Confessions of a Clutter Purger

I’m good…but not THIS good.

I’m a purger.  I go through my closet a couple of times a year and purge myself of anything I don’t wear, haven’t worn or purchased by mistake (but leave hanging in the closet because I feel so bad for having wasted the money).  Goodwill loves me.

I do it because clutter, any kind of clutter, weighs on me and makes me feel heavy and lethargic…and it’s terrible feng shui.  An unorganized closet means I can’t find anything when I need it.  Clutter on my dining room table says we don’t have enough room (which we do…we have plenty of room) or we’re too lazy to put it away (most likely the case).  Crap stuffed in drawers in an “out of sight out of mind” way doesn’t work for me either.  I know it’s there and every time I pass by the drawer the little clutter monster that lives inside taunts me with, “Nanny, nanny boo boo…I’m in here all cozy with my clutter friends and you’re out there hating it.” 

So I purge.  I’ll blow through my closet, or the kids’ closets or the linen closet or the coat closet, drag everything out I haven’t seen anyone wear and dump it into a green trash bag to be hauled to Goodwill.  Or I’ll start putting things away on the tables or counters and throwing away stuff that doesn’t look important because I can’t stand the sight of it laying around anymore!!!

Of course, then I’m accused of throwing away an important document (guilty) or a special shirt (not guilty…it was found in an old suitcase ten years later) when really, if you had put it away or purged it yourself, none of this would have ever happened!

Oh…sorry…I digress.

So now that I’ve lost some weight, I find myself in an interesting position.  I’ve purged so much that there’s really nothing left in my closet that looks good or fits.  And because when I was really heavy I refused to buy anything of value (that’s another post entirely), what is there is looking tired and worn out.  And…we’re tightening our belts so an all out shopping spree is not an option; not to mention that if I’m going to lose more weight (which is the plan), spending a bunch of money on clothes right now isn’t the wisest decision.

So this weekend I’m going to the local Goodwill store and see what treasures I can find.  There was a time in my life when Channing Tatum in a pair of low slung sweats and no shirt could not have gotten me into a Goodwill store.  Ugh!  Wear other people’s clothes!  Puhleeeeeese.

But I’ve grown.  I’m older and wiser now.  Labels just don’t mean what they used to mean to me. (Unless you’re talking about shoes.  Shoes are an entirely separate matter.)  And I’m going to the Goodwill in the ritzy part of town so the cast offs are of a much better quality than my local Goodwill.  Plus, by going to the one on the other side of town, I avoid the potential of buying my own stuff back which would be the ultimate irony don’t you think?


Shades of Crazy

Ever since being diagnosed with clinical depression in 1996, I have wavered between feeling like I was crazy and feeling like I had a condition like heart disease or diabetes and was perfectly normal.  Since my depression appears to be purely physiological (according to my psychiatrist) I don’t participate in regular talk therapy or group meetings.  I just see the doc every six months or so and we chat for five or ten minutes about how I’m doing and my dosages.  Then he gives me a script for my two anti-depressants and I’m on my merry way.

Until I’m not.

See finding the right balance of meds is an ongoing and dynamic thing.  What works for 10 years might not work for the next 10.  New medications with fewer or different side effects are always coming on the market.  Plus, I change from year to year.  My physiological makeup when I was in my 30’s is not the same as it is now (duh).  Life changes as well.  It’s a roller coaster and merry-go-round all in one.

(Imagine the face you make when you’re on a roller coaster.  Now imagine the one you make when you’re on a merry go round and you’ve gotten dizzy.  Now combine those two.  Now tell me that face doesn’t say crazy to you.)

Of course, add to that a woman who has a hard time admitting she’s not perfect; who is always trying to come off the drugs AND has spent the last 10 years either drinking herself into oblivion or abstaining, and you can add a “one tooth in his mouth hasn’t taken a bath for years” carnival worker running the equipment.

