Saturday, January 7, 2017

This Is Us...Really

USA is showing a THIS IS US marathon and I find myself re-watching and feeling even more than I felt seeing this show the first time. It's got everything you've seen or wished for in a family  a Dad who's a dreamer but shows love; a reluctant mom who clearly does her best but is flawed.  There's sibling rivalry, not fitting in, weight, cancer, success, fame, dying, regret, family  relationships.

I know people don't understand my deep connection to watching TV.  Television is a source for me.  Of company, of information, of sentiment, and vicarious emotion.  When I'm feeling lonely, disconnected, sad, depressed, I find something to watch that will fix that for me.  

It seems frivolous I know.  But there are so many pluses for me watching TV:  It's right here and it's here all the time; I've already paid for it; and between satellite and Netflix and Showtime and HBO, I can usually find something that will give me what I'm seeking.  I don't have to risk that I'll seek something and it won't be gotten.

My friend Susan believes it's better to ask  even if you don't get what you're asking for  than not to ask at all. I don't feel that way.  Yet.  It's too disappointing and too hurtful and too  well  just "too".

But I understand that when you don't ask, you definitely have no chance of getting.

My struggle (well, one of them anyway) is to let go of the outcome.  That's what a therapist tells me.  Let Go of the Outcome.  Let go of resentment and regret.  Let go of expectations.  Let it all go.  I'm trying.

I understand the concept and it makes sense to me, but it's one of those easier said than done.  But I'm trying. And at times, I'm succeeding.  So far my best success  I think  has been with some of my friends and my daughter.  Still a ways to go with the son and the once-husband.

So This Is Us allows me to see a family  across time  struggling and loving and hurting and supporting in ways that virtually never existed in my family.  I get to watch how they do it and I get to momentarily feel the bonds of being with a family.  I hope we managed to live that give-and-take for our kids so that they'll have a better sense of what it means to be in a relationship, to have a family.

That voyeuristic view of family life (whether it's real or not) allows me to experience what I currently lack in my life.  

Right now, luckily, I'm really pretty happy.

I love my little home.  It's filled with everything I absolutely love, arranged just as I like, only used by me and for the first time in I do not know how long (if ever) I'm neat.  Everything is in its place.  I'm no longer sloppy but I'm also not racing and juggling to manage and provide for a family of four.  

It is just me.

What a change.  I'm continually surprised by what can change.  

I had an open house on New Year's Day.  Twenty-six people came, it was wonderful, my daughter was there and saw my new place for the first time, and for the first time EVER, I didn't kill myself to have company!

I didn't have to stress about cleaning up days before everyone came because pretty much everything was already clean.  I didn't go overboard on getting drinks or food and I almost cooked NOTHING.  I had a great time, I was relaxed and I didn't pay for it in a horrible way.  HOORAY!

I miss having a fireplace and of course the companionship of someone next to me, but all in all, I'm enjoying my life at the moment and I feel secure.

So while I may be watching This Is Us — finally, joyfully, amazingly  
I'm much more intently watching   This Is Me.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

My 2017 Resolutions

A curious thing has been happening lately  I am getting to know who I am.  This sounds odd I realize, but without all the work of caretaking and caregiving  of every person I lived with, worked with, gave birth to, or crossed paths with  I am finally taking care of one person only  ME.

And I realize I don't really know myself because I have always shrugged off what people told me about me.  I assumed that everyone was just like me but I find that's not true.  

Recently I learned that most people I've asked say that when they stand up for themselves, when they assert themselves, they feel vulnerable.  I don't.  I don't know why I don't feel vulnerable but I don't.  I pretty much always say what I think and what I feel.  Yes, at times it gets me in trouble, causes me difficulty, gains me admiration, but it doesn't elicit any sense of vulnerability and yet, I'm allowing myself to be vulnerable to show what's inside.  I am perplexed at this.

People tell me I'm a good writer.  I usually think that most people can write well and that the individual is just being nice to me.  Now I'm starting to take that feedback in and allow myself to see that this is a talent that I can and should identify with.

So in the spirit of writing my truths, and discovering who I REALLY am, here are my New Year's Resolutions:

  • I'm going to finally use all those beautiful soaps that people have given me or I have gotten over the years  because I was "saving them ." [Recently I was given a lovely set of four bars from my dear "rescued-and-took-me-home-from-a Broadway-play friend. Here's what I did with them.]

  • I'm going to realize that if I want my scalp stimulated, I'm going to have to brush my own hair for pleasure  and other things too.

  • I'm gonna try my best to continue living what Oprah might call, my "authentic" life.  I don't really know what she exactly says about that (because she's said and written so much) but it seems pretty self-evident.  My interpretation?  That I'm trying to focus on looking inward and then looking outward to understand how what I say and do impacts others.  At times, it's the exact opposite of my intention!  I'm often blind-sided by how something I've said makes the other person feel.

  • I'm going to continue "letting go and allowing the current to take me," as my hometown dear friend wrote me.  I hadn't thought of it that way, but my college buddy said much the same thing to me when she said, "Let it just evolve.  You don't need to have a plan."  I needed that because I've been letting it concern me that I don't have a plan; that I don't know what "my new normal" is.

  • I'm going to continue to be responsible but also enjoy things.  This is the very first time in my life that I have a financial cushion. (And it feels fabulous!!!)

  • I'm going to work toward having a true adult relationship with my children who are really not children but young adults (but will always be "my children").  And I'm going to keep on navigating my relationship with their father because despite the split, we are still a family.
  • I'm going to get back into a routine of writing here regularly.  Not the twice a week regularity I had for almost three years, but commit to SOME routine. 

  • I'm going to dance more!  This gives me great pleasure and  now that my son gave me a Libratone Zipp  it's something I can do at home.
    In fact I can dance any time, anywhere. (I can be seen dancing at a Manhattan bus stop or in my car on line to get gas at Costco...)
  • And finally, I'm going to be more grateful (every day) for ALL that I have  most especially for all the love and support and guidance I have gotten from my dear, dear friends and from all of you.

For the first time in forever, I think these are New Year's resolutions I can keep.

Health and happiness to you and yours in 2017...