2022 recap

It’s hard to believe in a couple days we will be kissing 2022 good-bye. It’s been an interesting year with a lot of changes. I’ll highlight the highs and lows of the year.

Let’s get the bad stuff out of the way first. In January of this year, we had to put down our 14 year old Beagle. We had him since he was a puppy. It was hard to let him go, but I feel good we were able to provide him with a loving home the time he was with us.

This year I was diagnosed with arthritis. This was the first year in over a decade that I didn’t log any running miles or do any races. This has been a huge change for me and at times hard for me to accept.

This year I travelled within the United States. Here is the list of areas I visited:

  1. Nevada
  2. Michigan
  3. Illinois
  4. Idaho
  5. Montana
  6. Wyoming
  7. Washington D.C.
  8. Maryland
  9. Delaware

I crossed 4 out of 9 off my bucket list.

My husband and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary in Yellowstone by Old Faithful. It’s hard to believe we have been married 25 years already and I’ve known my husband half of his life. It’s something worth celebrating.

Our daughter got married this year to a wonderful guy. They bought their first house, have great jobs, and are 100% independent. What a blessing they have been to each other and us.

We tackled some big remodeling projects.

We joined a new church.

This is the first full year ALL of our children are adults and are living their own lives which has many ups and downs. I’ve had to learn to let go of a lot of things and no one is ever totally ready for that.

That’s about all I can think of right now.

What are my plans for 2023? I don’t do resolutions. I want to think I try to be the best person I can be every day. I don’t have any big goals. I want to continue to help others. I want to continue to work on my issues for a stronger marriage and a healthier me. I want to continue travelling and plan on crossing South America off my bucket list in February. Other than that, the rest is just life which I will be writing about as it unfolds.

Happy New Year!!

The little things…

Sometimes the little things add up and just snowball. The last several days my anxiety and depression has been quite high and that has been making me crabby.

I think it started on Christmas Eve when my son Alex and his girlfriend were in a car accident after someone blew a red light. I am very grateful no one was hurt in the accident. But I am worried that his car may be totaled. He’s only had the car for a month. Finally he has a reliable vehicle to drive to work and then this happens. It’s just so frustrating. The collision center is closed this week…so we have to wait another week until we find anything out.

Meanwhile, we are getting antsy to get Alex’s old car out of our driveway. It has not been up and running since this summer. It’s not worth fixing but my son’s friend wants to buy it from us. I will be seeing him tonight and am going to try to set up a time for him to get it out of here. I’m not even sure it’s possible.

Arabella and Will still don’t have a car. I’m thinking of letting my daughter borrow my car over the holiday weekend so she can make some money doing deliveries to pay her rent. Between Arabella and Will, they totaled three cars since May. I’m a little worried about them borrowing my car, but it has full coverage if they total it. It’s been hard to find a reliable affordable car anywhere.

Christmas day all my kids came home for Christmas. Arabella came home sick with a fever and now Angel is sick. I can’t remember a time when everyone with the exception of my husband has been so sick. It’s been almost a constant thing for my friend and family circle over the last two months.

The day after Christmas my mom came over to do some volunteer work with Angel and I. It was very tense because my mom attacked my daughter via text. She said my brother Luke and I texted her merry Christmas and my brother Mark called. But Arabella was the only grandchild who called her on Christmas day. None of her other grandchildren care about her. When I texted my mom or anyone to wish them a happy holiday, that counts for my whole family. Part of the reason she feels this way is her own fault. None of her five grandchildren besides Arabella even go visit her at her house because of my dad and she chose to stay with him.

My mom likes to play the victim. When she started to play the victim with me, I called her out on it. I told her the phone works both ways. She said she didn’t want to bother anyone since she knew all of her grandchildren were celebrating on Christmas day with other family. I also said that my children and their significant others spent two weekend celebrating with her taking off work and getting gifts. Doesn’t that count? The time together was tense.

When my mom was here we stopped for lunch at Qdoba. My mom asked for a small amount of rice on her burrito. She told the guy he put too much rice on it and had to put some back. Then she also gave too much money to pay for the meal by a dollar. I think the guy thought she was giving him a tip but she asked for the money back. Sometimes my mom is rude to service people and I find it embarrassing. I’m not sure why she is acting the way she is and I find it to be stressful. I hate confronting my mom, but I’m not going to allow her to attack my kids.

