In the Moat: “Next year all our troubles will be out of sight…”

Writer’s Note: This has been a post that has taken several days to write, with several edits. Let’s start with a trip back to Thanksgiving; a natural time for me to overanalyze all the things I’m so utterly thankful for in the past year. Even the dark, yucky feelings. After truly analyzing things from 30,000ft, the view that high has also given me a perspective I haven’t fully been able to see and appreciate quite like I have in 2012.

I started a typical Thanksgiving post a week ago about how thankful I was for certain people and things in my life, and I realized I sounded like a pompous jerk. I’ve been whining too much. Trying too hard not to step on anyone’s toes but my own. I’m sick of listening to myself! It’s to the point where I want to slap my own face and tell myself “things could be worse; you are a lucky girl”. On most occassions I listen, but here and there, I’m faced directly with wanting to slap others. But that’s assault, brotha.

In the spirit of the season, I’ve spent some QT with our families and several relaxing days off work in the past few weeks. My pal Rachel and I just got back from seeing Ray Lamontagne Friday night at the Chicago Theatre. There we really showed 2012 who was boss….and it was us. (If you ever stay at the James Hotel, the 2pm checkout time is clutch after a night of really showing Chicago what we’re made of…just saying.)

Once again, I’m going to let you In the Moat, but in a slightly different way. I’ve grown exhausted about talking to my friends about how anxious I am and how poor Kacey just keeps getting hit in the same bruise over and over, and how it’s damaging to the relationships I value most. For those keeping score, we’re counting the stress over moving in February 2012, the stress of starting a new job in May 2012, and forging new friendships that may not have been totally worth it…depends on the circumstance.

I’m to the point where even I don’t want to listen to me blabble on about how discombobulated I feel, and I’m sure you guys are getting just as bored with me. Please don’t give up on me though…I promise to be better. And for that, I’m going to give you some factual statements about myself….things I may or may not be totally proud of but that have brought me some joy in the past year of yuck.

1. My spring goal is to lease a horse and ride 1-2 times per week.

2. 2013 may be the time when I start charging for portrait sessions. “If you’re good at something, get paid for it” -said someone famous once. Mama needs a new Canon.

3. I’m thankful for my therapist. She listens, analyzes and she poses questions back to me in ways where I’m sure an actual lightbulb goes off above my head and I can immediately make connections where I haven’t been able to make them before. It’s a weekly progression and I’m very pleased with the progress. It’s when you learn everything is connected when you truly have a zen moment and say “holy shit, this big picture view is quite clarifying”.

4. My mom came to help me decorate for Christmas last week. The tree has been trimmed and I’ll share pictures of the beautiful touches she has put on the mantles, windows, and throughout the house. I couldn’t have made our home look so good without her. I’ve learned everything from this sweet woman who has amazing taste that she passed on to me. I couldn’t be more grateful for her this year.

5. I like any food that is covered in gravy – potatoes, biscuits, fries, dumplings…you name it. ‘Tis the season…when in Rome. I also appreciate chili and cheese on most things.

6. Speaking of chili and cheese, if you really want to do something nice for me, you’d buy me a chili cheese coney dog, something from J. Crew, and for good measure, you’d give me two hours of uninterrupted time to enjoy my sitting room with the Christmas tree lit to read the magazines and books I haven’t caught up with for the past few months.

7. If you really want to have an anxiety attack, just take me to the mall on a Saturday in December. I’d rather have bamboo shoots shoved up my toenails. In fact, you can just cut a toe off.

8. Sometimes under even the very best intentions, I am unable to be the good friend, the counselor, and the conscientious objector all in one. I’m willing to accept that I can’t do everything, and after realizing that, my brain has seemed to accept it and both my brain and the rest of me is moving forward.

9. Judy Garland’s version of “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” is really speaking to me this year. I know in years past, it’s been the song River that has seen me through, but I honestly hope that in a year, our troubles will be miles away. We’ve moved into a new home, and this home is something we love very much. I can’t stop decorating it and I’m working extra hard on renovating myself, my marriage and my best friendships.

10. I have spoken a lot with my therapist about those basic needs I need in any relationship; marital or friendship. It’s been very encouraging to piece all the things to gether that make me a happy Kacey, and I couldn’t be more thankful for the people I love who get those things about me. I think under this sharp exterior, I still mean what I said about those people I love in the Moat – I would walk across hot coals to make sure you knew you were loved and safe.