Bah, humbug! Two words. Three syllables. My holiday season can be summed up just as simplistically and in those exact words.
Since my divorce was finalized almost two years ago I have known that I would have to spend this particular Christmas without my children. I had the pleasure of their company last year. This year … well, this year they spent the holiday with my ex-husband. I have known. I thought I was prepared. In a way, I was. I know now (hindsight being 20/20 and all that jazz) that one can never truly prepare for what it will be like to be alone on Christmas … a day that is traditionally spent with family and is made infinitely more enjoyable by the presence of children.
I had plans. I did not intend to stay here. I wanted to travel for the season … perhaps go visit a friend outside London. Ah, but the best laid plans …
My planning fell victim to circumstance and lack of funds and the inability to take a substantial amount of time off work … and a myriad of valid, yet irritating, factors. Alas!
So, what did I do and not do?
I did not put up a Christmas tree or send out cards. I am moving this week to a larger apartment and did not want to deal with attempting to pack boxes around Christmas decorations. As for the cards … no time.
I did work. Yes, I worked. Christmas Eve. Christmas Day. It was better than being at home sulking.
I did not choose to go visit my parents. I have made a number of trips up to their place this fall and going alone for Christmas just didn’t appeal to me.
I did have dinner one night with two friends from high school. We had a lovely time and I wish they were in the area more often.
I did not allow myself to fall into a relationship that would not have been good for me or the other person. Although wise, that still put a bit more of a damper on the week.
I did watch “Love Actually” on Christmas Eve. Alone, but I watched it … and lived vicariously through the characters.
Point being … it was not the greatest of holidays and I do not intend to ever repeat the performance. Two years from now I will be facing the same dilemma. I intend to start planning now … banking funds and vacation time … and reminding myself that life could always be much worse and I need to remember to live. I do hope you all had a wonderful season regardless of if you celebrate Christmas style or not.
“Celebrate the happiness that friends are always giving, make every day a holiday and celebrate just living.” ~Amanda Bradley
Seeing as I haven't had the time this holiday season to write anything of any significance ... let me leave you with my responses to some "interview" questions that I answered on a random Facebook application whilst bored at work. Trust me, this is but a random sampling as the "interview" was much, much, much longer. Still ...
Dumbest TV show?
That stupid now cancelled show based off the irritating cavemen from the Geiko commercials.
Do you watch MTV?
Once upon a lifetime ago when MTV actually stood for *MUSIC* television.
Do you like clingy/whiny people?
Oh, my stars!! I can not stand them.
Which song are you listening to right now/did you last listen to?
I took off my iPod about 10 minutes ago. The last song was David Cook\'s Idol performance of Music of the Night from The Phantom of the Opera. Good stuff.
Which band did you last see live?
ZZ Top - 'Cause you know "Every Girls Crazy Bout A Sharp Dressed Man"
What is your view on teenage love?
I think society can often underestimate the power of teenage feelings. I am pretty positive I loved as a teenager.
What Is Your Age Policy ?
I think I can safely say I would date someone 10 years up ... but probably only 5 years down at this point. Ask me again in another 5 years.
How would you describe your sense of humor?
Do you think your country can go to the World Cup in South Africa in 2010?
Seeing as I will not be pulling for USA ... probably! Go England! Go Italy!
Do you dislike people who intentionally misspell words online?
With a passion!
Do you swear?
“Every damn day." ~The Mummy (Film, 1999)
How many mosquito bites do you currently have?
0 -- The only blessing that wintertime brings to the South.
If you had to destroy life in order to protect other life, could you do it?
I would kill someone who was threatening my children ... so yeah, I could.
If you saw a monkey driving a car down the street, what would your first reaction be?
That is one freaking awesome monkey!
“I can't live with or without you . . .” ~U2 (This will change tomorrow. You might want to ask me again later.)
Random word. Go.
Can your mind comprehend the fact that the universe never ends?
If the Energizer Bunny can keep going ... why not the Universe? Huh?
Have you ever meaningfully kissed someone?
With every fiber of my being ...
What kind of eggs do you like?
Do you go for a blonde or brunette?
I am typically attracted to dark headed guys. I know not why.
First thing you broke?
Would you sleep with you ex?
Ex-husband? Not a shot in hell. Ex-boyfriend(s)? Maybe. Which one?
When dismantling a bomb, do you cut the black wire or the yellow wire?
Yellow. It is an ugly color anyway.
Do you question your place in the Universe?
Nope and I do not even need a *You Are Here* arrow to point the way.
If you were to be rejected by e-Harmony, what would it be for?
What football (or soccer, if you prefer that term) do you support?
England: ManU; US: LA Galaxy; World: I am digging Italy & England lately.
‘Romeo & Juliet’ – I am feeling romantic. Although, this is mood driven as well. Ask me another day and it is just as likely to be ‘Lord of the Rings’ or ‘Harry Potter’ or even ‘Where the Wild Things Are’ … I do not know.
What or Who do you secretly love?
You obviously do not know me. There are no secrets here.