Then yesterday my son said he was having problems with the bathroom in the garage apartment next door. With all the cold temperatures the water pipes froze and water from the toilet and shower are backing up from the drain on the floor. My husband has been trying to pour some warm water down the drain and it seems to trickle through. The problems with a large old house seem to be endless.

Last night the nightmares started up again and I was on an endless loop. If I left the house I was trapped in, I would be murdered. Everyone on the outside thought I was fine which made it impossible to leave because no one could see I needed help so I was stuck.

Nothing major is happening. It’s all these little things starting to snowball. It also seems I get triggered more during the holiday season. I’m not sure what to do about it. My parents and daughter Arabella are toxic people, and I just can’t seem to cut them out of my life. Sometimes their negative energy rubs off on me.

I’ve also been struggling more with aging. I don’t feel young, attractive, or energetic anymore. Yesterday I went snowshoeing and couldn’t get the clasps open on the snowshoes or tighten the poles. I struggled to get them on. My range of motion has diminished considerably. Afterwards I felt stiff and sore doing something I did easily before. I have problems opening jars and now I even struggle opening the child resistant medicine cap for my pills. My husband has been trying to talk me into a gym membership again. But I’ve been responding negatively to the idea. I don’t want to go to the gym and watch other people run when that is all I want to be able to do again. No thank you. I don’t even want to exercise anymore. It’s painful emotionally and physically.

I even got scammed by an ad on Facebook. I bought a jumbo sized mystery box that was supposed to be full of electronics. I was excited because the items in the box were going to be extra Christmas gifts for my family. I ended up getting a small box with a massage gun in it. Nothing says old like falling for scams.

Tomorrow I will try to be less crabby. #goals

Bad memory

Several years back I remember my brother Mark and I talking about something from our childhood with our Aunt Jan. My aunt replied to my brother that she thought he had a bad memory of his childhood. I laughed and responded to my aunt that he didn’t have a bad memory just bad memories. Sometimes you just have to laugh.

All joking aside, I have been thinking about childhood memories a lot lately. The new couples therapist my husband and I are going to has her office in a clinic with multiple providers of different types of wellness services. One of those services is hypnotherapy. I’ve always been fascinated by the idea of being hypnotized since my friend and I tried to hypnotize each other in middle school. I really never had the opportunity therapeutically and didn’t think about it much until I saw it listed as an option last week.

I’m sure there are a lot of things I don’t remember. Maybe I don’t want to remember? The most troubling question to me is what would I do with the information. Would remembering offer solace and closure to the naggings of my mind? Or would I be opening another can of worms? Would I view other people differently if I remembered how they hurt me and may be hurting others?

Should I keep the door locked or should I peer at the fiery demons contained inside? Part of me thinks that I don’t remember for my own protection. The other part of me wants to tear down the walls to see what is inside. Will it help? Will it hurt? Only one way to find out I guess.

Gratitude week 156

  1. Spending Christmas with my kids and their significant others.
  2. Spending three weekends in a row celebrating Christmas with my kids and their significant others. I am really blessed to have adult children living nearby.
  3. Spending Christmas Eve with my husband, best friend and her family.
  4. The candlelight Christmas Eve service.
  5. My son and his girlfriend got into a car accident on Christmas Eve. A lady blew a red light and hit them. I’m really grateful they were safe in the accident. I am really, really hoping and praying his car isn’t totaled as he has only had it for a month.
  6. My son Alex does not always wear his seatbelt which his girlfriend and I have been giving him a hard time about. He said previously if he thought he was going to get into an accident he would slip it on real quick. I asked him how that worked out for him. He said from now on he is going to wear a seatbelt.
  7. I gave and got some really cool gifts. Among my favorites are the Lake of Tears vinyl record, several books including A Father’s Story by Lionel Dahmer, and a magnet fishing kit.
  8. We had a white Christmas.
  9. The wind chills are finally above zero.
  10. We had a great night on Friday sampling beer, eating pizza, and watching the Bucks game with our employee and friend James plus Angel and Dan. Because it was incredibly cold and snowy not all the pizza places were open. When the delivery driver got here, she said she got stuck in someone’s driveway and was sorry she was late. I’m grateful for people who show up to work on a holiday weekend with bad weather conditions. I gave her a good tip.
  11. Volunteering at Christmastime. Seeing the joy of people in need receiving special gifts at Christmas time. There were a lot of clothes donations at Christmastime, so my mom, Angel and I helped with the sorting today.
  12. In addition to our own counselors, Paul and I started seeing a couples counselor familiar with our family history. Our marriage is not in trouble. We thought it would help us get through some difficult areas we need to work through mainly with family of origin issues. After one session, she has already been very insightful and I’m hoping it will enhance our relationship.

