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2012 review [Jan. 3rd, 2013|10:19 am]
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An unexamined life is not a life worth living. I don't remember who said that, but I take it very seriously. A new year, time for taking stock? Oh, what you don't want to do it because everyone else is doing it? Oh, you feel like you're selling out to peer pressure doing it, just because everyone else is?

What, are you in high school?

I'm talking to myself here, but if the shoe fits you, feel free to borrow it. It doesn't actually matter, as long as you've thought about it, thought about why, and then decided you want to anyway. More thoughtfulness, that's what the world needs.

So, 2012...

It's official, I've nearly lost my desire for sweets entirely. (I reserve the right to get it back when someone makes something from scratch. Which explains the six pounds of Christmas cookies riding around my waist and hips right now.) I thought I was being good because the four pints of interesting flavors of ice cream in my fridge hadn't been opened yet. But they've been open for days now...and I look at them every time I go in for ice cubes (yes, I'm the last person on earth whose fridge doesn't have an ice maker. I had to special order it.) and each time, I think, do I feel like ice cream yet? And each time I say, nah, not really.

Wave a potato chip under my nose and you risk your fingers, though. Fat, salty and potato/pasta, you are my dietary Waterloo.

It's also official that I can take the "peri" off the front of menopause, and so far, knock on wood, the only negative effect is hot flashes. And I shouldn't complain because they're not awful and dramatic and all flushed and sweaty. On the other hand, they're rolling in every half an hour or so, and already I'm bored. I don't do not-normal right. And this whole taking off my jacket, putting it back on, throwing off the duvet, waking up freezing fifteen minutes later...this could almost drive me back to religion and the thought that women are being punished for something. Except then I remember multiplicity of orgasms and think, no, okay, Goddude, fair dinkum.

And, while alcohol is supposed to exacerbate them, that doesn't seem to be the case for me. Or, maybe I just don't notice/care. This plus the next thing, may serve to push me over the edge into alcoholism. Nah, who am I kidding? I lack the attention span and ability to stay awake long enough, when alone, to actually drink too much.

The next thing being discovering that Crispin is now putting a still cider in a Fridgebox. This was bad, because that's easy access. But I was being good. Until I bought this lavender bitters. And then made the fatal error of trying it in the cider, with a little squirt of lemon. If I die of cirrhosis, promise me my tombstone will say "Twas the lavender". But you'll have to research where the apostrophe's supposed to go; no matter how I do it, it looks wrong. All else fails, you can go with "It was" but then it makes it harder for some juvenile delinquent to scratch out the s and think he's clever. Which is sexist of me, I know.

I am bizarrely happy, content with myself, which I can't quite figure out -- I've posted about how even apes seem to have midlife blues and pull out of it right about now, if you match lifespans. So we can "blame" it on that. Eh, maybe I'll take a little bit of credit for really working on myself. Don't get me wrong, Fate is still lifting her leg and pissing all over me, per usual -- like, oh, my car's transmission has just probably gone ass over teakettle, so I'll have to decide whether to sink serious dough into a piece of carp car, or get another one, whether to rush into it, or blow more dough renting one and take a little bit more time. In either case, ah, well, new computer, new windows, I guess I'll see you a couple of months from now. I've reached that stage in life where it's clear that my relationship with my parents over the next 15 years will probably contain if not more sorrow, than joy, certainly there's going to be a horse race. And I continue to try to do too much with too little -- time, money, resources, energy, strength.

But at the risk of seeming more of a bit of an expletive to my friends and associates, I committed, to myself, to standing up for what I wanted and needed out of life (all about standing up for others...even if it sometimes means that I give the impression that it's what I want and usually means that whatever I'm standing up for would make someone ELSE happy and that's the only way I can make it happen) and while it's been far from comfortable, and far from easy, and still fraught with near-hives, I'm doing it. It still feels incredibly brave and I want to take it back the second it comes out of my mouth. But really, it was time to stop treating myself like a doormat. That may sound weird to you if you know me as take charge, get it done, tell everyone how to do all the things, but understand that's almost always in the service of someone else's goal. But you must tell me if I'm being an expletive about it. I can't be assertive for my own sake AND manage my social awkwardness at the same time, I'd put an eye out.

