August 19, 2003

As in... I wonder where my magic is???  Nah, not really.  I'm not slacking in the faith department at all.  Just because things don't move on my personal time table or happen the way I think they should doesn't mean it's not ultimately moving toward the highest and best.  (I'm saying that for my own benefit, by the way.  It's my new mantra).  I am still in very high spirits and extremely excited about upcoming events.  I'm starting to feel the pull of concern, but it's not going to get it's talons into me!  It just sneaks up from time to time and taps me on the shoulder. 

When the Child Tax Credit check arrived, I put aside money for my trip to Studio City (essentially LA) for the GH fan weekend this week and was very excited that I wasn't going to have to cut corners or sweat it.  The rest of the money went to catch up utilities and keep them turned on and such things.  What a blessing and what perfect timing!!  We're in phase two of Operation Catch Up after Eric being laid off for about 2 months (I know a lot of you have been there or are there, so high five in our financial poverty, honey!), so I tucked away my money, distributed the rest and put us on a tight budget (as usual until we are out of catch up mode).  That, of course, lasted as long as it took for Eric to need a couple of tools for his work and the car to take another dive and need more parts.  [insert wan smile here]

I'm definitely still going.  I'm too far into it not to.  I've already paid for the car rental, reserved the hotel room and my friends have made travel arrangements for me.  I very much look forward to spending time on my own.  The last time I went any place alone (except for my mom's funeral in January) was in September 1996 when I went to Texas to visit my friend, Cathey.  She was in a bad place due to some problems with alcoholism and that left the trip with a seriously dark cast over it.  Paul and I were in the process of breaking up, so I wasn't in a very good place either.  This time, I'm meeting up with people I like very much and I know we're going to have a great time.  The only thing lacking is time (I'd honestly like one more day) and money (a lot can happen in three days' time!) and neither one is a deal breaker.

After these two years of difficult financial times (We've never been wealthy, but prior to that time, we were in the military and there is not greater pillow on which to fall.  The pay really sucks, but you always have a house, cheap groceries, utilities and medical care, no matter what.  Now as far as soft places to fall, there's faith and a bit pile of sharp rocks), I've come to an important conclusion.  I've been mulling with the whole issue of the energy of money for some time now.  Do you lose your soul if you get money?  Is it a trade off?  How important is money in the grand scheme of things? 

I think I was actually overworking the situation.  I think that if you were a jerk or an asshole when you were poor, you will be when you're rich as well.  You just become a jerk or an asshole with a bit more power.  If you were addicted to drama and noise as a poor person, then you won't ever enjoy any money you get because you'll carry the drama and noise with you.  If you are able to experience peace and a state of grace when you're poor, when you get money, you can enjoy it a lot more because you've learned that you can survive without it and keep your spirit healthy and intact.  Whether you are rich or poor, if you hold your own happiness, self-worth and sense of success ransom based on the acquisition of more money, you'll never have any of those things (and I think that the same premise applies to other things like marriage, weight loss, job promotion, real estate ownership and such).   In retrospect, I have to wonder why I gave any of those things so much power that it had the right to hold my joy at bay.  I've been waiting for a long time to lose weight and if I figure I'll be happy if I can just lose ____ # of pounds or I'll be happy when I have ____$ in savings or I'll be happy when we live in this house or that house, I might end up on my death bed  (at any given time) looking back on a life that was little more than a joyless pursuit of something I never achieved when I could have been savoring every minute and loving life whether I lost the weight or had the house. 

I plan to savor every moment of this vacation.  I plan to relish in sleeping in silence.  I want to wallow in being with my friends who I never get to see and canoodling with the stars and panting and taking pictures and getting stern looks from people who are too reserved to relax, have a good time and make memories.  I'm not going to bemoan the money I had that needed to go for good an valid expenses that our family needed.  I'm going to live to the fullest everything I *can* do and make wonderful memories to keep forever. 

I still can't believe it's happening.  It's one of those things that doesn't seem real the whole lead in time and likely won't even feel real until I'm seeing it in my rear view mirror.  I feel all giddy and silly and dazed about it.  My brain is seizing up when I try to think about what to take or what to wear.

