Heading into the Holidays

Here it is about one week from Thanksgiving. I surprised myself by going back to work this August and actually liking it. I realize that I mean something to the kids with whom I work, and that, in turn, means something to me. It’s a job that I’ve become good at. I have a set of skills that helps me help the students and also be an asset to the teachers and other employees. I certainly wish that I made more money. Yet I lack for nothing, and am better off than many, many people.  Still, I always wanted to make lots of money.

I’m not overly pumped up about Thanksgiving and Christmas. I have bought several Christmas gifts already, and am even anxious to get the rest of it done soon. I don’t want to get caught up in all the mad shopping rush. It’s almost an intrusion, I hate to say. I like having my day, my world, go smoothly and without much effort.  I am rather selfish these days, and I don’t want to apologize for it!  I don’t want to get in a tizzy over insignificant things.  I don’t want to exert much energy into creating that wonderful holiday atmosphere.  I want it to just happen.  Or allow someone else to make it happen.  I can’t spend my time always making sure everyone else is having a good time.  I need to tap in to what it is that will make me happy, and then make that happen for myself.  You know, I like Easy Street.  I guess I allowed others to guilt me in to feeling like I always had to be roughing it, working hard and diligently at things I didn’t like because it was expected of me.  There’s nothing wrong with finding the easy way to do some of the things you don’t like to do, and doing them that way.  Things change, life situations change, and I just change along with them.

Oh, some things are not what they appear to be.  Tom’s brother Jerry is supposedly getting a divorce from his wife Trudy of 39 years.  It is a very big mess, and Tom and I are learning some things that surprise us.  And yet, I must say, I shouldn’t be surprised.  They have lived high off the hog and at a neck-breaking speed for so very many years.  In thinking about that, I think I should only be surprised that it’s taken this long for their lifestyle to catch up to them.  It’s not pretty.  Still, it is sad.  I don’t want to see them go through this upheaval.  I don’t like when long-time married couples split up.  First it was my brother Nick and his wife Diane a few years ago after 14 years of marriage.  Then Mickey and Ronnie had some trouble.  Not sure how that was ever resolved, but their relationship has definitely changed.  Now Jer and Trudy.

That leads me to Tom and I.  We’ve been through so much in 23+ years.  Certainly the stage iv cancer thing is the worst of the worst.  Why we make it through our difficulties, I’m not sure.  I am glad we do.  I derive so much security and comfort from my marriage to Tom.  We have some differences, but have many more similarities and the same mindset.  I also think there’s some intelligence about it.  From time to time, I know I’ve re-assessed my life, looked at it, and decided what was working and what wasn’t.  Then I would make changes, keeping the good stuff and getting rid of the bad.  Changing, re-arranging.   Re-prioritizing.

I also had to listen to my own intuition.  There were times in my marriage where I felt Tom and I had to get back to the basics of being just us together, as a united couple.  When I felt that was getting shaky, even if I had to stand my ground, I would insist there be some adjustments.  I remember once it took a couple of years for me to keep insisting that Tom make me a more important person in his life.  We have always been faithful to each other, but sometimes you can take one another for granted.  I didn’t want a mediocre marriage.  Plus, I knew I was right.  I was going with my gut.  It seems that Tom has realized over the years that I actually know what I’m talking about and I often know what I’m doing when it comes to relationships.  Guess that all comes from being around awhile.  Also, you have to take care of issues, troubles, problems, when then crop up.  You can’t sweep them under the rug.  It does involve moving out of your comfort zone sometimes.  You also cannot do things for appearances, so that it all ‘looks’ good but in truth is falling apart.  It’s really a shame that so many people try to keep up a false front.  It is painful and hurtful to deal with some things, but maybe necessary in the long run.

I am feeling physically pretty good.  It’s funny, but for some reason I like shopping for clothes, jewelry, doing my hair, even more these days.  I can kind of get caught up in the fun-ness of it.  I asked the oncologist for a prescription for Latisse, which is used to make your eyelashes grow.  I apply it every night.  I even put a dab on my eyebrows to get them to grow in thicker.  Since my chemo, the lashes and brows have not come back like they were before.  It’s been fun to fuss with this stuff.  I have the time to do it, and I don’t feel guilty about it.  It makes me feel good.  I still don’t spend a lot of money on stuff, and that makes it even more enjoyable.

I am just rambling on this evening.  It is quiet in the house with Mark at school and Tom out this evening playing with the guys in the band.  I’m getting some laundry done.  One of these days I want to, need to take some time to write a letter to Tom and one to Mark and tell them how very much they mean to me.  I know that they know.  It is a wonderful thing, appreciation.  The three of us all have it for one another.  We are all smart in that way.  Funny thing is, I live in this quirky little town of Toronto and sometimes the people here drive me nuts.  Yet, truth be told, I learn from them.  And we, the Miller family, we three, have our lives woven into the fabric of this town.  That helps us weather storms.  It is not the only thing that does, but it is certainly a factor, and an important one.  This is where I think I know what I’m doing when it comes to relationships.  Because we all need to have a sense of belonging.  But also of being connected to something larger.  And you don’t want to feel isolated.

I guess I’m glad we, the Miller family, we three, haven’t imploded.  I don’t want that to happen.  I want us to be stronger than that.  We don’t even have to be strong all the time.  We can be broken and bewildered, but we need to just keep showing up.  Showing up for the new day.  Seeing what life brings us.  Working through the troubles, and experiencing, drinking in all the good, lovely stuff.  And maintaining.


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