I can’t help but feel crazy when things start to shift and I have to call the doc and make adjustments in the meds.  Indications that something is wrong are extremely vague.  It can be a look from the hubs in response to something I’ve said.  A look that says, “I’m not going to say anything here because she’s really not herself right now.”  It can be that all of a sudden I realize that I haven’t cried in months in spite of some very good reasons to cry.  It can be that I feel “flat”.  Conversely, it can be that I’ve been losing my temper more lately and that things that shouldn’t bother me are making me go all “screaming mom” on everyone.  Or it can be that I’m getting my feelings hurt when someone goes to the bathroom and doesn’t ask me to go too.

If my condition were more physical, not only would it be more evident when something was wrong but others would be able to see it more clearly as well; and (and this is important) would be much less judgemental about my condition.  If I had diabetes and my sugar dropped and I was weak and shaky and I had to check it and then get some sugar and protein, people would be running around trying to help.  If I had a broken leg and needed help up the stairs, strangers would stop to help me.  Even telling someone you’re an alcoholic and can’t drink illicits a better response than telling them that you’re on medication for depression.

Lots of times when I tell people I’m on medication for depression, their first response is to tell me that they were also on it at one time and but now they are not – insinuating that I must really be a lost cause if I’m still on them after all these years.  Or they tell me how the medication made them feel just AWFUL, and how could I take those.  Or they tell me that I should be able to just deal with my depression by talking to a good friend or seeing a therapist.  Sigh…

So sometimes, even after all this time, I do feel crazy.  I feel all 50 shades of crazy.  And sometimes it scares me because my mother was a pathological liar with narcissistic personality disorder and my sister is a bi-polar sociopath (which is now referred to generically as anti-social personality disorder) drug and alcohol addict.  And my father was an alcoholic.  I’ve got lots of shades of crazy in my family from which to choose.  It’s hard when something is going on in your brain and you can’t see it, touch it or feel it but it is most certainly there and fucking with you all the time.

But believe me when I say I would take this particular shade of crazy over any other.  I can be successfully treated (not all people who suffer from depression can be treated and treating more complicated mental illnesses is very difficult even for the best of medical professionals).  I live a very wonderful life, especially now that I’m sober.  There are people who love me and watch out for me and tell me when I’ve gotten off track.

So once again I’ve had my medication adjusted (after just having it done in November).  I’ve had my little pity party (thanks for listening).  And now it’s time to put on my big girl panties and just deal.


Babies, Teeth and Anxiety

This is my newest grand baby.  This little beauty was born yesterday via C section and weighed in at a whopping 8 lbs and 8 ozs (21 inches long).  Mama, daddy and baby girl are all doing fine (except that if daddy doesn’t call me soon he’s in big trouble).  Thankfully, his future mother-in-law kept me abreast of everything hour by hour via text (she’s been doing that through the whole pregnancy).  I am so grateful to her for that gift.

I also don’t feel that sharing this photo violates my anonymity since, let’s face it, most newborns look very much alike.  Well, except that this particular girl child is more beautiful than any other baby ever born on the planet.  Just sayin.

W had all four, impacted wisdom teeth removed on Friday.  The hubs wrote a check for $800 which was the amount the insurance didn’t cover.  See Saturday’s post if you’re wondering what I think of this.  But I am glad that W is healing well and only looks a little bit like a chipmunk today.  He only had to take three of the Oxycontin that was prescribed (which apparently worked very well) and then he switched to ibuprofen.  Plus, those dang teeth were causing such pain in his mouth anyway, I think he would have taken them out himself if it were possible.

I’m feeling anxious today and I have no idea why but I know it’s fucking with my zen.  I have this thing in the pit of my stomach that kind of rolls around and then spreads.  Sometime my hands tremble and sometimes I get a headache but all the time I know it’s because I’m anxious.  It’s like I’m waiting for the other shoe to fall and I didn’t even know the first had fallen.  I’m very familiar with this feeling since it was my life for so many years, but I’ve been without it for so long that it’s really making me a little nuts. 

