Friday, January 26, 2007

happy new house

I was watching a movie last night and the wife in the movie was saying that somewhere along the line, romance becomes the business of marriage. Today, I will take a step toward this "business" of marriage. Today we are closing on our new home. I'm not afraid of this. It makes sense in my world. What I fear is the "business" of marriage. I love the life I have in the SLRH with my SO. If buying a house changes the bliss, it will really piss me off.

So I'm committed not only to buying this new home, and getting married, but more than anything to keeping it from becoming business. I will tear the wallpaper off in the bathroom in joyful swoops and will not get upset if everything doesn't go just the way it's supposed to. If it takes weeks to make it look good, so be it. Life shouldn't be so serious.

I spent many years of my life thinking a lot about ways to stay in control of every little avoid any chaos. The message in this for me is that life is too short to be in control...I want to be zen, and to bend and stretch with the situations life affords me. I want to take it as it comes. And so this is the real commitment I make today when I sign my name.

My consultation with the angels today confirmed that "happily ever after" is indeed possible - when you keep the "happy" in it, find joy in the mundane, find bliss in a returned smile or touch. I think in fact that happiness is something we find ways to allude without realizing it. What's the point in creating things to be worried about. Life does indeed happyn (yes you can find happy in happen) if you let it. And behind the most innocuous dusty corner, one may find a little gem of joy.

One giant step for me...over the edge and into the unknown. Whew, what a ride.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

its a racket

I was on the phone with my sister Heather yesterday, who incidentally is planning a wedding of her own in October. What started as a simple "computer help desk" call ended up a very long conversation on the ins and outs of wedding planning. The verdict...the entire thing is a racket, created to make lots of people a lot of money and leaving brides-to-be thinking that a single blemish on their face with ruin the "most important day of their lives."

My biggest worry is the guest list...there are just too many people on it to fit in my backyard. And there seems to be no way to stop the insanity. But then, I'm not doing the huge church/reception hall thing. Simple, simple, simple. Wedding planners would be horrified. One of Steve's friends called and asked if I had chosen my "personal assistant" for the event. I laughed, and said, "I don't even know what that is." I thanked her for offering her services, but continued to say that I think that's what my sisters are for.

Heather worries, too. That maybe she should go ahead and get lasiks before the wedding so her eyes don't water too much, and that she should spend $1000 to get her face up to par. The dermatologist put the fear of "bad skin" in her head.

And then there's the dress. The women at the bridal shop all say you look fabulous; your attendants say you look fabulous. But when you look in the mirror, you are definitely fat. And it's nothing a good bra can fix. Do I refuse to wear the horribly uncomfortable control-top stockings and suck it in? Or do I buy into the hype and get heavy duty undergarments to fool the crowd.

I watched Bridezillas the other night after Steve had gone to bed. This crazy women had spent more than $50,000 on her wedding. The veil itself was more than $1000. The flowers were fabulous, but her dress, which cost a small fortune (and would be worn for a single day) wasn't' all that amazing. Worst of all, she walked around the reception with a clipboard commanding her guests to sit in their assigned seats. And while I wanted to think she was a total bitch, all I could do was feel sorry for her. She took the bait. She wanted the perfect wedding and reception and she was going to have it dammit. The saddest part is that there is absolutely no way she could have enjoyed herself, at least considering the footage I saw. What will she remember about "the most important day in her life?"

I try to stay calm, despite the fact that there is still a lot to do. I hope my face doesn't break out and that my nails look great on my wedding day. I hope that lots of the RSVPs send regrets so everyone has a place to sit in my backyard. I hope that I can find a band to play the kind of music I want to hear. But no matter what happens, I will get married on May 26 to a man that I love, and this is really the most important thing about "the most important day of my life."

Thursday, January 18, 2007

little reminders

I hate that feeling...eyes burning, the tears just one puppy kiss away. I think, "don't touch me, or say something nice to me, or I may just sob."

I had one of those days on Tuesday. I'm not sure if it was pms, the sense of time flying and leaving me without wings, or the immensity of the changes in my life. But whatever the reason, I was an emotional time bomb. No matter how many times I told myself to live in the moment, the future seemed to be falling in on me like plaster from a rotting ceiling, one dusty chunk at a time. My mind swirled with thoughts about all the things I should be doing, would be doing soon, and the cost of all the improvements. Worst part was that thoughts about all of these things kept me from doing all of these things. I was obsessing without guided action.

Around noon, Steve's cousin showed up with her daughter who I had agreed to babysit for the afternoon with her two month old puppy. I wasn't sure I could take it.

And it didn't really get any better throughout the day and night. Instead, little aggravations continued. I spilled coffee on my shirt, burned a hole in my sleeve with a cigarette, and had to pay my taxes. Urggggh. And then the groupies began to show up one by one to cement every insecurity I've ever had. First "an old girlfriend" called, then "an old roommate" called with car problems. It was after 8 when I was finally able to talk to my fiance, who is supposed to "be there" when I'm having a bad day, right?

