Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Memory Jar 2019

it's that magical time again - the beginning of a new year!  sort of...being Jewish, I also celebrate the 'new year' in September, but Rosh Hashana, with it's round challah, apples, and honey is a completely different animal than the balloons, music, silly hats, noise makers, champagne, fireworks, and ball drops that grace the stage of many a December 31st celebration in the USA.  as has become our tradition - 6th year in a row! - my young man and I read out the memories we saved up during the year and relive our best times as a way to keep the positivity flowing, and our hearts grateful for all our many blessings.  this year, our Memory Jar (pictured above) got packed up sometime in March, and just yesterday, we dug it out of the box we still hadn't unpacked it from and laughed, because there were maybe two little slips of paper in there.  then we set to writing down what we could remember in retrospect to keep the practice going.  here are our respective good memories ~

playing in the Ramones show
the beginning of wrestling season
new Logitech headset
getting Minecraft
new gaming keyboard & mouse
getting an 'A' in English
defeating Borderlands 2
defeating 99% of the side quests in Borderlands 2
Nintendo Switch

first Friday Shabbat
'day of pampering' by local adult group - facial & pedicure done by willing male servants
my birthday full blood wolf supermoon eclipse planetary alignment snowstorm!
while the forced move sucked hard, the new place is good...ESPECIALLY THE HEAT!
Drum Gods (Teen's show)
pics of the old place
lunch with C
Garage Rock (Teen's show)
buying legal weed
roast chicken & veggies
lots of great cooking - soups, naan, marinated chicken burrito things...
P7:  Planetarium - planetary/tarot workshop
Ramones! (Teen's show)
MILKSHAKE!!! (private joke between the Teen & I)
new snowboots
new-to-me laptop
TALON (local band)
Firing Squad (local band)
The Adam Hendricks Experience NYE party (local band)
moving into a new 'me'
sharing traditions with my son

so, as is fitting for someone his age, the Teen's list is mostly about gaming, with a nod in the direction of his musical endeavors, and to his team sport.  I have no recollection of him getting an 'A' in English (neither does his report card), but I'll let it pass, because maybe he did at the time he put the slip in the jar.  it's too bad he didn't spend as much time making memories with friends this year as he did in the past, but we've been through some transitions in terms of our friendships this year, and the kids he hangs out with these days mostly interact through their computers, in the gaming world.  it bothers me that they don't spend as much time outside with each other as my friends and I did 'back in the day', but it's a different world, and I'm doing my best to roll with it.  though my need for him to interact with people 'in real life' was the impetus for me making him come out to the show we attended last night, and he not only had a good time listening to great music, he had fun hanging out with one friend in particular, and got lots of positive reinforcement from the other kids he knows who were also at the gig that they not only enjoy his company, but they also appreciate his musical ability, and like playing music with him.  one of the kids in the band said that if he knew my son was coming to the show, he'd have asked him to do a song with them.  so sweet! 

for myself, I enjoyed making the effort to mark the Jewish Sabbath each week by having what we called 'Friday Night Dinner' in my parents' house growing up, which I managed to continue throughout the year, with a few exceptions for the Teen's gigs and sporting events.  the 'pampering event' was held just before my 50th birthday, so it was nice to have taken that opportunity to get a bit of attention paid to myself, as I'm not in a financial position to be able to visit a spa, so this was the best I could do, and it was indulgent enough to satisfy that desire.  and while ultimately, I spent my milestone birthday at home during a snowstorm, I had the foresight to pack in the supplies I needed to make it fun, and I enjoyed the crazy energy of it a great deal.  you may have noticed that I added perimenopause to my good memories - that's because I'm Really Enjoying not getting my period every month anymore, and while that makes it all the more annoying when it does show up, it's been a Great transition for me, and a reminder to pay more attention to certain aspects of who I am as I age, and live in tune with who I'm still becoming.  more women should feel encouraged to embrace this time in their lives with joy, in my opinion - it's truly magical!