Especially since I can’t figure out what’s causing the anxiety!  Maybe it’s the teeth thing?  The money thing?  The baby thing?  The play?  The hubs?  The all of the above thing?  Who knows? 

It’s that feelings issue that keeps coming up.  Where I used to drink away or eat away or shop away the anxiety and could physically feel it leaving my body, now I have to work through it and figure out how to get it the hell out of here.  Problem is, when I’m feeling like this, no amount of yoga or meditation will take it away. 

The only thing that really works is eyeball to eyeball conversation with the hubs.

Now if I can just find the quiet time and get him to focus…


Bits and Pieces

Lots of little things rolling around in my head today.  Big and little things that are cluttering my mind and making it hard to me to focus (or maybe it’s just old age…who knows).  Either way – that’s why I blog!  See…I’m a purger, the queen of delete, and this is my way of purging, rearranging and organizing my thoughts.

Any minute I will get word that I’m a grandma again.  My nephew’s baby mama is giving birth as I type this to their daughter.  They are very young (22) and will face the challenges of all new parents but I can’t help but think that this baby is a blessing to the nephew.

While he was here I noticed one thing more clearly than anything else.  Not only did he not feel worthy of the love we have for him, but he has no idea how to love unconditionally.  No matter how hard the hubs and I have tried to instill our love in his heart all these years, my sister used her poison to kill it.  I believe this baby will put God’s light and love and thereby our light and love back into his heart.  When he called to tell me they were pregnant (I was the first one he called BTW – yay!), the first thing I said to him was, “You are about to understand just how much we love you.”

He doesn’t get it.

He will very soon.

He’s also been a hot mess since he got back to his “hometown”.  He’s gotten a DWI and been hospitalized with alcohol poisoning.  I’m going to see them in a few weeks to visit the new baby and I’m carrying a can of whup-ass to open up on him while I’m there.  I’m hopeful that as he falls in love with his daughter, he’ll see how important it is that he doesn’t repeat the pain of his youth.  But if he’s having trouble with this concept..I’ll be happy to speed the process along.  That’s my job.

On a different note, the hubs and I are having some touchy conversations of late about money. When I was out of work and my severance ran out, we lived on my 401K and credit cards.  Not optimal but, it is what it is.  Debt has a way of sucking the life force from me and causing stress that robs me of any serenity I might manage to claim.  I refuse to go into the next phase of my life with a mountain of debt following me like a 4,000 lb stone around my neck.  Time to do something about it.

That’s where the difficult decisions come in – do we just do debt consolidation?  Debt management (which requires a settlement with the credit card companies and impacts your credit score)?  Or bankruptcy?  Which is the best move for us?

Well bankruptcy is not an option.  I’m a banker…they frown on that kind of thing.  Debt management may work because I can add an explanation to my credit report which will help if we ever need a car loan or a mortgage.  I don’t give a rat’s ass if I ever see another credit card as long as I live.  Of course I’m grateful we had them when we needed them but now that the kids are growing up and moving on…I want them GONE.

I’m leaning toward the debt consolidation thing which will not really lower our monthly outlay much (which is okay really) but it will get rid of the debt in five years vs. 25 and may finally get the credit card companies to lower 25% interest rates down to more manageable level.

Taking control of this is helping to ease the stress so much.  Just like pushing down and ignoring emotions, ignoring the fact that this debt exists and we’re not making a dent in it by making minimum payments is chipping away at my sanity and making me emotionally weak.  My recovery has taught me that this just ain’t gonna fly.  Time to push back the drapes and shine some light on this motherfucker so it can begin to shrivel up and go away.  I’m praying that God stands with me and helps me make the right decisions on this as well.

Have a beautiful Sunday everyone.  Stay warm (or cool if you’re down under) and enjoy your day (even if you have to work like my friend Dawn).  And happy birthday to my new granddaughter, may your daddy love you as much as I love him.


