When I told him that I was going to use the ‘nose pickin’ shot for our Christmas photo, he protested loudly. So I asked, “Then why did you stick your fingers up your nose?” And he looked at me like why – would – I- not? Oh, the innocence of being eight.
remembering being eight
When I was eight my parents decided to move. We were pulled out of school in tropical Papua New Guinea where we had grown up. We were put up a grade level, when we arrived in southern California.
My few memories of that time were not understanding what was going on at school, having a make fun of me, having an Aussie accent, missing my life long friend Carol, all of a sudden noticing clothes. Bell bottoms were in and my father had white leather shoes and belt, which he wore with brown bell bottoms and a dark shirt Oh yeah, he was stylin’!
We took vacations to woods of northern California to visit my aunt Beth and uncle Loren (my father’s sister) and and got to sleep in a tent. Picking blackberries and then eating the best blackberry cobbler in the world made by my aunt, warm from the oven! We also visited cousins over Christmas, also in northern California, who were older by a few years, and I thought were cool! They listened to “Rock Music” which my father thought was “of the Devil” — which made them even more cool.
But I also remember this was when I started not doing homework. Thinking I wasn’t smart. Hiding in my room. Trying to be invisible. Reading thousands of books, while I was hiding in my room, being invisible and not doing homework. (This happened later in Texas as well.)
traditions past and present
Now I have my own family and I’m trying to figure out what traditions from our childhood are important to me. We had things imposed up on us when we were children. It was never “shall we read a Christmas story together?” but rather “Come in here and listen to Dad read a story. Now!” I mean what kid doesn’t want a story read to them? Unless they are never given the option to say no. Sorry, I digress.
Traditions: Reading Christmas stories, putting together a Christmas puzzle, cutting down our tree and putting it up over Thanksgiving weekend, baking Christmas cookies and sharing them with friends and neighbors, making fudge for friends & Tom’s colleagues, going to church on Christmas eve, … what are your favorites? I told you I’m working on developing mine.
dwelling on the past
I’ve have felt convicted of the fact that I dwell so much on the past. It’s true that I do at times seem stuck and unable to let go of my past. Unable to resolve things in the past and unable to live in the now. Guilty as charged. My excuse to myself is that I have a memoir in there and I need to get it written and then let it go. We’ll see.
Of late, I’ve also been convicted of the fact that I am not a very good friend. I am so afraid of rejection and I am lazy. My feelings parallel the feelings of my kids at times and I am saddened because I am 43. I should be at a better place. If it’s any consolation, our matriarch is even more isolated than I am.
buy nothing for myself
You may have been wondering how the ‘buy nothing for myself for 365 days” project is going? I made that pledge to myself on October 7th and thus far I have stuck to it. I can’t tell you how many times I have this impulse to go shop for myself because I was feeling down. It’s like crack! But the high doesn’t last.
So no, I have not bought:
- a new coat, though mine feel out of date (as in not bought this year.)
- new boots, even though boots are ‘it’ this year, long leather boots. And mine are almost ten years old and my brown pair are suede. Who buys suede boots in Wisconsin, though beautiful they just might be the most impractical thing I have ever purchased. You can’t wear them 90% of the year because of a) snow or b) it’s too warm. …But no I haven’t bought either brown or black.
- I didn’t buy a Christmas outfit which ended up being no big deal. I mean what is that anyway. I don’t really like any of the red in my closet. “I’m not a red person” as my kiddos would say, though I’ve been told I look good in it. My son says he’s not a “collar person.” Sigh, we still have some work to do.
- I haven’t purchased pants even though mine are all tight (e.g. I am fat) and I’m just going to have to lose the weight.
- Not bought new tights even though some oldies have holes. (Sorry) Wear them with pants.
- And I have not bought the cute, cute cute hats at the craft shows I’ve attended, and pins, and … stop.
I go to my closet daily (like everyone does) and I try to come up with something interesting and I have to say that it has been fun. I appreciate what I have much, much, much more. I have been more creative and I often find myself thinking, “What- were- you- thinking?” when you bought that!? Because I don’t try anything on so I have lots of things that fit only so so. What a stupid thing.
When I do shop for myself again, in 2010, October, I will always try it on, I will care about quality over price, perhaps spend a little more on things that I know I will wear a lot. The quantity of my shopping in the past has forced me to buy lower quality and as I look at what I have I am seeing it differently all of a sudden. Truly seeing my stuff is priceless.
And finally, (I hope you will) watch this astoundingly simple and profoundly good video on consumerism.
I have to admit that it is difficult to not get caught up in the idea that Christmas is about presents. I love giving them! But, it’s all a part of a giant addiction too and I for one want to quit.
As for my other ones, I am happy to say that I am alcohol free 17 mos, and nicotine free 9 months! Yay me. I am proud of myself. Though it hasn’t been all me – having a family keeps me accountable. And I do believe that God is giving me extra strength to endure times when it may be difficult.
This is not some official report on the year, just had a number of things bubbling around in my brain.
P.S. I did NOT use this photo for our Christmas photograph. :-)