1. My plans for December. My goal has been to chill out. Since September, my life has had entirely too much drama ... and I hate drama. Career stress and medical crises (my own and friends/family). Signing up for Medicare. Transitioning my employer 401(k). Right now, at this moment, I'm caught up on doctor and dentist appointments (I still need to take Connie to the vet for the a follow up, but I think that can wait until January) and my finances are stable if not robust. So I'm concentrating on time with friends and family and feeling better. I say "yes" when people invite me places, I've been paying closer attention to hydration (both drinking more water and keeping the humidifier running), and I've started doing yoga. (I know I'd feel better if I did morning stretches, too, but I'm trying not to beat myself up when I forget.)
2. How energized I feel at this point in the year. Well, I'm hyper-alert and my mind is always click-click-clicking, but I don't know if that's energy or stress.
3. The best things about the holiday season. The opportunities to be kind and generous. For example:
• Yesterday I discovered a toy collection box at the local community bank for children on the West Side. I added a book and crafts set about the animated dog, Bluey. I was a little under-budget for the weekend and that $20 investment made my heart sing.
• We're all in busier stores and longer lines these days. This gives us more opportunities to hold the door for our fellow shoppers and thank the person at the register. I couldn't afford to tip big for the great service I got at high-end restaurant last week, but I did circle back and single out the server for praise on my Open Table online review. I got a message back from the owner, saying she'd pass my compliments along (hopefully this will mean job security or a bonus for him).
• I'm mightily pissed at a dear friend's spouse (see post below) but I'm holding my tongue and instead, digging deep for compassion.
Christ is the reason for the season, and I am grateful for all the ways to live my faith.
4. Something that changed my perspective on life. My niece and nephew are 30 and 22, respectively. They are both college graduates. She is married. They are not children. Reminding myself of this has enabled our relationships evolve and helped me relate to them as adults.
5. What I seem to get the most comments about. I've been surprised and grateful to hear more often lately that I'm ... well ... nice. Former coworkers have reached out to say they miss me, one even sent me a lovely and most unexpected Christmas present. I didn't expect this.
6. The changes I’ve made to my style. I haven't made any recent changes to my makeup or hair regimen. Sorry.
7. What gets in the way of my success. My laziness.
8. News sources I trust the most. I try to be a smart consumer. For example, when it comes to morning news I go with the independent local station because they don't have a hard stop at the top of the hour to go to The Today Show or GMA. This gives them the freedom and flexibility to dig deeper into stories.
9. Fictional characters that would easily fit into my life. Professor Bhaer from Little Women. He was kind and accepting but also honest with Jo. He respected her as an equal, as well as loving her.
|Gabriel Byrne is my favorite Prof. Bhaer (1994)|
10. My relationship with spirituality. I am a Christian who works hard to respect all faiths. I am grateful for my relationship with Jesus and would prefer to encourage others to pursue their faiths than to legislate my own. The First Amendment states, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion." Thomas Jefferson warned us our freedom would be at risk if we didn't keep religion out of government and government out of religion. I wish we could all stop being so terribly tribal,passing laws to enforce our personal religious agendas, and resumed honoring what America was created to be.
11. How I feel when I’m being retrospective. "Retrospective?" That's an odd word choice, isn't it? I suppose when being retrospective I feel old.
12. My thoughts on AI technology. It creeps me out in theory, but I love my voice-activated remote and a day doesn't go by that I don't say. "Alexa, call my phone." She reliably helps me find the damn thing.
13. The odd/weird things I do when nobody else is around. I make up songs for my cat Connie.
14. What I do when I can’t sleep. Toss and turn. Drink water. Fart around on the computer.
15. The winter/holiday season tasks I enjoy. Tasks? I'm a hideously lazy slug. I don't enjoy tasks any time of year.