Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Deep thoughts at a years end...


It is quiet in my house tonight. The furnace clicks away against the chill of a low desert night. Neighbor’s Christmas lights still twinkle at this late hour.

There should be snow on the ground and the violet shadows of a winter evening casting watercolor shadows…a year should not end without winter cold and ice cleansing away the cobwebs of twelve months almost past. But, alas, snow is not something we see here, and although satisfying shadows are cast from the bright moon, it is never totally the same for me as ending the year with true winter.



As 2010 winds down, I am reminded of a snippet from a poem I wrote years and years ago, “It is only at night that my demons come out, I run and I scream and I hide and I shout…but they find me.”

This year I am determined to banish the demons that seem intent on executing their ‘why’ and ‘why not’ ballet incessantly through my head, by focusing on something different. I am going to exile those relentless emotions by concentrating on what I have learned in the last twelve months, instead of trying to decipher the long list of things I am still unable to understand.

I think I finally got it through my head that it is OK to be happy when people you love are not. Each of us can choose every single day between happiness and being miserable. We can choose between joy and sorrow. Joy is a personal choice, not one that you can gift to others no matter how badly you want to or how badly you think they need it.

Sadly, I have learned that love cannot heal everything. It just can’t. When love is not enough, I have learned to just put it quietly away into my heart and save it. I can pray. I can hope. I can wish. But my love cannot and never will be strong enough to banish a loved ones demons.

People you love don’t always treat you the way you treat them. You can choose to grow bitter. You can choose to change your actions. You can choose to accept it and control how you act. Sometimes, love is not a two-way street.

There is a lot of good in the world. Sometimes I think we focus on the bad stuff, the nasty people, the horrible stories…but if we change the way we see things, there are moments when there are way more blessings then things to curse…which leads me to…

Swearing is dumb.

No matter how much you apologize or are apologized to, you can never erase ugly words said, or un-hear ugly words said to you.

We cannot teach something to someone who doesn’t want to learn. Life lessons preached to unhearing ears are meaningless blah, blah, blah.

You can only be a victim once. After that you become a volunteer.

You never, ever have to let anyone speak to you in cruelty or nastiness. You never, ever have to speak that way back to them.

A few days ago it seemed like one of the most important lessons I learned this year was eating too many Christmas cookies will shrink your jeans, but tonight that seems almost unimportant.

Perhaps it is because I am wearing my long, red flannel nightgown and I can inhale without gasping…

Or perhaps it is because it is because the hour is late...

…and the demons are gone for the moment.

I am filled with hope and possibility and promise that in the New Year I will continue to keep my heart wide open and learn the things that help me understand my life.


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40 comments:

5thsister said...

Here's to casting those demons away!

My favorite line is: "You can only be a victim once. After that you become a volunteer."

Thank you for this wonderful, reflective post. You're the best!

Wanda..... said...

After being away from blogging for awhile....what a wonderful first post to come back to!

I hope you will continue to find strength and hope in your own words, Jenny ...as others most surely will.

noexcuses said...

Thanks for this post. It is just what I needed to hear. I love the honesty with which you write.

Wishing you a New Year filled with happiness and adventure!

Tolentreasures said...

What a beautiful post! I am trying to catch up on blogs each morning and this was a great way to start my morning. How true your words ring! I have a calligraphy that I need to get framed...a Corrie Ten Boom quote that helps me deal with the demons/people that I encounter.
"To forgive is to set a prisoner free, and to realize that the prisoner was me"
Hope that you have a peaceful New Year.

Cathy

Julienne said...

Jenny, may the winds of winter sweep away your year (even if the snow is not there!) and learning, and then knowing that you cannot live someone else's life for them, no matter how much you want to is a good lesson to finish the year on.
Through the year you have brought tears to my eyes, laughter to my face and made me think long and hard.
You were there with wise words in your emails when I needed them.
You are a clever and courageous woman that I am so happy to have met.
Have a very happy New Year xx J

Bookie said...

Oh, Jenny, so eloquent! I am working in EXACTLY your same space this week. It is like you read my mind, spoke my heart, held my hand. Thank you for these thoughts this morning...they will carry me far into my own new beginning. I hope to keep your counsel and will have to print your essay out for safe keeping! Happy New Year to you too.