I was trying to decide what to do about my hair.  I'm back to my natural color now, which is dark brown with lots of gray interlaced throughout.  It's fairly long, down past my shoulders, for the first time in a long time.  I could cut it.  I could color it.  I asked Eric and he offered me the sound advice of, "Do whatever you want to do."  Asked Georgia and she said, "I like it both ways, long and short, but if you cut it, you'll have to dye."  She then added, "  Dye it.  No, not diet.  Dye your hair."  (That's why I wub her) 

Sage is my usual beauty consultant, but he wasn't around last weekend when I was looking for advice.  I sent a couple of frantic e-mails and I imagine he was busy with his new guy at the time.  He replied my mailing (snail mail) me a $20 and saying, "Cut it!"  :) 

While he was incommunicado, I consulted with a couple of my writers, who assured me that Feria is the way to go.  I went in search of it and found that it wasn't quite as "Nice and Easy" as my "Nice and Easy" cheap stuff.  N&E has colors like "Dark Brown," "Deepest Auburn," "Russet Red" and "Haystack Blonde."  Feria has names like "Chocolate Licorice Bronzen Liquid Ocre" and "Icelandic Nipple Frost Corn Silken Saffron."  I mean, what am I supposed to do with that?  So here I am with no mirror, holding my hair up to the color on the box and trying to push my eyes to the left or right far enough to see the two together.  I have to be careful because if I get too light, my hair turns into this freaky rust color and if I go too dark. I look like Morticia Addams swallowed Mimi from Drew Carey.  Brown that is dark enough to be almost black gives me this unattractive Snow White, blackest hair, whitest skin thing (plus, I have to buy new eyebrow pencils).  Too light and I fade into any wall that is nearby, sort of like the way Rambo goes into the mud wall in First Blood or The Predator goes to all wavy lines  and no substance.  Called JC Penney's Salon and found out it's $60 for a professional to do it, so THAT's not an option.  Anyway, Georgia is coming to my rescue Thursday night and is going to hook me right up.  Sure, I'll have that blinding "Look I just dyed my head" look, but at least I won't look 100.

Good hair news!  Georgia also told me about this wonder machine that is a blow dryer and curling iron in one and shoots negative ions into your hair to make it all smooth and purty.   I dug into my trip/birthday (Sept 5) money and shelled out the less than $20 for it and I tell you, it's the ENFORCER of hair!  It leaves your hair so nice and smooth and pretty!   Love it!!  (Thanks, darlin!)  Plus, the negative ions get me all relaxed and snoozy!

I've got Dylan home sick today.  He went to sleep early last night and woke up around 4am with a low grade fever and feeling nauseated.   He kept the fever until about 1pm today when it broke and he was hungry.  He ate toast and has been drinking through the day to stay hydrated.  I get so paranoid when the kids are sick mysteriously.  The odd cold, earache, pink eye or toothache doesn't bother me because then you can see what's wrong.  It's the fever, internal pains and vague ills that give me the creeps, ever since my sweet little niece, Natalie, died of leukemia at 12, very suddenly.  I'm sure he has some kind of little bug or maybe prelude to chicken pox or something.  He's much better now.  When he was little, he was quite a puker.  Any time we went out to eat, we had to position seating by the bathroom.   

Sometimes, I get these feelings of intensely hyper self-awareness where I become acutely focused on the vulnerability of life and how it can just flash out at any second.  It's been particularly frequent since my mom died and it's starting to make me feel really dicey.  I am deeply appreciative of the presence of my husband, my children and my wonderful friends in my life.  Like anyone else, I hope that's enough.  I've always felt that I could hold it together through almost anything except losing one of my kiddies or my husband or a dear friend.  My dad was really tough, but he and I were sadly, not very close and in the 10 years or so before he died, he was seriously mentally altered and so it was like he was already gone.  The lead based paint fumes he'd inhaled as a painter of cars (who was claustrophobic and refused to wear a mask) finally got to him.  Mom had been vacillating between very, very ill from a real standpoint and very, very ill from a hypochondriac standpoint that I'd been preparing for her death for about 30 years.  Still it was and is very, very hard to deal with her death.  I can't imagine the unthinkable.  It just jams up my head and leaves me cold, so I try not to think of it.

I've had two very dear friends die, both of whom died after they'd been out of my life for a while (by circumstance, not by choice) and that was still quite hard.  Various aunts and uncles have died and while that was sad, it wasn't like losing immediate family.  Death gives me the boogities.  It doesn't get any easier (in fact, gets harder) as they get older and go off with lives of their own (read:  outside of our protection and watchful eye).  Maybe it's that I can feel Samhain (Halloween),  the close of the harvest year and the "death" of the year.  Since the day after harvest, I've felt fall coming on fast and hard this year and I think I'm just slipping into that quiet, retrospective time early.

Since it's still summer and the active harvest time, I should be refocusing on enjoying the harvest and working to make it happen.  Or maybe I'll just take a nap.

I think both will do nicely.  I can nap and program as I go under to the snooze.  :)

Life is good.  I just need to work on loving every day and not worrying so much about the other stuff.

Time for that nap.