Sunday, December 27, 2015

Christmas 2015 in LAX

It's been a year since I've been back here and nothing has really changed.  Oh there are a few new construction projects, but on the whole, this town is stuck in the twilight zone.   Opening presents in my hotel room on Christmas night was THE place to be.  First Daughter and her man Husband In Everything Except The Paper,  and First Son and his wife The Girl With No Plans and I surprised and delighted each other with the perfect gifts.  There was wine and snacks and playing of Times Up until First Son had to go to work.  We continued my favorite kind of get together, just talking together about our lives until it was time for everyone to get some sleep.  First son came back after the news show was complete and took everyone away.

And I was happy, basking in the afterglow of so much love from my kids.  The next morning First Daughter was up early to spend as much time with me as possible so I grabbed a taxi and we had a wonderful breakfast at The Breakfast Club and Pub.  A new restaurant that has an 80's theme.  SO of course I wanted to go.  Great food and of course great prices.  We did some window shopping.  Stopped into Def Ear to say hey to the owner and get my Sandman collection complete.  And to get the word out that I'd be downtown later at Yesterdays, one of my favorite bars. 

Then around 1pm First Son and The Girl With No Plans came to get us to hang out at their place until Husband in Everything Except The Paper was of work.  We played Exploding Kittens, a great card game and more laughter and conversation.  We had a quick Chinese dinner and then off to pick up our last party member and head to Star Wars.  Unfortunately when we got there it was sold out.  So we went downtown early to Starlite.  This was so fun to have martinis and munchies at another of my favorite bars.  But by 9pm we were all feeling a bit partied out.  So the kids dropped me off at That Guy's place for the partying with my friends to start. 

The plan had been to hang out there, gaming and watching movies and getting our pre bar party on, like we always used to do.  Then hit downtown and let everyone know I was really out.  Benny Sweat made an appearance to be sure he caught me, just in case I maybe did too much pre bar prep.  And guess what?  I never made it out of That Guys place until it was time to call it a night.  I was having a great time, don't get me wrong.  But I'm so out of practice, that when the stone wall hit me, it hit me pretty hard and pretty quick.  In my own defense I did get through two viewing of Fury Road while watching gaming at the same time, and hitting everything pretty hard.  I'm afraid my hard core partying days are behind me.  And while that might have let That Guy down a bit, it certainly did not let me down.  I had the best time, because I didn't get so drunk I had to be carted to the hotel or hung over this morning.  But just enough to have had a great time and build fond memories with my friends and family. 

I look at this as personal growth.  To know my limits and still have fun without regrets within those limits.  Those of you that have partied to access in the past know what I"m talking about.  And with that being said, while I've had fun at those times too, what you can remember of them, its much more fun to not wake with any guilt or regret and to know that all the fun you had was on your terms  I know this is how most of you operation normally, its just not how I operate normally.  I usually want to please everyone else first.  But not anymore.  Not since I left here and moved to the Windy City.  Now I'm doing me.  I'm pleasing me first, because I realize that it's my life, and the people that love me will love me more if I'm me, instead of being who I think they need.  Being who I need is more honest and real, and much more intimate. 

I love all of you that I was able to see, and thought of a great many of you that I didn't see.  Maybe next year.


Sunday, December 20, 2015

Five More Days

Five days until Christmas!  Five days until I see my family again!  I'm so excited I really can't think of much else. Well except Star Wars.  If you watched The Big Bang Theory last week then you have an idea of how I felt watching the movie.  On opening night, I even texted both First Daughter and First Son a T-minus 15 minutes and counting text BEFORE I streamed the episode Saturday morning.  How embarrassing to be so publicly and correctly adapted from fact to fiction.  I'm a fan girl and I loved it.  But not as much as I love my kids. 

Its been since last Christmas, when I'd been able to see First Son, and his wife, The Girl With No Plans, but we talk almost weekly on line.  I can't wait to hug them and let my eyes drink them in.  And it's been only a few months since First Daughter moved back there but it feels like a year since I had a meal and talked with her about life.  And we text at least twice a week.  Seeing her and her Husband In Everything Except The Paper, again will be just as wonderful as the last time.  I wish I had more time with them, but a quick trip is all I can do this year. 

I'm sure even with a weekend together we will shove everything we can into those days and nights for the memories will have to last a year. 

I think this is the hardest thing about having children, watching them grow up and leave you.  Don't get me wrong I wanted my kids to move out when they grew up, tried to push them out the doors, but at the same time, those doors were always open in case they needed to come home.  Now as they are both approaching thirty or in their thirties, it seems my time alone is finally here.  It seems they would never need their old bedrooms, and quite frankly I moved away from them almost two years ago as well.  I'm am at the same time, proud of their successes and miss them both more than I can ever express in written form.

BUT in five days I will show them.  With all the love I have to give. I will listen and be empathetic to their dreams and lives and hold them and cherish them for who they have grown into being.  I will trust their decisions but be there to offer advice where I see they might need a different point of view, but as always I will only be telling stories.  Stories that hopefully shed light on their situations.  Or in other words I'll be the best parent I know how to be and have always been.  I'm one of the lucky ones, for I would pick my children to be friends if I met them on the street, and I know it's mutual.  So heres to five more days.


Sunday, December 13, 2015

We're Almost Half Way Through The Dark

Christmas is less than two weeks away, and I'm like a little kid.  Eight more days until the solstice and we'll be half way through the dark.  The days will start to get longer, and winter will come.  I can't wait to see my kids this year and catch up in person.  I love the internet but it's a sometimes sad replacement for actual human contact.  We have a very short visit but its quality time, and we will cram as much as we can into it.  I hope to catch up with That Guy and She of Little Combat Boots as well.  We will fly by the seats of our pants and party like it's 1999.  I plan on sleeping on the train. 

I'm so superstitious.  I know I wont need my laptop or a book.  But I've convinced myself if I don't pack them I'll need them.  For example:  If I don't pack my book the train will be late and I'll wish I had it to pass the time.  And If I don't take my laptop illness or work will prevent my family and friends from spending time with me and I'll wish I had it to pass the time.  You see where this is going.  Now I'm not really sure but I think I've been this superstitious all my life.  And its just about my intuition or my gut feelings if you will.  It's not about black cats or the number 13 or breaking mirrors or walking under ladders.  Not common stuff.  It's always about what my gut tells me and I'm usually not wrong. 

The strange thing about knowing this is, I don't always listen to my gut.  And when I look back I realize I should of even if it sounds stupid and outdated to believe in such things.  And I've been guilty of trying to shake off the feeling and chalk it up to an active imagination.  But I do believe in magic.  And I do believe in feelings.  And I do believe in wishes and positive thinking having power or negative thinking.  Some of you I know believe in prayer, and what is that but a deep wish and magic.  Aren't miracles magic of a sort?  A magic we may not understand or ever hope to duplicate? 

This is a magical time of year where miracles, or wishes, happen.  I know, I'm in the middle of a great wish coming to pass.  And with the new moon passing and the full moon coming at Christmas you can bet I'll be wishing.  Casting even.  Magic is powerful, and the energy you put out there comes back to you ten times.  So if you are a caster, or a wisher or a person who prays, keep it filled with love, keep it real, and harm no one.  Spread love, not only in this season but every day.  Lift your curses, and your negative feelings towards others and happiness will not only surround you but you will pass it on.


Sunday, December 6, 2015

For All Of You

They say death is the great equalizer, and I'm sure its true, but I'd like to believe that age is one too.  Unfortunately most people in today's society don't look upon the elderly with any real respect.  I guess it's always been that way with some, but in the past we held our elderly to a higher esteem.  We listened to their advice as hard earned experience, and welcomed their knowledge of history as it lived compared to how it was written.  But today it seems that the older you get the less useful you are to the younger generations.  I have found personally, that even with friends, when I'm telling them the truth as I see it happening to them, they don't listen or stop wanting to talk about it at best.  And at worst get angry and call my advice bad armchair psychology.  (Cue RUSH song). 

But as a friend, what they forget, is that I am only trying to help them not make the same mistakes I made.  Weather it is getting Crazy Girl Brain over a man who is perhaps acting like a boy, or just doing what he thinks is right for the moment.  Or when it's hiding the truth from themselves about a way that they are expressing themselves in a negative manner, always seeing the worst instead of finding the best they can. 

You see I don't give advice on topics or situations where I have no experience.  For I am on a journey too and learning everyday.  But when I see a friend or loved one going through something I myself have had to face, I can't help but try to give them some insight.  Usually I do it by telling them a story about my past.  But sometimes the need is so great that I have to resort to treating them they way they treat others.  Which almost always causes a temper tantrum.  And adult version but still the same type of acting out. 

Have I mentioned that I'm a nanny and I am not moved by temper expressed in any form?  Its my business to be good at defusing situations, and thankfully for me it has been a lesson learned from experiences.  Hard experiences.  And yes I can look back on all of my life and be thankful for those experiences.   Because I like who I have grown up to be.  Even if the road was sometimes dark and treacherous,  scandalous, or even when the road seemed to be deteriorating beneath my feet on an impossible up hill climb.  I always saw light at the end.  I hung on and reached out to hands willing to help me up and out.  With their hard earned advice.  I always found my way out and back to an easy path because on a basic level I am an optimistic person.  And I have faith in myself that I can do anything I set my mind to.  But that too was learned from tying.  Trying scary things that I never believed I'd be strong enough to do.  Like leaving home for the first time, having and raising children, divorce, surviving my parents deaths, moving to a new place and starting over--not just once but many times.  And I've had some very scary things thrust onto me, things I didn't choose that I also survived, like rapes, illness and lost loves. 

So having lived a full life, and knowing the fun's not over yet, I feel like I have learned some lessons, and I also feel its an obligation to pass on what I know to others that I love.  I welcome their stories and experiences, and don't understand why they wouldn't welcome mine.  But I find, with age, they do not.  So I've decided to just shut up.  I've decided that the negative people out there have won.  And I'm frankly tired of trying to help people.  So from now on my important advice will be kept for the ones who ask for it.  My knowledge of human experience will be for the ones that want to know, and you know what, they are all under 10 years old.  And they look at the world with the eyes of a child, and people as well.  They look at them the way I looked at my friends.  Knowing they would never hurt me and that they trust me and my love as I trust them.  How foolish I've been to think adults would be like children.  Like I am.  But you see, that's one thing life taught me.  You must look at the world with a child's trusting and honest eyes.  Or you will be deceived and hurt by adults who only want and never give. 

My name is Jill and it means ever youthful.  Perhaps that's why I survived, I'll always be young at heart and I highly recommend it.  Stop making yourself depressed with problems you can't solve, and solve the ones you can.  You'll be surprised how quickly everything around you changes when you love yourself the way a child does.  When you trust your loved ones the way a child does instead of thinking the worst of people you have chosen to be close to.  I hope your holiday is filled with childrens laughter and I hope it comes from your own hearts.