January 1, 2006
Well. It's hard to believe, but another year has gone and we are once again standing at the beginning of a brand new year. When you are standing at the beginning, it seems as if there is so much hope and TIME...time to achieve and accomplish and change and progress. One has the feeling of leisure. No need to rush. It's the first day of the new year so we are starting fresh. Possibilities enticingly loom on the horizon.
It's somewhat like a freshly fallen snow. When you first look out the window at the pristine snow, it is beautiful. There are no tracks, no blemishes, nothing mars the surface nor disturbs the view. But once that surface has been trampled, even by a single set of tracks, some of the hope you felt when you first saw it is lost. And as more events disrupt the snow, it becomes mundane, ugly, frustrating and disappointing. As Robert Frost put it, "Nothing gold can stay."
There are certain moments in our lives when we catch a glimpse of gold. I think the unfolding of a new year is one of those moments. As time goes on and we find ourselves unchanged, still dealing with the same burdens we carried the day before, still unable to break that habit or fix that problem, we become discouraged and lose hope. Once again, it seems as if time and opportunity are slipping through our hands. In a sense, we set ourselves up for failure because the "gold" is destined to pass quickly. And because it passes without causing any appreciable change within us, we believe all hope is lost. We no longer resist the mundane. We consign ourselves to the ordinary and stop believing in a better tomorrow.
There is no magic in golden moments. But if we would resist the temptation to mystify and over-simplify, there is purpose in them. They let us see what might be; what could be. They remind us there is something better, something bigger, something more significant to be had. They lift us above the mundane and show us a view that gives us a broader perspective. They give us hope, even if it is fleeting, and allow us to touch something sacred.
I hope you have many golden moments this year. But as the gold fades, for surely it will, I hope you will be able to resist the temptation to despair and will instead be able to embrace and carry in your heart the memory and sure knowledge that there will be other moments of gold to come. If we look for them, we may be surprised by how many there are. And the more of those moments we carry within us, the more strength we find to tenaciously cling to them and to change. It isn't magic. It's very hard work. But it's worth it. Nothing gold can stay, but it can leave us a better person if we work diligently and don't let hope slip away.
Wishing you a very Happy New Year!
January 4, 2006
I confess. I can't keep it a secret any longer! So it's time to get it out in the open, expose the facts and tell the truth. Here goes...I'm working myself up to making this major disclosure...this is it...the moment of truth...I love Dave Barry's columns!!!
No one makes me laugh the way Dave Barry does. He has this twisted sense of humor that tickles me like no other! He's off the wall and nothing is sacred. I think he might even understand me when I rant about Tulsa drivers!!! Now how cool is that?
I trust he won't mind if I provide a link to his official web site. I have just finished reading his reflection on the events of 2005 and I HAVE to share it with SOMEONE!!! (Lucky you!) There were so many excellent barbs that evoked deep belly-laughing and delicious chuckles, I can't keep it to myself. It's a month-by-month blow, so click on the links to read his comments about the major events of each month. I hope you enjoy this journey back to some of the major events of the year just past, but if you don't, please write to Dave. I'm sure his wife would agree with me when I say that no one is responsible for what Dave says except maybe Dave. But even that is debatable...
January 22, 2006
Wow! I can't believe how fast this month is flying by!! I've been meaning to write for so long, but other things keep getting in the way. Things like work, cleaning house, making jewelry (I have so many new pieces to add!), taking out the trash, playing with the dog, work, paying bills, laundry, grocery shopping, work...you get the idea. But I have to tell you about this new game I discovered! It's an amazing game...it actually helps motivate all kinds of positive behavior in the housework and cleaning up department. Yes, it's quite amazing how motivating it can be. I discovered this new game quite by accident and it's gripping! It makes you feel driven, compelled, desperate and mystified all at the same time. The name of this new game? It's called "Find the Missing Credit Card!" Doesn't that sound exciting???
It was a normal Saturday. I had picked up prescriptions for myself, for the dog, done my grocery shopping and gotten gas and I had used my credit card at each of these places. The gas station was my last stop before going home and I remembered they had changed the sequence of what you had to do to pump your gas. You used to insert your credit card, say "yes" or "no" to the "Do you want to purchase a car wash?" question, answered "yes" or "no" to the "Do you want a receipt?" question, lifted the nozzle, selected the octane and finally started fueling. But this time, I was sent directly from inserting my card to selecting my octane and fueling. I was glad they finally got rid of those annoying questions! But as I was putting the gas cap back on, I heard a noise behind me and realized they had only MOVED the questions to the END of the process. You still had to answer to get your transaction to end. Sigh.
After I told it I didn't want to buy a car wash, it started spitting out a receipt without asking (rude!). I stuffed it in my purse with my credit card, got in my car and drove home to put away my groceries and start a load of laundry. Just a normal Saturday.
During the day on Monday, I was looking in my purse for some lipstick (can't stand dry lips!) and I noticed my credit card wasn't in the holder where I normally keep it. I figured I had not put it back because I had the receipt in my hand at the same time and had just thrown them both quickly back in my purse. A hasty look turned up the receipt, but not the credit card. Hmmm...but I hadn't been anywhere after I did all my running around on Saturday, so I knew it had to be "around" and I really felt like it had to be in my purse SOMEWHERE. Then work got totally crazy again, so I decided to look carefully when I got home.
Which I did. I cleaned out my purse and still didn't find it. But my purse was nicely organized - at least until I needed something again. I reasoned that the credit card must have somehow fallen out of my purse when I picked it up to go to work Monday morning. And since I always left it sitting on my briefcase, it seemed logical that it had either landed in my briefcase or on the floor nearby. But after checking the floor and totally emptying my briefcase and putting everything back in (in an orderly fashion), I came up empty-handed again! And I started getting confused!
But wait! Maybe it fell out one of those times when I had to brake abruptly on the way to work because someone was playing the "look you in the eye, pull out in front of you and go 15 mph" game (see archives for more on Tulsa drivers and the games they play). I had sent my purse flying to the floorboards a couple of times. So I cleaned out my car, which was nice, because it really needed it. I even found an earring I thought I had lost, one that had been missing for about 5 years. But I still didn't find my credit card!
Nor was it in my coat pockets, which I turned inside-out.
Thus began the general cleaning and straightening of large portions of my house. On a week night! I knew the card had to be around somewhere. It wasn't like I had been anywhere. So I couldn't have dropped it outside, nor could it have been stolen. But where, where, where in the world could it be?
By this time, after a good 3 hours of searching, I was so perplexed, I didn't have any idea where to look next. But you see, that's the irony of this silly little game! As I stood in the middle of the living room trying to think what I had missed, I stuffed my hands into the front pockets of my jeans...
Yep, it was there. I had been carrying it around with me all evening the entire time I was searching. I'm sure it was laughing at me, snuggled there in my front pocket. My car was clean, my purse and briefcase were clean and organized, and I had cleaned and organized several needy areas in my house. So I guess I should look on the bright side. The game did cause me to accomplish some very GOOD THINGS. I'm on to it now, though. I'm watching it like a hawk. As I filled up with gas today, I told it, "just see if you can make a fool of me again" as I slid it carefully back in its holder. And I checked again later to make sure it had stayed put. Yeah, it's quite a game all right. Quite a game. Dirty rotten, sneaky credit card...