Archives for December 2014

It’s Thoughtful Thursday! Feeling a little stressed as Christmas approaches? Join me for….

A little cup of self compassion and letting go.   At the risk of getting horse whipped by Elf on the Shelf and shamed by Pinterest addicts I will share with you that Christmas is not my favorite holiday.

Pause for a collective GASP!

I mentioned this to a few of my friends and was dutifully shamed since evidently I am suppose to LOVE everything about the holiday and put up my decorations mid November.

I think not.

I don’t LOVE everything.

What I do love is the spiritual side, advent and getting together with family, and pulling out the faded construction paper ornaments with macaroni and toothless grins from long ago.

I love the music…in December and not before.

What I don’t love are the little voices in my head that constantly barrage me this time of year:

  • Did I remember everything and everyone?
  • Wait where did I put this gift…did I even buy it or did I just think I bought it?
  • It’s Dec. 10th and my tree is not up..what’s up with that? ( It is actually up with a trillion boxes surrounding it full of ornaments yet to be hung)
  • The sale ends tonight, must hurry, must bake, must do everything

and the quintessential:

 “What’s wrong with me, everyone else seems to do this without breaking a sweat”

I actually know the last one is not true, it just feels true.  Especially when I hear things like this starting on Nov. 29th:

“My shopping is all done, cards are ready to be mailed and I just baked 15 dozen cookies”

And me….I am thinking ( among other things that can’t be written here):

“Wait, I haven’t even finished digesting my Thanksgiving dinner and you are all ready for Christmas?”

And then to console myself I have another piece of pie.

So what does all this have to do with Thoughtful Thursday?

Aside from starting a support group for those of us who would like to celebrate Thanksgiving and then ease into Christmas then the  best we can do is really, really practice self compassion and let go of what does not serve us.

Take a breath, have a cup of tea, keep it simple and do what brings you joy.  Elf on the Shelf might need to take a vacation this year..or permanently.

If you have small children think about what you remember about Christmas.  I bet you hardly remember the gifts but you do remember your Grandpa’s laugh, fun with your family or making cookies with your Mom ( just not 15 dozen and slice and bake work just fine)

As for me, I am putting a mute button on all those nagging questions that run through my head, making a cup a tea and hoping I don’t trip over all those boxes around the undecorated tree as I go to the kitchen.

Make this Thoughtful Thursday about you today!

P.S. Written quickly so all my typos and grammatical errors are my gifts to you!  Phew..

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Living Single While Very Married…. Who are these people?

Before I get into our story I thought a little info about who we are might be in order.

My name is Jennifer. I was named Jennifer long before it was the most popular name on earth..well it used to be.  I would like to believe my parents were ahead of their time, a little edgy and cool.

Truth is they found my name in a dictionary. So much for edgy and cool.

As an afterthought they said I was named after my Aunt Jenny who I never met and don’t know much about.  What I do know is that I am not nor have I ever been a Jenny. Perfectly nice name but it is not mine. I have been Jennifer most of my life, Jenn to some and even J-RO ( a parody on J-LO that stuck) but never Jenny.

This is the story of how my husband and I fell into a marriage sabbatical.

We never intended for it to happen, it just did and we learned quite a bit along the way. Will try to leave out the boring stuff. Won’t leave out the hard stuff and sorry but I have to include the mushy stuff because that is part of the story.

Most of all it is a story of love, gratitude, appreciation, frustration, depression and celebration. It is story of a small part of our life.

 Our story.

Everyone has a story…believe me everyone has a story. Just strike up a conversation and you will hear some incredible stuff.

Paul is the other half of this dynamic duo.

If you had him write about himself it would consist of

“Hi, I’m Paul “

How did Miss Social, Miss run at the mouth get married to a man of few words? Who knows but it works for us. Took me years of dragging him to large  social events to learn that he really prefers smaller gatherings. Once he gets to know the group he is fine but I  literally dragged him to neighborhood events. Now he can’t wait to go. And I might add he is very popular. Go figure

As for names, his parents like mine, were not really edgy or cool in choosing his name. He is a Junior.  Named after his father. If the “junior” part of this story remains after editing it will be a coup for me because he never uses it and really doesn’t care for it.

Ironically our son in law goes by Junior as his first name…it fits him. It does not fit Paul.

A few other things you should know. Paul leans towards being type A (organized, gets things done in a timely fashion, detail oriented).

I am not sure what type I am but it for sure is not type A. I am the type that leaves every door (car door, cabinet door or front door) open (self closing doors would be good for me), I have  unique organization system ( I sometimes don’t understand it) I have raised procrastination to an art and I love adventures…big and small. I don’t think there is a “type” label for me. I’m fine with that…not really into labels.

Before I met Paul I was a little concerned about the kind of guys I was attracting.

The ones I wanted to date had no interest in me and the ones who wanted to date me were not even close to what I found attractive. The top of that list being a sense of humor and at least as tall as me. I admit that is a little shallow but I am only 5″ 5″ so I wasn’t really asking for much. It seemed all the short humorless guys were beating a path to my doorway.

I really wondered if this was what was in store for me for the rest of my life.

I was all of 20 years old.

I later learned, long after we married that Paul often wondered if there was anyone out there that would love him just for him. This puzzled me since I have always thought he was really handsome, tall (6’2″), funny, and intelligent…I mean really…what’s not to love?

Honestly when we got married I wondered if someone was going to break out in that song from the movie “Funny Girl” when Barbra Streisand marries Omar Sharif:

“To tell the truth it hurt my pride, the groom was prettier than the bride…”

Which just proves that we are all vulnerable in the love category.

After 7 short months of dating we got engaged. He graduated from the Naval Academy and went to flight school and I went back to college to finish my last year.

That was our first clue that time apart would become a big part of our relationship. We just didn’t know how big. Stay tuned.

me and paul

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It’s Thoughtful Thursday! Time to slow down

I am writng this quickly for reasons that will soon be obvious.  For the same reasons this will be relatively short.

I didn’t sleep well Tuesday night.  I found out a dear friend who I would have expected to be the last person in my world to have a heart attack, had one.  I believe she is going to be fine.  I don’t have all the info because it just happened and I really do want to talk to her just to hear her sweet voice.

I was surprised because this really shook me to the core.  It came out of nowhere and I tossed and turned all night worrying about her, worrying about everyone, wondering and fretting how scared she must have been.

If she didn’t live across the country from me I would have been at her doorstep dropping off chicken soup.

Needless to say I was exhausted this morning and getting ready to have my almost three year old grandson for a couple of days.  Sort of dreading it since I was sooo tired.

He was just what I needed.   He is a gentle soul and was very happy to go grocery shopping with me.   A quick lunch and then we cuddled in my bed for his/our nap.

I woke up and watched him sleep thinking I should get up and tackle a few things before he got up but my list of urgent things didn’t seem so urgent anymore.  Instead I enjoyed a cup a tea and right now I am waiting for him to wake up.

Tristun reminded me of the poem:

 “So quiet down cobwebs ; dust go to sleep; I’m rocking my baby and babies don’t keep”

Tristun may not want to be rocked but  he won’t be this age for very long  and I needed a day just to be  and he is giving it to me.

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So this Thoughtful Thursday take some time to slow down and just be…cherish the moment.  I hear little feet hitting the floor so I am off for more Tristun time.  Make it a Thoughtful one!

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