It Was More Fun When You Were Drinking

Since getting sober, I’ve had a few people tell me this.  I’ve thought long and hard about it and I’ve come to this simple conclusion…

They’re right.

In certain situations I WAS more fun when I was drinking.  I was a fun drunk.  I didn’t get mean.  Or weepy (much).  I just really liked to have a good time.  Alcohol made me uninhibited and when you’re as insecure as I’ve always been, it’s a necessary evil in social situations (or so I believed).

For example, there’s a New Year’s Eve party we’ve gone to for a few years.  I went to it for two years sober and we skipped it altogether this year.  Why did we skip it this year?  Because the tequila flows, people get really drunk, and although I dance and laugh and all that, it’s an effort to really have fun.  In fact, it’s freaking exhausting

Example #2.  My hometown BFF’s and I get together every year for a girl’s weekend.  The first year we went we had so much fun on one night, drinking and talking and just being silly.  We were so loud when we got back to our room that the front desk called and said if we didn’t quiet down they would have to call the police.  I think that’s the year we turned 50.  Ooops.  Of course we had consumed copious amounts of alcohol (me more than anyone else cause they’re normies) which loosened our tongues and got us all, “I love you guys!!!!”.  And it was FUN.  Of course my one friend was up all night throwing up, we suspect because she had too much wine, and it kind of put a damper on the rest of the weekend…but, well…oh well. 

Fortunately these ladies can take the booze or leave it and last year we went to Charleston and had so much fun that I was afraid we were going to get another call from the front desk.  This time no one threw up and there were no hangovers but part of me kept thinking, “Man this would be fun with some wine.”  Of course that’s because I insisted that we go to a bar one night and I felt self-conscious because they weren’t drinking when we went to dinner the next night…but that was MY mistake.  I felt like I had to keep doing what we’d been doing for 30 years so they would still love me.

Which brings me to today’s particular epiphany.  When I first got sober, I had the feeling that I had to keep doing everything I did before to prove that I was okay.  I felt like I had to prove to everyone that my addiction couldn’t control me and didn’t dictate what I could do and what I couldn’t do.  I felt like I had to learn to do everything I used to do only sober.  I wanted everyone to still like me and not focus on the fact that I was an alcoholic and could no longer drink.

I’ve now realized that that’s a big fat load of fucking bullshit.

I am a grown ass woman (finally) and if my definition of fun has changed then so be it and I don’t give a rat’s ass what anyone thinks of that fact. 

Here are some new facts:

  • I no longer find grown up, drinking parties fun.  I’m more the quiet dinner party type where I will serve wine but I don’t have to feel like I need to get you drunk to have a good time.
  • New Year’s Eve will heretofore be spent at home with my family or just the hubs (I realize my children have their own lives now).
  • Girl’s weekend with my hometown BFF’s will continue as long as I breathe and can afford it.  And if I can’t afford it we’ll just pick a house and get together.
  • Date night (as mentioned in a prior post) will resume but will be different.  I’m excited to see what it will look like.
  • I have no desire to go to bars and hang around.  Honestly, I don’t even want to go there to eat.  I have work obligations that require I do some of this and quite frankly, it’s the part of my job I like the least.
  • All of these changes are because I am an alcoholic.  I don’t drink anymore and yes, that means if you want to spend time with me you’ll have to do it my way.
  • And the friends that I love most in this world also love me…drunk or sober…fat or skinny…young or old.

Just typing this makes me feel good.  Like I’m taking back some of the control my addiction has on me.  Whether we want to admit it or not, our inability to drink like normies DOES impact our lives.

It’s how we choose to handle it that makes all the difference.


A Work In Progress

Reading through my blog list this morning, I came across two posts from two wonderful bloggers that got my brain going on the subject of self-loathing or, conversely, self love.  Since I’ve been praying for God to open my heart more and make me a better person (because clearly I don’t think I am), I’m taking this as another one of His bricks upside my fat head.

