coming out of my shell

coming out of my shell

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Ringing out the old year

What a mind-boggling, life changing year 2017 was for me. I'm a compulsive photo chronicler, so I have photos to testify on behalf of the year gone by. If I concentrate on those pictures of my personal life, and ignore the political hijinks/moral decay in this country, I feel this was a particularly good year for me and my family. And I want to feel good, so that's what I'm going to concentrate on.

I rejoined the work force a year ago, albeit as an unpaid volunteer.  Like many others, I found a political niche to fill and spend time every day of the week working against hate. It isn't pleasant and I am often frustrated. I actually quit twice. I can't tell you how many times I have also threatened to quit because I am a hot head AND a raving maniac. However, I will stick with it because I want to be able to look my grandchildren in the eyes and tell them I did my very best. In the process, I am learning about myself. I am learning to set boundaries for myself, and to respect boundaries set by others. These things don't come naturally to me. As always, I learn the hard way. I'm trying to take it on the chin; to not take adversity or criticism personally. Geez, that's tough!

Through the magic of DNA testing, in June 2017, my husband T discovered a grown daughter (R), son-in-law (CH), and three full-grown grandchildren (S, A, and MR) he didn't know he had. Various subsets of these glorious folks have visited us four times, and we all seem to like each other. Building relationships takes time; but so far, so good. Maybe it is presumptuous of me, but I think of them as mine, too. Just like the younger daughter we always knew we had, this older one is a joy, as are her family.

It was a good old year. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. I await the new one with an open heart. I hope you are, too.







27 comments:

  1. Yep. Quite a yearful. I just returned from a long New Year's Eve walk through the woods and then along Lake Whatcom. After the fog lifted, the last day of the year here turned out to be extraordinarily beautiful, and the forest trails were full of people of all ages and dogs of all sizes bundled up for the near freezing cold weather. Keeping my heart open, too. Kind wishes to you and your growing family for 2018 and always.

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    1. Sounds like a beautiful walk. Good way to ground yourself.

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  2. All in all not a bad year. Happy New Year to you and family. Cheers to 2018.

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  3. This does make me smile. All of it. Happy new year to you and all of yours.

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    1. Same to you, Joanne. Glad you are back. I will go read your blog as soon as I'm done here to see how your Christmas trip went.

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  4. I have high hopes for the new year. Less chaos is high on the list. Please remember something my mother taught me. When you lose your temper you have lost the battle. That is what that person wants you to do. Stay calm. You are fighting a worthwhile battle.

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  5. I think it’s wonderful that you think of them as yours. Every child lost to her family, only to find them should be so blessed to be welcomed in such a way.

    Happy New Year, Colette!

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    1. Happy New Year, Birdie. I'm hoping for the best for you in the coming year.

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  6. We all have to start off the year with faith that goodness will overcome that which is evil, hope for all mankind and the charity to be part of the answer. Positivity, with caution is my mantra for 2018.

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    1. Realistic positivity? That might be the answer. That might be the basis of faith, actually. Thanks for this.

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  7. That's wonderful that a father and daughter were reunited. And to be honest I'm glad to hear that you're a hothead, so am I. I admire the work that you do and it's good to know that I'm not the only one who struggles with my temper.

    Happy New Year Colette!

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    1. Same to you, Lily! Very short fuse here. :)

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  8. I think the negatively of the new administration served to emphasize all the positives in our personal lives. Or at least made us appreciate them more.

    Keep up the good work! I have no doubt love and kindness will win.

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  9. Happy New Year! Thank you for sharing your stories of life there. You've made me laugh and reminded me of the best of our human selves, even when we are hot heads and raving maniacs!

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    1. Hahahaha. Some of us are at our best when we are howling to the moon.

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  10. My goodness that looks good....the drink hahha! Good for you exercising all those muscles and your brains. They are lucky to get your input.
    Yes, a better year for all, envision it!

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    1. Raising that drink...Here's to a better year for all.

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  11. At the risk of sounding like some petulant mother: I am proud of you. In fact, it is a delight knowing that there are women like you involved in working for change in your country.

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    1. There are so many of us, Sabine. You would be surprised.

