Thursday, January 31, 2013

Imperfection is Awesome!

I kinda feel like Wayne from "Wayne's World" reading that title, but that's cool!

So kids, today we're gonna talk about perceived imperfection vs. the reality that we are all, in fact, perfect, just as we are. Right now.  At this very moment.
And when I say "we're gonna talk," I mean, of course, I'm gonna write and you can read.  If you like.  Feel free to skip this and move along to your next blog.  No hard feelings.

The biggest obstacle to getting what we want/need is often the intrinsic belief that somehow we don't deserve it. It can be a subconscious thing, buried so deeply that we're never aware of it.  Heaven knows I've held that belief for far too long, and have had a heck of a time getting rid of it! I'm much more forgiving of others their so-called faults, mistakes, and imperfections than I am of my own, and I think that's pretty common.

Something I learned 20 years ago was that it is those very imperfections that make us interesting.  I remember sitting in rehearsal watching my fellow actors struggle with a scene, and getting frustrated because it wasn't playing out the way they pictured it in their heads.  Thing was, what they were doing was WAAAAAAAY more interesting than what they had PLANNED to do.  It's like the difference between watching an actor trying to cry and watching him trying NOT to cry.  The latter, IMHO, is much more real, human, and, yes, interesting.
Then, of course, I went to L.A. and forgot it all.  The land where everything is plastic and everyone wants to look and be perfect, all the time.
Which results in everyone being BORING all the time.

I was watching the movie version of "Les Miz" recently.  There's been a lot of talk about Russell Crowe, and the fact that his voice isn't as *perfect* as everyone else's.  But I LOVED it!  First of all, I thought it fit the character of Javert perfectly.  Secondly, as much as I adore a trained, Broadway-caliber voice, sometimes I want to hear the rougher edges.  I would much rather hear an actor's real singing voice, even if it isn't considered particularly "good," than a dubbed singer filling in. Let's face it, if you cast an actor in a musical, having someone else do half the role is, well, kinda weird. (Another example: Pierce Brosnan in "Mama Mia."  He's probably not going to be starring in any onstage musicals anytime soon, but I liked that it was him singing, and I liked that it wasn't always pretty.  I remember a reviewer writing "Pierce Brosnan cannot sing. Period." Well, seems to be that's exactly what he DID do in that film!  The argument is invalid!)

Yesterday in yoga class there was a young woman with a series of moles all across her upper arms and neck.  At first I thought it was a tattoo.  I wondered how much time she'd previously spent lamenting their presence and trying to cover them up.  I hope it was no time at all.  And I think they looked really cool.  And, again, I found myself admiring someone's "imperfection."  They make her unique, and they make her even more beautiful.

Of course, Hollywood and Madison Avenue can only stay in business if they can keep convincing us we are sub-par. As Eleanor Roosevelt (apparently, although it may have been someone else) once said, "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent."

So I say we stop letting them!

I'm running a little experiment on myself:  Usually, in the late afternoon, I start snacking.  It's out of habit, mainly, and because of other (emotional) issues.  Yesterday I wrote down what many of those issues are. And I felt REALLY depressed.  But y'know what?  I lived. It didn't kill me.
  Today I'm trying to feel the stuff they make me feel, rather than snack them away. And seeing as it's almost dinner time, I must say I've done pretty well (yay me!).I was even able to respond to a a nasty online comment someone made to me without getting mean.  Smug, yes.  But not mean.  :)

OK, one more showbiz example and then I'll wrap up: When Benedict Cumberbatch was in drama school, one of his teachers told him he'd never make it because he has "a face like a horse."  (Acting teachers can often be VERY nasty!)  Well, in 2010, BC was named British GQ's Man of the Year and photographed for their cover.  If I were him, I would have blown that cover up to poster size and sent it to that teacher! But he's a better man than I am (um, literally, since I'm, y'know, female). He focused on becoming a better actor, and, well, look at him now!

It just goes to show, again, that just because someone says or thinks something about us doesn't mean it's true.

So I'm going to try and love my perfect imperfections.

Who knows?  It might just work!

