Tuesday, January 12, 2010

New year. New thoughts.

I'm just back from a week in Mexico. In the airport in Houston, retrieving the week's messages, I read that my home had been broken into. On the plane we were told not to use our cell phones in customs but everyone else was and the line was hugely long and I thought, well, what the hell, I'm just reading my e-mail so what's the big deal? But then, to be standing there surrounded by total strangers, and read that my home had been broken into but that everything was okay, that my pets were not harmed, that the repairs had been made, reports given to the police...it was a lot to read quietly, surrounded by strangers.

This is the hardest time of year for me. Even though this past year was slower than other years, it was still busy in December and the dramatic falloff into January was abrupt. I did have the ability to go to Mexico for a vacation and so there was that week to pour myself into. And while in Mexico I did take a surfing lesson and did, on the third day of trying, manage to stand up, unassisted, on a surf board on a real wave. Big accomplishment.

But lurking in the distance were those questions: "It's January. It's the slow time of year. Last year was tough. What are you going to do to make this one work out better than last?" I mean, this happens EVERY year, this racing and then standing still. Over and over again. And finally it gets to be April 15 and things pick up again and then it's okay until January the following year. Every year I get consumed with worry. How can I make this year different?

In the break in last week, my television was stolen. My ex-partner had bought it, a big television that was much more than I would have bought. Big. But I liked it. And a sting of pearls, the only really valuable jewelry I owned, was taken too. From my underwear drawer! Imagine. I only wore these pearls on special occasions, but I don't like that someone came into my house and went all the way into my closet, into my underwear drawer and took them. Today I decided to go buy another tv. I often come home and sit with my dog and cat, winding down with them tucked in next to me, allowing the day to dissolve, slough off. Lots of people say they hate tv but I like this ritual with my pets. And there is plenty of time spent reading and cooking and visiting with them in other ways too.

I don't have much of a ritual with the pearls, but I miss them anyway.

So I got the new tv today and brought it home and then could not figure out how to make it work. I fussed for a while and then called Monroe, my friend, and simply asked him to come and help me.

My sisters talk about asking for help. They practice doing that. Asking. We are not that great at it, my sisters and I. But they say that help is often right there if you just look - and then ask.

So I did.

Monroe came. Set it all up. Got me coached in how to use the various controllers. And then left.

Today I got an invitation to be filmed for a video about being an ovarian cancer survivor. And I got an invitation to make 15 glass vases for a big event in the spring. Cokie Roberts is going to be the keynote speaker at the event. I've given glass for the past two years and it's exciting to think that my hobby will get to make this sort of appearance at an event with her as the bigwig. My glass - in front of all those people! And I also found out that I might get to do some cooking for the Honey Board at a conference in Las Vegas where I'm speaking (about writing a blog and trying to help grow a business in offbeat ways - like riding a bicycle across the country...)

I wonder about how I will get through until April this year. Monroe and I talked about it a little bit. He had a profound little quip (that I can't exactly remember) but it was something like, "I don't know how I will get there, but I will. And if it doesn't work, I'll just do something else." That's nice to remind myself too. I often forget. Often.

"We will get there, heaven knows how we will get there, we know we will." Words from a song. Words to remember.

I've also decided to sign up for another ride. Sent my money in on December 31st, thereby qualifying for a $700.00 discount. It's not until 2011 and it's a ride from South Dakota to Maine. I have no idea how I will manage to do it, to find time to train, to get the money, the time off, to have the staff in place to work it out. And I don't know if I'll do it as a fundraiser or not. But today I told the ovarian cancer people that I would do their video and that I am doing another ride. And I do, of course, know that I can raise money and take time off and do what it takes to get ready for something like this. And I know how much it means to me (and, to others) and so I'm going to do another one. I find that putting something GOOD in front of me helps me be strong in the face of things that might be not so good.

Help is everywhere and if this, whatever THIS is in any given moment, doesn't work, it is not the end of my life. It is not the end of the world. Maybe this is what the lesson of the day is. Maybe.