Don’t ask me how, but a complete calendar year has passed since I began my ‘blogging adventure’. Before I started, I put ‘safeguards’ in place to ensure anonymity. Because most of my family members have a few screws loose, I didn’t want any of them getting wind of what I was writing and sue my pants off. I love my pants, they fit really well, so putting them in jeopardy is completely unacceptable. Let me tell you, trying to remain anonymous and staying under the radar has been quite challenging. I think I’ve been successful at accomplishing this but I wouldn’t be surprised if I got careless and slipped at some point along the way. One of the ‘safeguards’ I implemented was never using anyone’s actual name, just ‘made up’ ones. You’d think it’d be easy to come up with aliases for others but it isn’t necessarily. What I found most difficult was trying to remember the aliases I used once they were assigned. The initial theme for the aliases was ‘animals’ and I did pretty well (to a degree). My oldest sister was ‘Stallion’, and my oldest brother ‘The Kraken’.
‘Turtle’ followed, and then the whole concept fell apart. I threw out the rule book once it came time to dream up a suitable ‘made up’ name or alias for my second sister. She wound up with ‘Cactus Annie’. It was more of the same for my third sister ‘Diabolical Debbie’ and her daughter ‘The Mental Minion’. I briefly returned to the animal theme when I assigned a name to my 3rd brother, Wily Fox, but I completely threw in the towel after that. Despite an entire afternoon trying to determine which animal my 4th brother resembled the most (not in physical traits but in mannerisms), I decided to call him ‘Clover’ (as in ‘Four Leaf’). And as much as I wanted to call my 5th brother ‘Cheap Bastard’, I softened it by referring to him as ‘Dapper Dan’. Even though he’s one of the cheapest people I know, he isn’t ‘all bad’ and I thought I should cut him a break. I suppose all of my siblings have some redeeming qualities but unfortunately for the most part, the ‘bad’ outweigh the ‘good’ or the ‘sick’ outweigh (or outnumber) the ‘healthy’.
Why have I wasted so much time talking about such trivial things? Honestly, I have no idea. I guess I decided to choose the path of least resistance. Because I’d prefer not to spend another precious minute thinking or writing about topics or people which leave me with knots in my stomach, I am going to switch things up and intend to dedicate the rest of today’s blog on something uplifting and joyful. “What might that be,” you ask? Well, for starters, I received the most unexpected, incredible, wonderful news yesterday! If you’ve read any of my recent posts about ‘the roof’, you’re not going to believe what just transpired. I heard from the seller’s realtor yesterday afternoon (via email) and what she said left me practically speechless. In the message, to my complete and utter disbelief, she indicated that the seller had just filed a claim for the roof and was waiting for the insurance company to send out an agent to inspect the property. Hallelujah! As soon as I finished reading the message, I read it again (just to make sure I read it right). I then made a mad dash to the basement to share the good news with my husband.
After handing him my phone and giving him a chance to read the message, his face lit up like a Christmas tree. He was just as surprised as I was! We both anticipated draining our savings account to pay for the roof but as it turns out, it won’t be necessary. Instead of forking over $18,000 (on top of what we’re paying for the house), we only have to pay the deductible on the claim. I don’t tear up a lot but I did on this occasion. I’ve spent countless hours looking up items (furniture, tile, lighting, appliances, lumber, etc.) under the ‘free’ category on Facebook and Craigslist, trying to make what little money we have stretch in order to accomplish the necessary improvements and upgrades on the house; however, now that will no longer be necessary. I can do a lot with very little but not having the financial burden of paying the entire amount for the roof opens up so many more possibilities! To be precise, another $15,000 – $17,000 worth of possibilities (depending on the deductible)! That thoughtful gesture by the homeowner is not only going to save us a ton of money, it has done so much more. It has restored some of my faith in humanity (which is even more valuable).