Hey Sherry!  Pay attention!  I’m tawkin’ here-ya! (In my mind, God is from Jersey today.)

Anyway, Heather over at Sober Boots, reprinted a beautiful prayer from another blogger that I will print and keep in my meditation room so that I can use it on a regular basis.  You’ll have to check out Heather’s blog (which was another one of His bricks for me) to see the entire post but the line that struck me the most was, “…to forgo the indecent luxury of self-hatred…”  Wow.

Then I was reading Amy over at Soberbia (still the best name for a blog EVER), and she posted about learning to like herself now that she’s sober.  She’s early in the sobriety game and doing really, really well.  So well in fact that her writing always gets my brain going.  Thank you Amy.

Anyway…I started thinking about where I was in this journey of “forgoing the indecent luxury of self-hatred” and learning to actually like and maybe, dare I say it, love myself.  Have I made any progress?  How much more work is there to do?  Will I every get there?

To which I answered…yes, lots, maybe.

I have, in fact, made a great deal of progress in this regard.  I have begun to forgive myself and, more importantly, realize that I’m not such a bad person after all.  There are days I look in the mirror and think, “not bad for an old broad”.  And times during meditation when I’m actually glad I am who I am.

Progress people…trust me.

More work?  Oh hell to the yeah.  I still have days when I second guess decisions and what I’ve said to someone and whether or not I’m a good mom or friend or wife or whatever.  You can’t erase 45 years of beat downs with three years of being stripped naked, with nowhere to hide and intense introspection.  I’m still battling demons that were born before I was so yes, more work will have to be done.

Will I get there?  Do any of us every get totally to the point where we stop questioning whether or not we’re good and doing the right thing?  Do we ever get to a point where we completely love who we are?  And, more importantly, should we ever get there?  I mean, if we did, what would we have to look forward to.  Then again, we might be more content with what we have.

Oh Lord…I’m making my brain hurt.

Suffice to say that I’m a work in progress but I’m happier with who I am than I’ve every been.  I’ll continue to work on me because I think that’s what God wants me to do.  Prayer and meditation, clean eating and exercise, and lots and lots of love.


Blogger vs WordPress

I was going to show you guys a picture of the painting I did last night and write a lyrically beautiful post about the lotus blossom (or at least try) but Blogger won’t let me upload pictures the way it used to. Seems you have to “subscribe” or download “Picasa something” which is somehow related to Google + (which I don’t use – I can barely keep up with FaceBook and Pinterest for god’s sake) which I can’t do at work and don’t have time for at home.  Simply put…Blogger is beginning to piss me off.

When I started this blog, my computer genius son wanted me to use WordPress because it was so much more powerful and versatile and…well then I nodded off.  I actually went out and tried WordPress but ended up choosing Blogger because it suited my needs.  In other words, it was easier to use.

Now?  I’m not sure.  If I can’t get it to allow me to upload a simple stupid picture I’ve stolen, um borrowed, from the internet or even one I actually own, then it’s no good to me.  I mean really?  That’s as fancy as I get except for the occasional change of template and font. 

Oh!  I forgot about that.  I recently changed my font in response to a friend who said it was too small and now it’s too big and Blogger won’t let me change it back.  Really?

So my question is – which do you prefer and why.  Blogger, WordPress or another venue.

In the meantime I think I’ll go out and play on WordPress – guess I’d better get my son on speed dial.

I hate it when he’s right.


PS – After spending some time on WordPress today, I came back out to Blogger and look what I found!  The “Browse” button is back.  Ha!  Guess Blogger wasn’t ready to let old SoberMom go huh?

So instead of a picture of my lotus flower (which I’ll save for tomorrow), here’s a picture of my dogs for your viewing pleasure.

My dogs.  Love those pups.