Christmas Eve Eve

Season’s greetings from blustery Wisconsin. We will surely have a white Christmas this year. It’s been snowing off and on for the last couple of days. It’s been windy and cold with sustained winds of 25mph and gusts up to 50mph bringing the wind chill between 25 and 35 below zero. This is our second named winter storm of the season. Last year apparently we only had one named winter storm. This is the third day this week my son has been doing snow removal. He has been gone for almost 12 hours now and I worry with the brutal cold. The wind is whistling through all the cracks in our house.

I like winter storms but I don’t like the thought of my son and other people working outside in these harsh conditions. I don’t like slippery roads. I don’t like the livestock and animals facing the cold. We are used to it though and life does not come to a grinding halt like you might think it would. If it did we wouldn’t get anything done in the winter. Paul is going to take Will to work tonight. It is too blustery to bike and he doesn’t have a car. He works second shift and I’m not sure how he is going to get back home. I’m trying not to worry too much.

Other than that, we have plans tonight. One of our employees from our previous company and who currently works with us on a limited basis now is coming over tonight. We are going to do some shop talk and then we will do some beer tasting, order pizza, and watch the Bucks game. Angel and Dan will be joining us.

The winter storm is supposed to end by tomorrow evening and we have plans to spend Christmas Eve with my best friend Cindy and her family. We started spending Christmas Eve with them a few years back. Then in the evening we will go to their church’s candlelight Christmas Eve service.

We will be spending Christmas day with our kids and their significant others. I’m starting to bake and prepare for that. Decades ago my MIL got me an ice cream maker. I haven’t used it in years and decided to dig it out and make some homemade ice cream. Today I made molasses cookies. There will be a lot of feasting over the next couple of days. I sure hope we don’t end up losing power with this storm. But the good news is that our freezer food should be just fine this time. We’ll have a lot of roaring fires in the fireplace. ‘Tis the season for dark, cold, and snowy days.

Warm wishes of a merry Christmas to you and yours. Yeah, my son just made it safely home from work!

A season of suffering

I woke up in the middle of the night when I heard my son leaving for work. I was having a nightmare that I had a baby who was kidnapped. When I fell back asleep, the nightmare continued. I searched and searched for the baby on a continuous loop all night. I woke up exhausted.

It’s been a long time since I’ve had nightmares. For awhile, I remembered even having some good dreams which is rare because it seemed if I dreamed at all they were bad dreams. Yesterday was a stressful day. I spent the day with my mom and my evening with Arabella doing deliveries. I think it was too much for one day because my mom and Arabella are known to stress me out. I wish it wasn’t that way, I really do.

Everything went pretty well with my mom. When she comes to visit, she likes to go out to eat for lunch. Yesterday we went out to eat at a restaurant we ate at dozens of times. When it was time to leave, she was very confused at how to get out of the restaurant. She went the wrong way and headed towards the kitchen which was opposite of the way we came in. She should have known that. I had to call out to her that she was going the wrong way. She just seemed so confused. I’ve noticed for awhile now that she is starting to slip mentally. She has been acting bizarrely like sending my daughter a photo of her ex on her wedding day. There are many times she acts childlike. I’m not sure if it is a normal part of aging or if something else like dementia is starting. Frequently I feel very annoyed by her behavior. Then I feel guilty because my mom is not really herself anymore.

Then I spent the evening driving Arabella around to do deliveries. I want to help her out but we don’t really get along very well. She wants everything her way and is very bossy towards me. I have to decide what is worth tolerating and what is worth fighting. I don’t want a relationship like that, but I want to help her out. Now her boyfriend and her both don’t have a car. Rent is due soon. They were late this month and got a notice to pay or vacate. They both have fines to pay. He now has thousand of dollars worth of medical bills. I’m motivated to help her out because I don’t want them living on the streets. Hell, they don’t even have a car to live in and I don’t think it would be good to have her live at home again for me. This has been weighing heavily on me. Last night I helped her work a couple hours. I used up a quarter tank of gas just for her to make $30. Doesn’t seem worth it to me.

While I was waiting for her to pick up food, I found out that our vet’s office is closing permanently next week. We go to a small town clinic. We’ve been taking our animals there for the last fifteen years. The vet was diagnosed with cancer and is closing shop. That’s his retirement. It’s so sad because he just lost his wife who worked with him to cancer a few years back. It’s so terribly sad. I’ve been going there for so long the staff and I know each other on a first name basis. That personal touch is so rare nowadays. Now they will be all losing their jobs as well right around Christmastime. One of the ladies is the mom of my son’s friend. She is a single parent. It just sucks.

There have been so many illnesses and deaths the last couple months. I just feel so overwhelmingly sad for the suffering of others. Our employee from our previous business just lost her sister who was a best friend to her last month. I got to know her a little. She died unexpectedly and she was only in her upper 30’s. Last week her husband committed suicide. He couldn’t live without his wife. That’s two suicides in the last two months, my blogging friend and the brother-in-law of a previous employee. Even though I didn’t know them personally, I feel so incredibly sad for the grief of their families this holiday season.

I’m sick of bad news and hearing about the suffering of others. Where is the peace? Where is the joy? Sorry to be so negative right before Christmas. The expectation on us is that we should be happy right now, but many are not. I guess I am just in a funk right now. The cold dark days are upon us. I wish I could see the light, just a little glimpse of the good days to come.

Gratitude week 155

  1. We were able to get some back burner home projects done.
  2. Volunteer time; it’s always a blessing to share my time helping others.
  3. My daughter and son-in-law got the rest of their wedding pictures back and they are absolutely gorgeous.
  4. I’m grateful that my daughter and son-in-law realized they had a gas leak in their house and fixed the problem.
  5. We have snow on the ground and are expecting another foot of snow this week, so it’s looking good for a white Christmas.
  6. I had my extended family Christmas this past weekend and it went well.
  7. My husband and ALL my kids and their significant others attended. I’m grateful to be surrounded by my children, seeing and talking to them often.
  8. I like all of their significant others.
  9. A double batch of cheesy potatoes fit into the biggest crock pot I own for the extended family Christmas party.
  10. Fires in our fireplace on cold winter nights.
  11. It’s Christmas week and I’m looking forward to time spent with family and friends, the Christmas Eve candlelight service, good food, Christmas trees, and giving and receiving gifts as we celebrate Christmas.
  12. Spending time with relatives I haven’t seen since before COVID.

Late night calls

It sure has been a week. I received several late night calls and texts from my kids. I wish I could tell you that the worrying stops once they become adults, but I’m afraid the worrying never ends. I spent a good part of my week doing just that…worrying.

It started on Monday night when I got a call from Arabella. Will got pulled over for speeding and their car got searched. Now my daughter has possession of marijuana charges and a hefty fine. I didn’t sleep too well Monday night.

Wednesday night we had our first named snow storm. It started out as rain for most of the day. Then switched to a sleet/freezing rain mix before turning to snow. Usually I like storms if I know everyone is safe and sound. But I was worried and had a hard time sleeping because I know my son would be leaving in the middle of the night to do snow removal. I worried about him driving in bad road conditions. I wouldn’t have worried so much if it was just snow, but the layer of ice really had me worried. I shouldn’t have been worried about him because he was fine. I ended up getting a text from Arabella in the middle of the night saying that Will drove home from work too fast for conditions and damaged the car.

Thursday evening I picked up Will and Arabella after they dropped off the car to be fixed. It was a stressful evening because we talked a lot about problems. They were late for rent this month and now Will also has several thousands of dollars of medical bills he thought would be covered by insurance but apparently were not. Arabella also thought her best friend or his love interest may have stolen her ADHD meds because she can’t find her medicine. We also talked about charges and fines.

Then that evening after 10 I got a message from Angel saying she thought they had a gas leak in their house. They had been sick for the past several weeks with headaches, nausea, and vomiting. They ended up calling the gas company and waited outside in their car until they came out to their house around midnight. I did feel a little better sleeping that night because I knew they called someone and weren’t just going to sleep. What if something would’ve happened to them and I did nothing? I don’t think I could live with that.

Then Friday afternoon while I was originally in the middle of writing this post, I got the call that Arabella’s car was totaled. It was another stressful evening because I worried about what they were going to do. They no longer have a vehicle and my daughter is paying her rent by doing food delivery. As of right now, I’m not sure what is going to happen. I told my daughter I would drive her around to do her deliveries tonight.

