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Shrugging ‘hope’ and holding onto positive

I had it all planned out.

My post was to be about ‘hope’.  About how that’s how I’m feeling, hopeful.

Then I thought … Much as I used to use ‘anxious’ incorrectly (as a positive, i.e.: “I’m anxious about the party!” Thinking it meant a nervous excitement) I should probably look up ‘Hope.’

This is how I used to feel about it.


Then I read this:


I like the intransitive verb, but when I got to ‘expectation’ I faltered in my wanting to use ‘hope’ to define my current feeling.  I ‘expect’ nothing.  Nothing.

I also don’t wish to ‘obtain’ unless it’s good traits or good deeds.  I DO cherish things – but not desires.  I know the difference between ‘wanting’ and ‘needing’.  I mean, we could dictionary the hell out of this word, but the bottom line, ‘hope’ lost it’s luster with me.  So I was done there.

I sat, I pondered, I considered and then I looked up and took this photo instead.  It’s a painting I did a few years ago and I love it so much.  No, it’s not gallery worthy, lol, but it made me so … Happy!!!

And so, when I noticed the bird cage that hangs in my bedroom reflecting in the frame – I was then ecstatic!

By now, if you’re a follower, you know my affections for inanimate objects run a tad on the OCD side – so the cage door is ALWAYS left open.


I asked myself, how does this painting make you feel?

And I came up with … ‘Positive.’  Not in the ‘sure’ kind of way.  Let’s go back to Merriam Webster shall we?  (Yeah, we’re goin’ there.)



Yes!  I want to feel ‘good’ I want to feel ‘useful’  I want to see good qualities in everyone.  And I usually do.  So, despite people who have called me pessimistic, nah, I’m not.   I’m a realist.  Who was almost homeless, who was almost dead – who has been through things I haven’t shared with the closest to me.

But today – I feel POSITIVE!

And I’m going to grab that, and keep that, and hold it tight.

Like a photo I never got to take, but know I saw.

THAT is how I see happy, and positive.

I can’t prove it to you, yet.  But, in 2016 my words will convince you I have.




Filled with moments I’ve learned to treasure

and to stay in as long as I could

I’ve laughed with my whole heart

lingered there until the last exhale

I learned to cry

to release – but not to wallow

let tears fall … tasted them on my lips

the salt remembered.

Felt with each tick of the clock, page of the calendar

my mortality

life’s frailty

urgency to live

To savor.

My brushes have been wet with color –  hands covered with clay

My fingers typed so many words!

some that made a difference

many that did not.

My arms have circled family


felt the warmth of what is truly valuable.

I’ve tasted such wondrous things!

Felt my soul soar to crescendo with arias and duets in my ears

Read books I could not put down

been shown new worlds

new ideas

rhythmic sentences

paralyzing paragraphs

I mourned their completion.

I’ve been enchanted by new love

watched my son fall into it

… for the first time

waves of emotion ebbed and flowed – the mother in me releasing her grasp …

(but never letting go)

I’m allowing hope to spread its wings

bracing myself to be brave

to let change

to let love

to let God

I celebrate with my heart this New Years Eve

not with clinking glass

I celebrate all that was

all that was not

all that will be

I celebrate the student I’ve become

and the mystery that’s me.


3, 2, 1 … Wait! Stop!


The day after Christmas reminded me of the way my house  used to feel after a party.  Back when I had such things.  Rooms peppered with gift remnants, me stepping over boxes and paper, dessert type foods left to dry out on the counter tops.   Hoping everyone had a great time and dreading the task of taking down the decorations and cleaning up.  A part of me glad it’s over for 1 more year.

3 days after Christmas and all I had the energy to take down were the cards.  My advent calendars stood baring their empty molds through wide open doors.

I cleaned up this weekend.  I have another holiday affording me time off to do so – New Years.

A lot has happened this year … I think of the highlights.  My son got his driver’s license, I started this blog, I got a new-to-me car,  my son had his first accident in aforementioned new-to-me car.  There was Homecoming, ‘end of the world’ survival and right around the corner is 2013.

2013 is going to be a big year.  Nic will turn 18, there will be prom and  graduation (omg … GRADU-Flipping-ATION!).  I’m not ready.  I shall cling to this remaining day of 2012 like a toddler on its parents leg.

The unknown is waiting.  I don’t do well with ‘the unknown’.

I had a another taste of things to come last night.  Nic spent the night out and I was finishing a disturbing book.  I squinted at the clock on my bedside table and it was nearing midnight.  I’m not afraid of the dark (anymore) and I’m not afraid of ghosts (anymore) but there’s something about ‘the strike of midnight’ that makes me feel like I should have my eyes squeezed shut and not witness it.  A macabre Cinderella complex if you will.

I wanted to finish my book though – so I did.  Butters growled at something I hadn’t heard.  That’s always disconcerting – the low rumble of concern from a creature with hearing much more than you’re capable of picking up.

I was alone in the house and at the tail end of a cold.  I had spent the better part of two days thinking when I wasn’t reading.

I even wrote a letter to a friend.  A real one, you know, with a writing utensil and paper.

I’m feeling nostalgic about the past 17 3/4 years and while I’m grateful and mostly content – there’s something in me on the verge of panic.

I’ve been looking around me lately and finding things I feel are lacking. My furniture is sparse, even in relation to the small rectangle I call home.  Anything I had of value I sold.  I don’t regret it, but there’s nothing here I’d pass down through my family.

I think about my job – the job I am blessed to have.  But I have no health insurance, no 401K.  Am I destined to be a greeter at Wal-Mart when I’m into my 60’s?  Never being able to retire?

I thought about being alone.  Yesterday I noticed my left front tire needed air and a fleeting thought ‘I have no one to ask to do that for me’.  It’s always me – doing everything.  Alone.

I thought about my health.

I thought about just about everything.

Have I done enough?  Have I provided enough?  Have I taught enough?

With 2013 looming I’m coming a little unhinged.  Not losing my marbles, just examining them.


I cleaned my sons room last night – found remnants of his childhood in the form of Pokemon cards and old school work. Clothes that used to fit him are now in a box for Goodwill.

No one explained this part of life to me.  I’ve heard countless times about worrying when your child is sick, worrying when your child is not home.  No one mentions how it feels when your child is on the cusp of no longer being a child.

Yes, I’ve heard of empty nest syndrome.  But, I didn’t realize how all-consuming the weight of that impending life event could be.

I’ve always had one constant – being Nic’s mom.  I still will be.  But it won’t define me.  Perhaps it never should have.  But it did.  That was my thing that I treasured.  My role I never once wanted to give up.  My drive. My Raison d’être.

A part of me wants to press pause – to stop time.  That part of me is selfish.  Nic has so much in front of him to look forward to.  I’ll be a part of it, God willing.  I’ll cheer him on from the sidelines – always be there should he need me.

As for me?  This marble examination will pass.  I’ll find my center again – I always do.  I have faith, gratitude, hope and love in my heart.  Those things, once planted, don’t stop growing because time passes.  I won’t let them.

Tonight I’ll ring in the New Year with sparkling cider and savor the last “3, 2, 1! HAPPY NEW YEAR!’ with my ‘boy’.

Next year – who knows?  He may choose to spend the 3,2,1 with me instead of being at a party, or with a girlfriend or … OR maybe I’ll be at a party?  Who knows.