Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Time is no longer on my side

It's that time of year again, when our thoughts approach the aptly named January - looking back, even as we look forward. I'm one of those persons whose birthdays occur mid-year, so it seems I end up with a semi-annual self-assessment schedule.
It gets kinda quiet here in the Building Operations Center during the week between Christmas and New Year's Day - the docs have sent home most of the patients they can send home, lots of staff are out on vacation time, and the rest of us are trying to keep a low profile, as it were. So here I sit, contemplating this blank screen between the occasional phone call for a broken TV or plugged toilet.
I am constantly amazed at what's taking place at my home on a daily basis. Between my kids, the neighbor kids, the kid we watch after school most days until early evening, my house is a maelstrom of running, thuds, screaming (both joyful and painful, often at the same time), strewn toys, swinging lightsabers and jump ropes, and at least one TV with Elmo running on it. As annoying and bothersome as it often can be, I am, at my core, happy about this. Happy that my children are well, that they have what they have, and that my home is a safe place to play. There's the paper-mache' shark on the top shelf from Sam's latest Animal Report, a pretty good rendition that is as much testament to Vicky's abilities -- artistic as well as her ability to keep Sam focused on getting good work done. A few nights ago, Vicky was wrapping presents on the Family Room floor, and Sam joined her to "help". I sat, a few feet away from them, and pretended not to just be awed by the glimpse of the young man that I was looking at. He's still 9, but there are flashes every now and then that make me immensly proud and horribly apprehensive (regarding my abilities to finish the job) of him at the same instant. My goal for him this year is for him to become more aware of his impact on this family, and on his world. He's got so much to offer, I want him to see some of it and enable him to start earning some of his own "character points."
Emma, the enigma. After an oh so long period of just grunting and pointing her way through life, she's showing an interest in communicating with us. The completion of a good sign or word is a time for joy, watching her try a few times, only to give up in frustration, pure hell. It's been so cute, the last week or so -she'll walk into the room and say, "Hi", nonchalantly as you please. We've made a game out of "Dadeeee", "Mama" has been a lot harder. Although the words "Angel" and "innocent" are often not descriptive of her at all, living with Emma has a way of bringing me around to what really matters more often than I care to admit. And that is Love.
Vicky gets it all done. I don't deserve her. That's all this Gump can say about that. I just try to keep up, or at least look busy.
I've got to crawl out of this hole. I'm not happy that my bass amp is behind the lawnmower in the garage. I think I still have a little light, I'm just at a loss as to where to let it shine (for all of you Sunday-schoolers out there). I'm trying to prepare myself for some 'leaps of faith' this year. I'm not sure just what that means, yet, but I know that something has to change. I really hope that it's more than just my attitude, I'm getting kinda tired of lemonade. I keep looking for jobs in the paper, but there's very little listed in either the "guru" or "maven" categories, these days. I'd like to write a book, but I don't know what I'd write about. "A Book about Nothing" has probably already been written. I thought about writing an expose on the rotten underbelly of the Church of the Nazarene, but there just isn't enough material. There are, believe it or not, lots and lots of books about what it's like to be the parent of a child with "special needs", "special gifts", whatever - even semi-celebrities - so there's no real "market edge" there for me, either. Fiction sounds like too much work. Scott Adams has the corner on workplace nonsense. I've thought about writing "inspirational" material - but then I wouldn't want to end up like William J. Bennet, my seedy lifestyle and habits ruining my success. I'd write about how to negotiate your way through the healthcare system, but I'll be damned if there is a way, and I work there. So, I remain in a quandary. There is the story about how I was peed on by a Hippopotamus, but that really isn't enough to build an entire book around. Sigh.
So, I'm looking forward for myself to exhibit some out-of-character behavior this year, hoping that perhaps it will be more-in-character behavior, but I'm not making any promises I can't keep. Hope springs eternal. Thanks for reading, perhaps I've spurred some ideas for your own blessings-counting/resolution planning session, soon. Get on with it.
Happy New Year!