Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thankful

Lately I have been overwhelmed by the blessings in my life. Since tomorrow is Thanksgiving, I thought I should take time to write these things down.

Four years ago, Thanksgiving was absolute hell. I was newly separated from my husband, and it was my first holiday alone. My life was spiraling out of control so fast I could almost see it happening. And it only got worse from there. I allowed myself to become involved in an extremely abusive relationship. I damaged my relationships with family and friends. I left a stable, well-paying job to move away from my hometown, where I was completely isolated. I got into legal trouble. My finances were in ruins, and at one point, I was days away from being homeless.

There were good times. I made friends in my new town. I got back in touch with a man I knew a lifetime ago, fell in love, and got married. But it was hard, and there were many times we both felt that we were never going to get out of the hole we were in. Coming home to Dallas was the fresh start that we needed (and desperately wanted). We made that happen in early April, thanks - again - to our families. Since then, we have faced challenges and hard times, but looking back over the last six months, it's amazing to see how steadily our lives have improved.

Today, I have a permanent job doing work I enjoy for a great boss. After a series of major hurdles, the husband is registered for spring classes at the local college. We have two sweet, funny cats (plus one baby we're fostering), and they provide us endless entertainment. My friends - the ones that count, anyway - are still here. In many ways, it's like we were never apart. Most importantly, I am happy. *WE* are happy. I know that things will never be perfect; there are still hard times in our future. But I survived the last four years, and I'm going to enjoy every moment of these happy times.

I heard something once, along the lines of: "If you always think about what's missing in your life, you'll never see all the things you have." I like that, and I believe it's especially appropriate to consider this time of year.

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Friday Happy Hour

From Mental Floss: "Every Friday, I post a series of unrelated questions meant to spark conversation in the comments. Answer one, answer all, respond to someone else’s reply, whatever you want. On to this week’s topics of discussion…"

1. Let’s pretend you’ve been appointed calendar czar. Your first order of duty is creating one new federal holiday. Which new holiday would you propose? How should people celebrate?
~ My best friend had a weekly holiday for a while; she called it "Hater Monday." On Monday evenings, she would leave work and do all the things she hated but that had to be done: buy gas, shop for groceries, etc. She figured Monday was already ruined just by being Monday, so it was the perfect day for those errands.

2. What’s a recent example of horrible public behavior — kids or adults — you’ve witnessed?
~ I don't have enough time to write, nor do you have enough time to read, all the ridiculous things I've seen lately.

3. What’s the oldest piece of clothing you still wear regularly?
~ When I was a junior in high school (age 16) I purchased an embroidered Texas A&M sweatshirt for $65. My mother had an absolute fit when she found out, as I’ll be reminding her (again) when I wear it to her house later this year (I’m 34 now). I’m pretty sure I’ve gotten my money’s worth.

4. A couple weeks ago, I asked if any of you named your cars. Lots of people did. What other possessions have you given names? Houses? Laptops? Volleyballs?
~ Nothing I can think of right now - I'll ponder that for later.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Friday Happy Hour

From Mental Floss: "Every Friday, I post a series of unrelated questions meant to spark conversation in the comments. Answer one, answer all, respond to someone else’s reply, whatever you want. On to this week’s topics of discussion…"

1. Lindsey Harris and her husband threw an “odd pairings” party this Halloween, where guests came in costumes like Felix the Cat Stevens; Linus & Lucy Liu; Rand Paul Bunyan; Count von Count Dooku; Pamela Anderson Cooper; and Valley Girl, Interrupted. And they even played a few rounds of Split Decision, the game of improbable pairings! If she invited you to her next odd pairings party, what would your costume be?
~ Oh, I'm horrible at these! I have no idea.


2. Keeping with the board games theme, what are some “house rules” your family applied to your favorite games?
~ I think both of these are fairly common. To win at Trivial Pursuit, when a player has all his "pie pieces" he has to go to the middle and answer a question chosen by the asking player. The asking player must choose the question from the next card in the deck (no going through the cards looking for a tough one). Alternately, and if you want a much longer game, the player has to answer all six questions on a single card. Either way, if you miss, you have to leave the middle on your next turn, then get back to the middle to try again.

Also, in Monopoly, all fines paid go to the middle (instead of back to the bank). Next player to land on Free Parking gets the kitty!


3. What’s an example of something you’ve seen that you really wish you had on tape? (I’m talking about random happenings in real life, like the time your neighbor tried to parachute off his roof. Not The 1992 MTV Video Music Awards.)
~ Well, it wasn't random, but I wish I had the implosion of Texas Stadium on tape. The husband and I were there, and it was really awesome - not just the actual implosion, but the moment with him. It would be nice to watch it and relive that moment sometimes.


4. By now you’ve all probably heard about Caitlin Burke solving a 27-letter Wheel of Fortune puzzle after only seeing one “L.” (The answer was “I’ve got a good feeling about this.”) What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever seen on a game show?
~ Of course, I'm aware it's not a real game show, but sometimes (at completely random moments) I think of the Penis Mightier - Jeopardy skit on SNL. It always makes me giggle.