Wednesday, December 31, 2008


"The past isn't dead and buried.  In fact,it isn't even past." - William Faulkner

"Self-improvement is masturbation." - Tyler Durden, FIGHT CLUB

All and all, I have had a good year, and I am thankful.  Still, I think that next year can be better.  Here’s how:


FAITH – I’m happy being a Muslim, but my practice could use a little more practice.

FAMILY – Reach out to the distant ones.  Get closer to the immediate ones.  Stay in better contact with friends, the chosen ones.  Give more love to all of them.


FITNESS – Let’s just say that most of the pictures I’ve taken as of late have been from the shoulder up; this is no coincidence.


FINANCE – I have gotten a little splurge-y lately, so I’m going to reign that in.  Also, I will try to pay off, in full, 1 of 2  student loans that I have.  This is super ambitious considering the amount, but I feel inspired by a friend who finished paying off her loans this year.


FUTURE – Set more goals.  Make a few plans.  But always know where the exits are (wink, wink).


I hesitate to add anything more to this list, even to feed my need for alliteration.  If I can pull off these five, that will be quite an accomplishment.  Besides, they are broad enough; if I wanted to include anything else, I’m sure I could rationalize said addition falling into one of the above categories.  I don’t want to go overbroad.  I’m [re]new to this.


I stopped making resolutions a few years back.  It seemed like too much pressure, and it was a big illusion anyway.  Why and how would the changing of one year to the next, via one day to the next, via one minute to the next, totally transform the way I lived my life?  I would suddenly break old habits and start new ones?  I would instantaneously abandon more pedestrian interests in pursuit of elevated endeavors?  I would leave the past behind and start anew?  Yeah right!  I knew better.


Yet, I wasn’t as clever as I thought.  While I nixed the NY resolutions, I suddenly began setting birthday “goals” that I would attempt to fulfill until my next birthday – a year later.  So I took the same illusion and moved it out by 6 months.  Revolutionary.  I’m back to December 31, setting intentions, making resolutions – whatever I want to call it.  I’m thankful for a chance to start fresh – even if it is an illusion. But I am not fooled.  I know there is nothing magical that occurs between 11:59pm tonight and 12:00am tomorrow morning.  If I am to have any success with these intentions/resolutions, the magic will have to come from me.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Rules of Thumb

I’ve come to learn that I cannot drive or cook when I am emotional, which means I am destined to be a pedestrian with a penchant for take-out. 

Let me explain…


I am, always have been, a feeler.  For better or worse, my emotions are the driving force of me, and my heart trumps my head on many occasions.  Indeed, not only does my heart overrule my head, sometimes my heart is so convincing that my head gets swept up in the commotion.

I’ve already told of the St. Louis incident.  Well, this time it was a culinary catastrophe.  HomeBoy and I came home one evening last week, and I was preparing to cook.  I’d received a few phone-calls and emails from family members in need throughout the day, and it vexed me.  I have no problem giving, and I love to help (esp. people I love), but I felt so overwhelmed.  Maybe it was the fact that hands were coming from so many directions at once; maybe it’s because I felt confused.  I thought the last time I did this would be the last time I did this. I became frustrated and anxious and just a little paranoid.  Note to self: these are not the emotions to indulge when chopping onions.


Somewhere between wondering how I could help and recalling the wisdom of “teaching a man to fish”, my hand started bleeding.  I had chopped the corner of my thumb clean off.  The sounds that I let out – I did not know they were inside me.  The way that I wailed and cried, moaned and cursed, you would think I was at war and just lost a limb!  HomeBoy ran to my aid and saw me bleeding.  He went to get gauze and bandages and told me to put pressure on my thumb to stop the bleeding.  But I couldn’t stop the crying.  I cried for the pain in my thumb, but I mostly cried for the pain in my heart and head.  HomeBoy cleaned me up and tried to console, “I know, Baby.  I know it hurts.”


“Yes,” I thought, “You know that it hurts, but you don’t know how it hurts – or why.”

But HomeBoy didn’t know because I didn’t tell him.  I didn’t tell him because I still worry about burdening people with my cyclical thinking and neuroses – even the people who make it plain that they want to be there for me.  It’s been just over a week since bloody Wednesday, and I am so much better in so many ways.  My thumb is healing nicely, and my heart is much better.  I’m realizing that if I don’t release at least some of what is inside, it will find its own way out – through a rental car fender  or an unsuspecting appendage.



Monday, December 08, 2008

Happy Birthday X2

December 7, 2008

Dear M&M,                                                                                               


I chose this card for both of you for 2 reasons: 1) I like Dr. Seuss 2) you’ve come a long way from being “Thing 1 and Thing 2”.  When you were little, that’s how I thought of you: Mark and MeLissa, always together; always in a set – a pair.  But you two are nearly young adults now and have your own identities, personalities and lives.  I don’t know if I tell you enough, but I am so proud of you two.  You are strong, smart, kind and funny (and you’re cute too, but let’s not get a big head about it).  You have handled all that has come your way, for better or worse, to the best of your abilities.  You continue to become phenomenal individuals because of and in spite of your surroundings and family.

As you approach young adulthood, I want you to examine your lives. Take a good look at the people in your lives and learn from them; they can teach you what to do or what not to do.  Both lessons are equally important.  Determine what you want from life.  Set goals and stay focused, and ask for help whenever you need it (you can always ask me).  Follow the rules, of course, but don’t shrink or back down for anyone.  Enjoy yourselves, but act responsibly, and surround yourselves with others who have common sense and a conscience.  Remember that the world doesn’t own you anything, but you don’t owe it (or anyone else) either.  This life is an equal exchange – you get what you give.  

You have so much ahead of you – graduation, college, your first real jobs… the list goes on and on.  But you also have so much behind you – memories, achievements, lessons learned.  I’m behind you too.  I’ll support your dreams, try to understand your trials and celebrate your successes (of which there will be many). I have only request – I ask you to look to each other for friendship; you are far too mature for sibling rivalry, and it is time to start confiding in and sharing with each other.  Use each other as a resource, and develop trust.  Believe in one another and love one another and protect each other – fiercely and ferociously.  This is very important.

Finally (but also primarily), remember that God is all knowing and all powerful.  When you’ve done all that you can do – tried your hardest in any situation –  sit back and be patient, for the rest is taken care of.  Happy Birthday.


More Love Than You Know,

Big Sister

(image came from here.)

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

silent nights...

things i should have written about long before now:

- the election (my reaction to the outcome, at least)

- my dad's visit (it's been, what? 3 weeks now?)

- thanksgiving (the obligatory post about all there is to be thankful for...insert warm fuzzies...etc...)*

- twenty something tuesday/thursday (what? so you have all these good bits o'wisdom and you're not even gonna share 'em? get with it!)

- home renovation progress (though that saga will always continue)

things i can still write about without feeling stupid-late:

- holiday movies, on TV and in the theaters (i don't celebrate the holidays, but i am always in front of the tube when it's time for The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, Home Alone or Charlie Brown anything!)

- new years resolutions (some will call them intentions, others will call them wishes; po-TA-to, po-TAH-to - any reason for a fresh start is good with me)

- other blogs (why not, right? i mean, any medium that lasts eventually begins to comment on itself)

- home renovation progress (i said the saga continues)


because in the past (and probably in the future) i have neglected to post in a timely manner about things that i find worthwhile, i would like to present...

"because the memories get better, the more i forget"**

* before anyone gets up in arms (insert mccain joke here) i'm very grateful for the innumerable good people and stuff in my life - every day

** okay, that's not really true, but it's funny