Do you want a man to be on your roof?
Will he be fiddling?
What is your favorite smell???
Rain on the Serengeti
What is your favorite number?
8 -- Upright Infinity
Do you ever wonder why Smurfette was the only female Smurf?
No. I know. Gargamel created her to cause dissention among the Smurfs. This, of course, would have worked in a normal male dominated society. The Smurfs are just a whacked out.
Do you consider yourself a "nerd" or a "dork" or a "geek"?
Um, yeah, so ... the thing is ... all of the above. I am also pretty damn cool though. Do not let the labels fool you!
Night or Day?
“Nightime sharpens, heightens each sensation. Darkness wakes and stirs imagination ... “ ~Phantom of the Opera
How old are you in dog years?
238 ... Yeah, I know you can divide. That makes me 34. What do you want to make of it?
Read the book, or see the movie?
My general rule of thumb is to read the book. There are a few notable exceptions. 'Phantom of the Opera' comes to mind. Stupid book. Great musical. Great movie.
Is there only one soul-mate for anyone, or are there more than one?
Soul mates are not meant to be forever. Read 'Eat Pray Love' and you will understand.
“People think a soul mate is your perfect fit, and that’s what everyone wants. But a true soul mate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that’s holding you back, the person who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life. A true soul mate is probably the most important person you’ll ever meet, because they tear down your walls and smack you awake. But to live with a soul mate forever? Nah. Too painful. Soul mates, they come into your life just to reveal another layer of yourself to you and then they leave. And thank God for it.” ~Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat Pray Love
What is your favorite book?
"Persuasion" by Jane Austen ... followed closely by a big fat volume of "The Complete Works of Shakespeare”.
What would you change about yourself?
I love myself. I love myself. I love myself. Was that convincing?
You are stranded on an island and you can take unlimited books. Which do you choose?
Why do I have to choose? I have an UNLIMITED selection, right? By definition there should be no choosing involved.
Have you ever been in love?
I believe so. Once. Maybe twice. It is all warped to me now. The matter is still up for debate.
Finish the sentence: "The way you smile..."
... makes me wonder what you are up to!
How do you like your men?
What time is it when an elephant sits on a chair?
Time to send the elephant back to the savannah where he belongs so he will not break any more chairs.
Tennis or golf?
Riddle me this? Do they both bore you? Yeah - I thought so.
Least favorite song in the world?
That stupid ... *Had a Bad Day* song by Daniel Powter irritates me to no end.
What is your favorite Shakespeare play?
Much Ado About Nothing
if you fell off a cliff what would be you last thought?
How come I do not pause in the air like that stupid coyote?
Are you happy to have single-handedly destroyed the earth?
"Gee, Brain, what do you want to do tonight? The same thing we do every night, Pinky ... "
What would you do if no one would ever find out?
Someone ALWAYS finds out!
What is your favorite kind of cheese?
"Behold the power of cheese!!" This is an evil question.
Look to your left: What do you see?
Oooooh! I see a wonderfully fascinating ... wall. Are you not jealous?
Star Wars or Star Trek?
“May the Force be with you!”
“Live long & prosper!”
I am just sayin’ ...
Are you self obsessed?
I am a mother. I do not have time to be self obsessed.
Why do you go on Facebook?
Hi! My name is Beth. I am a Facebook addict.
What is your biggest turn off?
What motivates you?
When will you be in Chicago next?
I do not know. It will likely involve some unknown future connecting flight between point A and point B.
What is love?
“Oh baby, don’t hurt me. Don’t hurt me ... no more.”
How many people does it take to screw in a light bulb?
Did I ask for your help? I think not.
What is the meaning of life?
I know not. Ask the Monty Python dudes ... they seem to have an idea.
If you were one of the seven dwarfs, who would you be?
Grumpy. Although - I do not think the beard would suit me.
Do you believe in heaven and hell?
Yes I do and I am pretty sure I have friends in both places.
What sort of character would you play in a comic book (hero, humorous sidekick, villain, that abrasive newspaper guy, etc.)
Marvel Comics anti-hero ... Black Cat. Specific enough for you?
What is the name of your truest friend???
I do not trust so easily.
If you could time travel, what would be your first stop?
Summer 1994; there would be much work to be done.
Performing Arts, Fine Arts, or Sports?
“I want it all. I want it all. I want it all and I want it now.”
What came first, the chicken or the egg?
More importantly ... Who was the first person to choose to eat something that came out of a chicken butt? (FYI: I believe in Creation. The chicken came first.)
Close your eyes for a moment, who pops into your head?
Someone who should not ... damn memories
Do you say "I love you" in the relationship?
"Those three words are said too much yet not enough..."
Aliens have landed and selected you to visit their home planet. Do you go with them?
Hell yeah ... but then I would likely wake to find it all a dream. I hate disappointment.
If you could be successful at any job in the world, what would that job be?
What is your favorite word?
Plethora (for now)
Would you rather be hot or cold?
I am sssssssmokin!!
Opera, Musical, Concert, Play, Performance, or Other?
