started cleaning the kitchen and all the while I felt this amazing peace wash over me. I can’t even really describe how good I felt, it was close to being wrapped up in a warm towel just out of the dryer. All I could think was how grateful I was to be home with my girls and how I always want to be here for them when they come home from school. I signed on to Facebook and wrote that I was feeling “wonderfully nostalgic.” And that’s when it hit me…this had nothing to do with my work status and everything to do with one of my emotional wounds.
You see my mother stayed home with me until I was in 2nd grade. I was completely addicted to having her around. She was my world…everything! But when I was 7 years old she went back to work. During her first year of work I got off the school bus and stayed at the neighbor’s house. They were and still are lovely people, but they didn’t fill my mommy’s shoes and what I was allowed to do while in their care wasn’t nearly as much fun as having my friends come over and play or biking through the neighborhood. During my 3rd grade year, I became a latchkey kid (things are definitely different now-a-days) and I turned into a cookie-eating-couch-potato every afternoon as I waited for my sister to arrive home from junior high school.
So I realized today that the nostalgia I felt was for the days before 2nd grade, when I got off the school bus and found my mother home waiting for me. I was reliving those moments from the other side and watching my daughters play with their friends in the same way I had so long ago. At dinner I told Mark that I’d discovered one of my wounds. I explained everything to him and he replied that I’d felt abandoned. He was exactly right…
So who knows, maybe today is the day I start letting go of my abandonment issues. And I also want to say for the record that I would not have wanted it to be any different!! My mother was able to do so much for me (like pay for my college education) because she went back to work!!! There are all kinds of things that cause people’s emotional wounds. It could be something huge like abuse or neglect, or a little something like losing your favorite teddy bear. Just because this stuck with me doesn’t mean it would stick with someone else. This is an issue that I was meant to work through in my life! (So if I haven’t made it clear enough, please don’t misinterpret this as a stay-at-home-mom versus working mom post. I am totally supportive of both, I promise!!)
We are back from a beach vacation. I knew I was testing things when I made reservations in the gulf of Mexico for the end of August. But the timing was good and the price was even better, so I made them anyway, keeping in mind the vision of a beautifully sunny beach retreat. Mark and I have a way of always ending up with rainy weather when we head to the ocean. Last year we ended up checking out two days early because the rain just wouldn’t quit. Our three night stay turned into just one. But last year I knew it was going to end up that way, I felt that heavy tug in the pit of my stomach. Our solution was to go for one night, and see what happened, knowing it was easy enough to just cancel the rest of the trip and come back home. Sure enough the tug was right!
This year we were watching the hurricane and tropical storm forecasts carefully. We knew that a couple of storms were out there, but could clearly see we had some time to vacation and then come home before either storm would make landfall. It seemed as if the vision was going to become reality. Then on Sunday, the day before we’d be leaving, out of nowhere comes tropical storm Claudette. It was supposed to hit over night at Destin (our beach of choice) and be gone by Monday (our day of departure). On Sunday we considered cancelling. We even called to check on the storm cancellation policy. Mark started looking up alternative last minute vacations. But I did not have that tug in my stomach. Everything felt OK. The next morning, Mark showed me the radar. It looked like Claudette was making some kind of permanent home right over the Emerald coast. But I still didn’t have the tug. I checked the forecast…100% chance of rain Monday,80% chance of rain for Tuesday, 60% chance of rain for Wednesday. I started to get whiny and used Facebook and Twitter as my place to vent my fears. Whaa, whaa, the rain is going to ruin my trip. But I still didn’t get the tug. I never really felt like cancelling, never felt like it was going to be a bust, and on Monday we set out for Destin.
We arrived just after check in time and found that the skies were clearing and the sun beginning to make an appearance. We took our stuff to our room and headed straight for the beach. We were able to spend an hour playing in the sand and water before dinner on the day that it was supposed to be raining all day long. The following two days were even better. The sun shined so brightly that we all got burned even wearing our SPF 50. (Next time I will take that whole re-applying thing more seriously.) We had a great time and spent plenty of time by the ocean. You can see how beautiful the water and weather was by looking at the top of this page at the new header.
I didn’t meditate or write in my journal while we were away. I spent a lot of time listening to my favorite sound in nature, watching my daughters play, and reading a great new book that had me contemplating my life (as if I haven’t been doing that enough already). I’m glad to be back and glad to see people still stopped by to read my musing without my daily reminders.
I am going to be out of town and unplugged for 3-4 days. There will be new posts on the blog everyday that I am away. Continue to visit and comment please. I love your comments, but over the next few days I will not be able to respond to them. If you are a brand new visitor and commentor, I will not be able to “approve” your comments until I return, so be patient if you revisit and don’t see your thoughts on the blog. Thanks to all of you for reading and supporting my writing here!!! I will be back for sure on Friday!