Saturday, December 31, 2011

End of the year

So it is the last day of the year.

I guess it was a better year than last year, in most regards.

Shannon has successfully matriculated into graduate school and is doing well living on her own.

David is getting healthier.

Jonathan is more interested in his schoolwork.

The situation at Shawn's company is now stable; the end of our vacation was not ruined this year by company issues.

My dad had a heart attack, but he is doing well, and it got me an extra trip out to see him.

We found a new church where we will probably stay. We will stay at least until Jonathan graduates from high school, barring something odd and unexpected.

We still haven't done anything with our land except pay taxes on it. At this point, I am in favor of selling it and putting the proceeds into college tuition. I am sick of dreaming of a dream house. I think it makes me edgy, discontented. We have a very nice house. I don't need a dream house. However, I would like some nasty carpet replaced. And I would like to replace the chandeliers that I have always disliked, because if I am staying here, I don't think it is so bad to put up some lights that I like instead of these ones I have never been able to embrace. Maybe I'm tired of trying to be a good sport. Maybe there are those who would say I never was a good sport.

I'd like to earn some money, (1) so I could hire a bit of help with the housekeeping and (2) so I could help out with college tuition. Somehow, though, it doesn't seem to make sense to go to work at Wegman's, checking groceries, just so I can pay somebody to help me clean. I'm thinking of starting a new blog and monetizing it, but I doubt if that would net me more than $20-$25 per month, if that, based on the popularity I am experiencing as a writer here.

I feel a little down today. Bet that's a shocking surprise. My girls will be leaving soon; it's been dark and gray all day; and I've been itching like crazy all over my body for about three or four days straight. Also junk I can't mention.

God is good, but there are days when I just fail to feel it. There are so many days when I want to be comfortable and creative, to experience beauty and warmth and whatever... love, kindness, cooperation, likemindedness, success, joy, accomplishment. And God just doesn't see fit to grant all that stuff just because I want it, or want it for my family members. I have to struggle like the butterfly coming out of the chrysalis, and I hate this, this struggle, discomfort, disappointment.

And I get sick of trying. And I think I might go read a book, and not the Bible just right now, either. Just a plain old entertaining book to escape into, where I can think about somebody else's life that isn't mine.

I feel like the new year is coming while I hold my hands over my eyes and huddle in a fetal position.


Hope T. said...

Dear Ruth,
I wanted to remember to wish you a happy birthday and then a merry Christmas and I did neither. At least I can still wish you a Happy New Year. Happy New Year! I hope it is a bright and peaceful one for you and your family. I am looking forward to the year. A lot of changes are coming for us but hopefully the good will outweigh the not-so-good this year.
I have been reading all your posts, even one you deleted (by the way, I agree with what you said in that one). I have just been feeling rather down in November and most of December and not really up to commenting. I wanted to say something warming and cheering on your posts where you mentioned being depressed but I could not think of the right thing to say.
I have been doing more of what you mentioned, though, about appreciating the beauty around me. I have noticed the sky has been amazing lately. The clouds last night were majestic and the colors kept changing between various pinks and purples and blues. I hope you have seen some of that, too.
Now for a book recommendation. I have such a hard time finding modern novels that I can bear reading. I always seem to feel betrayed by the endings. Recently, though, I came across "Italian Shoes" by Henning Mankell and I really liked it. I'm not sure if you would like it but my guess is that you would. It is about a man living all alone on a remote archipelago in Sweden. I tend to gravitate toward stories about loners since that is what I am at heart, even while being surrounded by my family and making an effort to meet new people. At heart, I still feel alone and I like to read about other people who feel the same. Other characters do come into the story, though, and change the life of the loner.

May 2012 be the year that your dreams come true....

Hope T.

Ruth said...

Thanks so much for the comment! I'll look for that book, too.

