Sunday, December 11, 2011

Conquering the Chaos

We have been working on our house nonstop since last Thursday to get it ready for market. I am TIRED. My arm is sore from scrubbing the oven, scrubbing scuff marks off the stairs, and scrubbing blinds. Paint has freckled my hands (permanently, I fear) and a big blob ended up on my favorite jeans. Why did I wear those even after I said to myself "Now don't wear these, you'll get paint on them!"? I'm so mad at myself. No matter how careful I say I'm going to be with paint, it always ends up in places it shouldn't.

Moving on, the curling wallpaper is glued down, windows are washed, the ceiling fan blades are dust-free, and the window sills are painted. A carload of my son's belongings were moved to his dad's storage space, and the smelly dog toys are in the trash. The listing for our house goes "live" tomorrow and I still have 2 more bathrooms to scrub, doors to clean, and more touch-up painting. I'm starting to think we may never get it all done and it is going to have to be okay if we don't. We have three family gatherings to host and church and work, so I'm about to put this thing on cruise control and coast, cher.

I met my favorite girlfriends for dinner last week. When I see their faces I light up because I know we are in for lots of laughs and sharing and dog talk. Friends that allow you to be who you are and accept the less-than-perfect you are rare, and I am so grateful that we are friends, journeying through this life together.

I was presented with a beautiful heart necklace, a book called "Joys of Friendship", and a card that says "Your strength may surprise you". Wow, I totally did not expect any of it. The necklace says "A True Friend Reaches For Your Hand But Touches Your Heart". Awww! I was a bit overcome, I could hardly express myself properly.

I've known these girls since my days at the animal emergency clinic 10 years ago. I was a newcomer to animal medicine, green behind the ears with a weak stomach.  These two girls helped me through countless nights of frantic "parents", dying animals, irresponsible animal owners, smells, vomit, and doctor idiosyncrasies. I honestly don't know if I would have lasted as long as I did without their expertise and guidance.

Even though we no longer work together we continue to have our girls night once a month or whenever our schedules permit. I'm going to miss them so much, for our bonds have grown beyond animal medicine; laughing and crying and sharing personal heartaches. It is not uncommon to have 3 hour dinners and try to solve the world's problems over margaritas, or lately, ice tea. :) Missing them already....

Hope everyone is preparing hearts, minds, and homes to receive the true gifts of the season. Peace and blessings to you all!

Friday, December 2, 2011


Even though I still have 27 days left before I leave my job I packed up my office today, managing to fit all the items neatly into an Office Depot paper box. I sat and stared at that box for quite some time wondering where 23 years had gone. There was the autographed picture of Patrick Rafter that my boss had so generously given to me one Christmas, proud that he had won the bid on eBay; family photos; a ceramic heart my daughter made for me; a Wimbledon teddy bear also from my daughter that she had brought all the way from England; a Norwegian vase from my boss' wife; a wooden cross from Israel. All these treasures will now call another place home.

When I returned to my desk my computer had fallen asleep and was scrolling the words I'LL BE BACK. It seemed wrong to leave it that way, so I changed the marquee to LAISSEZ LE BON TEMPS ROULER! (Let the good times roll!), leaving a little piece of my Cajun personality behind, I suppose.

Other than antsy-ness I am feeling so relaxed about things, concerned that I'm a little too relaxed. This is so unlike me, worrier extraordinaire that I am. I'm also famous (or infamous) for being high-strung, emotional. I feel none of that. What is happening? Can it be that God has answered my prayers for peace and to "know" when the time is right to make a move? Yes, that is my belief and I am sticking with it. So, 'thank you, God'.

I've been looking online at smaller, older homes in my mother's neighborhood. The area is very woodsy and settled and conveniently located to everything we might need. I was happy to see that many homes in our price point have wood or laminate flooring. That is a must-have, especially with three dogs. The lots are much larger than the little postage stamp lots in Dallas. With trees. Lots and lots of trees and tropical plants. I am going to be able to breathe for the first time in a long time and not have neighbors right on top of me.

In other news boy-wonder became part of the Occupy L.A. movement (to my dismay) and is now incarcerated. His phone has been disconnected for a couple of weeks now (for failure to pay, I'm assuming). He did not call me or my parents or his dad with his one phone call. We found his booking information online. I'm not surprised by any of it to be honest. My most recent prayers have been for him to have shelter and food and safety. Well, he has that in jail, so in a way my prayers are being answered.

If I sound rather detached, it's because I am--but only by necessity. I haven't stopped loving him and my heart is heavy, but I have stopped enabling, stopped letting every destructive decision he makes bring me down. It took me a long time to get here, to realize that HE is making these decisions and that I cannot rescue him anymore. At 31 years old it's way past time for him to straighten up and fly right.

A heart can only sustain so many traumas, so many cracks, so many aches, then it starts to toughen up or risk dying. Besides, I have my mother and her needs to think about now. Here she is battling a disease that she did not choose. It's right and fitting to suffer for your own poor choices, but quite the opposite when you are a victim of something you did nothing to bring on yourself. My greatest desire is to make my mom's last years as comfortable as possible. Pouring my efforts into this scenario is much better use of my time and talents. Can I get an amen? :)

P.S. This is Patrick Rafter, former #1 tennis player (be still my heart!).