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Monday, December 27, 2010

Year-end thoughts while sipping on a Smuttynose Imperial Stout as the snow is still piled up... and soooooooooooo jealous of a good friend from Connecticut who is- hoping!- to get out of town tomorrow for some well-earned R&R down in Florida- enjoy, Chris!

First- I had a nice Christmas! A lil bit of downtime, spent Christmas Eve and Day down at my mom's, saw my sister and her husband as well... Got together with a few friends earlier in the week... Santa was good but honestly, at this point in my life, Christmas is more about spending time with and seeing people than receiving items (tho' if anyone still wants to give I'll be happy to forward along a list! And I do have a birthday coming up next month... :) The storm we just had wasn't needed, but whaddya gonna do... On a sad note, my sister-in-law was diagnosed with a pretty-aggressive breast cancer the very beginning of this month. She's looking at some pretty intense- and none-too-pleasant- treatment in the coming weeks and months. Tough for her and all to deal with anytime of the year but especially around the holidays...

Looking back over the past year's posts and notes much of my thoughts were of a more personal nature, less opining on the larger world (any Lefty readers of my thoughts probably liked that!) I will say that I was happy to see the results of the national election last month (Massachusetts results, not)- not so much out of confidence in the Republicans but just glad to see the Dems lose power after 2 (Obama Admin) and 4 (Dem Congresses) years of excess and over-reach. The recently-empowered Republicans are now on the clock, and have two years to show that they have earned the voters' confidence and deserve re-election and increased responsibilities or else they can be voted out as well. There is only so much government can- and should- do re. the economy (I believe Presidents usually receive too much praise when times are good economically and too much criticism when times are bad economically.) I also believe we have also seen that President Obama has grown to see the wisdom of much of the previous Administration's efforts to thwart terrorism that Candidate Obama did not. Where Obama and the Dems (especially) rightly deserve criticism is on spending, be it the so-called stimulus, other spending, and of course the health-care monstrosity. We cannot afford these levels of spending, these levels of deficits and debt, and we are- thankfully- not a nation that is comfortable with the levels of confiscatory, economy-killing taxation that would pay for that government largess. We need to restrain, indeed reduce, spending. Hopefully the Republicans will get serious about that.

On personal levels, whereas '09, and most recent years, were/are on balance pretty good for me, 2010 was largely a year to forget. Again, looking and thinking back over the past year or so, so much of it was spent dealing with my mom's health issues (which, thankfully, seem to be successfully resolved, at least the big one.) Dealing with that dominated much of my time, thoughts, efforts, energy, etc... And with little help from my siblings. I'd do it all again in a heartbeat if I had to but it was stressful, it was draining, it was largely done by me and it left me with little time for much of anything else beyond work, running, the gym... And I did let personal care get away from me a bit this past year. While I tried to maintain healthy eating and my workout regimen, at best that's all I did- maintain. And probably backslid a lil bit. I still have that last ten pounds (or more- waaaahhhh!) to lose, yuck. I need to be much more consistent again with my exercise and- especially- maintaining a higher protein/lower carb diet than I did much of last year. I desperately need to visit my hair stylist again; it needs it, baaaaaaaaaaad! They say when you look good, you feel good- well, I was looking and, hence, feeling better last year than I have most of '10. I had even less time (if that's possible) for any semblance of a social life than I did in '09, or '08, or... I missed out on, and have still missed out on, seeing/meeting soooooooooooo many good people that I truly wanted and want to see and meet... I had hoped to do some- any- more writing than I did this past year.

On the positive side... first, and best, my mom did beat her cancer, it was successfully treated! My health was fine, no problems or 'plaints. Looking at some of the struggles too many good people I know have faced and are facing, be they health-wise, financially, or more, I realize that I am reasonably blessed. I was able to re-connect with a few good people I had lost a lil bit of touch with. A few friends had healthy newborns this past year- some proud poppas and mamas! A couple of friends got married. Even in this economy a few found better opportunities.

Looking ahead... I'm comfortable with who I am. While this is not the way I would have thought my life would be if you asked me 15-20 years ago, on balance I like who and how I am, I'm comfortable in my own skin. The biggest thing- call it a resolution if you like- I have for the coming year is simply to find/make/take more time to live. Yes, earning a living/being responsible financially, as well as honoring commitments and the like that I have to others is important, I realize that I have, or at least should have, responsibilities and commitments to myself as well: all work and no play makes Kellie a dull girl! If/as the economy improves I have to be far more pro-active in seeking better career opportunities. Beyond wagering I also have to look for/work at other, additional earning opportunities (writing.) I need to resume taking much better care of myself again, particularly as I'm getting- waaahhhh!- older :( (44 next month, ugh.) In short, just work more toward becoming the person I truly want to be, on every level.

And lastly, to any of you still reading this (!) my sincerest appreciation for your interest and friendship and my warmest wishes for a happy and prosperous 2011!

"Stop this show, hold the phone/Better days this girl has known..."

Friday, December 03, 2010

Sipping on a Bushmills Black Bush (shhhhh!) with a few hours left on a nippy evening and a l-o-n-g day and looking at another one tomorrow... (surprise- Kellie does not live by beer alone! :)

A lot of folks give me grief about me not taking many pics. And they have a point. I've just never been a picture-taker; I don't even have a camera, digital or film ('cept for the low-res one on my cell phone. Pathetic, I know. I am going to buy one soon; they're inexpensive enuf these days.) Some folks will snap a dozen shots while going to the store for a quart of milk- I just never think to. And it's hardly limited to this part of me; not long ago I needed a recent pic of my, um, other half, and I didn't have a single one- not one! The most recent ones I had were a few from college that a friend had emailed me awhile back. I blame my father... back when we were growing up almost all of the pics he took of us he put on projector slides (think Kodak Carousel- hey it was the mid-late 60's, early 70's!) and never had the negatives developed into photos for easy-viewing photo albums, with (of course) the negatives, as well as the silly slides, being lost over the years. So there are- maybe- a dozen or so photos of my childhood, most of 'em school pics- boohoo! And I just never got into the habit of taking pics thru high school, college, and on into adulthood, of people or places, of others or of myself. I just don't think to. When I do have some free time I prefer to spend it actually going out and doing something rather than sitting for pics (yeah I know, I can do both, take pics while I'm out doing something. Smartass.) The few attempts I've made at self-photography (albeit with the aforementioned cell phone) haven't been good: low-res, blurry, shaky images. And vainly, but- I seldom take a good picture, waaaahhhh :( Some people do- my sister, for instance. And many other folks I see and know. I just don't, or at least don't think that I do. I don't seem to pose well, I seldom look natural, or relaxed, or comfortable, I almost always end up looking either startled, or rigid, or just plain goofy!

Having said all of that one of my goals for '11 is to take some pics of myself (now, sharing 'em is another matter... :)

What I'm Reading Now: The Weight, Andrew Vachss

"Shake your head and wonder when it's all too good to be true/Like a whole new you..."