Wednesday, November 24, 2010

I really am thankful

Thanksgiving has never been one of my favorite holidays.  I usually volunteer to work each year, including this one (hello holiday pay!). But this year I was passed over and ended up with it off, for the first time in a few years.  And the icing on that cake? My family has decided to come out here this year. Joy!

But really? Thanksgiving, what a weird holiday.  A day we "Americans" (I use the term lightly since so few of us are actually native to this land) celebrate with a giant feast giving thanks for the settlers that crossed over and made a new start here in this great land.  We won't go on to say what else those settlers did to the natives after that. But I don't celebrate Thanksgiving for that reason.  I use this as a time to be with my family, and to truly reflect on what I am thankful for in my life. 

The last two years have beaten us up pretty badly.  My husband lost his job two years ago in October.  Needless to say it was hard to be thankful at that Thanksgiving, having no income, and no prospect for jobs, and an impending move from a house that we loooooved. And last year we were trying so hard to recover from a brutal economy, having lost over $18,000 in savings, retirement, bonds for Ethan's college just so we could survive. My husband's car was repossessed and we were facing another move since we couldn't afford to live in a house anymore.  Not to mention, we were stuck in Vegas, just the three of us, while our families got together to celebrate.  It's hard to feel grateful when you've faced such a rough few years. 

But this year? This year has been a much better, not quite good, but better year than we have had in a while.  I have so much to be thankful for.  For the first time in a few years, we are living well.  Gone are the days when my husband and I were living off top ramen just so we could have milk and food for our son.  Gone are the times when we were overdrafting our bank account each and every pay period, gone are the days of only having one car, and my husband bringing in $350 every two weeks.  Things aren't perfect, but they are so much better.  We actually donated about $85 this Thanksgiving to needy families, not huge, but for us it was.  Now don't read this as me saying, hey we have money now and are super happy! Because that is not it, nor is it all I'm thankful for.

I have a beautiful, fantastic and supportive family.  Our families have helped pull us out of the rubble of our old lives, never once lecturing, or being condescending as parents and families can be at times.  Just extending a hand, sending a thoughtful card, a random check.  I am so thankful for my family! I feel truly blessed.  And my husband? An amazing support.  He knows just how hard it is for me at my job.  How much I hate being away from my son and how much I ache to be a stay at home mom again.  He is working so hard at school, and is constantly nurturing me and supporting me through some pretty ugly times. My son? A little ball of wonder and energy. Pushing us to our limits, testing us, growing and learning.  He knows how to push all the right buttons and then turn around and make you fall absolutely in love with him in one second. 

I am also thankful for amazing friends! Friends that have been like family, helping us out in a pinch, lending a house to stay in, or money, or free child care (you know who I'm talking to here.) And friends that no matter what the distance is between us, they can surely be counted on for anything (late night blogging advice, books for my kiddo, ect!)

I don't need fancy clothes, cars, expensive purses or any other kind of material junk in my life. I currently have all I need.  And that is what I am truly thankful for.

 What are you thankful for? Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Tales of a former dancer part 2

While I was taking my time (four years) to get my associates degree I danced through college.  (Which was probably the main reason it took my four years was because half of my credits were dance classes.)  There was one semester I was taking 12 hours of classes 4 days a week.  But I loved it dearly.  There hasn't been anything before or since that I have truly loved doing more.  Maybe horizontal dancing....maybe...

Most people would probably wonder why I did not aspire to make dancing a part of my career.  There are many reasons for that.  Sure, I was talented enough to make it in some form or another as a professional (not stripping kiddos!) but I wasn't ever motivated enough.  I mean, lets be practical, as I was (am).  Dancer's have pretty short lived careers as far as "performing" is concerned.  Injuries can end a dancers carrer in an instant, and I alrady had bad knees and ankles. The semester before I stopped dancing, I pulled my hamstring, badly, and have since not fully recovered.

Dancers have to fit a certian "body type." I have always been thick, short and sturdy, not the tall, lithe, and graceful type that embodies most of the greats that I have come to know and  love.  I may get thinner, but I'd never grow the extra five inches I needed to be a professional ballerina. Thanks mom and dad. And lastly, it takes a lot of No's to finally get a yes.  I'm not one to deal well with rejection.  I mean, from the girl who once wanted to drop everything and move to New York to pursue a career in Theater at 18,  I had acquired enough knowledge in my advanced age (for a dancer) that I must be practical and find a career that would have more longevity. 

Thus dancing became just a passion.  I still decided once I enrolled at UNLV to become a dance minor, maybe I would be able to teach one day. (I have strong philosophies on what qualifies one to be able to teach dance, professional experience is one, education second.) Which would still enable me to live apart of my dream while making some sort of a living, which would have been teaching art.  But I soon decided against finishing my education at UNLV and quit dancing all together.  I was 25, newly engaged, and other wise, pretty well pre-occupied with being in love (and lust) that I dropped everything and quit school and dance.

Do I regret that? Well, not really. I mean I do want my B.A. eventually. It's not until I watch a show like "So You Think You Can Dance" or movies like "Flashdance" or "Staying Alive" or hear music that makes me want to jump off my chair and do tour-jete's around the room that I deeply miss my passion.  But my life as wife and mommy has become my new food. Writing has replaced my need for an artistic outlet.  Dreaming of dancing, going to shows, and watching old dance videos have silenced the need for me to perform.  And I'm still waiting on my dream career as a stay at home mom/ angsty blog & book writer to come to be.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

A free show

Today after I took my shower, I realized that I had no clothes to change into in the bathroom. Freshly shaved (ahem) and lotioned, I walked out into my bedroom to grab some clothes. At some point my husband must have opened the blinds. And I noticed my neighbor was outside the window, getting into his car rather quickly. While I bolted back into the bathroom for my bathrobe, I realized this is the same neighbor whom I believe knocked on the wall when last night's procreation attempt got a little loud.

I'm not sure if he saw me or not, I wouldn't doubt it. I think it's time to move.