Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Wednesday's Words for November 26, 2008

One thing about my family: they’re behind me one hundred percent. I can always count on their understanding and support.

At dinner a few nights ago, we were discussing the fact that my beloved, for the first time in more than twenty years, was going to experience a temporary lay-off. It’s not a serious situation, there are many in his industry, and in his company at different sites, who will be forced to live without that pay check for much longer than we will. And I know that many of you may have to face far worse than this, too.

I must confess that we weren’t completely prepared for this, financially. Like a lot of people, we just assumed that everything would continue to go along as it has lately—even though we know better. Still, we were given enough advance notice that we can re-arrange things, and should be able to make out fine. We’re counting our blessings.

If there’s one thing the Ashburys know how to do, it’s tighten our belts.

The one thing that may suffer, however, is my sanity. Because what I am about to endure the last month of the year is a triple whammy: not only will my beloved be home for two extra weeks, but so will my daughter, who gets a break between semesters at College, and my grandson, with his Christmas break from school.

This was the realization that was being discussed, quite merrily I might add, at dinner the other night.

“You’re going to be so happy to have us all here, all day, aren’t you mommy?” my daughter enthused.

“Why, we can all have a great time together,” my husband announced, a huge laughing grin on his face.

“Look, Grandma’s so excited she’s speechless!” chimed in my grandson.

It always amazes me how people can enunciate so well when their tongues are planted firmly in their cheeks.

You see, they’re all laughing because they know that while some writers find their creative juices flow best when they are being bombarded by their favorite tunes at high decibels, I can only write to the sounds of silence.

Total, complete, absolute silence.

Now, the good news is that I do have an office; the bad news is that this office (that is situated between the kitchen and the living room, with no doors) also contains my beloved’s computer, which daughter and grandson use on a very regular basis.

And they all know, sure as God made little green apples, that if they are all at home for days on end, the one thing there is certain to be a dearth of around here is silence.

Now I love my family, I really do, but I fail to see the humor in this. For a period of nearly a month in total (since my beloved had already booked off a couple of weeks at Christmas), I am destined to have to share my space, my time, and my sanity with others.

Did I mention that I should come with the warning: “Does Not Play Well With Others”? It’s true! I really am a sweet, sensitive, considerate human being.

Unless I spend more than a few hours at a time with other people.

It isn’t that I’m anti-social—exactly. It’s just that I enjoy my own company that much more.

The real problem is that I’m a care-taker by nature, and when the house is full of other people, that part of my psyche kicks into high gear. I’m aware of everyone, watching over everyone. Even if I don’t actively do anything to ‘care’ for them, that alertness has been turned on, pushing the amazingly talented, creative and ingenious writer to the side (it’s much easier to write with tongue-in-cheek than to speak that way).

Plus, they make messes. They do! They get themselves snacks and leave their dishes laying around, toss aside newspapers, get things out to amuse themselves and don’t put them away...not to mention what the traffic of that many people into my bathroom can do! The general generation of untidiness plays on my nerves, shutting off the ‘author’ in me and turning on the ‘mom’.

And this happy state gets to be all mine for an entire month, from mid December to mid January.

Aren’t I the lucky one?

To all of my American friends, have a wonderful Thanksgiving. And since it is the time of year to be giving thanks, thank you—for putting up with my essays for two years, now.


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