For the Sake of Auld Lang Syne

When I was 11 (or I was 13 and the date was December 11 – either way, there was an 11 that was significant), I made the mistake of telling my father that I wanted to be a grown-up. He was always complaining about it and telling us how lucky we were that we were kids. He made me write it down on a small piece of paper and date it (I can see the piece of paper in my mind, “I want to be a grown-up” Susie Roulusonis). He said he was going to hang on to it and shove it in my face the very first time I complained about being a grown-up. I actually worried about that for a couple of years. Then as I got older (I won’t say that I grew up), I realized that I actually liked being an adult. Every time I complained about something, the first thing my father would say to me is, “It’s fun being a grown-up, isn’t it?” trying to make me eat my words, wanting to show me how silly I was for saying that. A few years ago I started telling him that he was going to eat that piece of paper, that I would never admit it because I didn’t (or wouldn’t) ever feel that way.
— He said one other thing to me when I was growing up that I will never forget: “You set to defy me at every turn!”
I’ll give him that. (Hear that, Dad? You were right!)

Because I’m going to do it again.
I’m 47 years old. I think I’m old enough to officially state this. I’ve had enough years in, I’ve been a parent for over 20 of them, I think I’m qualified now (still not grown up, but old enough).
I like being an adult. Even through all the stress, grief and loss, my daughter’s teenage years, marriage break-ups, bills, feelings of worthlessness, and not ever seeming to be where I expected to be by a certain age, I like being older. And I don’t wish to be a kid again.
I enjoy having my ownapartment (especially when I’m alone in it!). I enjoy driving my car. I go to parent-teacher meetings not because my kids have any problems in school, but because I think it’s fucking hilarious that I’m the parent! (My poor kids!)
When we were kids, we always thought that being an adult meant being able to do whatever you wanted to do when you wanted to do it. You know what? It really does. Yes, we have things that we have to do, responsibilities that have to be taken care of. But think about it, we really do have a choice. Yes, there will be consequences to certain choices, but the options are there. And looking at it that way makes me feel like I have more choices. If I have what I consider to be free time, I really can do whatever I choose. I like that.

However:
I like looking back. I like looking over the things I’ve done. I like the fact that I can be selective about what I choose to look at, focusing only on the good times. There’s no need to go back. All time is now, right? So if I’m looking backwards, I am reliving it right now. I can be there and here at the same time.
I especially like getting together with old friends, reunions, catching up with people you haven’t seen in a while, people that you spent segments of your life with. Spending time with them and sharing laughter and memories. That ability to look back—and having enough amassed to look back at—is something we only have as adults. I am a kid again when I hang with my old friends. There are some bittersweet moments, of course, especially when someone’s absence is obvious. That is one thing about being an adult that isn’t so great. Watching time pass can be sad; but watching the people pass that we shared that time with…
But for that time that we are reliving memories with our friends and families and we talk about those who are absent, they are right there with us in that moment—then they become a part of the memory of that moment which allows us to keep them with us longer.
I treasure all of my friendships, from the people in my closest circles to those in each circle rippling out. All of you keep the best parts of my past, my history, in my present.
So I will jump at every opportunity of any type of reunion or get together and I will embrace—and wear a tiara on—every new birthday. (Sorry, Dad.)
To my friends, old and new, here or not, every single one of you that I have been fortunate enough to share moments with—any type of moment:

Thank you. You are a part of me.

Happy New Year.

A Christmas Miracle (and my 100th blog!)