I was angry and I'm sure that he could feel the tension. I think he was afraid to come home and face whatever demons were haunting me. After all, they were MY demons. He was up to the challenge - mostly. It was a big challenge. And he made dinner - mostly. Frozen food in the oven. And he made lists and put together a plan of action.

In the end, I felt a little better, but still had a hard time sleeping. I got up and played solitaire until 2, promising myself with every flip of the cards that tomorrow would be better. No surprise, it was. The key was this. Every time I felt a surge of anxiety, I took a breath and tried to remember the little joys of life. I lay on the bed and petted the dogs. I made tuna and noodle casserole (my comfort food). I read the blogs of my friends. I watched out the window for birds. I looked at a magazine. I watched Decorating Cents. I did get some work done in the middle of all of the joyful things. Which made me feel better, too.

Right now Elmo the cat is lying across my wrist as I type. Can't imagine that he is comfortable, but I guess he needs a little attention. Today he is my little reminder that life is good.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

waiting for snow

South Dakota, they say, is a snow lover's dream. But I have yet to experience this phenomenon. While I did enjoy one pretty terriffic snowfall last spring, (I use that term lightly), this winter has been virtually snow-free - at least in Sioux Falls.

I think it might be unbelievably cool to build a real snowperson again, and make angels and have a mini-snowball war. I am after all a peacelover at heart. We get wind and predictions, and if we're lucky, a light dusting of white that virtually disappears with the warmth of the afternoon sun.

And so I wait, and I wonder if it was all a prevarication.

In the meantime, someone, somewhere is enjoying the snow. Don't get me wrong...the Denver deluge is more than I want. Just a foot or so would satisfy my cravings and inspire me to walk in the moonlight. I remain uninspired.

Shall I go farther north? Rumor has it that it has been snowing there. Must I travel to enjoy the shimmer and crispness of fresh snow? To watch the flakes fall through beams of light and gently land on my tongue as I lift my face to the sky? Or shall I wait for the perfect Saturday morning? One day I will wake up and rub my eyes, not believing as I look through my bedroom window that fate has finally smiled on me and given me a snowfall worth waiting for. On that morning, I will slug down my first cup of coffee, put on my snowpants, and head to the park. I will hear the crunch under my boots and revel my luck.

For now I suppose I will sit by the window and wait...

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

the bees

Last night I realized that my mind is doing that thing again. My thoughts jump from one to another fearlessly with no net. And I try to think of solutions to 1000 challenges before me. I haven't felt this way in a very long time, and I have to say I don't like it.

Over the last year or so, I coasted. Did what I wanted when I wanted for the most part, not counting the pesky annoyance of work. My responsibilities were only to myself. I did my own laundry when I wanted, ate when I wanted, or didn't eat if that seemed more appropriate at the time. There were no plans. And now I find myself in a sea of them. From moving to wedding plans, there are thousands of little details to be handled, and they're flying around my head like bees in a field of sweet clover. And so I'm trying to remember that the bees come with the clover. This is not always easy.

I've pretty much decided I hate responsibility. Am I alone? Are there other out there who will acknowledge that life is better without them? SLRHs are easier to manage when the handy man fixes every little thing that goes wrong. And living together is almost as good as being married. I sure that those of you who hate responsibility as much as I do would think perhaps that marriage is almost as good as living together. There are just too many details.

I think that I so need to pull out "the jar". In this jar I have placed little slips of paper with my every hope and dream, acknowledging that all my needs are met, if not exceeded, and that the universe will take care of the hows. This has always worked for me. So why didn't I think of this sooner? Just stuff the bees in the jar. Seems simple right? Unfortunately there is a little piece of me that isn't quite trusting the jar right now. What if the bees escape and leave a big stinger right in the middle of my forehead the night before the wedding. The ugly welt will be right there for everyone to see, and just when I'm trying to be the princess. Yes, the welt will go away, but not before everyone points and whispers.

I ask myself why I care at all. The welt will go away...the pain is brief. And there are just soooo many bees. If I'm honest, I know that somewhere along the line I will be stung, and it will hurt, as that is the way bee stings behave. I may as well anticipate this eventuality, suck it up and buy some calamine lotion. It won't be pretty. But in no time at all, at least by June 1st, I will be rolling in the sweet clover, in my new home with the amazing fireplace and the bright sun room. And when twilight falls, I will see the stars in the eyes of my new husband.

Sting away.

Friday, January 05, 2007

new house

I'm meeting with the banker this morning. Yes, we're buying a house - a beautiful house. Just one more piece of the puzzle that makes Sioux Falls my home. From the beginning it felt right, but this little bit of icing makes it real.

When I moved to Houston, I remember thinking that anywhere I was happy could be home. And so, here I am happy, and here I am home. After all, it's a big country, and a change of address is just a tiny little thing, right.