Monday, January 28, 2013

All That Spazz

Do not know WHAT has gotten into my kids today, but they are seriously spazzy!  WG was grumpy all morning at school.  She finally cheered up in the afternoon (they had music today, which helped a lot.)  LG was fine until I dropped him off, then he started yelling and crying.  But was OK for the rest of the day.
Earlier this evening I found WG standing in the second-highest drawer of her bureau, then later on top of the ironing board. That was a good 5 years off of my life expectancy.  LG, meanwhile, was bouncing on his exercise ball and almost went literally through the roof. Oh, and he stole his cousin's booties to put on Elmo.
Later, when I tried to put WG to bed, she sprang right back up & started jumping.  Then wanted me to chase her.

This is NOT typical behavior for them! (OK, the bouncing, for him, is. But it was particularly ...effervescent... tonight.)

Meanwhile, I got to go get my annual exam today.
You know.
THAT exam.
But it was quick and mostly painless.  Next I need a mammogram, followed by a physical, then my annual skin exam.

It sucks getting older, sometimes.

The nice part is that the doctor's office is in the downtown area of a nearby (small) city.  So I got to walk around, have some coffee, do a bit of grocery shopping.

I ran a whole bunch of errands before I had to pick the kids up, so it was a productive day.  A little Bollywood workout, and I'm ready to wind down.

If my kids ever get to sleep, that is.


WG did, indeed, get to sleep.
LG fell asleep at his normal time.

At 3 AM, I heard the unmistakable sounds of WG's toy guitar, however.  Went downstairs & she was sitting up in bed, light on, surrounded by toys. I took the toys away, turned off the light, and lay next to her until she fell asleep again (took about an hour).  Went back upstairs and, lo and behold, within 5 minutes she was wide awake, light back on, OUT OF her bed.  Same thing.  Fell asleep next to her, though.  Slept for 1 hour until it was time to wake her up & get her ready for school.
She was a little grouchy.

And so am I. Fortunately, I'm also off (work).

Gonna try and nap, then go to yoga.

Tonight I may have to go to bed at 7.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Tabatas: Worse Than Waterboarding?

Alright, I already knew I wasn't in the best shape of my life, but that was just EMBARRASSING!
I did my first-ever Tabata workout last night.  It's a new DVD series from Chris Freytag, and she combines toning exercises with Tabatas.

And I thought I was gonna die.

The thing is, I doubt these drills are anywhere nearly as intense as what many people do (Hello, Charlotte & Geosomin!).  But I'm old, fat, and tired, so they were plenty challenging for me.  I was cursing a blue streak about 1/3 of the way through the 31-minute workout, and it only got worse.
The only witness to my humiliation was my son, who was more interested in drawing than whatever it was Mom was doing.  Thankfully.
And possibly the neighbors, if they happened to look across the street between 7:23 and 7:54 PM, as there are a few blinds missing from that window.

Humiliation, thy name is Tabata.

I'm thinking there's gotta be something in the Geneva Convention about those things, right?  No?
Ah, well.

Guess I'll try again.


In other news, we started out new session of Shakespeare classes today.  12 kids, ages 7-10, all homeschooled.
It was...energetic!
The woman who runs the program for these kids says she's actually never seen them THAT rowdy.
I'm sure things will settle down.  And when I say "I'm sure," what I'm REALLY saying is "Pleaseohpleaseohpleaseohpleaseohplease!!!!!!!!"

I'm so glad tomorrow's Friday.  I'll actually have a day off.  I'm going to yoga in the morning, then to the 20% off beer sale at Whole Foods for Hubby, and then I'm gonna chill until it's time to pick the kids up.
I MIGHT try another Tabata workout on Saturday (gulp!).

Wish me luck.
If you don't see another post here for a while, it means I'm in the hospital, in traction.