This past year has brought into focus how lucky I am. One of my goals for the year was to host more social events, get back into the dinner party/let's play a game groove. I got a small start, but here's the rub: I can't fit my friends into my house. And I'm not talking facebook "friends"...I'm not even talking the friends that you have a good time with and invite to open houses and BBQ's. I'm talking people I really want to spend quality time with. That are local. That get me. That if I had crazy-money I'd rent a big house on some tropical island and fly them in for a week. My parents worry that because I live alone, I'm lonely, whereas I've had to set up rules on how many social events I can commit to in any given time period, or risk running myself ragged. Maybe the rest of you take it for granted, but for someone who rarely had more than a friend or two until high school, and even then it was a small and sometimes inconstant bunch...it feels like a wonderful gift. And now I'm faced with the lifeboat dilemma -- we only have food and water for THIS many people. In my case, it's more number of chairs, physical space, or my ability to handle so much noise or energy in a confined space. Hard choices and I can't wait until the weather's nice enough to take things into the great outdoors.

I've still got to do better - but I'm beginning to get comfortable with saying "hey, I have X number of hours a week, a month, to devote to this thing. When those run out, I'm done. I'm getting 7-8 hours of sleep a night, and if that means I can't get everything done...then there was too much stuff to begin with. And there are things in my life that deserve more time -- writing, quiet time, people, space to have a dog again -- and this year I'm going to knuckle down to figure out what's got to be jettisoned in order to do that.

The economy is still circling the drain, food costs are going up (and since food, after mortgage, is what I spend the most on, that's painful) our wage increase this year was the usual paltry sum, and I'm feeling a fair amount of trepidation about the health of my car, dishwasher, water heater, and furnace. Never mind the painting, windows, floors and drywall work still needing to be done.

But you know, what? I'll deal.

I don't believe in resolutions, but I do believe in goals, so, this year, I've got to do better at reclaiming friends I've let slip out of my life and I'm going to write more and I'm going to work on my technology skills...well, okay, the bar on that one is very low, admittedly, but when I find myself staring at my new Roku, still in its box, daily putting off even opening it up because wah, it's too HARD, I can't bear to learn a new thing...

Dear Brain, you've mastered much harder, more complicated stuff. Don't be a dipshit. No one likes a dipshit.

[User Picture]From: dreamtigress
2013-01-03 05:10 pm (UTC)
I have two (TWO) refrigerators without ice makers. (One does not have it, and the other was purposely disconnected.)I still make ice cubes in plastic trays, and stock pile it in this same way when I am having guests over.

This line nearly made me snarf pizza. "Except then I remember multiplicity of orgasms and think, no, okay, Goddude, fair dinkum. "

I have rarely felt lonely living by myself, although I do have the fair share of roommates in and out of here as it were. I have found that smaller get togethers (playing games, cooking meals, etc.) of my chosen family of friends, far outweigh hosting bigger parties. Less cleaning, and more actual interaction is marvelous.
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[User Picture]From: sestree
2013-01-03 09:22 pm (UTC)
Learning how to say no: tough one. I will say that when you raise your hand and climb off of the merry-go-round of events, the stress level drops dramatically. Jon and I found it an absolute delight to have 2 adults over for Christmas. The world didn't end because my house wasn't spotless. it didn't even end when I forgot to turn off the oven and the lobster mac n cheese got a bit dry.

A possible trick on the hot flashes (hey I've been battling them since I was 23 and woke up with an echo): I found over the years that if I find the correct body part - experiment but for me it's more my feet then sometimes my mid back area - you can stave off a bad hot flash but cooling that area. I also noticed mine were worse when I didn't have a bra on (the girls hold heat BAD) but seriously, a very cool papertowel on the back for me works or ice in a towel to put my feet on. However dear with your luck it will probably be an area you can't easily get to in polite company. Still worth a shot to check.
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