They are the same person, in two different-sized bodies, born a generation apart. They might have been twins, had they not been father and son. They are my husband and our youngest. They share similar personalities as well as a sharp sense of humor, affection for storytelling, tendency for voicing strong opinions, a love of debate and an unwillingness to back down from a disagreement —especially with each other. They are information gatherers, knowledge sponges, trivia fact hunting hounds and conspiracy theorists.
I've been contemplating marriage. Not getting married. I took care of that task years ago. I've been contemplating marriage as in the concept of. My daughter recently tied the knot and I've been reminiscing about my own newlywed days — and some of the lessons learned since way back then.
"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit." —Aristotle I strive for an orderly life. It's less chaotic that way. Besides, with order comes power — the power of predictability. With predictability comes calmness and reduced stress. And that leads to order. You see how that came full circle? Just like the circle of life.
New Year's Day is perhaps the most celebrated holiday around the world. There's a universal appeal to newness, so the first day of a new year is a natural cause for a party. People have been celebrating the beginning of a new year for at least four millennia — or 28,000 dog years. Some of the first recorded celebrations were in Babylon. Then, the holiday was observed in March, during the first new moon following the vernal equinox. It was an 11-day celebration, making it New Year's Week-and-a-half, as opposed to New Year's Day.
'Tis the season to shop for gifts for friends, family and others who deserve a wrapped present as defined by the rules of political correctness. We all long to find the perfect gift, even though there is no such thing. Some choices are much better than others, however, so I'm here today wearing my Santa hat with a package or two of gift-giving advice — otherwise known as the dos and don'ts of the gifting process.
Greetings! Like the Terminator, we are back! You may have missed our holiday letter last year because we didn't send one. We weren't trying to be naughty, and I hope our lack of communication didn't get us knocked off your Christmas card list. In case it did, I am sending our greetings early this year so you will have time to fire off a card to us after receiving ours.
Goldfish. Most people probably don't give them a penny's worth of thought. I never used to. Then my kid brought a few of the sparkly swimming gems home from a local fair, and we were pet owners. This was last summer — over a year ago. This year, when the same son asked if he could go to the fair, I had one admonishment: Don't come home with any more goldfish. After all these years as a parent, I'm still that naive. Of course, he came home with a goldfish. We all knew that's how this would end up.
Have you ever experienced a day when things are slightly off kilter? When the normal becomes abnormal, often in an almost imperceptible way? The order of the universe is lagging, your controller fails to control and you're thrown a degree (or two) off course. Thought processes and actions seem to be deregulated and your brain refuses to function in a straightforward, logical manner. If there's a way to mess things up, or confuse them, you'll do it — even with the simplest of endeavors. This condition grows exponentially if you are multitasking, and who among us isn't?
I have a friend who reads clocks. Not reads in the typical sense of noting the time, but reads as in looking to see patterns in the numbers. There is a certain beauty in discovering order or meaningful sequences and my thoughtful friend finds this in clocks. After she told me about her habit — slash obsession — I was intrigued. What patterns could I find? Before you could say "time out," I was in. Ever since, I too have been a clock reader.
Most of my friends are doing it. I've always been a little stunted so I'm not quite there yet. It will come soon enough. The next stage. From what I can tell, it's one of rediscovery, independence and running to the store together for milk — because you can. I still have kids at home. I stretched this whole parenthood thing out about as far as you can stretch it. My friends who were more streamlined with their timelines are finding themselves with spare bedrooms, full refrigerators and empty nests. And, for the most part, they are enjoying it.