Monday, January 2, 2012

Monday Musings

The very first Monday of the new year!  This time of year, I muse backward and forward.  In other words, I muse a lot.  There is nothing like musing backwards, when one is wearing the clear lens of hindsight.  I will have to say that I have very few regrets.  To me, regrets remind me of Marley's chains and shackles, long, clanking weights that drag you down and keep you from moving forward.  Since there is seldom a way to un-do what has been done, I try to find some nugget of good from whatever sticky mess I've wrested myself and put it in my pocket for future contemplation. 

Having a birthday on New Year's Day is a double-edged sword.  People tend to remember my birthday (good and bad, depending on how hard I am trying to forget it!) and I get my birthday off from work (saving myself from the dreadful "office celebration").  That's the good part.  Ish.  Ever since I have hit middle age, I have tended to try to ignore birthdays with a vengeance.  This is difficult in a family where birthdays are celebrated no matter what and especially if it's on New Year's Day.  Part of our celebration as kids was to be able to choose our own birthday meal.  If I had been born on any other day, I would have chosen my mom's macaroni and cheese, with carrot and raisin salad and a Hough Bakery white cake with white frosting and pink and green roses.  Instead, I got roast duck, mashed potatoes, baked tangerines, and a plum pudding.  While this might sound just grand, imagine the horror a roast duck presented to an 8-year-old who held Twinkies in a reverential light.  This was only, however, because we were never given a Twinkie!  Put the taboo on anything, and I NEEDED it!  (Unfortunately, this still holds true today.)  But, since we were good, compliant children, I suffered through this yearly meal, harboring a deep resentment towards everything but the mashed potatoes.

This year is a rather monumental year for me.  I have hit a milestone that I could never even contemplate even five years ago.  Call me Cleo, Queen of DeNile.  But I am taking a different tack this year.  I am embracing it!  I am rolling in it, glorying in it, giving it a big warm hug!  I am LYING!  I really just got worn down with everyone wanting to know what I was going to do to celebrate - offering me all kinds of advice, and not even letting me contemplate what I had originally wanted to do.  Which was nothing.  Nada.  Zip.  So who started all this birthday celebration nonsense anyway?  Hallmark?  Sara Lee?  Duncan Hines?  I'd like to have a little tete-a-tete with the guilty party.

Quite frankly, I am my most stressed on New Year's Eve.  For some reason, every year on that day, I want to slam on the brakes and go backwards.  I panic about the year being forever lost.  Then I get over it because I can't stop it, wacky doodle that I am.  Another big plus, in my book, is that I can finally relax and enjoy winter (remind me I said that when I'm up to my knees in snow and ice) and the respite it brings.  I could never contemplate NOT having this break - even for all the cold and snow and ice.  Thanks to the generous nature of my friends and neighbors, I am pretty much ready for it this year.  I have lots of things to do inside - and some of them are actually fun!  Can I stand it?  You betcha.


  1. Susan, what a blessing to have very few regrets. I agree they bind us, though some times it's not so easy to let things go and leave them in the past. I love how you're looking forward to the new year. More of us should be that way!

  2. Happy Belated Birthday to you. Sorry about the childhood dinners. That's one of the best parts about growing older--you can actually have ANYTHING you want to eat on your more roast duck.
    For me, this means a pint of Ben and Jerry's New York Super Fudge Chunk ice cream. The WHOLE pint.
    A very Happy New Year to you-lets hope this year is a bit kinder to the gardens.

  3. I love my 'do nothing' days! I hope you celebrate or not in anyway you see fit. It is your day.

    I try not to linger over thoughts of the year gone by.....just look forward to the new one and try to do some things better.

    Amen, may we all have a better gardening year!

  4. Happy New Year and Happy Birthday Susan!


  5. When you muse, try to direct your thoughts to only the accomplishments (yeah, I know....). I do think there is something to be said for musing- we can learn what to do differently next time. Of course, you'd think that by now we'd have it right LOL!
    Have a wonderous new year. And Belated Happy Birthday. No Duck for you.

  6. Happy Belated Birthday! Great thought about the regrets. Never thought about that before, but I think you might be on to something. I love macaroni and cheese. I can eat it way more often than roast duck. And I'm almost 50!

  7. You turkey! (Not telling us WHEN your birthday was until it was PAST! Passed?) Anyway, Happy Birthday! I'd been MEANING to ask you when it was . . . since I knew it was "around" the holidaze . . . but you've saved me the trouble. So, it sounds like you DIDN'T get to do what you wanted (which was nothing)? Do tell! xo

    P.S. If this year was a milestone, that means you're now si---? ;)

  8. Happy Birthday! I too have a January birthday, and it is just far enough past Christmas that everyone has to do something DIFFERENT but at the same time it is still close enough to the holidays that everyone is tired of buying present and going to parties! As a child I always requested apple pie on my birthday and according to the pictures, I got it :)

  9. I am quite apprehensive to wish you Happy Birthday again after that musing ;) Also, what on earth is a baked tangerine? I know the fruit, but how would it possibly be baked? There is no substance like say, an apple? And I hope that at some point you make yourself a little mac-n-cheese. Enough cheese and you may not notice the rice pasta. Happy New Birth Year :)

  10. First, you are one lucky gal to be able to say that you have "very few regrets." ('Course, you HAVE labeled yourself Queen of DeNile!) No, seriously, I believe what you say and think that's a grand tribute to the way you (work hard to) structure your life.

    Secondly, roast duck as your birthday dinner??!! Child abuse, child abuse!

    Thirdly, I sure do enjoy your musings. May you muse on Mondays until you're no longer able to tickle the keyboard with your purdy little fingers!

  11. LOL, I can't imagine that New Year's dinner as your birthday dinner every year, haha I can imagine that thought of a Twinkie took on a golden "frame" in your mind, maybe dancing even? :) Happy Birthday!

  12. Happy late birthday! (like it or not LOL) Baked tangerine? Do tell!

  13. Happy Belated Birthday! I hope you got to eat and celebrate the way YOU wanted to this year! I love your Musings and look forward to them every Monday! :)

  14. I know how your feel about a double edge sword on your birthday. My twins birthday is on New Years Eve. So we end up every year trying to find the perfect gift, so they don't feel we just got them another Christmas present. Happy Belated Birthday.