And on that note, have a great weekend everybody!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Some Thoughts on This Inaguration/MLK Day

So, yeah, today was a big day!  We watched the inauguration from our hotel room, on the last morning of our latest Yosemite trip.  (WG has discovered the joys of sledding, and can even make it up the hill by herself.  It was a beautiful thing to see! Plus, we were greeted by 3 happy, friendly dogs who were playing in the snow nearby.)
I honestly wasn't expecting the kind of turnout they had.  Since it was a second inauguration, and because so many people seem so disenfranchised with government, I was expecting a respectable but much smaller number of folks.   It was nice to see so many there.
From there we packed up the car and headed out, stopping for coffee along the way, where I was greeted by 3 enthusiastic canines.  Including a 10 month-old German shepherd who came up on my blind side, jumped up and licked my face before I could even register his presence.
Dogs in threes seemed to be a theme for the weekend.
It was a good morning!

We're home now, getting ready to resume school/work/etc.  Bit of a busy week for me: lots of appointments, and we start the new Shakespeare class on Thursday.  I'm nervous, but excited, too.

Something occurred to me a few days ago.  It was odd, actually: I was thinking about an incident that happened about 15 years ago, but left a mark.  Hubby and I were having lunch with his then-manager.  I was polite and smiley, hoping to make a good impression so that, maybe, she'd want to represent me, too, and start sending me on auditions.  I'd had ZERO luck getting any kind of representation, and it was next to impossible to get an audition without it.
So there we sat, at one of my favorite L.A eateries (Hugo's in West Hollywood).  As I tucked in to my salad, she stated that I was "A big girl."  I believe I have mentioned that, at the time, I was 140 pounds.  I''m 5'9".
Needless to say, my appetite fled into the L.A. smog, and I spent the rest of the day-no-WEEK wondering a) If I was really THAT big and b) Why the hell she felt the need to say it, and in such a snarly tone. Hubby didn't hear her.  I think she did that on purpose. After all, you don't piss off a client who's making you money.  And, at that time, he was. I was too embarrassed to mention it.  Looking back, I SO wish I had!

Over the years that comment has come back to haunt me an infinite number of times.  You all know that L.A. did a number on my psyche, and I'm only now, after nearly 7 years away, getting out of that mindset.
But the other day I finally realized something about that little incident: I believe that woman was, dare I say it, JEALOUS.  It never occurred to me because I simply cannot fathom the idea of another person being envious of me for ANYTHING, but I truly believe, now, that this was the case.  She wasn't just nice with Hubby, she flirted with him quite a bit.  I think she probably had a thing for him, and was pissed off that he was with me.
Fatty ol' me.  How the hell could I snag someone like him when I looked like I did? Unmani-pedi'ed, unwaxed, un-rail-thin, un-highlighted, etc.  Plus, I dressed like a hippie!  For someone who probably spent at least an hour getting ready every morning, it must have been quite a shock.

I wish I'd figured it out before.  I can't say it would have saved me years of heartache, but it would've lessened the pain a smidge.

However, I have learned an important lesson: Don't always take things at face value. She wasn't, as I'd thought, giving me her opinion as an Industry Professional (and, really, what were her credentials?!?!  Up until 2 months before that day she'd worked for a shoe company, now suddenly she's a judge of talent?!?!?!  I know that's snarky but, well, there it is), but as a jealous chick who wanted to take my place in my relationship.  Most likely.
Even if that wasn't the case, SOMETHING about me pissed her off.  And I doubt it was my body type. It was hate at first sight, and nothing to do with anything I'd said or done.

I feel a bit angry that I let her pettiness and, let's me honest, bitchiness influence me for so long.  I suppose I should feel sorry for the small, bitter woman that she was.  But after what happened the other day, I find I don't have room in me for that kind of compassion.
After so many years of having her in my head, I'm just going to dump her out. *

And there are a few others who need to go, as well.

Arrividerci, nasty negative ones!

*(BTW, a few months later, she was no longer working for that management company.  Karma?)

Anyway.  Life is a whole lot better now, and I'm glad I'm not the person I was 15 years ago. The kind who puts a lot of stock in the opinions of people she barely knew,  and who didn't know her AT ALL.  And I'm very happy that I AM the type of person dogs will jump up on and lick.

'Cause that rocks!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

You've Messed With the Wrong Chubby, Middle-Aged, Suburban Mom!

The title is a joke, but what happened this morning is not.

