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Archive for December, 2009

The over-sized black dog is curled up in the corner, gently snoring on her fluffy, white bed while a black calico cat rests on the tattered quilt at the feet of the woman of the house. The gentle squeak of a computer chair is heard from the living room, the tap, tap of the ever busy keyboard, the hum of a computer monitor, and the soft singing of a young woman occupy the air. Another cat lets out its meek meow as it beckons for attention, hoping to find either its mother or the young woman at the computer. The turtle tank gurgles from a distant bedroom, an airplane rumbles by, and another dog barks in the distance.

These are the sounds of the night. Occasionally the house will creak or even pop causing momentary tension amongst the ladies, but for the most part, the night is serene. The blackness outside is kept at bay by the iridescent lights from within. Soon, it will change.

The young lady will grow weary and turn off the computer. Enervation will overcome the older woman. Lights will turn to darkness with a mere flip of a switch. As slumber overtakes the house guests, the noises will obliterate. It is at this time that the cats will remember that they are nocturnal creatures and with an abrupt burst through the house, they will leap onto the fireplace to begin their aeronautics. Mid-flight, an ornament will be procured so that fowl play may begin.

The felines run through the house, batting the ornament to and fro. This is easily accomplished on the wooden floors, as is sliding into walls and each other. With a moan, the woman wakes up and listens. She knows what awaits the night, but is optimistic that merely being awake will settle the cats. Of course, this is only false hope and she will reluctantly drag herself out of bed, a hunter on the prowl. The cats, suddenly feigning innocence, flop onto the floor in a humble position hoping the woman will pet them and head back to bed. She does stoop down to give each cat a rub and a gentle chide, but her mission is not diverted. She will find that ornament.

To the woman’s dismay, the small gray cat has placed herself upon the ornament in every attempt to hide her treasure. With a slight laugh, the woman reaches out and takes the ornament. She glances at the tree, the naked bottom half, stripped of its ornaments and Christmas joy, and knows placing the ornament back on the tree is senseless. She places it in a box instead. Inside that box are the other ornaments gathered throughout the season, treasures of the felines. With this, she turns off the hall light and heads back to her room, stopping to admire the tree once more. She notices that it is leaning to the right, slightly more than the day before, and slightly more than the day before that. If the tree isn’t straightened soon, it will fall over. Knowing this, the woman walks away with a smirk for these are the memories of the 2009 Christmas season.

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As the new year begins, many of us find ourselves reflecting on the past year. I’m not one to make new year’s resolutions, but I am one to reflect. 2009 was a hard year and I am optimistic that 2010 will be much better. I struggled with depression last year in degrees that I have not dealt with since I left my physically, emotionally, and verbally abusive marriage in 2000. I saw myself as worthless and wondered why, instead of being the “miracle” that survived my health, I didn’t just die. I felt that my children didn’t really need me, nor did my job, nor anyone nor anything for that matter. I am not writing in hopes of getting your sympathy, I don’t want it. My life is what it is, the past, the present the future. I strongly believe that all things happen for a reason although we often do not know what that reason is. I write because writing is healing and I am healing.

I could tell you of all of the ups and downs of the past year, the trials, the tribulations, but in the end, it does not matter. What matters is that we survived it. I found myself feeling thankful during this Christmas season. Money is tight, I have hospital bills that I can not pay, collectors calling, most of the gifts that I gave this year were used and did not cost me anything, yet they looked new and my son did not know the difference. I have a home, I have heat, I have a steady job, and I have family and friends that have blessed me. One of these days, I might be able to fully trust those in my life and lean on them as I once did. I wonder why it is that once trust has been broken, it is so hard to re-establish. I am hard pressed to name two people in my life that I fully trust and I find that to be a sad thing. There is no reason for me not to trust others in my life, they have done nothing to cause the lack of trust that I suffer from and I know that, yet I still am unable to trust them. I wait for the day that they will sabotage our friendship and I know this is a pathetic truth. I also know why my trust issues run so deep and where they stem from. Perhaps that is a good thing, but sadly, it makes no difference.

My motto in life has become, “Fake it until you make it.” I’ve told a few people this and they look at me with a puzzled, quizzical smile upon their face. I don’t think they know whether or I am jesting or being genuine. I am genuine. I find that I have “faked” it through most of my life. I’ve put on that mask to disguise the real me. The mask that smiles, is optimistic and generally finds the good in things. The real me is cynical, doubtful, and constantly waiting for the bad to happen. I do love to smile, laugh and joke around, so one of these days I hope that the “fake it me” becomes the real me. I guess she’s in there under all of the baggage.

I did not mean for this post to be a negative one, just a reflective one. If you have made it this far, thanks for “listening”. Here’s to a year of healing!

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