Saturday, October 31, 2009

October 31, 2009

Here's the short story...I had a great day. If you're not interested in reading a long-ish blog post, stop here. Otherwise read on.

Today began pretty much like any other weekend day. My family and I slept in but no matter how late I sleep, I always wake up before anyone else. Today was a very late day for me. I didn't get out of bed until 12:30 PM and didn't leave my bedroom until well after 1:00 PM. As is my custom, I hit the ground running and immediately began working in the garden. The time has come to begin winterizing my garden and preparing for the oncoming cold weather. It really didn't matter to me what time it was or what needed doing, today I intended to do whatever I wanted, however I wanted. You see, today marked my 23rd wedding anniversary, an occasion which until quite recently I chose not to celebrate, preferring instead to focus on the traditions of Trick or Treat. This year, however, is a little different.

It seemed hypocritical to celebrate my wedding anniversary, an occasion that was a source of unhappiness, frustration and disappointment. As far as I was concerned I had nothing to celebrate. The details for this state of affairs are irrelevant now. All I will say is that I was living a miserable existence for a long time. It was the classic tale of "staying married for the sake of the children". Truth be told, I stayed married because I really didn't want to go through another bout of single motherhood as I had after my first marriage. It was stressful enough the first time around when I was a lot younger and stronger and only had one child to raise in those days. Staying with my husband was an exercise in sheer willpower and tolerance. Many of my friends don't know how I have been able to manage it and are surprised that I have been able to do so for this long. Even my children are surprised that we're still married. It is no secret that their father is demanding, unfair and exceedingly difficult to live with. They would have left themselves years ago if they had been able to.

So what has changed. In a word, me. I've changed. For some years now I have been on a journey of self-discovery, growth and development of my inner strengths and knowledge. I have become more attuned with the universal energies that influence everyday life and am learning how to move with the flow of that energy instead of against it. I'm not talking about religion; I don't do religion. I'm talking about wisdom and self-knowledge. Let me just say that knowing myself, my own power and my own potential have had a calming effect on me. This is not to say that I don't have my "screaming meanie" days. We all have those at some point. I'm saying that they are much fewer and far between. I'm now more likely to pass on an argument, choosing to be happy over being right. That alone is a major step for me. The payoff is that those around me seem less stressed and are less likely to fly off the handle. My family life will never be like "The Brady Bunch". It's more like "Roseanne" with a Latin twist. It's still a work in progress.

So what did I do on my anniversary? I raked the leaves in the backyard, cleaned the old kiddy wagon that I use as a makeshift wheelbarrow, polished it with ArmorAll and stored it in two heavy duty black plastic bags for the winter, then clipped some cut branches into smaller pieces for disposal. When my husband finally awoke and came downstairs, I wished him a happy anniversary, gave him a kiss and we had a little impromptu dance in the kitchen. I checked email, gave out Halloween candy to some cute trick-or-treaters and generally just did whatever I wanted, however I wanted, with no stress, no hurry, no expectations. Later in the evening, my husband took me to a fancy restaurant where we were treated like visiting royaly by a waitstaff that wished us a happy anniversary at every turn (even personalized our menus to read "Happy 23rd Anniversary" across the top!). We "danced" in our seats while we waited for our meal (which was delicious), smooched a little like a couple of school kids, and had some laughs. A complimentary anniversary photo was taken by one of the staff and we even got a free piece of key lime pie to take home as an anniversary gift. Not too shabby.

We got home in time for me to help my son with his Halloween make-up before he left for a party. My husband, having done his husbandly duty for our anniversary, promptly tended to his priority, to wit, sitting down to watch the World Series game. He had gone out in the afternoon and bought me a bottle of my favorite libation so I poured us a drink, we clinked to our health and had ourselves another little anniversary smooch while my daughter looked on.

Okay, so maybe my day wasn't all chocolate and roses, and maybe the earth didn't move the way it did 23 years ago. Just the fact that I'm sitting here at my keyboard telling you about it is a clear sign to me that it was a good day. Better than my husband and I have shared in a long, long time.

Yep, it was a very good day.

Ballo ergo sum,
- Gitana, the Creative Diva

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Things, they are a-changing

Around my home, things don't seem to happen in a calm, easy manner. They happen in frenzied clusters of activity, one behind the other, followed by relative inactivity for months at a time. In my last two posts I mentioned the stair renovations that took place inside and outside my home. Well, those weren't the only changes around here. Since October began:

1) My son earned his bartending certificate on the last of three tries. Perseverence wins out.

2) He also passed his road test and is our family's newest driver. He's already developed the habit of asking for the keys and registration to the car. Unfortunately for him he hasn't been very successful in getting it.

3) Triple header: My son celebrates his 20th birthday this month. He is officially no longer a teenager.

4) I finally ended my years of procrastination and purchased a new printer that can better serve my graphic printing needs. You can go here to read some more on this.

5) I successfully completed a large custom invitation order and received a check with lots of zeroes after the number. You can read about this in my artist blog here.

6) The pine tree that has graced the front of my home for years is being removed. Unfortunately the roots have infiltrated and are clogging the sewer line from my house. We've had to have it snaked out three times in less than a year but it was on this last visit that the serviceman was able to reach the (literal) root of the problem. The choices were scrap the tree or prepare to replace the sewer line when the roots eventually cracked it clean through. The tree lost that coin toss.

7) The apple tree in the back of the house is also coming down. After years of lackluster apple production (with the notable exception of the 2007 season - 137 pounds of apples -- whew!) I've decided to bring the tree down. It is so large that it literally sucks the light out of the backyard. I can't get a decent vegetable to grow because the tree takes up all the light, water and nutrients. It's time to bring more light and warmth into my yard and my life so the apple tree goes.

With these two large trees gone, my home and gardens will be filled with light. This is a good thing. My gardens should flourish and my clothes should dry very quickly when I put them out on the line next summer. This is something to look forward to. Next year should be very interesting around here.

There is still a week left to the month of October. With all that has occurred so far this month, I can't wait to see what this last week has in store for me.

Ballo ergo sum,
- Gitana, the Creative Diva