Tuesday, December 25, 2012

A Christmas Letter

Merry Christmas! Or Happy Belated Hannukah, Happy Belated Yule, Happy Other Possible Holidays I'm Forgetting About or Happy Tuesday!
Wow! Quite the year! So much has happened in these last twelve months I'm not sure where to begin. Mom and I moved out of our previous house and are renters now. We rescued one of the cats that dad used to feed at the old one, so now we have five. Five cats are truly a lot of cats, but we all seem to be managing. Bonk (the fifth cat, aptly named because she shows affection by smacking her head against you or any solid object near her) is very appreciative to be indoors and is enjoying her life with us. Lucky and Tiger are slowly warming to her and even Skippy doesn't mind sleeping near her as long as both of them are asleep-- which she will check on from time to time. Lucy's the only one who won't accept her, but Lucy's a bitch who barely tolerates the other girl cats, anyway.
I've been working tons. On New Year's Day, I was waitressing to tables that were constantly full. Hottie said that you can judge how the rest of your year will be by how the first day goes. I said, "I hope not! I worked my ass off!" Well that pretty much seemed to be how the rest of my year went. I passed two exams and got all the necessary licensing for my field, became full time, left waitressing (which Psychic Pam in Solvang told me I was terrible at, even though I never waited on her), worked at two different locations in order to be full-time and then finally began working full-time in one location and get to work closer to home. So yeah, I'm kind of tired sometimes.
Mom is doing well. It's been a tough year for her, naturally. She and my dad were close to celebrating their 40th anniversary before he passed. So going through that and making the choices she made this year has been difficult for her, but my mom is a strong woman and she's pulling through.
I'm sure you're wondering how I've taken the tough news of my imaginary boyfriend, Jason Segel, dating Michelle Williams. I'm getting by, thanks. I don't really have anything against her, so I'm happy for them. Truth be told, I haven't really taken part in the dating scene for a while. I tried it once this summer but was unsuccessful. Honestly this probably wasn't the year for me to date anyway, what with dealing with the loss of my dad and work and everything. It was hard to be happy a lot of times. The sudden death of my dad changed me a lot. It felt like nothing I said was right. Good things happened for a lot of my friends, and while I was happy for them, it was really hard to get there. I felt all sorts of guilt about the way I'd think about something or a choice I made. There is no right way to grieve, but you will grieve. I have friends who are going through the loss of a parent or will, and I'll tell you that it doesn't really get better. It gets easier, but sometimes emotions will hit you due to the weirdest things.
My dad passed from cancer. I personally cannot get into all of the "support cancer" stuff. He coincidentally died during men's cancer awareness month, which I guess is symbolized by mustaches. Since then, a mustache craze has formed. There is mustache merchandise to be had by all. My dad had a full-sized mustache. So immediately after his passing, tons of people were sporting fake ones on their faces or their shirts or coffee mugs. That was weird. I'm all for cancer research, but don't ask me to participate in walks or post things as my status for an hour. I'm not your girl.
Speaking of facebook, it's really gotten sucky, right? I personally can no longer load pictures onto it without a great deal of struggle. You may never know what I look like again, unless you see me in real life (gasp!) or I post them on here. And it was an election year. Yuck! Facebook got really nasty this year. Quite frankly, I'm ashamed of all of us and most of us are crazy. All I kept thinking was "Willie Wonka would never say that!" I tried really hard not to take part, but every now and then I did like something that I was concerned would raise some ire. If there's still a facebook four years from now, I may have to delete mine. I miss the days when facebook was all about stating the mundane thing you were doing without tagging and GPS and the only crazy thing you did was cast the top five friends on your list into an imaginary scenario. Good times.
It was tough to be positive with so much negativity going around this year. And we're primed for more negativity this year. So I want to pass along this observation. In his final years, my dad probably drank more than he should and probably smoked more than he should. He followed politics closely and romanticized the things he no longer had quite a bit. My mom and I were there for him as best as we could, but his thoughts made him feel alone. Sure, genetics and his actions were probably good motivators, but I feel his despair is what really gave him cancer. And no, I'm obviously not a doctor. I'm just a storyteller who hasn't written in a long time. But please do not despair. Times are really tough sometimes. For some, times are really tough all the time. But don't despair. Try to find the good that is in the present. Stop spreading the negative crap, because it's catching and some are more susceptible than others.
Finally, don't lose contact with the ones you love. I love all of you, in a perfectly healthy, non-stalkerish way.