Another Freedom Realized

I have extremely eclectic tastes in music.  With very few exceptions, I love it all.  It doesn’t matter that the only thing I can play is the radio, music has the ability to change my emotions, lift my heart, and touch my soul.  I change the channel on the radio depending on my mood.  Music can bring me to tears and cheer me up and take me back to a certain place and time in a nano second.
So it’s very sad that I have been avoiding one of my favorite genres since I got sober.  Jazz, Rat Pack, Blues and Crooners is a genre that I love.  Having parents that grew up in the forties with a large collection of music, indoctrinated my sister and me into the world of the Andrews Sisters, Bing Crosby, Nat King Cole, Sinatra and jazz.  I missed it.
But the reason I’d been avoiding it was more important than succumbing to a base need.  You see, listening to that type of music takes me back to a time when drinking was fun.  It takes me back to date nights spent in a restaurant in Old Town, Alexandria, Virginia where a combo played jazz every evening after dinner and you could sit and listen and canoodle with your honey and just be romantic.
It takes me back to gala’s in the 80’s where we danced to big bands playing a host of 40’s music.  The hubs and I could dance very well together in our younger days (fueled by alcohol of course).  He in his tuxedo and me in my formal or cocktail dress would take to the floor all night and “cut a rug” as they say.  Again, very romantic.
It takes me back to dark bars and late nights of sharing secrets and mental vomiting while listening to Harry Connick, Jr., Linda Ronstadt, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Etta James, Billie Holiday and the rest of all of those wonderful, soulful singers.
Unfortunately, for the last three years I have been avoiding those places in my mind because, well, I missed it so much.  And, in case you haven’t noticed by my use of italics, I also tend to romanticize things so that when my brain would goes there, I don’t actually see it how it was but how I wanted it to be and how I created it to be.  (Does that make ANY sense?)  I missed the romance, the candle light, the sharing.
Which means I’ve also been avoiding date night.  I mean, what would be the point?  Candlelight, jazz, good food and no wine?  Really?  Why intentionally bring on memories in my mind that would create cravings so intense that I would just sit there and be miserable all evening, making the hubs miserable and spending copious amounts of cash that we don’t have?  Nope…better to just stay home and pout.
Then yesterday I was walking the dogs, alone, which meant my phone was playing music in my ears just for me.  I have a playlist that is titled “Just Music” that avoids workouts and meditations and I just plunk all my music in there.  I set it to shuffle.  About 3/4 of the way through the walk I heard the familiar strains of a Harry song coming through my ears.  Uh-oh.
But a wonderful thing happened…it took me back but in a very different way.  Instead of bringing back romantic memories, it was like I was looking at a childhood memory.  One that was nice but to which I would never want to return.  Instead of remembering glances over a small table with a tiny candle while a four piece combo played in the background; I remembered spilled champagne after I had knocked over three glasses in a row.  I remembered tears and arguments fueled by too much wine.  I remembered passing out in the car only to wake up when we got home and being poured into bed.  I remembered hangovers.
See it was good in the beginning but it hadn’t been that way for many, many years.  I had conveniently forgotten that, in fact, it had gotten really, really “not fun” at the end.  And finally, blessedly, I remembered that little tid-bit.
And then, as with everything else about my recovery, I felt a freedom that I hadn’t even realized I needed.  I felt yet another set of bars in the prison roll open and I took another step into the sunshine of my life.
So, as soon as I hit “Publish”, I’m going to hook up the dogs and we’re going for our walk and my phone will be playing my Rat Pack playlist all the way. 
And maybe the hubs will ask me out on a date tonight.  One filled with candle light, good food, great conversation and…diet coke.

