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You Are Not Alone

Disclaimer: I write this knowing that many of you who are good enough to read my blog may feel uncomfortable with faith. Know that I understand your questions, your concerns. I’ve been there myself, so many times.¬† Please don’t feel you need to read this. But I needed to write it. So, to those who are willing to indulge me… I thank you. Merry Christmas to you all.

Christmas Eve is usually my favorite day of the whole year.

Not this year.

I’m not entirely sure why it seemed so… off. We were surrounded by people. We were extravagantly gifted. We were focused on the ‘right things’.

But, somehow, a thousand things clumped together to make me wish, so fervently, that this day – this season – be over.

I’m starting to hate Christmas.

Yes, I said it. And though most of you are thinking, that chick be loca, a few of you just pumped your fist in the air with a sigh of finally, someone else thinks the same thing. Read more

The Best Thing I did Last Christmas

Forgiveness is a virtue of the brave. – Indira Ghandi

The best thing I did last Christmas had nothing to do with family gatherings, food, music, lights… or what was under the tree.

In fact, it wasn’t public at all.

Last Christmas – after a particularly painful conversation with someone I wasn’t sure I could trust – I realized I was carrying something… heavy. Without trying, I’d found myself in… let’s call it tension, with a few key people¬† – and one of them called me out.

I didn’t know where the tension came from. Perhaps it was gradual, like a stack of tiny rocks I’d collected over the few years I’d known these people. I thought I’d stuffed it away, or even ‘dealt with it,’ and yet here I was, less than a week from Christmas, and the rocks had spilled all over the main part of my life.

There was no escaping it.

And I knew I had a choice: continue in the tension, try to pretend it wasn’t there, or try and diffuse it.

Those of you who’ve ever been married know that the best way to escalate a fight is to: 1) defend yourself, or 2) leave.

The only way to diffuse it?

Swallow your pride, stay in place, and try to understand the other person. Read more

Queen of the B’s, not Queen Bee: Lucille Ball

I’m not funny. What I am is brave. – Lucille Ball

I admit, one of my favorite movies is Mean Girls.

If you haven’t seen it, you should. It’s an awfully disturbing insight into the adolescent (and perhaps lingering into the adult) female psyche.

Saturday Night Live alum Tina Fey developed the movie’s fictional script from Rosalind Wiseman’s non-fiction book, Queen Bees and Wannabes: Helping Your Daughter Survive Cliques, Gossip, Boyfriends, and Other Realities of Adolescence. Wiseman describes how female social circles are dictated by a clique leader – a Queen Bee. Those who support the clique leader fit in; those who don’t fit her impossible standards, don’t.

In case any of you were wondering, I wasn’t Queen Bee in high school.

Yeah, you can stop choking on your food now.

No matter how I tried, cool seemed to elude me.

Sound familiar to anyone? Read more

Fear Not

The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear. – H.P. Lovecraft

Life was trickling along happily this summer.

And then September came.

September is a cruel month, for kids and moms. The shopping, planning, early mornings, and fights over what to wear (I think that’s a girl thing), shocks us all out of the lazy, hazy days of summer.

September was even more cruel this year, since summer didn’t start until August 3rd, or so, and peaked just after Labour Day.

But a week into Grade One, we heard Noelle had – miraculously – gotten a spot at the fine arts school, a place I just knew would be right for her, a place I thought it would take years to get her into.

She started her new school in Level 2 reading. A week and a half later, she was in Level 5.

Right now, she’s reading Amelia Bedelia to us at bedtime.

So when this mid-September school change hump was past, I started to get comfortable. I started to think, this is it. I started to believe my life – and Noelle’s, and David’s, and even little Elliana’s – would be light years better.

David is snickering right now, because just this morning we argued over the meaning of the phrase ‘light year.’ Read more

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