moving out of our home of 5 years because the State took over the property we lived on through eminent domain was a rough blow, and a hard patch to navigate that nearly drove me over the edge, but we survived it, and have settled into our new place as well as 'transients' like ourselves can manage.  the Teen is still in the same school, which is really all I hoped for out of the whole situation, and the apartment is nice, if out of our price range (the State was required to help me out with rent and bills, as there were no apartments that I could afford available to rent at the time they needed us to move, so...I don't feel like this story is over, but we're enjoying it while we can).  even still, we did manage our first Passover Seder, such as it was, and it was good enough for us.  also, since we were going to be moving, I made sure to take hundreds of pictures of the gorgeous flowers, trees, and shrubs that we had lived with during our time on that property, as well as the river, and as many of the animals as I could before they're all destroyed and/or displaced.

my son once again played in a variety of Rock Academy shows, which I enjoy to no end - they are so much fun to attend, especially when our friends manage to come out and join me on the dance floor!  it seems so weird to me that I only managed to have lunch with one friend this entire year, and I'd like to make sure to spend more quality time with people I care about in the future.  buying legal cannabis might not seem all that special to many, but given the history of prohibition in this country, and the war that has been waged against people of color as a result of it, being able to walk into a store and purchase recreational marijuana was Huge for me - I'll have to find the time and money to do it again!  I cooked up a lot of good food this year, moving slowly and steadily towards my becoming more competent in the kitchen, and developing my skills in not only the cooking of foods, but of planning healthy and delicious meals for us more frequently, and with increasing ease.  another highlight of my year was being gifted a one-week workshop in studying planetary energies, and working with them through dreams and tarot - a kind of work I used to do more regularly, but fell out of practice with as the pressures of earning a living while single-parenting took over most of my life, and squeezed out most of my hobbies and interests for those of my child.  it was wonderfully renewing, and a large step towards remembering who I was before I was 'Mom', and helping to center me into my new 'becoming' as a woman past her childbearing years - what I like to call 'croning'.

'MILKSHAKE!!!" is a joke that happened between the Teen and I after one of his performances that made us both laugh hysterically for longer than was necessary, so while it's a bit inappropriate, it's funny to us, and definitely deserves a place on our list, because that kind of sheer silliness is an absolute necessity in our lives, and I fully support inappropriate raucous laughter as long as it isn't hurting anyone.  for Hannukah this year, we both got gifts that we wanted and needed, and those gifts brought us both joy, which is also something I support experiencing as often as possible, and I appreciate that my friends were willing to step in and help us out with the funds we needed to attain some of those gifts for ourselves (charity and kindness are also endeavors I readily support).  I was also able to attend several shows recently of local bands that I really enjoy listening to and seeing perform, and I feel thankful for being able to share that with my son, too.  more of that in the new year, hopefully, as well!  finally, I feel incredibly blessed and fortunate to have built up some traditions for my son to look back on, and hopefully appreciate both now, and when he (someday) has a family of his own.  we have such a strong bond, and even though his teenagey-ness sometimes works my last nerve, I'm really proud of who he is, and the person he continues to become, and it's sometimes hard to believe that he's so awesome because of the ways I've chosen to make him a priority in my life, even though I constantly wish I could do more for him, or that we had more money, or that he had an active father in his life.  all I can do is press on, and keep doing what I can, and do my best to do even better. 

I know a lot of people who had a really awful year, and are happy to see 2019 dead and buried, but all in all, it could have been a lot worse - even given the stress of our move - and I feel like I experienced a lot of growth in positive directions, which is always welcome.  so, the best of everything to everyone reading, and I hope you have a great 2020 - I'm already looking forward to a visit from a long-term friend whom I haven't seen in decades in a few weeks, my next birthday, and the Teen's 16th (oh boy...).  Happy New Year, all!  Baxtalo Nevo Bersh! 

Memory Jar posts past: