Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Season’s Greetings 2008

From the SouthbankI am writing to you while watching crime TV.  I have CSI Miami and CSI New York to get through.  I love watching the CSI’s, NCIS, Law and Order, Law and Order Special Victims Unit, Law and Order Criminal Intent, and the one about the lawyers in Boston with William Shatner (that is funny).  Perhaps it comes from my dark side.  I am fascinated with pathology and anatomy and physiology and the psychology of what makes people do the bad things they do.  Now you know something about me you didn’t know before.

Since my unemployment, I have been pretty much attached to my laptop.  Since the Lodger left, I haven’t really cleaned the house or left it much except for a couple of excursions, errands, food shopping, signing on and dancing.  I have been slack in the housekeeping department.  Sue me.

My Tango blog is doing well and I have had some really positive comments about it from some of my Tango associates.  My posting on Personal Hygiene is getting a lot of visits and seems to be the top post at the moment.  I am providing a public information service and doing women a favour.

Having this time off has provided me with an opportunity to set up my blogs and to post my thoughts.  So although my house is not as tidy as normal, it is because I have been busy.

I have also been thinking about what I want to do for a living.  I have realised that I have been looking after people most of my life one way or another.  I have looked after my brothers, I have been the mother to my mother, I have been the wife, I have been and still am the mother to my children, and I have been a PA and Office Manager on and off for many years.  After all of these years, I am pretty tired of all of that and I need something for me.  As I don’t expect anyone else to be looking after my needs, although it would be nice on occasion, I am going to look after number one – me.

My children have pretty much flown the nest.  My job is relatively done there.  They are young adults and can look after themselves.  I am very proud of them.

It is my turn to fly the nest.  I would love to travel more.  I would love to do something creative and be a part of something really interesting.  I would love someone to give me a job where I can utilise my creative and practical skills and that doesn’t involve being a nursemaid, I mean support, to some executive.  I would like to be part of something big and still be autonomous.

So this is where I am right now.  I have been having tutoring/mentoring for my writing.  I have been setting up and writing two blogs.  I have signed up for a Dreamweaver course and a How to Sell Your Writing course at the local adult college.  I also read other writing blogs.

What does all this have to do with Christmas you might be asking?  Nothing.  I just wanted to let you know what I have been doing and how I am.  Fine and dandy thank you very much!  In this time of relative uncertainty, I have found a peace deep inside of me while chaos reigns around me.

I want you all to know that I have actually printed off mailing labels for my Christmas card list this year!  I have printed off mailing labels many times at work, but never for myself till now.  I have sent off the cards in time, except for the ones to the States.  I was a day late, so you might get them in time for New Year.  The one upside to being unemployed is that I had time to send everyone a card.  It will be a different story next year.  Going on the unemployment theme, I have used up all of my leftover Christmas cards from the last few years.  So if you got one like the one last year or the year before- uh I can’t remember if I sent any last year – and are having déjà-vu about your Christmas card, remember, it is the thought that counts and I did write a brief message in each one.  I probably won’t be sending any next year as I am going green to help save the forests, and I am also hoping that I will be somewhere warm this time next year.  So I guess it was a complete waste of time doing a Christmas label list.  I also sent off Christmas e-cards to those not on my paper card list.  I hope you had fun with that, and the sentiment is genuine.  So next year you all will either get an e-card or a phone call.  So I hope you all get Skype so we can make it economical (free) as well as making it the next best thing to being there.

I got rid of the fake tree this summer in preparation for the sale of my home that hasn’t happened yet – so we will be having the other Christmas ornaments out as usual and we will have the little eighteen inch Christmas tree instead.  The presents will sit in a pile on the floor in the corner of the living room.  Speaking of presents, I managed for the first time in years to get everything I wanted way ahead of schedule and I didn’t even start before December!

By the way, I am not sending any presents to the States this year.  I am unemployed.  So there will be no Texas fruit cake arriving at your front door.  I have sent them to you for the last couple of years and I still don’t know if anyone likes them.  I personally love them, and since no-one has bothered to say thank you or to say it was really thoughtful of me to send them but we aren’t really crazy about Texas fruitcake so would you send me something else instead next time, I won’t be bothering anymore.  I will make a telephone call on Christmas day and give you some of my precious time instead.  And since you all know that I love Texas fruit cake, it would be really nice to get one next year, providing I am still in the country.

The children are descending upon me this weekend and I am really looking forward to seeing them.   Although I have been in regular contact with them via telephone, texting, e-mail, Facebook, MSN, webcam and Yahoo Messenger, there is no substitute for actually being with them.  Incidentally, I just had a chat on Facebook with the one still in Los Angeles!  I love technology.

While my family will be celebrating Christmas en masse in Maryland or New Jersey – my step-mother broke her shoulder so I am not sure if she is cooking and hosting this year – I will be cooking a crown of turkey from Marks and Spencer (turkey breast to everyone else) along with all the trimmings for the four of us.  I am not crazy about Christmas pudding, so I bought a Cherry Panettone Christmas pudding instead and will be making something with chocolate.  It may not be a British tradition, but I’m not British, so no problem.  My oldest son has asked if he could make a shrimp cocktail as starters.  It isn’t tradition either, but what the heck, we might start a new one.

On Boxing Day, I have managed to push back dinner so I can pop out to The Southbank for an hour or so of Tango.  I shall be my efficient self and have everything prepared by lunchtime so I can be there for 4pm.  I will get my daughter to put the chestnut loaf in the oven on my way back and I expect that everything will be ready in time for when the children’s Grandmother and Uncle come over for dinner.  I may not be British, but I do like this holiday.  It’s a good day to catch up on watching DVD’s of films I haven’t seen.  They even have some decent movies on TV.

We will also be visiting some friends during Christmas week.  This year I will finally get to play the Trivial Pursuit game that the children’s dad bought me in the States in the 80’s.  It’s amazing the stuff we hang on to!  The game has been sitting in a cupboard for over 20 years and we have never played it!  At least the adults will have an advantage in winning a game for a change.

As for New Year’s Eve – unless I’ve met the man of my dreams by then, and I certainly won’t be holding my breath for that – I am off to Windsor to Tango in the New Year!

So I wish everyone a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and Season’s Greetings.  Take the one that suits you best.  I also wish you peace, joy and happiness in your present and for the future.

All the best,



2 thoughts on “Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Season’s Greetings 2008

  1. Hi, Arlene,
    Lovely note.

    Have you ever considered perhaps looking for employment as a travel writer?

    Your keen sense of detail would contribute greatly to such work.

    Hope you have a wonderful time with your family.

    Merry, merry and Happy, happy.

    1. Arlene

      Aloha Ms J,
      Yes I have. The key word is employment. I need a sure thing right now as I must pay the mortgage. My Mr Blue Badge friend has been a travel journalist for 10 years, and although busy, always needs to think about getting the next story. Sounds a bit stressful to me. But watch this space. Thanks for your encouragement.
      Felice navidad!

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