Friday, December 22, 2006

comfort and joy

Christmas is virtually here and I am preparing to go to Steve's parent's home for the holidays...literally over the river and through the woods. And while I am looking forward to this new experience, my feelings remain mixed.

Like Scrooge, I am haunted by the spirits of Christmas...

The spirit of Christmas Past pulls up those old memories...Megan dressed as an angel, taco soup and wine on Christmas Eve, Aunty Ann pulling up in the driveway loaded down with gifts. And the way the house felt...festive and full. I remember two Christmases ago, promising myself I would make it the best ever as I knew it might be our last family Christmas. The melancholy I felt throughout that entire Christmas season was almost more than I could stand, and yet, I smiled and wished everyone well.

The Spirit of Christmas Present reminds me that the entire thing was built upon something I really no longer believe. And I wonder if perhaps I am hypocritical for celebrating so. I am reminded then, that Christmas has indeed become more secular than religious, and that I can celebrate it as a time of peace, of remembering loved ones, and of joining together as families with appreciation. And so I guess I am okay with that. Furthermore, this Spirit makes me wonder just how emotional I may get as the hours tick away until Christmas Eve. Will I think that it's all wrong...this new celebration, or will I embrace it with joy at finding a new place in the world. I do miss my sisters, and my parents, and wonder how I spent so many years not celebrating with them. And will Steve and I have any time alone to celebrate our first Christmas together??? Or will we be barraged with too many people? And can I ask to be excused and go hide out in the fifth wheel without everyone thinking something is wrong? Will there be any holiday music? Turkey? Christmas Present is indeed a frightening spectre.

I don't fear the Spirit of Christmas Yet to Come any more than the others. My future seems quite merry and bright. Sure, there will be some tough years. Others will be just perfect. And I will adapt to this wintry season in South Dakota, to the ways of the Rohwedders, and to this new life I have chosen. Perhaps the upcoming years will bring new traditions that are Steve's and mine alone. And perhaps we will choose to celebrate the Solstice instead of Christmas - aligning our celebration with our beliefs about life.

My hope is that I will awaken on Christmas morning filled with comfort and joy, and that I will feel like old Ebenezer Scrooge, appreciating the people I love. No bah humbug here....just blessings for "every one."

Friday, December 15, 2006

little aggravations

They say that many people are depressed this time of year. I am not usually one of them. This year I might be. I should be on top of the world, with a recent engagement, pending nuptials, a new house to buy, a new puppy to love, and generally good things happening all around me. Thing is, I'm a little anxious, perhaps even mildly depressed. I suppose it is because there many things "in the works" and few are getting done.

There are gifts to buy and wrap and send. This is totally unlike me, as I'm the one who always got the shopping done early, and had things posted in plenty of time for Christmas delivery. Shopping in a new city can be daunting. The mall for instance, is simply uncharted territory. I have no idea where to park, nor where to go when I finally get inside. Unlike in Houston, there is only one mall, and everyone is there. EVERYONE! So I tried downtown...again with the parking. Then the walking up and down streets to find a boutique that I've heard about. And the wind....well, if it's anything like yesterday, could carry all gifts to their final destination without delay. My sisters are easy to buy for. Always have been, and yet they remain giftless. My father, who is the hardest to buy for, is taken care of because Steve got online and bought him a gift I might never have thought of. But I haven't wrapped it.

To make matters more difficult, I'm on deadline again. And this time, while materials arrived somewhat early, the clients are at their worst. Perhaps they are feeling the Christmas crunch as well.

And there are the financial issues. Clients that don't want to pay me, accountants who don't want to call me, unfinished divorce business, and the bonus issue.

And this morning, as if on cue, the Universe sent this message....

As far as I can tell, Melissa, worrying, about anything at all, is a pretty good indicator that one has begun thinking that their joy and prosperity will somehow hinge on pending physical events, other people, or angry green Martians.
Can you imagine?!
Phone home,

The Universe

First, Melissa, joy and prosperity are created within. Second, the events and people of your life can be changed with your thoughts. And third, Martians have long dwelled upon your planet, and while there were a few among them considering a coup, even they are now so enthralled by "The Secret," you have absolutely nothing to fear.

Is this all about fear? change? growing pains? And how do I shift the energy?

Right now I'm not sure. But I think a day of shopping with Ann might cure it. But then of course she is in Texas. As I was telling her the other night, nothing cures the blues like a great shopping buddy, and she's the best. In fact, though I'm not a huge shopping fan, when I do it with her, it's fabulous.

And so I remain a little disgruntled, disappointed and bah-humbug. Perhaps I will take the afternoon off and zip off to the coffee shop, then downtown for some hunting and gathering. I always did love a challenge.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

new puppy day 3

Her name is Dori, and I'm sure it was a tough life for her prior to her adoption. She lived in a house with three adults, four little kids, two cats and a bunny. Needless to say, her needs didn't always come first. And she was nervous, always nervous. And now she has a new home and she's totally adjusting. I'm not sure she likes sleeping in the kennel while Buddy curls up on his own pillow next to the bed or sharing her food. But other than that, I think she's pretty happy. And she is no longer nervous. The new puppy thing wasn't nearly as hard as I'd imagined. She and Bud get along just fine. The cats hate her, so they stay out of the way for the most part. They do hiss and paw at her when she gets too close, but they can retreat to their upstairs apartment for peace.

Sometimes I think I'm crazy...everything moving so fast and I continue to make changes. Just when I adjust to the idea of one new thing, another appears. Perhaps the lesson in all of this is to stay flexible, and to know that all of the "stuff" doesn't really matter at all. The sun rises and night falls, and each day is full of discoveries, and that's life. I asked the Universe for some adventure, and now, everyday there is a new one.

This morning I am tired. Don't feel like working. Feel like crawling back in the bed and catching a few more hours sleep. But I won't. The Christmas music in the background helps. I am trying to stay in the spirit, but my deadline looms and my shopping isn't even close. There are still cards I'd like to send. But what gets done will get done, and the rest will not. And the sun will rise and night will fall.

Saturday, December 02, 2006


Just got back from Ohio on the whirlwind Thanksgiving vacation. Always good to see family...always good to get home. The news of course is the weddings - mine and Heather's. One full day of shopping secured both a wedding dress for me and my bridesmaids. And after spending the afternoon here in Sioux Falls looking for other options, I've decided that I'm done shopping for dresses. And so it's on to measurements, etc. In the meantime, I didn't remember just how many things there are to take care of.

Logistically, this wedding is almost impossible. But I think I do have the solutions - at least some of them. And Deb is a great sounding board. (Sorry Deb, but you've just become the first mate for this voyage.)

There are decisions to make about everything, and with the purchase of the house pending and Christmas around the corner...I'm not sure which way is up. My angels remind thing at a time...and so I need to regroup and handle each of the things on my to do list, but I should make one first.

Steve is working this morning, which is good, because I have time to think. Wait...maybe that isn't a good thing. On top of everything else, I find myself extremely emotional, no matter what I'm doing. I feel on the brink of tears at least once every hour. I look for a few Christmas decorations for the SLRH, I tear up. I look at the bridal stores, I tear up. I think of Steve, I tear up. The dog curls up on my lap, I tear up. I know what you're thinking and the answer is no - the only PMS here is PreMaritalShakiness. It's like a nasty little STD that won't go away.

Not sure how this will all pan out. I'm trying to remember that the most important thing is to live each day for the joy of it. And so, I suppose I will do this. But first I'll make a list. At least it may calm the jitters.