Holiday Wish List

It is that time of year again, when people ask me what I want for the holidays. It's also a time to reflect on my hopes and intentions for the coming year.

I have a pretty awesome life full of good kids, great friends, a fulfilling job and a wonderful boyfriend. I already have most of what I need to be happy, and any shortfall lies within myself (healing, restoration of my confidence, learning to trust again). I certainly don't lack for any material goods.

Unfortunately, what I want isn't something you can buy from my Amazon wish list. It's also the one thing that my friends and loved ones don't seem to have enough of: time.

I have the means and opportunity to go out to clubs, see movies, or take day trips a couple of times a month. My work lets me travel to amazing places 3 or 4 times a year. I own a couple of timeshares, and I earn enough travel points that I could afford some leisure travel on weekends or in the summer. I have great opportunities in my life for fun and adventure. What I don't always have is someone to share those things with me.

So, if you are looking for the perfect gift for the girl who has everything (and if you have been to my house, you know that I have at least two of everything), _spend time with me_. Have fun with me for an evening or a weekend, share something that you enjoy with me, take a class with me, travel with me, go to the movies with me. Give me the gift of your time and companionship, even if you can't afford to contribute financially to whatever we do together.

That's what I want for Yule/Christmas this year. I'd also be happy to get a stocking full of hugs and kisses :-).
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Interesting Article

I identify very strongly with the author of this article.

I came to non-monogamy in a similar way, and tend to view my relationships much like she does. I like the distinction she makes between a "partner" (someone with whom you make life decisions) and a "lover" (someone with whom you have sex). I also strongly relate to the notion that an "intimate" can be one, the other, both or neither.

I can't imagine handling as many simultaneous intimate relationships as the author does, but I am open to much of the range she describes. The notion of living alone with frequent visits from partner(s), lovers(s) or other intimates sounds pretty optimal to me right now.
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So far, so good...

I had an absolutely wonderful day today. Mark and I went to see "A Christmas Carol" at the North Shore Music Theater, and the show was excellent -- moving, uplifting, and beautifully presented. It went a great way towards restoring my holiday spirit. I also had a happy, relaxing, warm, wonderful time with Mark, which couldn't have come at a better time to improve my mood.
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Happy Holidays? I'm Trying!

I am doing a lot better this holiday season than I was during the last one...

Thanksgiving weekend was great. I went to two lovely Thanksgiving dinners on Thursday, and I had my Thanksgiving dinner on Saturday, as usual. I had 15 people here for dinner this year, and I had a wonderful time.

Last year, I didn't get a Yule/Christmas tree until December 23rd when I ended up going to buy one alone in the rain. This year, though, Mark (meadmaker) and I took an afternoon off together during the week after Thanksgiving to buy a Yule tree. We picked Zoe up after school with the tree on top of the car, and she was very excited! At that point, I was feeling quite hopeful about the upcoming holidays.

I knew that this year would be hard for me again, so I had invited a few of my closest friends over to trim my tree on Saturday, the 6th. That gave me a deadline to get the living room ready for the holidays, and I thought it would help me get a positive start to the Yule/Christmas season. It didn't really work out that way, though, and I am struggling to hold onto my hopeful mood as a result.

There was a bunch of drama surrounding my holiday gathering. One of my friends refused to attend because another one of my friends rejected her FB friend request. I really didn't enjoy having that drama played out at my expense. There has been vaguebooking on FB all week, and it sounds like there will be further drama surrounding our company holiday party. *sigh*

I only get so many holiday seasons, and I _refuse_ to surrender another one to the same sorrows and stresses that claimed the last one. I have a number of fun and meaningful events planned over the next few weeks, and I am going to do my best to enjoy them, regardless of what other people are doing.

Mark and I are going to see "A Christmas Carol" at the North Shore Music Theater tomorrow. We have our company holiday party on Tuesday. Next weekend will be our coven's Yule celebration, and I am officiating -- I'm very excited about that! On Monday, the 22nd, Mark will come over for a Yule celebration with me and my kids. Then I'll celebrate Christmas Eve and Christmas with my kids later that week. Santa normally comes to Pagan children's houses on Yule, but it is important to Zoe that he come on Christmas, so I've asked him to come then.

I am not sure what I'll be doing for New Year's Eve yet, and I am somewhat stressed about that. New Year's Eve was another time that was particularly awful for me last year, and I hope it will be better this year.

I am a little nervous about the fact that I haven't actually started my holiday shopping yet… I have started to put together a list, though, and I'm thinking about what to give to all of the people I love.
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It's been so long...