When I first met her, I knew right away that she was going to be That Mom.  There's always one in every class: The one who needs attention, who's a drama queen, who believes her child is more gifted/fragile/intelligent/kind than any other child on the planet.  The one who, just about every day, pulls the teacher aside for a "conference."
For whatever reason, That Mom always gravitates toward me.  Countless times I have stood on the street corner after dropping our kids off and listened to her concerns.  And felt badly, because she has a lot of anxiety, and I can certainly relate to that!  But I CANNOT relate to the extremes.  (Wearing a hoodie to disguise oneself & watching the kids/teachers during PE class?)
There are only 4 kids in the class.  She has already accused the other 2 of hitting/pinching/striking/etc. her son, to the point where they leave bruises on him.  None of this has been confirmed, and there are, at ALL TIMES, at least 2 teachers with the kids. This is a special ed class.  They don't go anywhere or do anything unsupervised.  Any rule-breaking/questionable behavior is noted in a classroom log.

This morning, just after I dropped LG off, she came up to me, got in my face, and said "Your son is punking my son!"

First off, let me say this: In his 8 years in public school, and after working with over a dozen tutors and therapists, LG has NEVER had a single complaint made against him ,whether by a parent, a teacher, or another student.  He is NOT violent.  He doesn't hit, punch, kick, etc.  And when it's done to him, he will NOT retaliate. In fact, I cannot even count the number of parents, tutors, therapists and teachers who have made a point to tell me how much they like him, and how sweet he is.
Because he IS.  He is one of the sweetest, kindest kids you could ever hope to meet.

But, according to HER, yesterday he squeezed her son's arm hard enough to leave marks. I'll say this: He has a behavior, when he gets overwhelmed, where he WILL squeeze someone's arm.  But he doesn't squeeze hard, he never leaves a mark or bruise, and he always pats the spot he squeezed, as if soothing it.  He has NEVER hurt another person. But she claimed her daughter (who is in high school, and who was there this morning, looking embarrassed), saw the marks as she was giving her brother a bath last night.    I said "My son doesn't do that.  If he grabbed your son, I apologize, and I will certainly talk to him.  But he doesn't hurt people."  To which she yelled, at an even higher decibel, "The teacher saw it!  She put it in the log!"
Then she started going on about how her son is so nice and sweet and gentle, but my son and another child are constantly kicking him.  I KNOW LG doesn't do that, has NEVER done that, and I told her so.  Her response?  "YOU JUST SAID HE DOESN'T GRAB PEOPLE!!!!!!!"

At that point I walked away.  I went to the front office.  In the meantime, the classroom teacher had called the principal when she saw this woman accosting me.  They spoke to her, and then they spoke to me. From what I could glean, they have told her, apparently more than once, that if she has an issue with another child, to bring it up with them, and not confront the parent.  Especially on campus.   The altercation this morning was right in front of our kids' classroom.

This is a woman who insinuated that a student who, sadly, committed suicide recently could have been murdered by his step-father.  As I mentioned, she's accused all the other kids in the class of violence against her son, claiming she has "witnesses" (other students who allegedly came by her home and told her they saw these kids hurting him.  Of course, we only have her word for it, since she won't name any of the supposed witnesses).  Who watches her kids' PE classes from her balcony (or in disguise) to make sure the teachers aren't...well, doing whatever it is she imagines them doing.

Basically, I have finally come to realize that she is not firing on all cylinders.  The principal suggested I take another route to bring LG to and from school, since our current one takes us right by this woman's home.  She (the principal) very clearly communicated to me, without actually coming out and saying it, that this woman has a long history of this type of behavior, that she is familiar with it, and that she knows what's up.  This woman's daughter went to the same school, so the administration has known her for a few years.
I've had a few hours to process this.  I'm still pissed off (no one accuses MY KID of that kind of crap and gets away with it!), but I realize the best way to deal is to not acknowledge her AT ALL, to talk to the teachers, and keep behaving like nothing's wrong.

To, basically, Keep Calm and Carry On.

And maybe let it drop in conversation, while she's there, that my brother's in the FBI.

And that I've studied Krav Maga.

So don't mess with me, punk!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

What am I Waiting For?!?!?!