Moving on the other hand is a BIG thing. I hate moving, and am hoping with all of my heart that the new house is permanent - the last big move. I'm collecting boxes and trying to put things in order to make the move as smooth as possible. I do dread packing everything up yet again. I've done it too many times in the last two years. But with each move I have consolidated, discarding that which no longer fits, looks good, or works. In fact, I have even disposed of things that aren't so bad, just are never used. And so I will consolidate yet again. It's almost like sweeping the soul clean of things that no longer serve me.

Talked to Lynnette yesterday, who reminded me that with the new year, it's time to put a period on the end of the sentence that was my life and move on to the next sentence, paragraph, chapter. The new story has begun, but an ellipses hangs at the end. Not sure where the future will take me, but trying to create the life of my dreams and believing in "happily ever after."

So I'm off to the bank to try and write a new home into the setting of my life. I think of its emptiness, and look forward to filling it. I will change the color scheme, and hang new inspirational art in my office. I will fill it with blue and chocolate, dreamy textures, and light. I will make it a place for joy - lots of joy. If there is something we don't love, it won't have a place there. That's a good place to start, no?

Thursday, January 04, 2007

the dress

When I was in Ohio in November, I picked out the dress I will wear for my wedding. So I searched Sioux Falls to find the same dress and finally found Kathryn's Bridal. There I again tried on this not-so-bride-ish dress. And when I tried it on, it felt right. Yes, I bought the dress...yikes...and now the search begins for the accessories that will accompany me down the aisle.

The groom, of course, is the ultimate accessory, and has already been picked. And while the right shoes and jewelry are very important, the groom must be perfect. While he says he'd prefer to wear jeans, I'm sure that he's looking forward to wearing the tuxedo and acting like it's a real pain. He insists that he will wear his Larry the Cable Guy shirt under his tuxedo, which is one of the reasons he is perfect. He is authentically Steve - always. This I love. And he allows me to be my authentic self - always. This I love even more. And the shoes, they will be Cinderella shoes, the sort a princess-for-a-day should own.

At the bridal store, I did sign up for the "princess package" which offers discounts on everything from alterations to invitations. A marketing ploy to make the bride believe that she is a princess when in fact she IS Cinderella, with thousands of things to do before the ball.

I am having many second thoughts about the color I chose for the bridesmaids dresses. Will it be mint green or celestial blue? Ann and Heather think the blue is pretty. Haven't asked the rest of the girls. But really, since I am the bride, I get to choose. Problem is I can't. So I'm trying to be a little spiritual and think about the chakras. Green is the heart chakra, perfect for a wedding. It is the color of growing things, and of the trees to which I feel a kinship. But is the color of the third eye chakra, which is all seeing, and which led me to Steve. It is his favorite color. And while I'm normally not a blue person, it reminds of ice and sky, of a cloudless day. Perhaps I should choose blue. Pink peonies will be the flower of the day, and both blue and green would work with these beautiful and almost forgotten flowers.

It seems that I have gone from an life void of responsibilities to a life filled with thousands of inconsequential choices. The wedding will, in fact, go on in blue or green, with peonies or some other flowers. In the end, these little details don't really matter. But hey, if there's gonna be a ball, it might as well be fabulous, no?

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

happy new year

New beginnings, right? That's what this whole celebrating the new year thing is all about. But let me say for the record that I have had way too many new beginnings, and will settle for just firming out the edges of those things that have just begun.

I do feel somehow renewed though, as if I have been given a clean sheet of paper. Even the things that I neglected over the last year don't seem nearly as daunting as the year dawns. I suppose that it's all a part of the package. It does seem to give one the incentive to look back over the last year, recap and regroup.

The last year...ending the old that no longer served me, beginning a new relationship, finding a new house, engagements, new city, new family....whew... perhaps 2007 will let me become adjusted. And though I do feel as if I've been given a new life to create, which is somewhat of a challenge, I feel joyful at the thought of it. That clean sheet of paper can be filled with whatever it is I want to write, draw or color.

It begins I think with planning this wedding - yikes. Lots to do. Signed up at this wedding website and the worst part of it is that it reminds me just how many (few) days are left before the big event. It is funny somehow that I don't feel rushed or stressed. Just as if everything will fall in where and when it's supposed to. I do have lists...lots of them, and one by one they will be checked off. And the day will be beautiful and bright and sunny and perfect. We're manifesting that you know. And if it isn't, well, I suppose that all will be as it should be.

Whatever the case, my relationship will move into a more permanent space, and I will be "attached." Despite my longing for "freedom", the universe has offered me a "do over." And I intend to make the most of it, without giving up the freedom to be myself. I think I've learned many lessons...the biggest...1 + 1 = 2. Seems simple, no? And yet in so many marriages, there are no longer two people, just a sort of mocha blending of lives that leaves little evidence of the people that once occupied the space. Instead, I intend to continue to be French Roast, while Steve can continue to be Mountain Dew. We will not smoke cigarettes from the same pack and though I may make a hot dish or two, I will still love lobster and crab cakes, and will stop for lunch at the Chinese restaurant as I did yesterday.

I am expecting the best of the year...and will take the challenges as well as the blessings, knowing that each will teach me something, about myself, about life, about family, about spirit. And this is good.