Tuesday, December 2, 2008

End of year letters


Every year, I am supposed to sit down about now while digesting our fabulous smoked all natural specially ordered free range turkey or sipping on my three day to make it turkey carcass soup which tastes like love and tradition and getting through the long cold winter in a bowl, and I am supposed to write the family holiday letter.

I hate this task. It strains my writing ability. I hate feeling like a publicist for my family. The last few years have had a bunch of nasty bumps in them, bad hands dealt in the card game of life and long about now when its dark by 4pm and cold and I have to chisel my car out (the doors have frozen AGAIN) I am not all sweetness and gratitude.
I hate plastering a smile on. I hate having to spin my own life.

Don’t get me wrong--I am grateful, really. And blessed. I thank the universe that I do not live in the 9th ward, still in a trailer after three years. I am not living in a hotel room in California after my house went up in flames. I am not standing in a line at a shelter for my turkey soup. No one in my immediate circle is in stage 4 cancer (that was last year). I have my lovely spacious dilapidated house to ramble around in and for now it is heated. I have a job when multitudes don’t. I have a partner and 3 artistic creative beautiful kids and a zoo full of animals. The angel of really bad stuff passed me by and I am breathing a sigh of relief. We hung on, and in our way, we triumphed. We were in many many shows,--we all managed to get into at least one opera this year. We went to Berlin. We did Horse Camp and American Revolution Camp and Pirate Camp. We went camping and to Mackinaw Island. We ate a pie we will never forget. We went to Florida and California for Bat Mitvahs and danced with the family.

It was not easy. Some of our gifts were given, and many were earned. We did not always get what we wanted but we learned what we needed. Sometimes you have to stop denying the ugly parts and stare them down. So instead of the letter I give you my honestly Angelas List of 2008. We had:

1. People who care about where we are and keep calling so many times to ask us when we are coming home until we just stopped answering the phone.
2. Food that is so exotic and delicious everyone is afraid to try it even though its vegetarian AND gluten free and really really healthy—oh and prepared with love.
3. Lots of animals that love you more than anything and chew up everything you own because they are so upset you are not there but they are so cute you kind of get over it.
4. So much art and creativity that you can’t even walk through the room and everyone is talking at once and whatever you need we have or we can just whip one up.
5. Health insurance. With big deductibles and copays and its all costing a fortune but everyone is happy to see us because we have it, we actually really really have it and we can get the care we need.
6. Way too much to do because we are interested in everything and we could add just one more sport/theatre/art thing to our lives because Angela will do anything in the universe to get out of the dead end, soul shattering task of doing housework which no one ever appreciates anyway because they immediately mess it all up.
7. Really good thrift stores which if you are pack rat are really dangerous things to walk into but its so nice to get a cashmere sweater for a dollar that you just love it anyway.
8. OCD and ADD and drama and sturm and drang and all kinds of labels which we are kind of learning to ignore or get over or reframe or get beyond.
9. Music, and beauty and laughter and friends.

Ok? I hope that the beautiful mess that is your life is rolling along without too many trainwrecks….Our family puts the Fun in Dysfunctional.

1 comment:

2KoP said...

The best holiday letter ever. Re #8, we dropped the labels a long time ago. Unless labeling something can actually fix it, what's the point. What is, is. We look at the reality and work from there. Happy Hanukkah to you and your family.