Friday, December 31, 2010

Cheers to 2011!

Another year has come and gone, and what a year it has been. It was, without a doubt, the most difficult year of my life. However, in spite of that, the year was filled with many wonderful moments, a heightened appreciation for family and friends, and much devout soul-searching. These moments and people are part of what have shaped the "me" I am today: richer in spirit; more aware of who I am; more aware of my strengths and weaknesses.

Things I learned in 2010:
  • When you're going through hell, keep going. (Winston Churchill)
  • Friends and family are the glue of life. (My gratefulness can not be properly expressed in words.)
  • There truly is a light at the end of the tunnel.
  • I have the stick-to-it-ive-ness to complete as many drafts of my work as necessary.
  • Cabo San Lucas is a sublimely beautiful place.
  • It's not only okay, but essential to lean heavily on the people you love when you're going through tough times.
  • Mumford and Sons are fiercely talented.
  • I have the ability to unplug a stopped-up sink! (Who knew?)

What I hope to learn in 2011:
  • How to live powerfully on my own.
  • How to create an unimagined friendship with my soon-to-be-ex; one that brings joy to me, him and, most importantly, our children.
  • What it feels like to have my book on submission and sold.
  • How to love my children more and be a better mom.
  • What more of my passions are, and how to express them and my current passions in a more disciplined way.
  • How to deeply love again.
  • How to contribute through volunteering.
  • What it's like to hold my new niece or nephew in my arms. (Thanks, Michelle and Travis!)
  • What it feels like to stand on European soil.
  • How not to be bitter.
  • How to be the best possible version of me.
Those are some of my goals for the New Year. What are some of yours?

Our lives are measured, in part, by "years." So, cheers to 2011! Here's to all of us making it one of the best years of our lives.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

SUBLIMINAL BIRTHDAY MESSAGE: Or, THE CAKE WAS COVERED IN FRUIT!

Today is my birthday, and I'm officially "old." [Though, not compared to this gal.] This is a milestone birthday - one that starts with an "f" and ends in a "y." [HINT: It's more than 10 and less than a million.]

In my early twenties, I never thought I'd live to see such a ripe, old age due to my status as rock princess. Given that career path, I figured I'd burn out well before the end of my 30's. [People in their 20's are SO over-dramatic!] However, here I am, not feeling much older [or wiser] than I did back then.

Easing the pain of this transition, is the fact that my birthday is shared by some seriously mega-awesome folks. After all, other super-cool people sharing my birthday means I'm super-cool, too, right? [Um, no. Not even remotely.] Here are a few of my A-List birthday-sharers:

  • Keith Richards (rock legend)
  • Stephen Spielberg (genius movie maker)
  • Brad Pitt (yum)
  • Paul Klee (awesome painter)
  • Christina Aguilera (too talented and gorgeous to be human)
  • Katie Holmes (Tom Cruz's better half)
  • Rachel Griffiths (Sarah on "Brothers and Sisters")
  • Ron White (damn funny comedian)
  • Betty Grable (quintessential movie star)
  • Brian Orser (Olympic medalist figure skater)
That's a seriously kick-ass group to be a part of, don't you think? [You think you're part of that group? BWAHAHAHAH!!!!]

Due to this "big" birthday, I've been taking stock of my life. [Set up for disaster.] Here's what I've been delicately pondering:

"What is my life for?"
"Have I achieved [even one of] my goals?"

"Where do I want to be in 5 or 10 years?" [Besides napping.]

"Have I been a good mom? Daughter? Sister?"
"What did I do to deserve AA?" (Awesome Agent, in case you don't know.)
"Will I be published before I'm 100?"
"How many minutes has it been since I last ate chocolate?"
"Who stole my Cabernet?"

and
"How long until I lose my teeth and start wearing diapers?"

While in Denver last month, we celebrated my sister, Sharon's birthday. My mom brought out a "cake" that was so beautiful it belonged in a museum next to a Monet. However, it was an impostor cake. By that I mean, it was covered in fruit. Yes, you read that right. THE CAKE WAS COVERED IN FRUIT! [So, it was a fruitcake, like you?] {Yo, SM: That was cruel and unnecessary. I'm old now, which means I can be crotchety and get away with it. I'd watch myself if I were you!} [I'm sorry, did you say something? I was busy listening to the ringing in my ears.] {Grrr! Your dad is a robot and your mom wears fake Ugg boots!! See! I told you I could be crotchety!} [Sorry, missed you again. Am watching House Hunters International on HGTV; retired couple looking for a home in St. John. Fascinating. You should check it out. ]

I looked at the fruit-laden pretend cake and screamed, "Where the hell's the chocolate?" [Clearly, you have no self control.] {Oh, yeah? Well, at least I didn't toss the fake cake across the room and stomp up the stairs like I wanted to! How's that for self-control???} [The rumors I've heard are true. You're beyond help.]

