It seems like the holidays should still be here, but nope... now we have to take down the decorations, which is NOT one of my favorite activities. I need to be like Mariah Carey, who has people decorate her house in Aspen for her because she lovvvvvvvvvves Christmas. (OK, maybe I really don't)
I think the article was in Redbook maybe, or Glamour, if you want to read it. Ugh.
I'm now faced with the prospect of getting this new year started and trying to improve on last year. I do have things I want to accomplish this year... mostly house-related. I have this vision of once again having the airy spaciousness we had when we moved in, the quality we saw and loved when we first toured the house. The "Stuff" that comes along with having two kids definitely flies in the face of my fantasy, but other people are able to combine family life with a neat home, so I should in theory be able to accomplish this myself. I've made some small steps in the direction of decluttering lately, and they are energizing me. Last month one of my coworkers started a collection of women's and children's clothes for a local shelter. I already pass along the girls' clothes, but I did have a snow suit that they never used (wrong size/season) and a bunting that was only used a few times. Queen Procrastinator me kept saying "Oh, I'm going to take those to the consignment shop." Of course it never happened. Then I was going to offer them in a "pay it forward" giveaway that one of my mom groups started. But did I get around to taking photos of the items? Of course not. So when we started the clothing drive, I looked at the two items and thought, that's it! Put them in a bag and bring them to work. I like the idea of donating them better, anyhow. Both items were gifts, so I didn't feel right about making money from them. Instead I paid it forward, to others who have little, but at least will have something warm for their babies to wear.
Then, right before the last day we were supposed to bring in clothes, I got a bee in my bonnet to go through the clothes in the downstairs closets. I used to use this space for other season clothes, but it's become a graveyard for stuff I don't want to wear anymore. In one closet I kept two things and the rest went into bags. I kept a few more items from the second closet, but ended up with 3 garbage bags of clothing. I had a partial fourth, which I didn't take to work because I planned to fill it the rest of the way from my "active" closet. Of course I didn't do that, so the bag sat in the closet for a couple of weeks.
The girls and I had gone through a bunch of their toys and boxed up a bunch to donate. These boxes sat in the playroom, unfortunately tempting Carly to pull stuff out and scatter it throughout the house. I also had some other stuff that was languishing in boxes in the front hall. So, the Sunday after Christmas, I finally got my butt in gear and loaded up the back of the Ody with everything I could grab. Plus, Jim added an enormous computer monitor to the booty, freeing up some precious living room floor space! The girls and I set off in the rain to the local Goodwill. I have taken things there in the past because it's quick and easy, but the folks working there always seem surly. I guess I might too if that was my job, but still... Anyhow, the local GW moved to a new building. Now the dropoff is in the front of the building instead of the back. And the man who came out to get the stuff was very friendly and pleasant. It was a great experience. Good thing too, because I realized tonight that I forgot to include the two Diaper Genies we have that we no longer need and nobody else wants.
I also want to get my office in good shape, in the hope that it will bring good karma of my being able to work from home part time. The papers are unreal, a true testament to my procrastination, as they are unfiled, and in the case of the girls' things, either unboxed or unscanned. I want to scan their school papers and save only a few hard copies, but haven't started. Tonight though, I gave myself a bit paper removal assist... I've been moving all of our accounts to "email only" and saving the statements electronically. I only have one credit card that doesn't have the ability to do this (boo on you, WaMu) so I have my new files set up and can start seriously shredding. I get a ton of paper every month from the investment company that holds the funds I received when my dad died. These papers drive me nuts every month and there are piles of them. Long ago I tried to set up online accounts with the company and had trouble so I gave up. I decided to try again tonight and Voila! I have a whole year's worth of statements saved onto my hard drive (note to self - must back up right away). The real shredding party can now begin! This is so geeky and yet so exciting to me. I have been wanting a new office chair for home; we almost bought one at Costco in the summer but I decided to wait on spending the money. I think now the new chair will be my reward for cleaning the office. I suppose I should take before and after photos, though they might be too embarrassing to share. :-)
I tried to refocus today on my eating habits as well. December was a bad month for me, between the holidays and stresses of various kinds. I have been too chicken to weigh myself in about 3 weeks but I am sure I've gained back at least part of what I lost during the past several months. I'm disgusted with myself but I am trying to dust myself off and get back on the wagon of being mindful. Next week is my "annual" physical - though it's been much longer than a year - and I am really dreading being weighed, and any comments that will go along with the weighing. My doctor is really hard to get in to see, but last year he hired a nurse practitioner to work with his patients, so that is who I will be seeing. I hope it will be an enjoyable visit but that will depend on my weight and on my blood pressure. The only place I consistently have high readings is in my PCP's office. Any other doctor's office, no problem. I take it at home, no problem. I must remember to take my home monitor with me to show that I really do have it under control.
The thing is, my physical is next Monday at 8:30. After that appointment I go to the imaging center for my CT scan. Think I'll be a bit nervous? You Betcha, as a certain governor likes to say. I will just keep practicing my relaxation and breathing and get through both the best I can. I'm not nervous about the mechanics of taking the test; I've BTDT so many times and I know what to expect. But then I will be on constant pins and needles until Jim and I see Dr. Rini that Thursday. I've no idea what they will see or what will happen next. That uncertainty is what makes this girl-who-loves-to-know-what-every-next-move-will-be crazy. Oh well, too bad for me; I think part of this whole cancer experience is God teaching me patience.
On Saturday, Jim and I went to the healing service I mentioned previously. I was excited to see what the whole thing would be about. It was very Catholic, actually; one of the local bishops (under-bishop?) was there as he has been a supporter of the doctor who prays over people. They had a speaker, the editor of a book that has been written about the doctor and his wife. He is the religion editor at Random House, and spoke about his book The Rosary. After he spoke, the healing service began. We were in the party center of a local church. They brought people up table by table, and lined them up. Once they were lined up I realized why there was a large wrestling mat on the floor - it was for people who fell/swooned/whatever you want to call it. The doctor would come up to each person, lay hands on them in various places, while praying quietly. Then he would move on to the next person. Not everyone fell over, but some did. Jim came up with me - after all, who couldn't use a dose of the Holy Spirit? When it was my turn, I closed my eyes and prayed along with the doctor. I can't say I "felt" anything and I certainly didn't swoon; neither did Jim. Perhaps the spirit is working in stealth mode, who knows? If my test results next week aren't favorable, I will still be glad I went. Maybe I will even go again sometime.
Lots more floating around in this head of mine, but it will have to wait for another post, to be poured out. It *is* therapeutic for me to write, though.