It hit me the other day, like the proverbial brick, that I always seem to be waiting before I do things.  Anything.  Sign up for a yoga workshop, keep one of the kids home from school if they're sick, buy stuff at the grocery (or book) store, whatever.  Large decisions or small, it seems I have to talk myself into them.
Like I'm waiting for permission.
And I know EXACTLY where it comes from.
I won't go into too many details (boring!), but it's left over from childhood, and into my early 20's.  Even from my acting career, when I often relied too much on the director to tell me what to do.  (The ironic part is that the most enjoyable performances, and when I even got my best reviews, were when I DIDN'T rely on anyone else and trusted my instincts.)

I know I've hit on this before, but the feeling of waiting for permission seems like a newer discovery. I know I've had the feeling of "waiting" before, but I was never exactly sure what, exactly, I was waiting for.  Now I know.


So here it is: I hereby grant permission to myself to do what is needed, what is necessary, and, so long as it causes no harm, what is desired.

I think that should about cover it.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Yoga, the Flu, and Changes. Oh My!

I love yoga.
Even when I don't.
Yesterday I went to a class that was really, really, REALLY HARD!!!!!  The instructor is young, and she was very excited about the 2 young professional gymnasts/equestrians who were taking the class. I kinda felt like she geared the class toward them, while the rest of us were left to our own devices.  I could be wrong, I'd never taken a class with her before. But unlike the other instructors at the studio, she didn't give many modifications.  Luckily I knew enough to only go as far as I could and not try to overdo it.  The class description says it's for all levels, but it's really not.
But that's OK: live and learn, and everyone's style is different.  Now I know.  I still felt really good after class, even if I'm (hella!) sore today.
I also went for a walk after dinner.  A constitutional, you might say.  To help with digestion.  I've been getting a lot of stomach pain lately, and am trying to figure out why.  Right now I'm cutting out gluten to see if that helps.

As I'm sure you're aware, there is a NASTY flu going around.  I haven't had my flu shot yet, and neither have the kids (Hubby gets his at work), so I'm worried.  Especially since my B-I-L seems to have it, and he lives with us.  I guess the kiddoes & I better get that shot.
If we DO get sick, I'm hoping we all get it at the same time, and in the next week.  I'm not teaching again until the 24th, and it'd be great not to have to lug one sick kid with me when I drop the other one off at school. Or worry about getting a sitter, as my in-laws are going out of town.

I must say I've been feeling a bit guilty about all the time off I have right now.  But then I remember that I haven't really had any time off in the past 20 years, and suddenly I don't feel quite so badly.  This is time for ME.  For figuring stuff out.  For yoga, meditation, and quiet time (at least while the kids are in school).  Because, while there have been many, many changes over those 20 years, I haven't had time to process them.
At the beginning of 1993 I was 18 months out of college.  I'd joined the Shakespeare company, but was not working with them at that moment.  Instead, I'd temporarily moved back home with my parents, had just closed a show, and was rehearsing another.  While waiting to hear from said company as to whether or not I'd be hired to do the spring tour, which started rehearsals in February. I was 23 and unencumbered: No kids, no significant other, no permanent place to reside.  It was a very heady time, and I felt free. It was all about My ART. I was, unbelievably, a working actor. Something I wasn't sure, while in school, would ever happen, let alone so soon.
I was also teaching.  High school kids.  Which felt a bit odd, as I wasn't much older than many of them.  (Although they knew how to make me feel old, let me tell ya!  "You know who Pearl Jam is?!?!?!"  Yes, you wisenheimer!  Although, come to think of it, using words like "Wisenheimer" probably didn't help.)
At the time I assumed that this is what my life would be: Teaching, performing, traveling to jobs, and maybe a love affair here and there.  I didn't think I'd get married or have kids.

But I was 23.  The plans you make at 23 are usually not the ones you stick with.

At 24 I was accepted into grad school, on the other side of the country.  "Don't worry" I glibly informed my friends and colleagues "I'll be back as soon as I have my degree!." So I packed up and left my sublet apartment (having managed to move out of my parents' house) and in to a very nice place in La Jolla.
Yeah, turns out the plans you make at 24 aren't the ones you stick with, either.  Because I'm still here. Not La Jolla, but in California.  Married.  With 2 kids.  Teaching, but not, at the moment, performing.
If you'd told me then that this is where I'd be in 20 years, I'd probably have had a screaming panic attack. Because back then, acting was The Most Important Thing In My Life.  It WAS my life.  In a way that, looking back, was not very healthy.  I didn't have ANY other interests or hobbies, other than the gym and reading.

