Happy New Year!

Grr. I still can’t figure out how to move photos, or I’d put a photo of me naked, dancing around the New Year’s Bonfire with elves and angels … Naaah, I’m too tired to go with the fantasy. It’s seventeen below right now, but at lest there’s no breeze. It’s been so freaking cold this week that I’ve barely left the house, and I’m used to the weather. I remember one Christmas when the thermometer dipped to minus 42 (but then popped right up to a balmy minus 36). I’m like the logger in the old song. I wear a hat at 10 degrees, at zero I button up my coat. But this stuff is nasty.

But I had a glorious Christmas, my kids are doing very well indeed, my grandchildren are fabulous – they probably initiated FaceTime more than half a dozen times this week – last night Ali fell asleep talking to me.

So it’s the new year, end to a horrible year, which followed a terrible year (remember how we all said 2016 was awful). Signs are not good for 2018. We have to stay strong against injustice, kind to everyone (even the people who don’t deserve it) and good to ourselves because right now life is a challenge given the state of the world, both natural and political. Apparently kindness makes the kind person happier. I’m generally a kind person, and I’m happy. Not necessarily proof – when I’m not in a depression I tend to be a happy person. Years ago (I’m thinking around 1960) I was in the library at Valley Road School in Princeton, and I had a miserable cold. Just awful. And I sat at the table and thought, instead of always noticing when I’m feeling awful, I’m going to pay attention to when I Don’t have a cold, and enjoy that. Pretty advanced thinking for someone in sixth grade, but I’ve tried to do that whenever I could. It’s a better way to live, when you can do it.

We’ve been picking words again to symbolize our coming year. Last year mine was “glide.” It wasn’t soar – that was too much effort, and I didn’t need to soar. I needed to glide peacefully on the breeze, smooth and free. It was a good pick.

Oddly enough, this year mine is “celebrate,” and it goes back to that day in the library. Each day when my kids are okay, when no one is sick, when the sky is bright blue, when the cats curl up next to me, when I’m writing, sewing, baking, cleaning, singing, shopping, sleeping.

Bad things happen. There’ve been many occasions this year when I’ve simply had to take a break from the news and the horrible things that are happening in our country. But I can still celebrate while I fight the good fight, and I can celebrate the fact that we’re not taking freedom for granted any more, that we are energized and involved and not just ignoring the terrible things the Fat Cats are doing. There’s good everywhere.

So choose a word. Sometimes it’s simply endure. Or comfort. Or laughter. Or growth, light, learn. Try for something positive rather than simply reactive, and remember it as you move through the year. I promise you it will help.

Okay, ante up. What’s your word?

Monday, Monday (Krissie)

Blasted upgrade. Now I can’t figure out how to find my photos. I need to spend time with the new wretched upgrade but the days are just packed. For instance, today I drive 40 miles, go to Social Security (and wait and wait and wait), then 25 miles further to pick up the back-up to my poor dead computer and drop off my only working one (the trackpad isn’t working), and then another 15 miles to Fedex to ship out a heavy present, then back to Montpelier to go Christmas shopping (JoAnn’s for fabric I mis-cut, sewing machine store to drop off good scissors to be sharpened, TJ Maxx because, Wal-mart for a list of things, the grocery store, anything else I need to do, then take Route 12 over the mountain to Morrisville to pick up meds and then home. Tomorrow was going to be a trip to Morrisville and my therapist, but we’re supposed to get heavy snow so I’m guessing I won’t get there.

So – many of you lucky people have snow! I know it’s a pain, but it’s Christmas, and man, I am a Christmas junkie! Everyone’s doing well for a change – Daniel has a job that he likes, we gave Tim a ski pass for Christmas and instead of staying in his dark room and never seeing anyone he’s out on the mountain and happy. It seems absurd that someone on disability spends his winter snowboarding, but he’s unable to interact with other people. He starts out fine and then gets squirrelly and paranoid. So getting him out in the sunshine is the best thing for him.

Which means I can enjoy myself and not worry. Neither of them are coming home for Christmas, which will be the first time since Daniel was born that neither of our kids are home, but it’s okay, as long as they aren’t dissolving into crisis. And my OBFF (Old Best Friends Forever – Jenny is NBFF) is coming for Christmas with her family, and they’ll have enough crises to keep my busy.

So Monday, Montpelier, Tuesday, MOrrisville, Wednesday a get-together to meet the new minister and baking cookies I promised, Thursday Burlington for a writer’s lunch, Friday all day rehearsals and carols, etc. that night. (Take a deep breath, Krissie).

Funny – I am exhausted and in massive pain. Yesterday I almost threw up from exhaustion and pain (and all I did was go to church and come home and sew). I’ve got all this creative and mental energy and everything just sort of pancakes. Not sure if that’s aging. Oh, hell, yes I am. Because it’s a combination of my body being no longer able to keep going as long, and the physical effects of the arthritis and fibromyalgia dragging me down. Except I don’t say no. I bustle and play, etc., collapse in exhaustion and then do it all the next day. Because life is fun.

I watched Auntie Name again yesterday. It doesn’t hold up that well, I’m afraid (I watched it for the Macy’s scene because of my WIP) but her mantra still holds true. Life is a banquet, and most poor suckers are starving to death. Live!

Do I’m living, amplifier turned up to eleven, playing christmas carols on the stereo (almost the only time we use it), wearing Christmas clothes and having a marvelous time.

So, is anyone having fun with Christmas/the holidays? Or are you stressed and anxious? What are you doing to enjoy yourself?

If you’re blue watch a Christmas movie. It’s good for what ails you.