Bring it ... all of it.
What is your favorite clothing brand?
Adam and Eve ... The Exclusive Fig Leaf Collection.
Your favorite Disney Films?
The Little Mermaid. Prince Eric is HOT! What?
Where is Waldo?
He is in Hollywood trying to get a movie deal. Why not? They will put anything on film these days.
Do you eat cold cereal at night?
If the occasion calls for it.
What is your favorite TV show?
Cancelled ... that is what it is. Bloody studio executives.
Kill the spider or let it out?
Shelob MUST be destroyed.
What do you do on Fridays?
Fry. What else would I do?
What is your favorite song of all time?
I Remember You ~Skid Row
Do you like bananas?
Well, now, that just depends ...
What would you do if Michael Jackson asked you out?
I am quite sure raucous laughter would be involved.
I have no patience. This is important and I think it bears repeating: I – HAVE – NO – PATIENCE! But, what do we find? We find me in a state of heightened anticipation … waiting … and waiting … and more waiting. This is agony. My nerves are shot.
What am I waiting for? This time, my friends, my business is my own. All
“I feel as if my skin is the only thing keeping me from going everywhere at once.” ~Ever After, Film (1998)
I have a new reader to my blog. Yes, I know exactly who you are. Surprised?
My blog tracking statistics provide me general information … number of visitors, IP addresses, locations … that sort of thing … and I am always thrilled to welcome a new curious soul into the family.
To all my other readers … or new visitors: You are MOST welcome! You may not want to read all of this post, but you are always welcome here.
To my new reader: Didn’t your mother ever teach you that the wound will never heal if you keep picking that scab?
See – I have quite the powers of deductive reasoning and I repeat: I know exactly who you are. You are not a random reader. You are not a friend. You are not family. You are not a kindred online blogging spirit with similar interests. You did not stumble across my writing through a search engine or a link from another blogger’s site. In fact, not only do I know who you are but, courtesy of my trusty tracking system, I know exactly what you are reading. I know each and every one of my entries that seem to have attracted your attention. Here’s the rub … I’m flattered you find me so incredibly fascinating, but my little ramblings should be of absolutely no interest to you. My life (past, present, or future) should be of absolutely no interest to you. None. Zero. Zilch. Obviously you disagree. So, as long as you continue to visit and revisit and … revisit … let me share with you two little words of advice: LET GO.
“Stand up and walk out of your history.” ~ Dr. Phil
“To let go isn’t to forget, not to think about, or ignore. It doesn’t leave feelings of anger, jealousy, or regret. Letting go isn’t about winning or losing. It’s not about pride and it’s not about how you appear, and it’s not obsessing or dwelling on the past. Letting go isn’t blocking memories or thinking sad thoughts, and doesn’t leave emptiness, hurt, or sadness. It’s not about giving in or giving up. Letting go isn’t about loss and it’s not about defeat. To let go is to cherish the memories, but to overcome and move on. It is having an open mind confidence in the future. Letting go is learning and experiencing and growing. To let go is to be thankful for the experiences that made you laugh, made you cry, and made you grow. It’s about all that you have, all that you had, and all that you will soon gain. Letting go is having the courage to accept change, and the strength to keep moving.” ~Unknown
In all seriousness: stand up … quit picking the scab … let the wounds heal … walk out of your history – and, for your own sanity, stay out of my future. Cheers!
“Silence is one of the great arts of conversation.” ~Marcus Tullius Cicero, Roman Scholar
Hello all! I have missed our chats over the last couple of weeks. Alas, silence on the page (or in the blog) does not translate quite as fluidly as a quiet lull in live conversation between friends. I have oft been accused of being incredibly chatty … always having something to say … excessively talkative. This does not mean that I do not value and appreciate the perfection embodied in a well-timed pause … moments of quietude … stillness … white space. I do.
I treasure silence.
“We need to find God, and He cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature - trees, flowers, grass - grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence... We need silence to be able to touch souls.” ~Mother Teresa
It is a difficult thing in American society today to find meaningful, peaceful moments of true silence … cell phones, pagers, computers, televisions … planes, trains and automobiles … all contribute to the cacophony of our lives. I miss the abyssal depth and tangible peace that accompanies the purity of silence in the darkness of an African night. I used to sit and absorb the world around me. Silence. Oh, there were sounds in the night … the cry of a bushbaby, the wind’s breath through the trees, beating wings of bats in the starlit sky above, the symphonious crescendo of crickets … for African never sleeps; but there is contentment in the music of nature. It is we who must learn to sit in silence. We can learn much from the world around us and from one another by taking refuge in silence and learning to communicate effectively through the breathing spaces provided by a hushed moment.
“Silence is the universal refuge, the sequel to all dull discourses and all foolish acts, a balm to our every chagrin, as welcome after satiety as after disappointment.” ~Henry David Thoreau, American Poet
Please find time for stillness this day and all that follow.
“There are times when silence has the loudest voice . . .” ~Leroy Brownlow, American Preacher & Author
. . . all you have to do …
. . . is listen!!