Tuesday, January 14, 2014

You're So Lucky

I remember people saying to my mother, "You're so lucky your house is so clean."
She would roll her eyes and look at me, and we would chuckle. Luck had NOTHING to do with it. My mom worked on her house like some people work on careers, a college degree, a car--in other words, with dedication, passion, determination, and not a little obsession. Our house was always ready for being featured in a spread in a magazine. Honestly, I think my parents went a tad overboard on the whole cleaning issue, BUT the house did look GOOD.

Today, I've been told the same thing.
You're so LUCKY your kids like you so much.
You're so LUCKY your writing career has done so well.
You're so LUCKY you've had such a long and happy marriage.

Okay, I'll give a tiny percentage to just luck, but for the most part, all of these things were achieved through effort, not luck. Nicole, Caspian, and Coryn are good friends and are close to me because of how I have parented them. My writing career has developed and evolved because I WORKED--I wrote for free, met impossible deadlines, networked, pushed, put in 14 hour days, and earned a solid reputation. My marriage? Long talks, lots of touching, laughter, and love, yes--but not luck.

Don't get me wrong--I feel immensely grateful for all of these things. But I also earned them. I didn't get blessed with them out of the blue. They weren't some gift I was given without even having to ask. I am lucky--lucky that I am a determined, passionate, dedicated--and yes, even a little obsessed--woman.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Life . . . Always a Rollercoaster Ride!

Have you ever really thought about how much life is like a roller coaster ride at the fair? I mean . . . it always costs more than you expect it to. Lines are inevitable. You have to stand next to fascinating people, good looking people, less than enjoyable people, and those who forgot how to shower. You sit down and can't help but think you may have put on a few pounds. The music is whatever band you don't like and it's too loud. Still, you're excited. Adventure awaits. You're brave and ready to take whatever is thrown at you.

You start slow and then everything speeds up. There are unexpected drops. Exhilarating rushes. Scary turns. Peaceful pauses. Eventually, there is pride and gratitude for survival.

See? Just like life.

So my ride lately has consisted of . . . the ups and downs of Nicole's dating life. DOWN . . this one was disappointing . . UP . . the next one was handsome and charming . . and hasn't called back yet, so back down we plummet. UP . . . J's eye appointment proved his eyes are fine, just aging like the rest of our bodies . . . DOWN . . . it's winter, his beard is long and damn, I hate it but don't know what to do about it. It's his face . . . . and he accepts everything about me without complaint. . . . UP . . Coryn is home . . . DOWN . . . Caspian is leaving.  . . . UP . . my numbers are all great . . . DOWN . . . work is only trickling in and if it doesn't change, the coming months could be beyond challenging.

As in the ride and life, I laugh, I cry, I scream, and I hang on tight to the people closest to me and sharing the ride. I keep riding, because, in the end, if I had to start over, I'd get right back in line.

Monday, January 6, 2014

2014? Really? Wow.

I admit it. The years are starting to run together. 2014 just seems impossible and futuristic. I wasn't used to it being 2013 yet. I think I really stopped being used to the year in 2010.

Life in the Orr house is in the usual state of flux. The holidays were wonderful! Having Coryn home was gift alone. His sharp wit and warm hugs were missed and the house seems so much more complete now that he is here. Gifts--thoughtful, loving gifts--were exchanged. Good food was consumed. Couch potato-ism ensued as we watched movies together in the living room.

New Year's was nice--quiet. Nicole had to work until 10 pm so we were out late getting her. Coryn had gone out of town to an overnight party. Caspian was home with us. We made a late dinner so we could eat with Nicole after she got home. We ate, watched the ball drop, and then went outside to see Portland's usual fireworks. It was incredibly foggy (as it has consistently been this winter) and the fireworks couldn't really be seen. However, you could hear them and then the fog would light up in flashes of red, green, purple--it was actually quite fantastic. We kissed and hugged, and I texted a quick I love you to the boy at a party.

As life returns to "normal", I am looking at my writing schedule and hoping it picks up, although WOW, have I loved the extra time off. I have a list of 14 phone calls I need to make this morning to follow up on various things. We are getting ready for Caspian to leave us now--he leaves in less than a week for his time in New Orleans. He is joining a construction team renovating an apartment complex. As far as I know, all of them are unschoolers, so it should be quite the team. We aren't sure how long he will be gone--it might be a matter of a month--or six. I already miss him.

Nicole continues in her elusive hunt for the right life partner. She told me last night that she blamed Joseph and I for being so picky. "I want what you have," she said, "and that means the bar is set awfully high." I remind her that what Joseph and I have after 31 years is NOT what we had when we first married, but she's right--I was a lucky one and I want her to be just as fortunate.

I'm feeling pretty good--health issues are plaguing others in the family. Coryn is covered in . . . rash? bites? allergic reaction? We don't know. We've tried treating it at home with typical methods but today was my cut off. If it's not substantially better when he gets up this morning, it's off t the doctor. Joseph has a floater and has been having flashes of light in his eye--which can be from age (I had the same thing a 1 1/2 years ago) or could be the first symptoms of a detaching retina, so off to the eye doctor it is. But my BP and sugars are staying down and the weight is s l o w l y dropping--I lost 44 lbs from June to the end of the year. I miss walking and hope to get back to it as soon as possible.

That's the update, guys. Hope all is well in your house, that your holidays were wonderful, and that 2014 (really? wow!) has started out with great hope, potential, and possibility.