Today is my son's birthday. He's 27 years old. That's a trip.
It feels like being a parent to him was a lifetime ago. I suppose in some very real ways, it was. We haven't had the "family" thing in quite a while but no matter how many years go by he'll always be my little man.
When I talked with him earlier this morning I mentioned all those birthday parties where his little friends would come and we'd have to do the whole "party" thing. One year we had it at a Chuck E Cheese kind of place and I was ticked because the Bills had a playoff game that day. Us Buffalo Fans won't see another of those for a looonggggggg time.
His mom sent him a care package full of some "stuff", plus what he really wants. Cash. I didn't get so creative.....just a card and cash. I suspect he'll be happy whether or not there are extra shirts or socks stuffed into a box hiding the real present. Mine is just easier to find, and more to the point.
I'm in Raleigh - closing up some projects here before year-end shut down. The entire company closes starting Saturday thru Jan. 2 so I couldn't do work even if I wanted to. So, all the year-end stuff is getting done now like paperwork, tying off loose ends, finances....none of it fun but all of it necessary.
I've had a couple of friends write to talk about strategies for "surviving" the holidays. I don't know if I've got a strategy. Some years it was a week for healing, as any surgery I'd have I'd save for that week. I never, ever listen to Christmas music. Humbug on that. I typically won't watch anything on TV too overly Holiday-ish either. It's not because it brings me down - it's just that it really doesn't do anything for me either way.
Our group has adopted a "Secret Santa" thing where everyone put their names in a hat and chose someone for whom they will leave little gifts here and there. I chose not to participate so there's no pressure there.
People are getting all goopy on Facebook so I'm avoiding that. Instead I'm focusing on more positive pursuits.
The weather sometimes plays a part. A couple of years ago my mom wanted me to come and visit and a blizzard made flying back across the country tough.
Today, in fact, the nasty storm that has made its way across country is supposed to reach Raleigh and Charleston so I'll be leaving a little early in hopes of beating it. I'd prefer to play it safe.
Last year a highlight was a long bike ride, then dinner with some friends. I'd love a repeat, although the weather on Tuesday is looking kinda iffy so we'll see. All things considered....I look forward to this as down time....not pressure time.
I will admit that my wardrobe enjoys this time of year. It's when I replenish things. I'll be headed back to SouthPoint mall tonight and I already know a couple of places I need to visit - not for anyone else, but for me.
I've got some simple goals for my 10-days of shut-down. I want to migrate as much stuff off my old iMac onto my external hard drive as I can, and clean it up. Same is true for my laptop. I want to install Lightroom 4 and play with some of my photos. I want to play guitar each day. I want to do something physical each day - whether it be go for a walk, or a hike, or to the gym, or kayaking....I want to see 3 or 4 movies. There's some real and symbolic cleansing that needs to happen.
Ever since I signed up for Groupon and Living Social my in-basket gets tons of extra email. Since I travel as much as I do I get offers from both Charleston and Raliegh/Durham/Chapel Hill. It surprises me which ones will catch my interest and become impulse buys. I've recently done a couple of those and will share how they come out.
One that comes on every 6 weeks or so is the opportunity to do a skydiving thing. I'm going to sign up for that. I've got a "buddy" who says she wants to do it too but my confidence that she'll really take the step when it comes to jumping or not is not high.
I signed up for 4 Pure Barre classes in Charleston to tone my core. I'm actually looking forward to getting going on those.
That's the key - core strength. Your arms are one thing but shoulders, stomach, butt, trunk....those are critical for so many things. I'm actively trying to make more lean muscle so we'll see how this goes.
Speaking of birthdays - in 2 months and 2 days I'll turn 54 (God willing). Oy.
The storm making it's way across the central US is on it's way. I'll leave here at lunch time in hope of escaping most of it. At least rain is better than snow.