Monthly Archives: January 2009

Resolutions and Revelations

I have not made a New Years Resolution in years. I’ve generally thought the whole idea pointless. If there’s something in your life that needs adjusting, do it when you realize it, don’t just wait for the new year to roll around. -and if you haven’t been able to successfully attack that goal in the past, there’s no real reason to believe you’ll succeed just because you’ve made it a New Year’s Resolution – again. (I can be such a Grinch sometimes!) I do admit to coming up with a Resolution or two in my day, but mostly because I felt like I should … you know, just in case I was asked…just so I wouldn’t have to rain on anyone’s parade with my personal opinion about it all … but never really with any real intent on keeping any of them. I can’t even tell you what I might have said my resolution was… or when exactly those occasions were…

Ok, moving along – this year is different. I know, I know. You’ve heard this before – and besides, didn’t I just say I don’t even make Resolutions? This is true, but timing is everything. I do make the occasional realization that changes need to be made, and this year it happens to coincide with the New Year, so I’m calling it a New Year’s Resolution. Like I said timing is everything.

So what is it? Well, I actually have two (*gasp*). One: I have decided that I should consume as much water as recommended by .. well.. everyone. My goal is 8 glasses of water a day. I have been drinking about 8 cups of coffee, but realized that is probably what “they” had in mind. Two: I will reduce my dependence on plastic baggies. Over the summer, I eliminated my need for paper towels and disposable napkins, and made the switch to reusable shopping bags. (Incredibly crunchy, I know, but it makes me happy.) So next, I tackle my over-use of zip-top bags. I have about a million plastic containers, so this shouldn’t be all that tough, right?

Now we come to the “revelation” portion of this blog.

In many small ways here and there I can see what I have genetically passed on to my children. This is never a physical trait (“The Noodle” and “The Muffin” both look like my husband), but rather, subtle little behavioral things here or a preference or two there. Tonight, I saw myself in my son, and understood what was going on with him (finally). For awhile, I have noticed him getting edgy and teary when we’d tell him he had to stop watching a particular movie, or playing a certain game. Most notably “Lego Star Wars” or the Disney/Pixar movie “Wall-E”.  Who wouldn’t get upset if their mom told him “enough Star Wars, time for bed”, or stopped a movie 3/4 of the way through? I know, I know – 3/4 of the way through a movie?! What kind of mom am I? The thing is, he has a hard time dealing with the end of the movie “Wall-E” – but he completely loves it. This movie doesn’t have a sad ending (not to spoil anything for anyone), but it is very emotional. Tonight, I told him at what point I’d have to turn it off, and when I did so, he got VERY upset with me and started to break down. This is when I realized what was going on: he is like me, in that he becomes obsessed with a certain idea, or fantasy. He would watch that movie over & over & over again all day long if I let him (tears and all), and then would dream it at night, and do it all over again the next day. I use to do the same thing when I was a kid with movies or books – or even ideas. These alternate realities were so much more compelling, and intense, and exciting than real life that I wished I was a character in them, instead of who I really was. (And I can completely relate to being obsessed with Star Wars – but then, so can about half of the world, I would guess).

Tonight I understood exactly how he was feeling and told him so; and he, (in a tone that seemed much more 12 years old than 4) replied “oh yeah, how is that?” I admit that I was taken aback, but told it like it was: “You are angry because I turned off the movie. That movie has very strong feelings in it, and you wish more than anything that you lived in there – in that movie – because it’s seems so much better than real life.” He eeked out a whispered “yeah”, then tears in eyes, curled up in my lap. We watched Wubbzy together to clear our heads of “Wall-E” at least a little bit, and silently, I told him I was sorry about a hundred million times.


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Zen and the Art of Cleaning Out the Closet

Today I undertook the mammoth task of cleaning out my closet.  My goal: to create bare spots on the shelves, coordinate by season, color, and function.  Exactly the sort of thing that a control freak like me should like to do, right?  Well … kind-of.  I actually have enormous trouble with this – for many reasons.  The first being that it is a BIG job.  Everything must be examined and tried on before being placed in its new home or placed in the “Donation Pile”.  The second being that I am pack-rat who is desperately trying not to be a pack rat, and only sort-of succeeding (and that’s mostly because Jeff abhors excess).  Then there’s the whole idea of letting go of a piece of clothing that might not have been worn in a long time, but has a familiarity to it which makes it difficult to part with.

I came across a pair of pants that I use to wear all the time.  I could see myself walking through the streets of Rome in them, feel them in my carry-on luggage.  They had the air of a time (not too terribly long ago, but still) that is no more.  I am a different person, living a slightly different life, but holding these pants in my hands transported me momentarily to London, Ghent, Tuscany, New York … my old apartment … I wore those pants everywhere -and they still fit! – but I love a low rise (I’m short-waisted – well, a little bit), and they just wouldn’t do anymore.  So, I took deep cleansing breaths, placed them in the donation pile, and moved on.

My closet was full of such articles, and cleaning it took the greater part of the day.  It was an act of … well … how to put it into words… recovering the memories that each object held, and releasing the object itself.  Lessening my dependence on physical things that were crowding my life and suffocating my closet.  Hopefully, someone else will find them and think they’re great.  Sooner or later, though, they’ll all end up in a dump somewhere … but that is now out of my hands … (pretty good, eh?  See, I’m working at it, I really am 😉

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