Happy New Ear to Hugh too, Prances!

Ah, a new year…the time of promises, goal setting, renewal. It’s the only time on the calendar that January in Tennessee is akin to spring. Making resolutions and turning over a new leaf is like spring cleaning after a winter of stale air and dust bunnies. But it’s still winter, and in our area (Sorry to sound like Eeyore) it’s one of the darkest, dreariest months of the year.

As soon as we’re into the first week of January, I always regret that I didn’t ask Santa for a few sun lamps to sit around my home to ward off Seasonal Affective Disorder. Light therapy could surely help. Honestly, it’s the hardest time of year for me to fight my dark place. It draws me in like a bear to the cave. It’s not that I want to hibernate so much, as I just shut down spiritually and mentally, and ramp up emotionally. Trust me. It’s not a good balance.

So, one of the best things I can do for myself is to exercise more and eat healthier and get organized. This helps me tackle some of my depression issues. (Yes. I said the D word. I promised myself I’d be real and honest with my blog, and one day I will write a full post on this depression demon that I fight. But for now, don’t judge me on this, okay?)

Yes, my excel sheets of organization will help me keep my sanity. Just don’t ask my friend M. about this Obsessive Compulsive Disorder issue of mine. She will over exaggerate how I have a spread sheet for every day of my life, for shopping, for holiday meals, for gift giving, for birthday parties, for vacations, for ½ marathon training, for weight loss goals. She’ll tell you how they are color coded and how I have one going all the time. And her favorite thing to rib me about is how I have the Thanksgiving spread sheet organized down to which bowls to place which food item in, and how many burners will be going at one time.

Oh my gosh. I’m looking at this objectively now and she’s right.

I have a problem.

But I can’t help myself. I may be able to curtail my spread sheet habit, but there’s no way I can give up making lists.

For Christmas, my Dad gave me a little book of blank pages…always a good choice for someone who writes and journals. There is a verse about peace at the top of each page. I have decided that I will use this as my gratitude book, or my prayer-book. It will be a place where I will jot something that I’m thankful for and what I am hoping for on that particular day.

And something else that will help is that I plan on getting to work on some art projects. I shall sit the card table back up in Alli’s room when she goes back to school and get to work on some ideas I have only had in my head. I need to sculpt. I need to weave a rug. I have a painting that I can’t seem to get to canvas…

When Alli leaves again…It has been interesting having her home these 3 + weeks. As Bob, our friend and fellow empty nester and father of Alli’s best friend wrote in his Christmas letter, “We are in the same home, but we are in a different place.

I have to admit that I’m trying not to think of the fact that when Alli goes back to Texas, we will not see her again for 4 months. After having her home for the holidays, I know that this will be good for her, and for us. But she has expressed some anxiety over being gone so long and being so far away. Of course being the mom that I am, I am concerned. Well, not really concerned. More like worried sick. This is where I’m going to have to be strong and positive and hope that my child can bloom where she is planted. (That saying is so cliché, but it really does fit this situation.)

Oh Lordy, I’m wondering if I’ll be in a straight jacket by January’s end?

I can’t come undone. Not yet. So, I must walk, write, art, and keep making my lists.

My resolution list this year:

Quit worrying and have more faith

Have more patience with others and myself

Love the people who bug me

Bug the people who love me (just joking. Sort of.)

Do more to help others

Continue pranking and laughing

Clean out all of the closets in my dwelling

Carpe Diem, every day (Which would mean leaving the closets alone. Right? )

Okay, I’m done making lists. For today, at least.

Long before I was born, my brothers had a pet parakeet named Frances. On New Year’s Eve as everyone was saying Happy New Year and hugging, my brother Gary, (age 4) went over to Frances’s cage and said, “Happy New Ear to Hugh too, Prances!” That phrase has been perpetuated in our family. We never tell each other Happy New Year. It’s always Gary’s version.

And while I’m talking about my brother, I must tell another funny story about him. When he was little, he once signed a Christmas tag, P.L. Flow instead of Gary. We still wonder…

So, as you get yourself organized for a fresh start this New Year, I wish you happiness, laughter and good health. Be kind. Be brave. Share love.

Happy New Ear to Hugh too, Prances

-Libby Lu


12 thoughts on “Happy New Ear to Hugh too, Prances!

  1. Libby Lu! I am sitting here all by myself – I do enjoy a little alone time – and laughing out loud at your OCD comments. I, too, am an “Excel” junkie. I use spreadsheets for EVERYTHING! When I was running for the School Board my campaign manager asked me to send him my civic resume. I did. It was on a spreadsheet. He called me immediately and asked who in their right mind would use a spreadsheet for a resume? He answered his own question: “Right mind”! Not to be deterred, I still use spreadsheets on a daily basis!
    Keep on blogging Libby! I love to read your talented blogs!

  2. you are gifted – my Christmas shopping spreadsheet updates itself by auto deleting items purchased when I fill in the check box – see, you’re actually ok. May ’12 be the year that we all learn to excersize wisdom. I’ve learned a lot of things these many years – if I can just learn to live what I learned……..Blessings.

    • Thank you, Dear Friend. May I add that you have taught me many lessons in the years I have known you. One is service to others. One thing I do need to learn from you is how to auto update my excel sheets…Will you teach me? Thanks for reading, and being a wonderful person on the planet! L.

  3. Hi my fellow empty nester. My last birdie returns to school in Austin in a couple of weeks. I thought I might be ready to reclaim my house. The house has been full of her friends at night and I have to try and be quiet in the mornings while she sleeps but I’m going to miss it. The house smiles alot more when she is here.

  4. So wonderful to find other empty nesters who are struggling with it all but still moving forward. My youngest has been on college break for almost a month, but spends most of his time at his brother’s apartment about an hour from us. SO GREAT that want to be together and are so close! SO FRUSTRATING to have him so near and yet so far. I love his big smelly shoes around the house, I love the coffee cups on the window sill…..but I know that I wouldn’t love them if they were around much more than they are!
    Thanks for your honesty and your humor! Maybe this sad middle aged woman club isn’t so bad, after all!
    And thanks for reading my blog!

    • First off, I must tell you that I’m a tad jealous…It took me forever to come up with my blog title and yours is the BEST for our subject. I cracked up when I first saw it.
      Like your youngest, our gal has been home almost a month and we haven’t seen her that much. She has been working and when she’s not she’s with her friends. If she’s home, she’s on her laptop. So, even though she’s not around much or is occupied with her gadgets, I’m enjoying her being in the house, and close by at least.
      Thank you for YOUR honesty and humor and stories and for reading my blog. Correct…the middle aged woman club is not that bad at all, as long as we stick together!
      Keep writing!

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