Happy Thursday to all my old and young and in-the-middle friends! I have decided to make today — no, not Taco Thursday, Thank Goodness It’s Thursday, or Thor’s Thursday — but (thinks real hard)…Give A Gif Thursday! Feel free to share and repost or just sit and look at them for an hour or two —
This is one of those ethereal, out-of-body titles that try to connect the cosmic to the ordinary, the magical to the mundane. I was hit by this title some time ago, not having a clue as to what it meant or what I would eventually write about. Even now, as my fingers hit the keys, I have no idea where this story line is going. But isn’t that so much like our everyday lives?
We start out the week with the most noble of intentions. Perhaps we have a satisfying experience meditating Sunday morning, or are able to sleep in a couple of extra hours. Maybe our football team finally won a game. Nonetheless, our day is delightful, and we end the night feeling satisfied. All is right with the world, with our This is the power of the unicorn. It is the magical sensation that connects earth and sky, dreams and reality, kids and parents. In this hazy-yet-authentic state, the world is a soft, mystical place, offering rewards and blessings at every turn. You could actually lose those ten pounds or finally clean off your desk, or finally start reading that novel you bought five months ago. You are still based in reality, but the remnant good feelings are enough to move you towards the light and find satisfaction in the simplest things.
Monday comes along, a tough day for many. A majority of us will drudge our way to work, blinking at the shortness of the weekend, and find our nine-to-five groove again. Tuesday seems to be a lot harder than Monday. Our failure to go to bed early over the weekend now is catching up with us, along with laundry that has mysteriously piled up and the bills we swear we mailed yesterday.
Wednesday is hump day and we wonder just who is doing the humping. Our resolve not to eat ten chocolate chip cookies in a row is weakening; our commitment to walk a mile or two after work is being thwarted by thunderstorms or ice storms or plagues of locusts. We can never get our hair to do what our hairdresser did; our plans to cook Coq a Vin has gone by the wayside, seeing as the chicken is still frozen and we don’t have any red wine in the house to cook with anyway.
Thursday creeps into our lives with a thread of hesitancy. After all, school has scheduled your son’s basketball game at the same time as your daughter’s piano recital, both of which are at the same time as your bowling league, which is at the same time your favorite TV show is on, which you would have recorded had the your DVR not been full.
By Friday your resolutions are out the window along with that novel you can’t choke down anymore. The weekend is coming; that means a thousand activities shoved into a mere 48 hours. It means going to visit your mom on the way to free-sample crowds at the grocery store, and coming home to an overanxious dog who just dumped the garbage all over the kitchen floor. It is hoping the video store still has a copy of that brand new movie that everyone is talking about but you, and trying to decide whether to cook a gourmet meal or just throw sausages on the grill.
This is the bratwurst part, the raw-meat-of-reality part. Bratwurst is a wonderful German sausage, filled with flavor and spices and grilled to perfection. How metaphoric that little pocket of meat and fat is! It is the answer to all the cosmic questions in life! It fulfills the need for sustenance (it is a food group), it nurtures your creative side (sauerkraut? Mustard? Hot or German?) It is available in abundance (you can buy them in three pound boxes), and it affords you the freedom of choice (10 minutes on the grill; burble them in beer and onions for 15 and grill for 5; slice them up and fry with potatoes for 20).
How clear it all becomes! This little sausage is the answer to all metaphysical speculation, the answer to who we are and why we are on this planet. It is tasty and filling, satisfying those inner child needs and outer kid bravados. It ties the madness of the week up into a link that goes down easy and can be burped out in a satisfying form later through the night. It is the spice of life.
I never thought of unicorns and bratwursts as the symbols for Life; I always thought that symbol was that little stick person with the big egg head. Now that I have been enlightened, I can see that symbol does look like someone celebrating the bratwurst of life, arms out, joyous and all encompassing.
And the significance of the unicorn part?
I’m not quite sure, but I will ask the one standing behind me after I find out if he wants mustard on his bratwurst.