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  12. Old Mister Boston's De Luxe Bartender's Guide was both our stay and our deliverance over the festive season and others that preceded it right back to 1972 when we boarded the SS France in New York (our VW Variant and our "Falling Leaf" Royal Doulton dinner service - a wedding gift - stowed in the hold) and said goodbye to the USA with mixed feelings. But then are you interested in booze?

    I comb through your Label list (anxiety, Buddhism, circumcision, Courage (with a capital c), death - 13 mentions, dieting, dying, hurricane, husband (I like to think of those latter two conjoined), meanness, toxic people) and conclude rather warily you may not be a toper. But not unfamiliar with the Auld Craytur given that Maker's Mark is available in your kitchen.

    OMBDLBG was acquired at a car boot sale - not so named - somewhere in Pennsylvania. Old Mister Boston makes booze, as I'm sure you know, and the guide is an encouragement to drink his products. None is available in the UK so we improvise, adding scores out of ten to about 11% of the 250-or-so cocktail recipes on offer. Many low scorers have never been repeated and virtually all my forensic powers have been focused on the KCB which came out top: 9.2/10, the basis being gin and kummel in the ratio 4:1. Since Old Mr Boston's Apricot Brandy cannot be had here "even for ready money" (viz: The Importance of Being Ernest), I substituted kirsch to enormous advantage.

    You may be wondering where all this leading to and, to tell the truth, I'm a little confused myself. It's just that VR, my spouse of the last 57 summers, handles the cooking (Beef Wellington as usual, never a sniff of turkey) and I the liquids. You may disapprove of this division of labour but before I trespass further on The Aging Female Baby Boomer I felt I had to lay my cards on the table. Though not quite a sot I do spend an inordinate amount of time recalling the Big Five clarets my father used to further my education. Accept me or ban me, I'll understand.

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    1. I am very happy to learn about Old Mister Boston. I use a book called The Bartender's Black Book,(by Stephen Kittredge Cunningham) which I am not entirely happy with, but it does the trick. He includes a lovely dedication on the front page that states "To my mother, if it wasn't for her care, love, and nurturing I probably would have been an axe wielding homicidal maniac." The dedication is printed in all caps. The good news is that now that you have drawn my attention to Old Mr. Boston, I must tell you that there is now an online version of it at https://mrbostondrinks.com/. I will investigate it. Thank you for putting your cards on the table. I accept you and I think we should drink to this. I am currently preoccupied with tequila, trying to use up some leftover Christmas cheer. I would welcome some good vodka tips. There is a gift bottle in my cabinet that would like to be used.

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    2. What a reassuring response! Straight into booze without a trace of self-consciousness or apology. I shall immediately investigate the Mr Boston website and draw it to the attention of my daughter, Occasional Speeder, who specialises in "thought-out" presents. For one of my birthdays she scrabbled through ebay, bought eight or nine labels of Mr Boston products and framed them. This invitation to perdition now hangs above my drinks cabinet and wine-rack.

      And while I would love to maintain this image of roistering I must admit to slightly less laddish pursuits. As you know I have just published my own experiences of taking up singing lessons aged eighty, will shortly be publishing a collection of thirty-four short stories most of which appeared in Tone Deaf, have published two novels with two more yet to appear and am 20% through a fifth, have written about fifty Shakespearean-format sonnets 97% of which I am ashamed of.

      More relevantly, perhaps, I have sought out practitioners in the dying art of blogging whose posts demonstrate a certain exuberance, specialised knowledge and/or an individuality of style, for whom I have fashioned somewhat rambling votive offerings. As you can see. Your name has been added to my shrinking contacts lists.

      Vodka remains a problem. It seems to target those who would like to be drunk but don't want to make a song and dance about it. I can't see what it brings to any cocktail other than alcohol. However Mr Boston's guide is nothing if not comprehensive and I too have half a bottle of vodka gathering dust. I will proceed to the laboratory.

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  13. I had to smile about quitting... as I get older I find I'm much more tempted to at least fantasize about throwing in the towel when my emotions get the best of me! *LOL* But being I'm not a quitter by Nature, like you, I stick with it and I'm glad you're learning so much about yourself... it is a Journey with much revelation isn't it? *Smiles* Glad the new relationships are working out so well, expanding the Family is always an exciting part of a life's legacy. Happy New Year!

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    1. Happy New Year to you, too, Dawn. There is something so attractive about throwing in the towel and running off screaming into the night.

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So, whadayathink?