Before the kids came along and after grad school, life was still about acting and teaching, but also trying to Get The Next Job.  For a while it was about simple survival; keeping our heads above water financially while persuing our acting careers. Then the kids came along and, since then, for me, it has been all about them.  With some Pilates teaching thrown in.

Now I'm coming back to me.  I want to work, but I want more than a paycheck.  I want it to mean something, to be useful.  And enjoyable.  It doesn't have to be perfect.  But I don't want to do something that doesn't contribute in some way.  I realize that in this economy I might be pushing it, but I also know that if I put my focus on finding the meaningful stuff, I WILL find it.

So, I'll spend the next little while enjoying life & being thankful for some free time.
And we'll go from there.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

No Downton, Yes Blues

I'm not watching "Downton Abbey."  I watched a bit of the first season, but stopped.
Because I knew.
Those crafty Brits and their Telly: Trying to pull me in to yet another story, make me care about yet another cast of characters, stringing me along only to ultimately break my heart into a million billion pieces!  Well, I say NAY!  Already, in less than a year, we've had to watch Sherlock dive off a building, only to reappear, hale and whole, moments later.  But was it a relief? No!  Because he watched, as did we, John stand over his grave, breaking his own heart and ours, begging him not to be dead.
Seriously, 15 of the most heart-wrenching moments EVER put onscreen!
Along with that, we got to watch Amy and Rory get sucked 70 years into the past.  Oh sure, they lived, but they were never able to see either The Doctor OR Rory's Dad ever again!  (If you haven't seen the alternate ending, in which Brian meets his grandson & gets a letter from Rory, go to YouTube and watch it now.  I'll wait.  But have some tissues handy.)
Then, THEN, we had to watch Oswin realize she's a Dalek, followed by Claire dying.  OK, OK, OK, she's coming back, but still!
Along with that, I saw "Frankenstein," which was another heartbreaker, followed closely by "Third Star."  Although that was released in 2010.  But I WATCHED it in 2012!  And have never cried so flippin' hard at a movie in my life.
Finally, there's that moment in "The Hobbit" when Bilbo talks about his home, and how he misses it, but then tells the dwarves that they "don't have a home.  It was taken from you.  And I'll help you get it back if I can."
Dammit, Martin Freeman!  Will you please stop draining my tear ducts?!?!?!?!

So, that's it.  No more.  I will continue with the ones I've started, but I don't think I can invest in any others.
My heart simply cannot take it.

It's also that time of year that's frankly, quite depressing.  It's cold, the trees are bare, the weather sucks.  The holidays are over, it's a long time 'til spring, and everyone, it seems, is a bit down in the dumps. Here at the ol' homestead we're all complaining and snapping at each other.  (Of course, it doesn't help that Aunt Flow is in town.)
Tomorrow things get back to normal: school starts up again, folks go back to work, and I will have a few hours to myself.  I'm no longer teaching a regular Pilates class, and I start a new Shakespeare class in a couple of weeks.
Which, because I'm, well, me, has me worried that I'm not earning enough, that I'll never get another job in my life, that I should hang it up because I suck at it anyway and should just go work at the bakery at Whole Foods, drowning my sorrows in pastries, destroying my teeth and gaining 400 pounds in the process.
Oh yeah, I'm regular Polyanna, me!

But honestly, the HARDEST part came in a double whammy: The kids have entered pre-puberty.
I won't go into details.
She's 9.
He's 11.
And Mom & Dad are SOOOOOOO not ready!!!!!!!
They're still babies.  Doubly so because of the Autism.
So, yes, I'm quietly freaking out.
I'll get over it, and we'll deal and do what must be done.
But first, I need to freak out.  Just a bit.

So you see why I cannot add any more Brilliant British Angst to my life, right?
Oy to the vey.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Happy 2013!

Here's hoping this year is better than last.  2012 was rough.  There were good points, don't get me wrong, but between having to give up our home, losing our pup, economic issues, etc., it wasn't exactly a BANNER year.  Granted, there are many who have it A LOT worse than we do, and we are incredibly lucky in so many ways.  But here's hoping things improve for EVERYONE.
I can dream, can't I? :)

We got home yesterday afternoon from our Yosemite trip. It was sooooooo much fun!  Other than having a tire blow out on the freeway on our way home.  I was driving in the dark the night before and hit a big ol' pothole, which probably punctured the tire and caused a slow leak.  Then we added all our stuff, then ourselves, and then it was just too much for the poor tire. Luckily we were less than an hour from home and have  roadside assistance, so 2 lovely gentlemen showed up in a very timely manner to change the tire.
So right now the spare tire is on.  I'll go in on Thursday to get a new tire and have them check out the car, make sure everything's OK.

But the trip was great.  The kids went sledding and ice skating, and there was a little playground at the hotel. We had a nice room (at a VERY nice rate!), and the kids enjoyed it all.  It was so good to get away for a couple of days, get the kids outside & playing in the snow.  And, oh yes, to re-watch "Pride & Prejudice" (the Colin Firth version) on DirecTV in the hotel room.

Today I went to yoga, then came home so Hubby could go climb with his buddies. I'm not big on New Year's resolutions, but it seemed like a good way to kick of 2013.  I'm also coming to realize the difference between dumping all over oneself and gently taking a good hard look inside, noticing the less-than-savory aspects, and working on changing them.

Hubby and I also noticed that the kids seemed to feel very secure in the hotel room.  We talked about it, and we believe it's because, while not teeny-tiny, it was a contained space.  The house we're in right now is pretty big: 3 floors, 5 bedrooms,4 bathrooms.  Of course, there are 9 people (and 1 large, hyper dog) living here at the moment, so the space comes in handy.  But WG sleeps a floor below us and keeping track of both of them can be tricky. Plus, we both honestly believe that when the kids know exactly where we are, it makes them feel more comfortable.  Not that we're going to be drone parents (like helicopter parents, but worse), but giving them that sense of security IS important. And, of course, our knowing where they are and what they're up to can be important. Especially when they start Climbing On Things, or going into rooms THEY ARE NOT SUPPOSED TO BE IN!!!!!!!!!
I know the dream is supposed to be to settle into a nice house, and "nice" often means "big."  But we've lived in 2 houses and a townhouse on our own, and now share this house.  Maybe the way to go, if we are ever able to do so, is to get a single-level home or even a condo. Maybe all that space isn't necessary.  Maybe, just maybe, closer quarters will bring us closer together.

Or, y'know, result in a multiple murder/suicide.

We have dear friends who are quite well-off, financially.  Yet they live, with their 2 kids, in the same apartment they've had for about 15 years, since before the kids were born.  It's a beautiful place, with hardwood floors, in a great neighborhood.  They don't own a TV, and they spend a lot of time together.  And they're one of the most well-adjusted families you could ever meet!

If the past year has taught me anything, it's that my priorities are still a bit skewed. We don't need a ton of Stuff.  We don't need a McMansion (although I never wanted one of those: they must be a bitch to clean!).  Happiness isn't always what we think it'll be.  I will never be perfect at my job, but neither does that mean I suck at it.  There will always be things to learn and room for improvement.
If I want to stay happy, it is up to me. The fact is, I am QUITE happy and content right now.  No, it's not an ideal situation, but what is?  And even if a situation feels ideal, how long does the feeling last?

OK, one final note: Since I STILL cannot post links on my blog (that's on my list of Things To Learn How To Do this year), I am going to direct you to a post on Tumblr by the magnificent Louise Brealey: Actor, journalist, writer, feminist, and all-around person-I'd-like-to-be-if-I-ever-grow-up, even though she's, like, 20 years younger than I am.  It's called On Yellow Paper, and the post is "What Molly Did Next:."  (She plays Molly on "Sherlock.")  She recently played 3 roles in an updated version of "Trojan Women," including Helen, and had to strip nude.  It's a GREAT article!!!!!!!

OK.  I'm out.  Happy New Year, lovelies!