Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Choosing happiness

Choosing happiness. That's what I'm giving myself for Christmas this year. There is so much I have and so many people I love.

My best friend has been given the gift of another Christmas with her family. My son goes to a wonderful preschool full of teachers who love him and immerse him in the arts. My husband works tirelessly to provide for us, and my stepdaughter is loving and kind and helpful.

I don't have to look far for things that make me happy. I just have to remember to do it.

Although it's not full-time, I do work. I teach piano and composition and I get to play with Bill Leslie in all of his live shows and record backing vocals on his albums. It's a great gig, and I couldn't play with nicer people. Christmas in Mitford is his new album, and it was number five on the world music charts for November. I'm proud to  play with him.

Last weekend, we had a show in Holly Springs at their terrific auditorium. Bill lent part of the set to Linda and I to do one of my favorite Christmas carols. Performing with wonderful musicians? Makes me really happy.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Guppy love

These are the boys' new guppies. They aren't just any guppies, though. They are guppies from their Aunt Susan.

Today, those guppies kept me company on the ride home from a whirlwind visit to see my dear friend. We had Christmas to celebrate, but pneumonia (her) and strep throat (me) had delayed and shortened my trip considerably.

Still, Kevin sent me on my way this past Sunday. He and one of our fabulous neighbors made sure that the boys were well cared for, and today, their favorite sitter came to play. When I walked in the door, having picked up Mallory on my way home, they were more excited to see her than they were me.

I'm happy they have so many people in their lives to love.

And now we've added some guppies. Guppy love.

I'm so happy I got to spend time with Susan and her family, and I'm so happy that I had my own family to come home to.

This being happy thing isn't so bad.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Nutcracker. Preschool style.

Christopher goes to a fantastic preschool. It's a multi-arts school that I dreamed about sending my children to before I ever thought I would get to have children. He loves it there, loves his teachers, loves the activities, and I love seeing him thrive.

This morning, they put on a performance of the Nutcracker. Preschool style.

When the dance teacher came out to start the performance, she had Christopher by the hand and brought him with her. My first thought was, "Oh no. He isn't paying attention, refuses to participate, and is freaking out so he has to stay with Ms. Karen." However, she introduced him and said that he would be helping her run the music.

Sure enough, when the music started, he was the one pressing the button, and I could see him, standing by Ms. Karen, following her lead, giving the performers their cues. He was like the little mini stage director. I was really proud of him - putting that natural bossiness to good use.

About 20 minutes into the performance, Colin had had enough and was either going to join in or sit there and scream. So we left, walked around the outside of the building, delivered teacher gifts, and came back in just in time to see Christopher actually in costume and dancing with the rest of his class.

He was magnificent.

I know that I'm a mama now, because while other people probably would have seen a spastic three year old running circles on a dance floor while holding a candy cane pole above his head - I saw a tall, lean, beautiful child doing incredibly graceful stag leaps, one after another. Next stop, Carolina Ballet.

I was so proud of him. He played a special helping role in the beginning, but he still participated with his class. He has come so far since the beginning of the school year.

So today, I'm reminding myself that I'm so happy Christopher gets to go to Arts Together.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Coming out of the dark

I haven't written much this year, and in a way, that tells you all you need to know. I've turned inward a little too much I suppose, but it's what I've needed to get through the day to day.

To be honest, I haven't had a whole lot of positive things weighing on me. I feel like the house is too dirty, the boys watch too much TV, we eat out too much - all of the things I'm supposed to be taking care of, I feel like I'm not good enough.

I'll have spurts of competence. There will be weeks when I'm really good at keeping up with a meal plan, finishing the laundry, and staying on top of all the bills. Then, I'll sort of drift off into some place where my family and friends can't find me. Some place where I try to heal myself.

The other day, when I was having my annual at the Birth Center, the nurse told me she really wanted me to add in some therapy to my Zoloft prescription. I told her that right now was not the time for talking. Right now was the time for getting through day to day. If I had to talk about it too? Well, forget it.

Sounds all doom and gloom, doesn't it? It's not. There is just a lot of sadness mixed in with the happy. I have a lot to be happy about, and you can consider that the understatement of the year.

So, my goal for the rest of 2012, is to write about some of those things. I know for a fact that I need to find my way out of my shell, and if I'm not going to talk my way out, then I can certainly start writing my way out.

I've got 17 days left and many more than 17 things I could list. This should be easy, right?