I believe in miracles—or at least I say I do.
Belief is defined as the “confidence in the truth or existence of something not immediately susceptible to rigorous proof; trust; faith.”
Miracle is defined as “an effector extraordinary event in the physical world that surpasses all known human or natural powers and is ascribed to a supernatural cause; a wonder or marvel.”
When I’m down (which usually means I’m not getting what I want, if I’m honest), I try to inundate myself with things that make me feel good. My ‘go-tos’ are usually music and movies—or movie clips, certain scenes I already know, that I know make me feel good. Sometimes I’ll venture out and watch a movie I’ve never seen, as long as I know ahead of time it has a happy ending.
I’d been very thankful that it’s Christmastime; I consider Christmas music to be the happiest music around. There is nothing like a song to comfort you, to lift you up, to say, “I feel the same way,” but I haven’t been able to listen to my own music; right now, I don’t want commiseration. Right now I want to be happy. (I do know that’s my choice.) So, it’s Christmas music and movie time. During the holiday season there is no shortage of feel-good flicks, thank God. I think I’ve DVRd all of them and have probably watched more movies late-night than the total of all the TV I’ve watched in two years. And I sit there, believing throughout the whole film that everything is going to work out right. Yes, I know they are scripted that way—what I’m saying is that I’m not even the least bit cynical, and I believe the happy endings are ‘right’ and I can go to bed with a stupid little grin on my face while wiping the happy tears off my cheeks.
I do believe in miracles. I look for them and I see them happen all of the time. My problem is that apparently my belief is that they happen around me and not necessarily to me. It must be that, because if I believed they happened to me, I wouldn’t worry or be unhappy about anything, right? Because I would know. So I question myself and test my own beliefs—or gauge where they are. Delving further, I wonder whether or not it’s really my beliefs that are in question—it could be my trust; my trust in the knowing that everything is unfolding as it should. Or worse than that. Maybe my trust issue is not a matter of trust, but control. Maybe I don’t believe things will work out for the best or better, because I think what I want is what’s right and what should be, and if I don’t have what I want then things won’t work out. Which means things are even worse than I thought. Because what I have is not an issue of trust; it’s a matter of ego. One thing I do believe is that there are things that are out of our control, and the only thing any of us really have control of is ourselves: our hopes, dreams, actions and reactions. I don’t just believe this; I know it.
So I guess I have an ego problem.

Fuck.
Because this all brings me back to my two favorite fucking words:

Acceptance and patience.
(I think I’m screwed.)
I once wrote that I felt it was time that the Universe just crossed me off and declared me “unteachable” in that. I mean, really, I have no fucking idea what it’s going to take for me to learn either—and I’ve been given some pretty harsh lessons lately.
It’s not like I don’t understand the concept. My last ‘lesson’—before I found out it was just a lesson—started off as something that looked to me like I had finally learned the idea of ‘letting things happen’ and that I was reaping the rewards, that I got my ‘miracle.’ But I was wr…, wr…
—I was mistaken. 
My reaction to this has been this whole leading up to the questioning of my beliefs which, it turns out, has to do with my ego and control. I’m not getting what I want and not happy about it.
–I won’t take you through my earlier journey of “But is it really what I want?” and “Why do I want it?” (You’re welcome.)
So, I am back to acceptance and patience. I wish my execution of both could be as easy as my grasp of the concept.

That would truly be a Christmas Miracle.
****
This is my 100th blog here at Blogger! Thank you Internet! Thank you, Google! Thank God I can type! I’m sure those that would be forced to listen to me otherwise appreciate that I have this outlet! I shouldn’t thank anyone who reads this –Your inability to look away from a train wreck is not my responsibility!
But I will.
J

Thank you!

The Hardest Apology

It was hard. She knew she had to apologize. Slowly, she lifted her eyes and looked directly into the eyes of her accuser, who stared at her with an unflinching gaze.
“I’m sorry,” she began, her voice barely a whisper. As she went on, her voice became stronger, “You were my star, shining your love on me without hesitation or question. We were partners. Your smile made me happier than anything else ever could. And I turned my back on you. I let something else become more important.”
No answer, but the look said everything.
“I was wrong. You didn’t deserve that from me.”
She looked away for a moment. When she looked back those eyes were staring hard at her, and she could see the anger. Taking a deep breath, she went on.
“I let my pride and fear get the best of me. I hurt you, and I chose not to acknowledge it.”
Now those eyes reflected pain and deep hurt, turning to disbelief at her next words.
“I miss you. I miss your smile and how it made me feel. I miss your belief in me. I miss knowing you are always with me. I need you to be whole, and I’m asking you to forgive me. To give me another chance.” Her voice broke on her next words, “I do love you.”
The eyes looking back at hers glistened with tears, and she felt them gather in her own eyes, but there was no answer forthcoming.
She turned to walk away, knowing there was nothing more she could say.
But she couldn’t just let it go. This was too important.
She turned back one more time, and opened her mouth to speak, to plead if necessary, but what she saw silenced her.
Her reflection in the mirror looked back at her, and what she saw in her own eyes was a small glimmer of hope.

She said nothing more. That was enough for now.