Since my drinking days are more-or-less over, I thought there must be other ways to make it through too many BBQ wienies and bad football games and your brother-in-law. Ways that are cosmic yet down-to-earth. Funny yet serious.
Those of you who have hung around the Goddess this long know it’s hard for me to be serious here. So here are a few ideas to get you through the holly jollys.
- Sing Christmas Carols. In the car, as you walk up to your house, as you walk up to your relative’s house. It’s the time of year to bellow out your version of The Twelve Days of Christmas…like…11 Labs a Licking; 10 Buns ‘a Burnin’…you know…
- Bake something. Nothing says Christmas like the scent of cookies in the air. No time? No problem! Pillsbury makes a great slice-and-bake cookie dough. You can also buy your favorite cookies already baked and spray some vanilla/cinnamon air freshener around your house. Same thing.
- Don’t sweat the gift thing. I know everyone wants to give something and get something. But not everyone has the buckaroonies to follow through. Do the homemade thing. Make a gift certificate giving one hour of your time to walk their dog. Or pick up dog poop. Or to sharpen their knives. Something they can’t do themselves.
- Watch a Christmas movie with family or friends. And be sure to say the lines out loud along with the actors. Every holiday we watch Christmas Vacation, It’s A Wonderful Life, Charlie Brown Christmas, Die Hard (yes…it is a Christmas movie), Elf, Home Alone, and Christmas Story. And I know lines from all of them.
- Sleep in. I know you probably have kids/pets/mates, you’re going to either host Christmas dinner or driving to someone’s house for the same. But there’s something about curling back under the covers for an extra 10 that can set the mood for the whole day.
- If you go somewhere over the holidays where there are kids, be a kid. Don’t just sit and nosh and drink and talk to all the grownups…there is nothing more freeing than sitting on the floor (or maybe the sofa…I can’t get up from the floor), driving Hot Wheels into stuffed animals, building Lego monstrosities, or coloring in a kitty or car book. The sillier the better. Connect with those who will some day pick out your nursing home.
- Take time for yourself. Even if it’s only 10-15 minutes, set aside time to refocus and energize with your one and only soul. Love, learn, and live. It’s okay if you sound like a sappy cliche — that’s what all those affirmations on FB and Twitter are for anyway.
- Try one new dish. Something you never thought you’d try. Be a Man/Woman! Don’t let the food intimidate you! Go for the gusto! And sample as many chocolates as you can. Don’t hide behind milk — go for dark, mint, white, almond, krispie — let the reason for the season be chocolate!
- And finally, the best way to survive the holiday season is to just be yourself. Know that every day you are alive is a good day. Let the nonsense roll over you like a bad massage and hold strong to your heart. Good or bad, this day will pass.
And you will have set the record for the most inventive version of the 12 Days of Christmas yet!
Alright — I cannot hold them back any more. My little animated library is bursting once again with fun, memorizing gifs. Feel free to share them on your social media platforms or with friends and family.
Or you can be like me and hoard them in a little folder on your desktop, and sit and watch them perform. They’re great stress busters…
So far I want to drive to the gas station for flavored coffee, write a couple of chapters on my novel, move the stuff from my tiny closet to a now-spare-bedroom closet, vacuum, dust, make shrimp in red sauce, walk the magic trail behind the university, walk my own magic trail on my property, sew bling on a particular top, change the kitty litter, shorten the sleeves on a new hoodie, watch the rest of Rome, write a poem, find new artists for my SEAG, read my WordPress buddie’s blogs, ride my bike, rearrange the deck, brush out the cat, and edit another novel.
And it’s only mid-morning.
The only thing I’ve managed to do so far is go get flavored coffee.
Am I the only one who plans big and falls short? All the time?
I often wonder if I would have enough time to do it all if I were retired. Doing the job thing from 6 a.m. through 4:30 p.m. (that includes getting ready) five days a week doesn’t leave much time to fool around. You would think I would have an Architectural Digest-sort of house, lovely gardens, published novels, spiffy wardrobe, plus time to excercise/walk/ride with all the free time I have before I go to sleep at night.
We’re never home on the weekends — whose fault is that? Between visiting the kids and camping and my hubby leaving for work at 4 p.m. on Sundays, there’s not much time left for anything except doing the dishes and laundry. And maybe ONE fun, great meal. If we’re around.
I have talked to many retirees who have told me it doesn’t get better.
It gets worse.
How can that be?
They let me in on a secret. The more time they have the more they think they can do.
Of course, sitting on the deck, listening to the wind blow the windchimes, gets equal billing with mowing the lawn. Painting a picture gets just as much private time as washing and putting away laundry. And they still manage to see kids, grandkids, friends, old co-workers. They manage to get a walk in along with stopping by the farmer’s market, build things in their workshop, write poetry, rearrange furniture, watch a movie, repair the lawnmower, and dozens of other things.
Many of them say they don’t have enough time in their day, either.
I’m beginning to think that Einstein knew more than he told us. That time is relative. For one person time flies by; for others, it takes an eternity to tick out an hour.
I tell myself I’d rather have an overly-long list of “to-do”s than a short list of anything. Having too many things to do in one day assures you that there will be things to do tomorrow. And the next day. And the next. That the Reaper can’t possibly come and visit because your list is too long and he’ll just have to come back when that list is done.
Which makes me think of a few more things I’d like to add…
TV gets old fast. I’ve limited favorite shows to all the Chicago’s (Fire, PD, Med), Face Off, and, if I can stomach it, Hell’s Kitchen. I’m also a fan of Grimm, which always opens doors to my other cold weather passion — reading.
I’m in the mood to read something spooky. Something heart-pounding. Something that keeps me up until midnight (like I need that). I have read a few of Stephen King’s earlier works (The Stand, The Shining, Carrie), and a couple of Dean Koontz. (I can not get through his Intensity; family and friends have all read it and praised it but it gives me the creeps.)
I always wonder why milquetoasts like me want to read something that nightmares are made of. I know I’m not alone — good scary movies and good scary books are talked about long after the mediocrity of other books has passed. And, like movies, not just blood and guts. Anyone can talk Dissection 101 and make is painful.
I look for books that creep me out without scarring me for life. Ones with twists and surprises and a satisfactory, if not super positive, ending. For being a writer, I know it is one’s imagination that needs to be taken care of first. If your scope is narrow, so is your experience of the world. If your imagination is fertile, your imagination takes wing. You can imagine things before you see them. Which is the basis of any good book. Things don’t have to be spelled out in black and white to be understood.
So the purpose of this little Tuesday night gathering is — do you have any books that fit the above criteria? Creepy, scary, adventurous, fun? Books that keep you awake at night?
Also — has anyone read H.P. Lovecraft’s works? I’ve been thinking of ordering them, as he was ahead of his time in his ideas and writing.
Like blogs, Twitter, and movies, I think recommendations from friends are far more enjoyable than those from an advertiser.
And maybe, through your suggestions, NONE of us will get much sleep.
Happy Holidays my favorite readers!
On this day-bef0re-Sunday-Evening-Art-Gallery-blog-Day, I thought I’d drop off a few gifts for a Saturday afternoon.
Two more luscious galleries have been added to the expanded SEAG blog:
The outstanding driftwood sculptures of James Doran Webb (http://wp.me/p5LGaO-uE)
and the ultra colorful contemporary art of Janet Fish (http://wp.me/p5LGaO-uX)
If you’d like a bit of amazing Mother Nature, I can also recommend the incredible Universe (http://wp.me/p5LGaO-ov)
Or Snowflakes ( http://wp.me/p5LGaO-31).
Enjoy the Season, the Gallery, and your Life. For after all……All we are is Dust in the Wind (thanks to Kansas).
See You Soon!