As the year 2010 winds down to its last days, I can’t help feeling I am staring at a double barreled shotgun wondering which trigger will be pulled.  That my friends is how I feel about 2011.  Time was, I looked forward to the New Year with great anticipation, wondering what new adventures awaited me.  What would this new year bring?  For a lot of years things went pretty smoothly.  Then someone moved my cheese if you know what I mean.

Taken from my comfort zone, I tried to adapt to living 2400 miles away from everything that meant anything to me (save for my husband).  During the last six years we have been given a number of hurdles, some of our own making, others not so much.  This past year has been exceptionally trying.  We moved closer to Michigan with a job relocation, I had a “mini stroke”, I celebrated my 60th birthday, Sam was diagnosed with head and neck cancer..Sam spent the whole summer in Rochester, MN for treatments and so on and so forth,as my Dad would always say when trying to make a point.

This probably comes off sounding bitter to some, but I am not.  There are lessons to be learned from this and we learned them very well.  Sounds like a song doesn’t it?  “Red Rubber Ball” actually.  But I digress.  My problem is that I wished I had listened more to my inner self than trying to prove that I could be a woman of the world.  Oh yeah, move? People do it everyday.  I can do it.  Never mind if I want to or not.  Not thinking things through has always been my downfall.  I never want to disappoint anyone  by telling them no.  I had five long years to think about that one.

Recently one of my dearest friends lost her first born Grandchild in a car accident.  She is shattered as is the rest of the family.  There is something about your first born grandchild and the bond that forms between you.  I can’t explain it, but it is there, especially Grandma and Grandson.  This horrible tragedy  just days before Christmas spoke to me in a way that little else does anymore.  Something or someone whispered in my ear to relax and be at peace with everything and everyone around me.  Don’t try to be in control of the entire universe.  I wish I did have some magic power where I could bring Christopher back to Deb and the Family, but I don’t.  All I can do is grieve with them and appreciate what I have been given for as long as God sees fit.

Sam and I were discussing how our Christmas’s had changed over the years.  Ever since the Grandkids came along we have always wanted to be with them when they woke up Christmas Morning and see them open their gifts.  It was easier to do when they were younger and we lived closer.  This year I didn’t feel like I had to break the bank and buy out the stores, so I set an amount and Addie got one present and Max got two for the money alloted.  We arrived at their house after they had opened all their gifts and they loved our presents.  It felt good not to be tied to traditions that don’t make sense anymore.  Instead of seeing change as endings, we chose to look at them as  transitions.  Our lives are transitioning.  We pass the mantel to others.  Our Son now hosts the Christmas Celebration, we focus on the meal rather than gifts.  We bask in the warmth of Family and Friends and live in the now.

After Christmas dinner, my Brother and Sister-in-law took Mom home so Sam and I could stick around a little longer with my Son and family.  What did we do?  Nothing, just sat and enjoyed watching them be a family.  Max and his Dad installing a new motherboard in his computer, Addie sketching in her Project Runway book,  just being with them felt like a gift.  We left there feeling very happy and blessed.

 I am still very leery about what is in store for 2011, but I can’t stop it, I can only enjoy what is going on right now.  I must live next year one day at a time.  Happy New Year everyone!

Who’s In Charge Anyway?

Last night while channel surfing, I came across a familiar, yet not quite right picture on the screen. In front of the White House Press Conference sign stood former President, Bill Clinton, trying to explain why he thought the deal worked out by President Obama and the Republicans was the best solution for everyone right now. On one hand this shows that President Obama is willing to bring in whomever it might take to convince the Democratic Congress that this is the best they are going to get. On the other hand, it is a rotten shame that the President could not accomplish this himself. Instead of coming out and telling us “Look, this is killing me, but I am trying to fight everything that I stand for, to inch to the center and find some common ground with my opponents, to keep some semblance of control.”, he does it with symbolism, by bringing in the Democratic President that went to the center after a “shellacking” he took in mid-term elections, and left office with a surplus budget. Then to top it off leaves Clinton by himself so he can attend a Christmas Party! Talk about subliminal messages. How’s that for distancing yourself?   “Listen to him people.”

Clinton is loving this, all of a sudden his claim to fame won’t be the guy who couldn’t keep it in his pants, it will be the guy who brought the country together and saved the Presidency of Barack Obama..

Kudos to the President for reaching across the aisle in an attempt to hammer out a deal with the GOP in extending the current tax rates that are set to expire on January 1st. Shame on the Republicans for holding the country hostage for not getting exactly what they wanted. A pox on the Democrats for not showing a united front with their leader at a time when he needed it most. This whole thing makes my hair hurt.What does it say when a President has to fight his own party to keep the economy going? To me it says that everyone in Washington D.C. is out of touch with what is going on everywhere in the country.

I voted for the President, thinking he was a Centrist, only to find that he was the same if not worse than the politicians that preceded him.  Had I known anything about Chicago politics prior to election day, I would have thought twice.  He is captive to the big money that put him in office, just as the House and Senate leaders are.  He is coming off as being weak.

While I admire a President who is a family man, he is the leader of the free world and should not let his wife dictate his presence at a Christmas party when the country is in such dire straits.