Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Happy! New! Year!

Last week Greg and I drove up to Gainesville GA to spend Christmas with my Mom. We stayed at the guest room in her retirement home, and we had a really good time. We took her out to IHOP and had breakfast for dinner (it's practically a tradition with us now), and we opened Christmas presents (I made Mom a calendar from old photos I scanned) and watched the Game Show Network, and had a lot of fun.

Also! I have had the worst year of my life in the past 12 months, it all started last December 18 when my Dad died. Literally every single month following that terrible day, something awful happened; terrible injuries, serious illnesses, a job loss, debt, another death, it just went on and on. I got so stressed out and freaked out that I wasn't able to sleep and I would sit in the dark, alone on the couch in the living room, and just cry. I really was losing hope that anything would ever be okay again, and I absolutely knew that I didn't have any strength left to keep going.

But nothing bad has happened now for a couple of months, and at least some of the bad things that happened before are starting to look better, so I am hopeful again. And I've decided to stop worrying (or at least cut down significantly on the worrying) that something other bad thing will happen, and just be happy NOW.

Statistically speaking, it seems logical that having so many tragedies happen during the past year or so means that I should be tragedy-free for at least the next few years, right?

Okay then! :o) Yay 2009!


  1. Happy New Year Ellen. I know what you mean about dark years, it's part of the human condition. That being said, the trite adage "this too shall pass" is repeated again and again for the simple reason that it is true. One of the tricks I use is to try to change my state of mind (without alcohol or drugs ;) by way of shifting my focus and getting busy. If we keep in mind the other adage/truth "what you focus on grows" then that will help you to shift from a dark period to a lighter one. One thing I did was to turn off the TV (I was especially trying not go to sleep to it). A kind friend gave me a good book, and every night I'd read a few chapters of it before going to sleep. It was a simple happy, comforting book, so it left happy comforting thoughts in my head as I drifted off to sleep. These went to work in my subconscious while I was slept. It's a habit I've kept and found very comforting and valuable. Some may think this sounds a bit nutty, but the subconscious is a very powerful place. Please know I am sending a bundle of good thoughts and prayers to you for a perfect resolution of this era in your life...and I am picturing good and happy things coming to you in abundance...so please look for them (sometimes they're right in front of us and we don't recognize them...at least that's my problem at times :).
    God Bless you and your family.
    P.S. I LOVE your holiday tradition with your mom.....and IHOP!!
    P. P. S. The book was by Jan Karon, "At Home in Mitford"...turned out she had an entire series with these home-y small town characters that were fun to "visit" by way of the books.

  2. Thanks, Tracey! That's good advice about reading cheerful books, without really being conscious of it I was choosing books based on their comfort level.

    I ended up reading lots of Jennifer Crusie and Fannie Flagg, and going back to books I read when I was young -- Little Women and Jane Eyre and The Little Princess. Lots of good suffering and surviving in those old books. :)

    I haven't read the Jan Karon books, but I have heard of them. I'll look them up the next time I am at the library.

    Thank you for your good thoughts and prayers and visualizations! I hope you have a very happy and prosperous 2009.

  3. Hi Ellen! What a good idea, to revisit favorite childhood books. I do the same thing sometimes... I especially enjoy visiting the characters in Little Women (my favorite) and The Little Princess (also a favorite...I love the way she imagines her way out of a horrible situation)...so funny that you mention my two oldest book-friends! What's that saying "...there are no coincidences...no accidents"?! I'm going to look into Jennifer Cruise and Fannie Flagg (isn't she the author of "Fried Green Tomatoes?")...I need to read more contemporary fiction...I often get stuck in the past (it seems like a simpler time/ although I'm sure it wasn't, i.e., no antibiotics etc. ;). Thank you for your good thoughts and nice note. I am off to read my new Jan Karon book (bought at Goodwill for $2 a few days ago--and an MC Beaton Mystery...she writes the Agatha Raisin mysteries and she's pretty funny...another thrift store find (25 cents) all hardcovers too...but I digress). A happy day and new year to you. Good thoughts to you and yours...

  4. Hi Ellen
    I'm so sorry 2008 was such a bad year for you. 2009 will be better! I'd like to second what Tracey said in her comments. And to add another book to your already long reading list - "The Power of Intention" by Wayne Dyer. All about manifesting the positive in your life. I think it has helped me change my outlook on events, if not the events themselves.

    FYI I answered your steaming question in my new post of 1/31.

  5. Hi Tracey! Yes, Fried Green Tomatoes is by Fannie Flagg, and it's one of my favorite books. She even included a few recipes in the back. :)

    Jennifer Crusie is definitely more contemporary, and sexy and funny. Her characters always go through some drama and then settle down into a happy ending.

    Thanks again for your kind words. I hope 2009 is being good to you and your family!


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