As I worried about all my kids this week, I had to remind myself how much they have grown and matured over this past year alone. I so much want to just go in and fix everything for them. What parent doesn’t want that? It’s stressful to see them hurting or thinking about them dying. I worried maybe Arabella and Will would be suicidal. I worried about car accidents and gas leaks. Being a worry warrior is my super power. The sleepless nights and anxiety doesn’t serve me well though. I have to remind myself they are alright right now and hope for a better week ahead.

Gratitude week 154

  1. Lunch with my husband and daughter getting Indian take out.
  2. A free car wash.
  3. Hosting Christmas at my house with my husband, kids and their significant others, my mom, and siblings and family with no drama. Everyone seemed to have a great time together and that is pretty close to being a Christmas miracle.
  4. My mom’s Christmas gifts came in the mail in time for the party.
  5. My brother Luke and his family spent the night.
  6. The futon couch I ordered came just in time for my niece to sleep on it.
  7. Volunteer time.
  8. A date night at the community theater with our elderly friends Harv and Kate. They are in good health and we had a wonderful visit.
  9. Christmas lights, music, and trees.
  10. Eggnog
  11. Having a good visit with my mom.
  12. Playing gin rummy with my husband.

Unwrapped

It’s that time of year again where Spotify gives your listening stats of the year. I listened to 30,478 minutes of music this year which puts me in the top 82% of listeners in the U.S. That’s a lot of listening. I listen to more music than everyone I know my age. I probably listen to music more than I actually listen to people talking.

Over the past year, I listened to 72 different genres. I honestly didn’t know that many genres existed. Here are my top 4:

  1. Rock
  2. Rap
  3. New Romantic
  4. Alternative Metal

I would have to agree with this with the exception of new romantic. What is that??!? I am a huge hater of romance. I hate romance books, movies but apparently not music. If you are talking about moody mournful songs of unrequited love reminiscent of ’80s hair bands I am all for that. It probably has something to do with my new found obsession with the band Lake of Tears. But romance in general makes me want to gag. Sappy Hallmark movies, yuck! Honestly, I think that is why I never got into Christian music. They all sound like sappy love songs to me. I was mortified when my mom would drive around crying to that kind of music. I always felt a little guilty because I hated that kind of music. But lock me in a room with hymns playing on a pipe organ and I could listen all day.

The pipe organ is my favorite instrument. I always joke that someday when I am independently wealthy, I am going to add a pipe organ room to my house. Apparently no one else is a big fan of that idea. What is absolutely amazing to me is if there is organ music in heavy metal. It’s an acquired taste. My music is very personal to me and it’s a huge compliment if I am willing to share it with others.

I’m grateful to live in a time where I can listen to the music I want to. My gosh how many hours I waited for a song to play on the radio so I could tape it. We had such limited choices then. I wish I had the opportunities my kids had when I was younger. Maybe I would’ve done something more with it. I don’t talk about this a lot but two of my kids are musicians. My daughter Angel graduated with a music degree in 2020 and is employed as a recording artist. She spends somewhere around 30 hours a week singing and another 10 editing music. She has a studio set up in her house.

My son Alex spends most of his free time making music. He is also very talented and waiting for his big break. My kids have utterly ruined music for me because I am incredibly picky when it comes to other performers.

According to Spotify, I start my morning with melancholy, sorrow, and moody music. Then I spice it up a little in the afternoon with sorrow, mayhem, and moody music. Then I end the night with fun, hype, and relaxing music. Gotta save the mayhem for the middle of the day.

My top song of the year is Wanna Be a Baller. I’m not really sure what a baller is but I guess I want to be one somehow. I will have to ask my kids about this again. Yes, I am one of those crazy adults that likes rap music. Not to worry, I prefer the clean versions of songs. It’s kind of embarrassing to admit to the young folks I like some of the same music they do. As a parent I would really worry if my kids listened to the kind of music I do. I’m not worried. Music is a great way to express feelings. I understand that.

This year my favorite band is Pink Floyd. I am in the top 0.5% of listeners. I’m not sure if you noticed this or not. Recently I watched the documentary Died Suddenly. I was very, very pleasantly surprised that the documentary opened with Pink Floyd’s song Sheep off the Animals album. Brilliant, just brilliant.

I’m so grateful for music and how it has enriched my life. Here’s to another great year of listening.