Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Farewell 2008

It's New Year's Eve. I'm sipping a lovely Willamette Valley Syrah and watching television. On my laptop, I'm chatting with a dear friend and playing a game of Wordscraper, which was Scrabulous, which now is Lexulous. I don't give a damn what it's called. I just want to play a game or two with friends and loved ones.

So here's a little recap....

Last New Year's Eve, I was home alone, sipping wine watching Fred and Ginger dance across the screen. I was rather hoping Turner Classics would do that again, but they didn't. In the first few weeks of 2008, several friends lost a parent. It was almost an epidemic.

I wanted to go visit my dear friends George and Nancy for the Oscar's, but I broke a tooth and my savings went into that. Nancy was one of the friends who had lost a parent, her father. I really wanted to be with her. She was so exhausted from the whole experience. But I wasn't alone for Oscar. I chatted with my daughter, with Nancy and with my friend Bert. Aren't computers a wonderful thing?

No visits to the hospital this year, but a few medical disruptions. I spent Memorial Day weekend with a scratched eye which became infected and took ages to heal. Now I have to wear my glasses all the time and forgo the contacts. I miss my contacts. But I'm looking forward to getting new glasses now that a new insurance year has come around.

Even though I missed Oscar's with Nancy and George, I did get to spend a weekend with them in July. We met up in Eugene and drove to Crater Lake. I grew up near Crater Lake and hadn't been there for nearly 35 years. It was a lovely weekend with my dearest friends.

I also took a mini break for my birthday and went to the coast. Finally got to enjoy the wonderful Sylvia Beach hotel - the Shakespeare room. Paired with a lovely dinner and perfect company, the day was warm and wonderful and memorable.

Then I capped the year with a wonderful week in Boston with my lovely daughter. It was a real adventure and one that I'm actually writing a story about. Keep an eye out for that one.

No weddings. A few new babies. My friend Janet became a grandmother on Feb. 15. Her granddaughter has become a light in her life. My sister was blessed with her 9th grandchild. I got to spend Thanksgiving with her entire family! What a day that was...lots of love and lots of joy.

Deaths...some celebrity passings that moved me - George Carlin, Paul Newman, Harold Pinter. Miraculously my mother and aunt are still here. Mom's nearly 91 and Aunt Gertie will be 99 tomorrow!! Good Lord!! But my niece Sarah passed in March. She was a month shy of her 26th birthday. I'm still rather stunned by it.

I went to far fewer concerts, movies and plays than usual. Partly money - partly lack of someone to share the experience with. I do like having someone to talk to about these things. And the fact that I go alone now seems to magnify my aloneness. I did go to see a road show of Sweeney Todd with my friends Mike and Mary. That was a lovely night. And I saw the Wallin' Jennys with my dear Bert. That was great as well.

I haven't moved, but my neighbors have. I have new ones across the hall and down below. The girls across the hall are college students and remarkably quiet. Pretty with lots of friends who drop by, they remind me of my daughter. It makes me miss her - miss watching her life grow richer and fuller with every day. The woman downstairs is one of the most annoying, narcissistic, unaware people I've ever encountered. But I think she's a resident or something at the hospital. She's rarely home and wears surgical scrubs a lot.

So what am I hoping the new year will bring. I should like to feel healthier. I am making small changes that I hope will have made a significant difference in a year. If only I can be patient enough with myself to stay the course.

I hope my daughter continues to grow in happiness and knowledge and success. I hope to rebuild some relationships that have grown distant over time.

I hope to continue to grow kinder with myself. To forgive myself more often and enjoy myself each day.

I want to continue to explore my creativity, expand my support group, and actually write those stories rolling around in my head.

I want to see the year through with love and kindness and grace and compassion. Can't think of anything else. Except for the Italian villa, the Boston condo, the perfect job and loads of money to be philanthropic with.

Happy 2009 Everyone. HOPE and CHANGE are just around the corner.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Poetry Corner - Mary's Lament

Merry Christmas everyone - and a Happy New Year filled with HOPE for CHANGE.

Mary's Lament

Why have you brought me to this place?
Have I not followed your every step?
Opened every door?
Trusted every vision?
Stepped into the dark at every command?

Why am I found worthy of this task?
Why have you chosen me
To bring light to the dark?
Hope to the hopeless?
Joy to the sorrowful?

Oh Lord, I wait for your guidance.
I wait for the step to be illumined.
The door to open.
The vision to appear.
I wait and step into the dark
Praying for the light to follow.

Christmas 2008
KC McAuley-Watt

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

No Boots Today

I have a great pair of boots. They are thigh-high black leather with 4-inch stiletto heels. I love to wear them. They make me feel strong and powerful and sexy and just a little dangerous. But I don't wear them to work very often. They attract too much attention and it's a distraction from the normally invisible worker I tend to be. But yesterday, I needed to feel in control. So I wore my boots.

As predicted, I got attention. Mostly good, women who wonder if they are comfortable. (They are. And I get to sit most of the day.) Men who notice and aren't sure what to say. I get everything from "We have to talk" to "You are too sexy for this place".

Today, I have no boots. Instead I have my favorite clogs that are falling apart and I'm going to have to replace them. Today I found out that the man who broke my heart 3 years ago is getting remarried...and it's not to me. Today I need my boots. Today I need to be in control. Today I need to be strong. But today, I have no boots.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Still searching

I've been subjecting myself to a little deprivation of late. Reading deprivation. It's part of my Artist's Way group - and I forgot how hard this was. Obviously, one cannot completely stop reading. I'm in the middle of 2 major work projects that require me to write and edit (which means READ) training materials. And work is all about projects these days.

But I find myself leafing through catalogs, magazines, advertising of all kinds searching for ideas for Christmas. For recipes, gifts, decorations. Then I suddenly realize...I'M READING!...and I put it down and try to focus inward; see what my heart says about all the busy-ness I'm caught up in. I'm learning how often I silence my heart with busy-ness. I'm realizing that I haven't listened to it in quite a while. And why is that?

Do I feel guilty for not taking care of things that I know I should be taking care of? Do I feel ashamed that I have ignored the longings of my heart? And the answer is...Yes. I do.

I have felt lately that there is something coming for me. I don't know what it is. I don' t know if it will be a choice that will leave me with guilt or shame. I pray that it will be neither. I am trying to prepare for that gift. I don't want to miss that opportunity. So I am learning to care for myself, nurture my mind and my body, give myself time to heal and prepare. Learn that I am deserving of my good...of my God.

Race drivers have to learn to look away from the wall. They have to be taught to focus on the goal, because study has shown that we unconsciously steer where we are looking. So a driver that looks at the wall, fearful of hitting it, unconsciously goes to the very thing he feared.

I have to look away from the wall. I have to teach myself to stop looking at the things I fear and focus where I want to go. Even if the goal is not clear yet, I have a sense of where that is, so I have to steer toward it...and away from my walls. I may not know what the winner's circle holds, but I'll never get there by looking at the walls.