I've been thinking about posting something here, but it has been so long that I haven't been sure where to start. There is no way that I can summarize everything that has happened since I last posted regularly, so I won't even try. Maybe I will just start with a few things that are on my mind at the moment.

The Holidays:

I am tentatively looking forward to the holidays this year. Last year, the holidays were quite difficult for me, and I was afraid that they would be just as painful this year. I had a very good Thanksgiving, though. I'll be getting a tree with Mark (meadmaker) on Thursday and decorating it with several close friends on Saturday. I've been invited to some nice holiday parties, and I have some lovely plans with Mark for the holidays.

For a few years, I have been considering a major change to my holiday practices. For me, Christmas was always a religious holiday, and it has felt strange to celebrate it as a secular holiday now that I am celebrating Yule as my religious holiday. So, I am considering tying the secular traditions (a tree, santa, presents, etc.) to Yule instead of Christmas. I considered doing this last year, but I thought it was better to maintain stability for the kids. This year, though, might be time to break with some of our former traditions and start some new ones.

Has anyone made this switch while they had a family, particularly children? Any thoughts about how best to handle it? I also have similar thoughts about celebrating Ostara instead of Easter.


Mark and I recently celebrated the 5th anniversary of our first date (AKA when we met), and the 1st anniversary of our current dating relationship. I couldn't be more in love or happier with a partner than I am with Mark.

The amount of time I spend with Mark is limited, for obvious reasons, and I'd like to be dating at least one other person. I have a couple of romantic interests, but it is not clear where those relationships are (or are not) going. I'm not good at looking for people, but I remain hopeful that something more will develop in this area.

I still have too much pain and complexity in my interpersonal relationships, though, both in my romantic and non-romantic relationships, including ongoing divorce proceedings and far too much drama, some of which is likely the result of my own emotional state. These issues are a constant drain on my emotional reserves and make it hard for me to be completely happy. This is something I'd like to sort out and move past in the coming year.


The kids are all doing well. Highlights include Chris continuing to do well in his professional career, Gwen getting a job at Dominoes, Rachel starting college at UMASS Boston and doing well there, Owen doing a lot better academically and socially, and Zoe _loving_ first grade.

Zoe lost her first tooth last night, so the tooth fairy is back in business at our house!

How is everyone else doing?

What To Do About Cookie?

I have been trying to figure out what to do about our dog, Cookie. She is a very friendly, extremely cute little pure-bred beagle, and we love her, but it's not clear that we are able to take care of her properly now. Kevin used to be home during the day, and he would take her out on walks multiple times a day, pay attention to her during the day, etc. Over the summer, the kids were here while I was at work, but now the kids are all at school, and Cookie ends up alone here all day. She can't make it through the day without having accidents in the house, which is a big problem because the older kids often get home before I do and they have to deal with it. Cookie isn't eating as well as she used to, either.

So, what should we do about this? She'd probably be better off in a home where someone could be home with her during day, but how would I find her a new home? I wouldn't want her to end up at the pound, or without a family.



I was thinking about my life this morning...

I don't like my life right now quite as much as I liked it a year ago, and sometimes I feel sad about that. It isn't a bad life, though, and it sure does have some incredible high points. So, all in all, there isn't much to be unhappy about.

On Becoming a Vegetarian...

As I mentioned on Facebook, my experiment with a vegetarian diet has been very successful. So successful, in fact, that I've decided to stick with it, instead of reintroducing selected meats into my diet at this point.
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In other words, I'm a vegetarian now, and I plan to be one for the foreseeable future.

I know that this is inconvenient for some of my friends, especially the ones that I eat with regularly. The potential negative impacts on my friends and family were a major consideration that lead me to look for alternatives and delayed my conclusions in this area, but in the end I had to do what I thought was right for me. I greatly appreciate the tolerance and support I've received so far, and I will continue to appreciate your support going forward.
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St. Patrick's Day Party

Please join us for our annual St. Patrick's Day Party on Saturday, March 23rd starting around 2:00pm and ending when the last guests go home.

As usual, our party will be a celebration of all things Irish! We'll be serving an Irish dinner in the late afternoon, including Corned Beef & Cabbage, Cheddar and Parsnip Soup, Colcannon, Vegan "Beef & Guinness" Stew, Irish Soda Bread, and whatever else comes to mind. We'll also have Irish Music, Irish Beer, Irish Coffee, Irish People and perhaps an Irish Movie for the kids.

You, your SOs, kids, friends and visiting relatives are welcome to attend.

Please RSVP by Tuesday, March 19th, so we'll know how much food to buy. But, if you forget to RSVP, come anyway!
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