Deb said...

good for you Jenny...we usually end up hurting ourselves more by not letting things go...time to open the window and let the demons fly out...

Theresa said...

Yes ma'am to all of it! I try to stay happy, find happiness in every situation, find the good in bad stuff that happens... AND not feel bad about it! I pray great things in the coming year for you, that demons vanish and a little snowfall for my friend in the desert:) Have a blessed day and a happy and prosperous New Year! HUGS!

Jocelyn said...

Thank you for this post!!!!

It is so heartfelt and the life lessons so very important!!!!

I wish for you and your family and very Happy and Healthy New Year!!!

You are an inspiration to all of us...I have so enjoyed spending my mornings with you....laughing, smiling and sharing your life!!! I wish for you an open heart and many Blessings in your life!!! Being YOU is a good thing.....

Joanne Lendaro said...

great post...thanks for the reminder! happy new year!

Terra said...

beautiful thoughts Jenny. So much of this life we can't control, all we can control is how we react to it. Here is to a wonderful 2011!

Jeanie said...

Your last line is a perfect resolution for all of us in the new year/

Aunt Amelia's Attic said...

A penetrating and bitter/sweet entry, Dear One. All true. All sometimes hard to apply.

My best to you, for doing all those things, in the New Year.

Gentle New Year's hugs...

J. Kwiatkowski said...

I agree with you, mostly. Except about the swearing. Swearing is awesome.

Mid-Atlantic Martha said...

Jenny -- there's certainly a whole lot to think about here --- some of these paths, I too, have trod upon. Wishing you a sparkling New Year -- full of promise, blessings and joy upon joy!

Raspberry Lane Primitives said...

Simply elegant, thought provoking and humorous as usual....Have a wonderful day Jenny!

ps..you can have ALL of my snow. It has been bone chilling here the last few days but we're in for a warm up into the 30's & 40's this week.
patti

⚜ ↁℯℬℬᴵℰ⚜ said...

Beautiful Miss Jenny and oh so true. Took me a long time for figure some of those valuable lessons out. Happy New Year to you and your family!!~
DebbieXXX000

Willoughby said...

I agree with everything you said. Very eloquently put!

At the end of the day, you have to console yourself with the fact that you've done the best you could with the situations you were given, regardless of what they may have been and then keep moving forward.

I hope 2011 will be a wonderful year, with fewer "lemons" all around. Take care, my friend!

Linda @ A La Carte said...

Jenny your words really strike a cord with me. The loving someone is not enough to change them or bring them joy. I can't make someone happy, I can only make myself happy. Wonderful reflections dear friend.

Pondside said...

At this time of year, taking stock isn't always as easy as thinking about losing a few pounds, as you've written so well. As trite as it sounds, we are most easily hurt - most hurt - by the ones we love. You're right - love isn't enough to change someone's behaviour. Eventually we come to understand that we have to take steps to protect ourselves, because we don't always see the hurt - the words, the behaviour - coming. Sometimes it's best to remove oneself for a little while, out of self-preservation.
Thinking of you.......

LuLu Kellogg said...

Dearest Jenny,

This is the best post I have read in a long time. Thank you so much for all your share with us.

All my best wishes for you and your beautiful family for 2011!!

Love,
LuLu~*xoxo

Sherri said...

Great post!! Thanks...and have a Blessed New Year too come!

Bossy Betty said...

Incredible thoughts and so insightful too. Thanks for this post, Jenny! It was a great way to start thinking about the new year.

La said...

Thanks, Jenny.

My jeans shrunk this past week, too.

Here's to a new year without demons. La

Tina said...

Nice. I'm praying that some day I can get to the place you are right now. Thanks for sharing your personal battles and giving us hope.

Sue said...

These are great thoughts, Jenny, one and all. (I think we were in similar moods when we wrote our posts today.)

=)

The Words Crafter said...

You are such an amazing writer. This is beautiful and heartfelt. I've learned a lot from your wisdom....

which brings me to this: I think I remember you mentioning something about not doing awards (am I right?). However, even if you don't collect them, there's a post on my blog today about many of my followers who are also friends. Maybe if you have time, you could check it out....you're one of the main ones.