Now that I’ve got ‘news of the roof’ out of the way, I feel comfortable moving on to other topics which are joyful and uplifting. Today’s blog is titled ‘The Grand Finale’, and for this reason, I would like to talk about all the good which has resulted from it (as there has been a lot). Without a doubt, this blog has been a lifesaver. When I started out a year ago, I felt as if I were coming apart at the seams. Like most humans, I need a sense of purpose, and 6 months after being laid off from my job, I was climbing the walls. I had already gone through nearly every closet, cabinet, and cubby in my house and discarded or donated a bunch of stuff I deemed ‘unnecessary’. Regardless of my efforts, I still managed to hang on to a significant number of ‘things’. Because I had plenty of time on my hands, those items I chose to keep were then labeled and organized and (eventually) lovingly put away. I also managed to digitize every single VHS tape I had in my possession, a task I previously didn’t think possible. What a ‘cleansing’ experience that was! It felt fantastic finally ridding myself of all those antiquated tapes!
I also completed the entire version of Rosetta Stone’s (Latin American Version) Spanish language software. I’m not sure whether it was worth the trouble since I’ve forgotten 99% of it. Last week, I went to Ross and thought I’d give it a whirl and totally bungled it (once again). A little Hispanic boy was playing with a toy and I tried to engage with him but it was clear by his furrowed brow that he was puzzled by my question. I asked him if he got a new toy to play with, or at least I thought that’s what I asked him. It wasn’t until shortly afterward that I realized I said ‘fuego/fire’ instead of ‘juego/play’. Geez. Why do I bother? Anyway, those are all the things I set out to do (organizing my home, digitizing tapes, learning Spanish) before I started out on my blogging adventure. And what an adventure it’s been! I have learned so much about myself and others through the process; it has truly been enlightening. I have talked about guilt and shame and regret as well as hopes and dreams and forgiveness.
The blog has served me well as it has helped me work through so many of my issues. In fact, it’s done far more than any therapist I’ve sat through a session or two or ten with. The other plus is that it doesn’t cost anything apart from my time, and since I’ve still got plenty of time to kill, it hasn’t interfered with or taken away from my day-to-day activities. Have there been plenty of days when I would have gladly gone to bed and ‘read the back of my eyelids’ rather than sit down in front of my computer and spend 3+ hours weaving together something which would (hopefully) entertain my readers from the beginning of paragraph one all the way to the end of paragraph eight (give or take)? Oh, yes, there have been plenty of days!! This move has tested my resolve in more ways than one! There have been nights when I’ve literally nodded off mid-sentence and have had to force myself to push through. That said, I cannot emphasize enough how much I have benefitted from writing each day and sharing the innerworkings of my mind with each and every one of you.
Yes, each and every one of you, my friends! So many of you come to mind, and I’d be remiss if I didn’t take the time to thank you for your loyalty, support, and encouraging words. When I have gone through periods of depression, dread, and despair, you have helped give me the strength to ‘power on’. Everyone has been exceptionally kind and it means so much! I could not have met my goal without you. Yes, ‘that’ goal, writing or posting every single day for 365 days straight. Since I have officially met ‘that’ goal, that obligation, I cannot help but ask myself, “Where do I go and what do I do from here?” Honestly, I have no idea, the sky’s the limit! If I’m ‘beyond exhausted’ after working on our soon-to-be house for 10 hours straight, and I want to immediately collapse into bed (rather than writing), I can. If I want to take a break from the computer for a day, or a week, or a month, because I need to devote my time to other things, I can. I can watch a movie until well past midnight if I want to and not worry about it interfering with my ‘blog time’. I’ll admit, I look forward to the days, weeks, and months to come. Do I intend to walk away from this ‘blog adventure’, never to return?
Don’t count on it, my friends! I intend to take a hiatus but I cannot predict how long it will last. More than likely, you haven’t heard the last from me. In fact, don’t be surprised if I only last a day or two before returning for ‘an encore’. This is ‘The Grand Finale’ but it’s not necessarily the ‘The End’. Until that time, I wish you all the best that life has to offer. Thank you so much for joining me on this incredible journey. I have had a blast and I hope you have as well!