Here's a book recommendation for you...Recently I read a book called "The Princess Priscilla's Fortnight," by Elizabeth von Arnim. I really enjoyed it surprisingly much. There was one line where a prince said, "bosh" about something religious, to which I took exception, but outside that, I quite liked the book. I was in a strange state when I read it, and some parts which I'm sure were meant to be funny caused me to shed tears, but it was a good book.

The sky has been gorgeous at sunrise (which I rarely see) and sunset. The weather has been so odd... like April. New Year's Day was much more clement than Easter usually is around here. Also, I've been enjoying Christmas decorations more than usual, one small Lenox snowflake ornament in particular, and I bought fresh flowers for Christmas and put a bouquet on the kitchen table and one on the dining room table, and they have lifted my spirits more than once.

A lady I knew once said, "I think God gave us flowers and music just for the joy of them, and not because they serve any other purpose." I decided not to burst her bubble by explaining that, scientifically, flowers are the seed bearing, reproductive part of the plant that God designed to ensure survival of the species. She was a single lady, and I was a teenager.

I don't remember what post I deleted, although I do remember deleting one. I wish I knew what you agree with me about.

Hope T. said...

I like the sound of that book. I will certainly look for it. It reminds me of George MacDonald's short story, "The Light Princess". The story is so amusing but also moves me to tears. Do you like MacDonald? His "Annals of a Quiet Neighborhood" is my favorite among his novels.

I do often see sunrise, when there is a sunrise to see, since my children have to be at the bus stop at 7:05. I always take them to the stop since it is around a bend and I wouldn't be able to see them. We were just talking about how it is funny that when I was in kindergarten I used to walk several blocks to school by myself but now I take my ninth grader and my sixth grader to the corner every morning. On nice days it is pleasant to be out so early but we have had a year of record-breaking precipitation so it has been raining more than not.

All the rain and grayness have certainly added to my gloom but I also appreciated it more than ever when the Christmas lights came out. Some of my neighbors have decorated so creatively. And the music this year! I just heard the song "Christmas Canon" for the first time even though it quite a few years old. I love Pachelbel's Canon and I am surprised I never heard that Christmas variation before. Another one I enjoyed was Carol of the Bells for 12 cellos. So Christmas was challenging as always (with a new challenge added) but I did seem to enjoy certain aspects more. Your ornament and bouquets on the tables sound lovely.

The post you deleted was the one in which you went to Wegman's and saw a bridal magazine. I agreed with you about the dresses. It is actually a bit of a pet peeve of mine...modern wedding dresses. But, of course, I got married in the eighties with a dress sporting big puffy sleeves and lacy high-neck. I loved it (and loved that I didn't pay much for it) but other people probably didn't appreciate it quite as much. There were other good things in that post besides your trip to Wegman's but I can't remember what they were. I got a chuckle about the wedding dresses, though.

Ruth said...

I went back and looked up that post. It's still in my archives under "drafts." I was reading it and thinking it was actually rather a pleasant post, until I got to my harsh criticism of modern wedding dresses. I removed it for fear of hurting the feelings of someone who may have worn one. I, too, had an eighties dress with puffy lace sleeves and a high lace neck. I, too, liked it plenty well, and I am not ashamed of pictures of myself in it. My favorite wedding dresses, though, are the styles from the fifties.

Recently we got Fios which came with a vastly expanded TV channel subscription. I've had exposure to stations I'd never dreamed existed. Lately, I find myself watching a TLC show called "Say Yes To The Dress" about young women purchasing wedding gowns. It is such an incredibly distasteful show that I nearly always come away from it thinking that I will vomit, but I watch it over and over hoping to see a dress with sleeves. There never is one. They show dresses from $2500 to $15,000, but to me all the dresses look the same and the upper arms are never covered, which rarely flatters the customers at all.

I had really hoped, after Catherine Middleton married Prince William in that gorgeous dress, that styles would change. But so far, no such luck.

I have not read much George MacDonald lately. I've had him on a list to look up, though. I'll try those books you mentioned. Thanks!