On cue, my mom (the gorgeous woman in the pic with me) brought out a "real" cake - a chocolaty tower of gooey yumminess. What a relief! As we got to the end of the birthday song, I sang, "dear Sharon..." and everyone else sang, "dear, Debbie..." It took me a minute to realize I'd been had. In my family's thoughtful [annoying] way, they'd gotten me an early birthday cake in honor of my "big" [ancient] birthday. I briefly considered asking the cake to marry me, but knew it would be gone before I could say, "I do." So I skipped the nuptials and dug into the chocolate dream like a trapped coal miner trying to free himself. [That's the best visual you could come up with? Horrifying.] {Bite me.}At some point I came up for air and reluctantly shared what was left with my family. After all, I didn't want to be pummeled to death before I actually turned f-f-f-f-f-f, well, old. [Mummy-like]

So, ladies and gentlemen, in honor of my 50th birthday (there, I said it! I'M FIFTY!!!!), I've attached links to two of my favorite things: comedy and music. First, is one of the funniest women alive, Molly Shannon, as Sally O'Malley on SNL, and second is, "Birthday" by the Sugarcubes. How that voice explodes out of such a petite, ethereal, beautiful wisp of a woman is beyond me and proof-positive of the magnificent power of art.

So, Molly and Bjork, take it away!

(
By the way, they say 50 is the new 30, but I hope that's not true. For the most part, my 30's sucked.)

And, to all the wonderful Sagittarians out there, Happiest of Happy Birthdays!!!
[Aw, shucks, go ahead and have a drink on me. You deserve it. But if you tell anyone I said so, I'll deny it.]

{See, I knew you had a soft spot somewhere!}
[Luck pushing = bad idea. Let's just pretend we never had this conversation.]
{Okay, teddy bear - mum's the word! ;-))}

Monday, December 6, 2010

Lucky 7? One can only hope.

First of all, please forgive me for my seriously sporadic blog posting of late. I have no reasonable excuse other than I've had other things on my mind. Here's an update of what's going on in my world:

RE: WRITING
Edits are coming back tomorrow from my brilliant editor, so now is (once again!) the calm before the revision storm. In my dreams she'll say, "Oh. My. God. This is the most perfected sixth draft I've EVER read in all my days of editing! You must go, now, and share your sixth draft brilliance with all the world!"

Instead, the communication will likely go something like this: "Great job, Debbie - you're on the right path. At some point, before your kids ship you off to a nursing home, this may even be done! Prior to your Alzheimer's fully setting in, you may actually experience what it's like to be on submission! Isn't that exciting? In the meantime, here's what you need to focus on... You're welcome." Then she'll tap her fingers on the desk and say, "I'm sorry, what are you waiting for? Get back to work!"

So, starting Tuesday, I'll be diving into Draft #7 with full abandon. Lucky 7? One can only hope.

RE: PERSONAL STUFF
Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving in Denver was beyond! The mingling of family and friends, great food, and super-celebrations was one for the history books. Here are a few pics.

1) Thanksgiving tables at my sister Sharon's house. More than 40 people attended!
2) Me and my dad. ;-)
3) Me and my mom. ;-)
4) Me and my handsome son, Adam. ;-)
5) My beautiful niece, Devyn, my dad, and me.

Click here for more Thanksgiving pics.

It's been pointed out that I forgot to mention a big part of my wonderful week in Denver included my dear niece and nephew's Bar and Bat Mitzvah. Here's a picture of the fabulous twins:

Hous
e Hunting
I'm searching tirelessly for a new place; a place I can call my own that won't hold any of the ghosts - both good and bad - of my past. The search is sometimes invigorating, and sometimes sad. I hate the reason for the search, but I love the possibility of finding a perfect new home - a special place to make new memories.

Here are some of the house-hunting questions that are keeping me awake at night:
  • Do I want a newer house without any headaches, or an older place with a bit more character?
  • Do I want to live in the same town - a town I love, but that contains places that sometimes trigger sadness and anger?
  • Would it be better to move to a new area and get a totally clean start?
  • What features are most important to me? (Double sinks in the master bathroom? Small lot vs large lot? Well water vs public?)
  • Do I want everything updated, or would it be better to make updates myself to make the place more of "my own?"
  • How much room do I need/want?
  • What can I comfortably afford?
  • What's important for resale down the line?
And most importantly...
  • What will my kitties think?
The house I'm in now was our "dream house" - the home we worked our whole lives for. I never imagined that less than seven years later I'd be leaving this beautiful place, and certainly not for a home of my own.

However, life sometimes delivers unexpected twists and turns...

A wise woman once told me, "The test of a good marriage is not how you deal with the easy stuff, but how you deal with the hard stuff. Anyone can get through the easy stuff." I think this holds true for all aspects of life. I'm doing my best to keep my spirits up even with Nirvana's song, "All Alone is All We Are" creeping through my mind...

New Car
I'm getting a new car! Well, it's not exactly new, it's a 2008. But, it's a Mercedes. Yup, you read that right. Trust me, I'd rather have my marriage intact, but a Mercedes isn't a bad booby prize.

Yoga
Next week I'm taking my first yoga class in years. It's an hour and fifteen minute private lesson, so it may be the last thing I ever do. (If I never post again, you'll know why.)

Seminar
I'm taking a seminar given by Landmark Education called, "Living Powerfully: A Life that Defies the Predictable." Out of this seminar, I'm committed to creating a powerful relationship with everyone in my life. I'm also committed to being joyful, inspirational, and compassionate or, put another way, I'm committed to bringing joy, inspiration, and compassion to all areas of my life. That's a tall order, but one worth pursuing.

These are some of the ups and downs of my life. What about you? What's new in your world? Don't be shy... spill!

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