Friday, November 18, 2011

procrastination is my middle name

As long as I can remember, I rarely completed any project whether for school (homework), holiday shopping or crafts for gift giving ahead of the time they're due. This same trait was also evident in my children and was a source of constant nagging on my part. Do as I say, not as I do. And I do, do.

The holidays are a mere 5 weeks away and I have yet to finish the 2 Christmas wall hangings that I have started for Christmas gift. They are flimsies right now, but I've turned my attention elsewhere for the time being. Sometimes I think I have a bit of ADD. I should be finishing the wall hangings, but quite frankly, I am not head over heals in love with them right now. I have developed a resentment towards all the satin stitching and want the little menahunes to come in the middle of the night to finish them for me, and while they're here, they can do the dishes, vacuuming and laundry, too.

For some reason or another, I lack the discipline to stay on track when I actually sit down to work on a project. I sew for a an hour or so, get up and watch some tv, do a chore, relax for a while then guilt myself into returning to the project. I can be very hard on myself with the conversations I have with the committee that resides in my head, but still haven't been bothered enough to change. I really thought I would be better about completing things this year based on last year's dash to the finish line at the last minute. Talk about stress! It was pure adrenalin at the end and a lot of late night sewing.

My attention to these wall hangings have been waylaid by the 2 twin size quilts I am making for my kids. I don't have any expectations that they will be getting the finished product by Christmas morning, but I'm giving it my best shot anyway. I will run myself ragged towards the end and still find excuses to procrastinate at every opportunity. Add to my "normal" routine the fact that my beautiful daughter will be home from school for about 10 days over the winter break and I really won't be getting much done, especially her quilt, which I want to be a surprise.

Maybe next year I'll change my middle name to Alacrity (def: cheerful readiness, promptness, or willingness).

Hah! Fat chance.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Dear John, the letter

Well after four years, I need to get some things off my chest.........

Dear John,

It's been a little over four years since your death. Life has not been the same since; good and bad. I can't believe the four years have gone by so quickly. To say that life is speeding up the older I get is truly an understatement. I think I have a harder time accepting that my kids are now 26 and 22. I don't feel like I'm old enough to have children as old as I feel.

The good in my life is measured by the strength of my Al-Anon program, my newly acquired spiritual program and the friends I've made in the years since your death. I am so grateful for all the riches life bestows on me and wish you could be around (healthy) to share it with me. I never expected to be in my early 50's single, again. It's not what I wanted when you died but today I am enjoying my aloneness; maybe a bit too much.

I continue to go to my Al-Anon meetings and working with my sponsor (who told me to write this letter). Even though you are no longer a part of my living life, having lived with you and your disease has affected me, permanently. I will never be able to drive down the street and see a fire engine or ambulance again without thinking about you and all the times I had to call 911 to come to the house. I have undergone EMDR for treatment of PTSD. Finding you dead was nothing short of shocking to my system. That episode alone has left a mark on my life that may fade with time, but like so much else, will never completely go away. The EMDR work has helped a lot, but it's still there. Damnit. Why couldn't you just stop drinking? Why didn't you want to stop? Why didn't you want to be with me? Why did you choose alcohol over me? Why???????????

I've started going to church again. Not the Catholic church that I was raised in, but a more kind, spiritual place. I really like going there and hope to get more involved with the church to meet new people and make new attachments. It was suggested that I really have a strong spiritual program before dating again. I have this bad habit of attracting all the wrong kind of man and selling myself down the river for the man du jour. I don't want to repeat my mistakes. God knows there are plenty of opportunities everyday to make new mistakes - I don't need to keep making the same ones over and over and over again.

I bought a house two years ago. All by myself. I live alone now - Kaitie is in Irvine going to school and Hank is living and working in LA. I am so immensely proud of both of them. They have turned out to be the brightest and most joyful things in my life. I just can't wait to have grand babies. I want to see and touch all the innocence that babies bring into this world. I need to feel unconditionally loved and babies have the ability to do that.

My time since your death has been the longest I've not been with a man since I was first married in 1982. The thought of being trusting and intimate with someone scares the crap out of me. I have been so damaged and affected by our relationship that I am petrified to start dating again. I am fearful of being lied to like you did on a regular basis. I am fearful of being open and vulnerable like I was with you and have it used against me. I am fearful of being intimate with someone and have the intimacy abused and twisted up. Our relationship did a doozey on me.

I am really trying to stick with the "I" statements here. It would be so easy to blame you for all the failures and ills of our relationship. However, I, too, am culpable when it comes to some of the wrongs in our marriage even with your drinking playing such a huge role. I suffered from jealousy and insecurities that I carried around like a beaten up suitcase from one relationship to another, ours included. I'd like to think I left that tattered suitcase on the steps of our house as I closed the door for the last time. The truth is I probably still have some remnants of these defects and won't know about them until (If) I ever have another relationship. I was not the person I want to be. I could beat myself up a lot for all the things I did. I'm ashamed of my behavior and actions to and against you. I can't change the past. I am sorry, truly, for the way I treated you on many occasions; for the things I said in anger and resentment. I am sorry that things just didn't work out the way I had dreamed they would.

My need to control people and things didn't help our marriage, either. I had this need to be able to control everything from how the laundry was done to how the pot was stirred on the stove. Pretty damn sick, I was. I think I've made some improvement around this character defect, too. At least where the kids are concerned, I am not that crazed, high strung person they knew growing up.

I know you suffered from a horrible, debilitating disease. I know life on this earth was hard for you. I hope and pray you're in a better place now. I know I am. I am at peace. I am grateful. I am happy. I am me.

Rest in Peace