Monday, February 25, 2008

There Will Be A Recap

I'm very excited, too excited to write a full recap right now. I am thrilled that everyone I was pulling for did win and that the evening was full of funny, sweet and truly touching speeches. Stay tuned for my full report later in the week. Until then, let's hear it for my boys!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Having A Moment

I didn't have to go to work today, so I got to sleep in and laze about, which is always nice. I do occasionally enjoy a day when I give myself permission to do absolutely nothing, not even get out of my pajamas. I was fine for most of the day, I had a light breakfast, read for a while, watched tv, snoozed on the couch. But then, well, I wasn't. I had a moment. One of those "I've got to get out of here," moments. And I don't know if it was about feeling stir crazy or feeling actually crazy. My guess is that a brief flash of loneliness got the best of me and took root for long haul. It happens from time to time, but this might have been a tougher one since I spent quality time with Cat, Jenni and the girls. You don't have that much fun with people that know you that well and not come crashing down after they leave and you're all by yourself for hours. At least I don't. Know what I mean?

As much as I enjoy the time on my own to write and read and nap and watch horrible tv and dance around in my underwear (being honest here, it happens), the hours alone can also be a time to question and doubt and beat the crap out of myself. Poodle said it tonight, "I think you undervalue yourself." It's true, I often do. Why? Well, let's explore this.

Somewhere along the way, I decided that it was my "job" to ease other people, that is to say, to put other people at ease. There's something inside me that doesn't want anyone I care about to feel as bad as I have felt on my absolute worst day. I'm all about the post-it note of encouragement, the well-timed hug, the "anything I can do?" I'm that friend who will remember your birthday, ask how that project you're working on is going and send you a note to remind you that you're not alone (I love a good greeting card, you know). I know it sounds like a lot of work, but damned if I don't work at it every day. I'm a caretaker, a fixer, a smoother-over (is that even a word?) I really can't help it.

My therapist says I have to stop with the rescue missions and start with the taking better care of myself. She has two theories and she's dead on, I know it.

Theory number one: the Daisy Well is eventually going to dry up, meaning I can't keep giving this much of myself and not start to feel like there is nothing left for me.

Theory number two: I give so much of myself (she likes to use 120% as the measurement), no one will ever be able to match me in the returning of kindness, meaning I'm always going to be disappointed. I don't know, I'm always taken by surprise when someone shows me a kindness, so what does THAT mean?

In fairness, she does say I've come along way, what with moving out and starting over and really trying to turn myself around in the big picture, but she wants to see me do more little picture stuff. Fair enough, but really, how am I supposed to do that? I know how to take care of myself in the pay bills, eat regularly (as regularly as I can, anyway) and keep my job kind of way, but the other stuff is harder. It's a big deal if I get the spa manicure and pedicure at the nail salon. I know I have to move the "take care of yourself" item up higher on the list. I just wish I knew what that meant and/or how to do it.

Is it crazy that I think it's going to take some courage on my part to do this? To say, "I'm number one," is not easy when you spend your whole life being number three or four. But if I really believe in "you get what you give" then there should be a whole lot of good stuff coming my way. Let's hope I'm ready for it.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Sleeping to Dream About You

Sometimes I sit here and think, "Just write, whatever comes out may actually make sense. Work it out!" Ok, here goes. What's on my mind?

My dreams are super vivid lately, which is good and bad. Good because I can feel things (my father hugging me) and bad because those things are no longer real (my father hugging me). I dream about my hometown, places and things I haven't thought about in ages (the Provident Bank on the corner of 60th and Broadway, for example). I dream about things that could never happen (ok, it is possible that I could go to the Oscars someday, but highly unlikely that I would be attending as Javier Bardem's date). I dream about things that have happened in life, only in the dreams they are happening in a different way. I used to have deja vu in my dreams, which is different from recurring dreams (I have those too). I know, deja vu in a dream...weird.

I think I dream about my father regularly, but I can't be sure. Hard to explain. Sometimes I'll wake up and not remember the dream right away, but later in the day, it will hit me...Daddy. Other times, I'll know I'm dreaming, even though it feels real, and I'll start to cry, because it's still too hard to say goodbye even in a dream. I usually wake up all stuffy and puffy from the crying. Occasionally, he's there, but in a very vague way. The dream is vivid, I sense his presence, but I don't see him. Not a ghost, but just a feeling. Or maybe I'm not remembering as well. I'll think, "Did I have a dream about Daddy last night?"

You know what has me on this grieving and dreaming thing? It just hit me.Kanye West performing at the Grammy's. He sang a song for his mother. "Last night, I saw you in my dreams. Now I can't wait to go to sleep" It made me cry, which is easy, but still, it caught me off guard. I'm not a fan of Kanye's by any stretch, but I felt for him. Whatever you want to say about his pomposity or bad attitude or whatever act he's putting on for the cameras, the guy still lost his mother. And until you've experienced that kind of loss, there's no way of imagining how a person feels. Everyone expresses grief differently. Some of us cry in private and never show a single soul how we feel, some of us write it all down and post it on the web and some of us tell the world from the stage of the Staples Center. No matter what, it's still private, if that makes any sense.

Whenever I hear about someone losing a family member, it wrecks me a little inside, especially if the person had a long illness. I guess I go back to the moment in my own life, the emotions I went through. Relief that he would no longer suffer, disbelief that he was gone, the overwhelming sadness that came with knowing I would never hear his voice or his laugh, guilt that I could have, should have done more and regret that I would never be able to share certain things with him. It's awful, and I don't think it ever goes away. But I do find some comfort in my many (mostly hilarious) memories of my father. And as long as I can see him in my dreams, I know I'll be ok.