I Can’t Seem to Find the Words

This is not a post about finding the right words in a certain situation.  You know, like when you order flowers and you get to the card and the little box to the right that says “Can’t find the right words?”, and you click the box and some canned responses pop up so you don’t have to stress about it anymore.  Or when someone drops some earth shattering news on you and you stare at them, dumbfounded, because your brain has shut down and the synapses have stopped firing for the moment.
Nope…not what this post is about.
This post is about my post-menopausal, overweight, sweaty and moody self who now, as if the prior wasn’t enough, finds herself in perfectly normal conversations when suddenly a word will not come.  I’m talking about the middle of a sentence, at work, with people watching!  Don’t believe me?  Here’s an example…
“So to recap (recap!  I didn’t even have to make anything up!), we’re going to make reservations at ABC Restaurant and I’ll start booking flights to….um…to….(at this point I start waving my arms in a circular motion trying to get the universe to bring me the word)…um…you know…  Finally, blessedly, my coworker chimes in with San Francisco.
San Francisco!!!  Really!!!  One of my favorite cities on the planet that, I’m guessing, a good part of the population could actually find on a map and it simply will not come into my brain and out of my mouth.  Holy crap.
And this is happening more and more with simple little words in simple little situations. So, of course, I Googled it.  Shockingly, it’s not a brain tumor or early onset Alzheimer’s….just old age and menopause.
And the forgetfulness!  Thank God I’m project manager who has learned over the years, to put certain things in place that keeps things from falling through the cracks.  Project plans, tickler files, reminders on my calendar and phone were all invented, I’m convinced, for women of a certain age.
That is when I can remember to set the above in motion.  Yeah…that happens too.
It’s not like people don’t know I’m old and I’m “revealing” myself when this happens.  Or that I look so young that people are left thinking, “That poor thing…so young…must be a brain tumor.”  Nope, I may not act my age but I definitely look it so people are probably thinking, “Wow…is THAT what happens when you’re old?”
But, one of the benefits of old age is that you no longer give a fuck what other people think (most of the time…I’m not that old yet) so it really doesn’t bother me and is none of my business what people think of me.  It’s just so frustrating.  You KNOW the word.  You KNOW you KNOW the word and still…it doesn’t travel from your brain to your mouth so your left waving your arms like an idiot and when the word finally comes you can’t remember what the hell you were trying to say in the first place.  
There are a lot of other benefits to getting older…um…what’s the word…um….
Wait…what was I saying?  Shit.
PS – While researching my potential brain tumor, I did find an interesting website for info…and it’s got a really cool name. 

Carpe Diem

I love journals.  There is something about a book filled with blank pages and a crisp spine that speaks of promise and memories.  Couple that with new pens and I am one happy camper.
Except that I never use them!  I start and stop and try to fill them but I never follow through.  I end up ripping out the few pages that I have written on, in order to make the journal clean again so that I can start anew.  Thus a vicious cycle ensues.
Then I had a brainstorm the other day!  I would start a journal and every day I would write, “Today I love you because…” followed by a tidbit, serious or otherwise, about the hubs.  THEN, my genius continued, I would give it to him for Christmas next year and he could oooo and ahhh all over it and treasure it and hold it close to his heart and re-read it when he needed a warm a fuzzy moment.  (Which likely means it would end up in the bathroom…but I digress.)
So I chose one of my many journals that I thought suited him best, one very nice pen, and I began writing.  I’ve been carrying the book to work with me since the weekend so that he wouldn’t run across it and uncover my thoughtful and loving plan.
That is until this morning.
Because this morning as I sat down to write, I realized how sad it would be if the terrible awful happened and either I didn’t get to finish this or he never got to read it.  What a waste of loving!  That’s when I slapped my forehead in an “I want a V-8” kind of way and realized that these are the kinds of things that we should be saying EVERY DAY we breathe. 
So my Christmas gift for 2014 is that every day from now until 12/25/13 (and hopefully beyond because this is the way habits are made), I will send a text to my husband that begins, “Today I love you because…”.  And because my iPhone saves these messages for like…forever…I’ll be able to go back and re-read them even when I’m pissed off and can’t think of anything to write. 
I love you dude…and I’m about to fill up your phone with reasons why.