Wednesday, December 22, 2010
DO WE REALLY WANT TO KNOW?
In keeping with my traditional 'keeping it real' philosophy, I recently sent out my annual Christmas newsletter in my 'no holds barred' fashion where I spilled about losing Juneau, our loss of finances due to the aforementioned and Ed's potential skin cancer.
I, of course, not wanting to be all completely Grinch-like, added a few snippets about how well B is doing in school and what his plans are. I asked for prayers for Ed and told everyone that I think of them often and that I wish them all that is good this holiday and in the New Year. And I meant it.
Due to a printer that is out of ink more often than not, I do my Christmas newsletters via E-mail.
For years I have received Christmas newsletters from friends and family talking about vacations, promotions, how Tommy got his Eagle Scout badge and that little Jenny is oh so grown up now, don'tcha know, and recently received a full scholarship to Columbia University.
I read about the jet skiing and the new S.U.V. with a hitch to accommodate said jet ski's where they vacation in Mammoth Lake while staying at their vacation home.
Okay, so, I exaggerate slightly but you get my point. We've all received them and if you're like me, you don't give a shit.
C'mon -- be honest.
My thing is this: I don't want my Christmas newsletter to make anyone feel shitty about their lives. Because let's face it, in spite of all the gooey crap they write about, NO ONE's life is as good as they want you to think it is.
And if it is --good for you (truly! good for you!) but I don't necessarily want to hear about it.
Bitter grapes? Maybe. Green-eyed monster? Sure. Whatever euphemism you may want to label it as, so be it.
I truly don't begrudge people their right to live their lives to the fullest, I'm just asking for some proper perspective in these damned things.
Give it to me straight, we can take it. We're big people.
So, after my newsletter went out, the next day I get a call from my best friend, Sue. She's the one who lives in Maine whom we were supposed to go and visit next summer after not seeing each other for nearly 20 years.
Not sure that's going to happen now due to our depleted finances in trying to save Juneau.
So, Sue calls me and I can immediately tell she's upset. She's very down and it's not long until she starts crying.
She says; "I'm just so heartbroken and sorry for you all, Jo..."
Oh, shit! What did I do???
I didn't want to upset anyone -- especially Sue. Not my intention. I merely give it to them straight.
I immediately apologized and told her that my sending out such an honest newsletter was, in hindsight, a terrible thing for me to do and that I shouldn't have ever sent it.
Her answer surprised me.
She said: "No! I'm GLAD you did. You just say what everyone else should be."
I truly wish everyone felt that way. For two years in a row now I've "said what everyone else should be" and get ZERO response from people I thought would at least write and say: "So sorry. Praying for you. Know you're all in our thoughts."
Instead I get a call from my best friend of 30 years whom I haven't seen, again, in nearly 20, who has been through just as much crap as we have with one of her sons in and out of rehab for severe drug addiction, another son divorced with a child -- and living with her and her husband and daughter making life miserable for them all -- and a husband with his own health issues all while she works as a Cardiology nurse.
The person who has the least time and a heavy, mounting load of issues of her own is the ONLY one who reached out and shared in my grief and sorrows.
Her phone call left me a lot to think about: are people whose lives don't mimic mine and Sue's incapable of empathy?
Do they really want to hear about our dirt?
And, in turn, do we really want to be showered with their apparent good news only?
The conclusion I came to is: if you add water to dirt, it creates mud.
So, all I really know is this -- and I can only speak for myself: I feel as if my universe is out of balance and in trying to regain my footing, I may have lost my own perspective.
Every day I re-check my axis and it still doesn't feel quite right...
But I can tell you that I'm trying.
Regardless, I miss everyone here and am anticipating coming back to blogging after the holidays.
Much love and blessings to you this Christmas and always.