Judie said...

My dear, sweet friend, it takes a while and an ocean of tears before we finally do what we must do for ourselves. It is hard being tough, it is hard to not lash out with a comeback, or to feel that your are in some way to blame for a sad human condition that is really beyond your control.

We must study hard to maintain poise and self-control in facing those demons. We CAN do this! We can.

Busy Bee Suz said...

"You can only be a victim once. After that you become a volunteer."
So true.
This is beautifully written by a woman who has learned and is still learning. I always learn something from you Jenny, and today is no exception.
Here's to a beautiful and 'hurt free' 2011.
xoxoxo

Donna B said...

Oh Jenny...this was absolutely beautiful. Such sage advice. So true. You expressed it all so eloquently. I can relate and I totally agree with everything you said. I would like to refer my followers to your post to share it with them...I would link it to your blog. Would it be OK? You can email me at donnab6464@gmail.com. Thank you for such an awesome post.

Cheryl said...

Beautiful. Very tough lessons. I've learned I can only be hurt if I allow myself to be hurt.

{ L } said...

Jenny, this is so raw and real and simply beautiful. I love it when writing makes me FEEL. And that's what this post did for me. Thank you. You are a jewel. I'm happy I know you. Have a very Happy NEW YEAR.

Karen S. said...

Good-bye demons....move over a new year is about to unfold....!

Jennifer said...

I have a never-really-met-long-distance love for you, Jenny... That goes double for your blog. :} Happy New Year!

Coralie Cederna Johnson said...

Beautiful, Jenny! I am so touched by your words...thank you!
Hugs,
Coralie

Gina said...

Well Jenny you did it again...I'm bawling my eyes out! I truly hope that we meet in person some day as I feel that our hearts are so similar :) (and we love our weiner dogs, LOL). I really needed to hear what you wrote, I've gone thru some things this year that so many of your sentiments were relevant to that I can't pick a favorite. Ok maybe 3 favorites!
"It is OK to be happy when people you love are not."
"Joy is a personal choice, not one that you can gift to others"
"People you love don't always treat you the way you treat them. Sometimes love is not a two-way street."

Thank you thank you Jenny for being YOU - wonderful YOU!
Love,
Gina

Jo said...

human life is full of some hard hard lessons ... choosing to learn is choosing to grow ... and it's still something we resist time to time ... time and time i go back to the scene in the Lion King when Rafiki hits Simba on the head and then tells him, it's in the past ... in other words, keep moving forward ... dwelling on past mistakes is good for no one ... it's the most brilliant part of the movie and a lesson that is so worthy ... yet those demons do creep up on us ... so just live in the moment for today with an eye on the future, and with big love ... always big love ...

Anna said...

Dearest Jenny,
What a wonderful post! So many words of wisdom: 'You can only be a victim once. After that you are a volunteer.'

I agree with you about swearing, too. I am trying to teach the children to use good language and not say bad words. But it is soooo hard, when their father sounds like he is spitting out the contents of trash can. [How did I met up with this guy? Read my SC#35 and you will see how I am dealing with him!]

When the demons get at me at night, my little, loyal, nocturnal, feline friends, Cajsa and Sara, sit by my side and comfort me. And then I think of what my father said that he had learned in the US army during WWII, when bombs were dropping on them from the sky during the night:'Pull the shade down over the day, and try to get the sleep you need.' They did not know whether or not they would wake up the next day. When I think of him, my troubles seem to skrink a little.

I wish you and your lovely family good health and happiness in 2011.
Remember, Jenny, you are an amazing woman!
Love,
Anna

Ⓙ @ $ € € ₦$ ₣®0₥... said...

Your open heart is but one reason we love you. Your gift of words is another... There are so many....

Diane Hoeptner (hep-ner) said...

Greetings from Cleveland where is is 5 degrees below freezing with windchill! Yep, 5thSister pointed out my favorite line: victim once, then a volunteer. I love this thoughtful, non-preachy post. Oh, and you aint missin' nothing by way of snow and cold. Trust me on that. (: