January 3, 2011

Green is the Colour.

Pink Floyd, More 1969

Note: This post will be poorly written because the hamsters are awake and screeching..  My mind has been all over the place emotionally this past month.  The year is ending and a new opportunity recently presented itself, which has left me rethinking everything.  I need to get this out before the hamsters stage a protest.

In the early 90s, I bought a set of translucent, green drinking glasses from the WalMart in Lawrence KS.  They were cheap, most probably Anchor Hocking or Luminarc. But holy crap, they were great glasses - durable, a perfect size, not too heavy, not too fragile.  Perfect.  Over the years, I changed apartments in Lawrence, then moved to Kansas City, then moved to St. Louis, then moved back to an apartment in Kansas City, then to a townhouse, then finally to here.  Our home.   By the time I arrived here in 2004, I was down to 3 glasses. 

And then there were none.

I cried in early 2010 when that last glass was broken (Sniff.) I had kept it hidden in the back of the cupboard, but that was not enough to save it (thanks, Manoj.)  And yes, I actually cried while my husband looked at me as if I had lost my mind (I had.)  But you see, I simply love, love dishes, china, glassware (LOVE.)

Actually, it is a passion that I have always shared with one of my oldest friends, Mindy.  In fact, Mindy also loved those green glasses after seeing my new purchase and bought herself a set after she had seen mine.  Such a sheep, that Mindy.

A month ago, I went to visit Mindy.  We have been friends since I was a senior in high school in the late 80s.   To have such a friendship? One where the person has known you at your very, very worst and less often, at your best and yet she still calls you a friend?  One who still has your back even after watching you literally grow up before her eyes? One who understands your complete history and with whom you can begin a story in the middle without starting from the beginning and still, she nods her head knowingly because she is so well acquainted with the cast of characters?  One with whom you can settle back into her couch and tell her your hopes, dreams, frustrations and actually receive gentle encouragement, honest feedback with no coddling?

I would wish everyone could be so lucky. Yes, I would wish that for everyone.

During our visit, she got out those green glasses for us to drink from and we laughed at the history, our history.  When you have been friends with someone throughout your 20s and 30s, you have many, many stories.  Although, admittedly, many are not fit for publication.

That evening, Mindy and I tried to see if we could find another set on eBay.  No dice.

So instead, she wrapped them up for me to take home.

When it comes to relationships, I had a sad year in 2010.  However, it was nice to finish the year on a positive note.  One that had me thinking on that long drive back home to Kansas City from Mindy's home in Topeka.  A pleasant evening spent with such a friend had me realizing with clarity what I want from relationships from now on. (I would also like to give a shout-out to Dawn - a new friend with whom I have had some conversations about this topic that hit hard.  And also, I must mention Brit - she who has been more than a friend to me than she can ever imagine.)

In the past, I have not formally done resolutions for the New Year.  I like to ponder the previous year, yes.  But I have made life changes in June that have stuck - I quit smoking in June 2000 and in June 2009, I began a regular, consistent exercise routine.  In short, if it is the right time for a life-affirming change, I do not believe a person should wait until January.

However, last year, I broke tradition and I made a formal Reading Resolution -- it was actually fun and worked out quite nicely (I read 50 books last year).  This year, I am making another Reading Resolution (to read 12 Classics - please feel free to tell me your personal favorite Classic - I am still making the list.)   I have also decided to add a Knitting category (one full pair of socks and one full pair of mittens. Oh, sure, I've made singletons but left each buried deep in my knitting basket, to fester in a purgatory of mateless spinsterhood).  And for once, I am actually working on the Exercise category - my current routine is boring and I would like to spice it up.  I am thinking of adding yoga twice weekly (I suppose I need to decide quickly before the first week of the year ends, eh?) 

And that is it.  Simple, specific, attainable.  Most folks make a huge mistake in their resolutions - they don't make them attainable or specific.  It is poetic to reach for the stars, but not very practical.  Make your resolution is something that you can actually DO.  Make sure it is specific (Hint: if your resolution includes the word "more", then it is probably not specific)

Recently Mom-101 wrote a sweet post about having one word set the tone for the year, rather than making specific resolutions.  Then, Meagan wrote a post about it that really brought it home for me and made me see, quite clearly what my word needs to be this year.


I let myself get too scattered with too many distractions - too many blogs in my reader, too many crap shows on the DVR, too many magazines piling up, too much time spent aimlessly following the lives of people I do not even know in person, too much white noise that muddles my mind.

This year, I need to Focus.  There are reasons why.  In early December, I was contacted for a potential part-time job.  If it happens, I would work from home in a professional capacity that takes me back to subject matter in which I have past experience.  I will need to get up to speed with new regs and legislation with which I am not familiar  (namely, The FACT Act, the Dodd-Frank Act Gulp.)  The hamsters are waking up, folks.


So.  I am canceling a magazine subscription, cleaning my feed reader, looking at the DVR recording list with a ruthless eye and I am examining relationships.  I am using this week to tackle a few projects that have been lingering.  And I am going to clean the house from top to bottom.


If this job happens, it is very clear to me what I need in my life to keep my sanity.  Obviously, I need my husband and kids.  I need my books.  I need my yarn and sticks along with a few television shows that I truly enjoy while knitting.  I need my exercise.  I need a close circle of friends who reciprocate with their own small digits of free time.  I need a clean house.

I know I can still have all of these things if I just focus.


Bonus Simian Snappage Which Just Happens To Fit Today's Post Title But Not Much Else.
If your kids were hanging out in their pajamas and gnawing on stalks of raw broccoli for breakfast, you would also take a snap. Do not lie, Gentle Reader.  God is watching and he will smite your ass.  Or pop a cap in it.  He's hardcore like that.


Rayne of Terror said...

That's a great word for 2011. I also need to clear out some things. I let my bloglines acct expire along with 7 years of blog subscriptions.

My motto for 2011 is "Don't be lazy!" 2010 was a year of sloth for me. I'm tired of it. Time to get moving, working, crack-a-lackin in whatever direction it takes me!

Flybunny said...

I find myself in a very similar but also very different situation. My resolution for the year has been friendship. To be a better friend, to make new friends, to renew old friendships etc. I have been so wrapped up in this sometimes train wreck of a life that I have really neglected this area of my life and I miss it.

I haven't been around much lately, work and kids have kept me otherwise occupied but I wanted to let you know that I think of you often and miss spending my Fridays with you and team chaos (and Susan and Jackie). I hope things work out as you want them to!

Happy New Year!

Dawn said...

Firstly, Emily just looked at the last picture and said ( with dawning horror) "Is that BROCCOLI?"

Because clearly any human who is living in a home in which the children are eating the broccoli of their own free will must be SAVED.

Secondly, Yes. I totally get this. I haven't quite worked out my own mantra yet...but I think it may well be Forward. Because it is time.

Mom101 said...

How wonderful Kelli. Really wonderful.

I especially love that a post that starts out apologizing for rambling is ending with a resolution to focus. May it be a metaphor for the beginning and end of your entire 2011.

Olivia said...

I have such a friend, we've know each other since 4th grade.

Focus, hmmm...well, I think I actually need to learn to multi-task a little better and not stress out because more than a couple things need to be done. Perhaps I should utilize lists more.

Cara said...

Wow - it must be time for a general focusing. I don't and didn't make resolutions. However, just yesterday I decided I needed to simplify. To start, I unsubscribed from everything in my Google Reader that I don't want to read as soon as its posted. Not many of the blogs left do I "know" the person writing them, but I consistently enjoy what they have to say. There are very few left, frankly.

Jobonga said...

Have you read The Forsyte Saga by John Galsworthy? It's an enormous book (originally published as three novels) but I LOVED it. And you could count it as three reads.

Mindy (jhawks379) said...

Oh Kelli! Thank you so much for this wonderful post. We have been friends for a very long time, and it has been a wild ride for both of us. I have had a rough couple of weeks, and I really needed some cheering up. Which you definitely did. I'm so glad you are enjoying the glasses. Yes, you have to use them! I so enjoyed seeing you and talking about... well, everything there is to talk about. Which is what we have been doing for years and years anyway. Thanks Kelli.

D. said...

I love the idea of choosing a word to sum up the year, and I love the word you've chosen.

I, sadly, did not make it to my goal of 50 books last year. I knew I wouldn't, but that's okay. As for classics, I would highly recommend Moby-Dick. I'm a huge Melville fan, and it's just a fantastic read. I would also recommend The Confidence-Man by Melville, but that's not exactly a classic.