A Holiday Message from Her Royal Highness

A #Holiday Message from Her Royal Highness - www.alliepottswrites.comGreetings to all,

It pleases us to no end to be able to address you all at this, most joyous time of year. It is a season made even more joyous thanks to the continuing efforts of you, Our most loyal subjects.

The state of the realm remains strong, with the exception of the great pillow drought which has seemingly continued well beyond what might have otherwise been deemed an acceptable transitional period. No efforts, nor resources shall be spared in the coming year to find a solution to this ongoing problem.

The squirrel menace remains firmly in check, if not in a state of full retreat, which may or may not have anything to do with the cooling temperatures. However, the drastic reduction in squirrel related crimes and other offenses does in no way signify that the war against this scourge is complete. We encourage all citizens to remain ever vigilant, as we shall be, and report any and all activity considered at odds with the values of the realm.

However, while there have been battles fought this year, there have been plenty of other victories too. When faced with the dark waters of lakes and oceans unknown, we as a people, jumped in. We repeatedly fought against currents and secured our goals. Returning to shore, we claimed the land beneath our feet with the confidence that only those who have suffered challenge only to triumph can command.

New alliances have been brokered in Our name. Storms may have blown, knocking down Our most ancient fences and causing damage most distressing. However, now, neighbors are no longer isolated from neighbor.  As a result, new and stronger friendships have been given birth in that storm’s wake.

We have made numerous tours of the surrounding territory as our boundaries continue to expand, unfettered. Indeed, Our noble oversight and justice now even extends well into what previously was considered a place to be feared, a no man’s land, a place which may be more commonly known as The Crawl Space, bringing light and rule to where there once was none.

It feels fitting to end this address to you on the subject of light. To quote her Royal Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, who reminded us this time last year of an old saying in her address, ‘it is better to light a candle than curse the darkness.’

There is much unknown about the coming year. Squirrels could return with fleas. Greater storms may blow. But the sun, with its light most high, can always be counted on to rise, no matter what tomorrow brings. Stay true to the values you hold most dear. Be the candle in the darkness so others may find their way. And do not be afraid, for only in the darkness do we find how brightly we might shine.

Reflecting on 2014

Time sneaks up on you like a windshield on a bug – John Lithgow

It’s New Years Day. Another year has come and gone. I was fortunate enough to have the week between Christmas and New Year off from the day job and had been looking forward to this extra time since Thanksgiving. It was going to be time for me to spend time with my family, make a last-ditch effort to complete some of my 2014 goals, and of course reflect upon the last year.

I was able to do all of these things, and at the same time recognized one singular truth: I don’t pay the woman who watches my toddler nearly enough.

I thought this after our toddler snuck beside his dad in the bathroom and tried to ‘catch’ the stream. (Oh yes, my son – that one is going down in your permanent record). After spotting the lovely ‘snow’ made up of shredded tissue paper that materialized in our foyer during the nanosecond I wasn’t paying attention. (I blame you, coffee, for this one – you should not have taken so long to get into my cup that morning… There, there. Don’t worry, I can never stay mad at you long. All is already forgiven). And again during the entire day the toddler ran from me screaming if I so much as got within a foot of him because he was convinced I was going to put him to bed (he was only right a couple of those times).

My eldest had his fair share of moments as well. Although perhaps I share some of that blame. Looking back, when I said, please don’t come into the bonus room as it is where we are currently storing the boxes for the Christmas decorations, I clearly meant, why yes, I would love for you to turn each box over in there and spill the packaging materials out. I should be thanking him for reading my mind.

My holiday wasn’t perfect, but it was wonderful all the same. For each of the moments that made me want to pull my hair out, there were those I want to relive over and over. Like the watching my boys’ eyes light up as they glimpsed the pile of cookies set aside for Santa. Seeing that look of pure joy on their faces as they noticed the packages which magically appeared overnight around the tree. Listening to them belt out Christmas carols with half remembered lyrics. Those were the moments that made me wonder if my day job pays me enough to keep me away from my guys.

My time off between Christmas and New Years was very much a reflection of my entire year. There were some pretty stressful moments, moments that easily could have brought me down, but early in the year I had decided to focus on the positive. If I was only able to keep one resolution, I am glad it was that one. Because I was always on the lookout for a reason to be happy, some silver lining, I can now count at least as many accomplishments as I can failures. As a result, while I may not yet be a household name, I can still consider 2014 a resounding success.

Here’s to 2015. May it be just as rewarding!

while the video is not a scene from my house, it easily could have been…enjoy!

All I want for Christmas is…

At my office we have a whiteboard which I’ve been using to detail exactly how many working days are left in the year as means of motivating my staff to complete their goals. As I was updating it on Friday, one of them joked with me that all I was doing was reminding him of his impending mortality. He was actually rather poetic about it. I however was not swayed – we have only a handful of days left after all and we still have goals to make (or miles to go before we sleep) and the large red number seems to get that message across nicely.

As I returned to my desk I realized that the same countdown applied to my Christmas shopping. Cue the look of stricken panic. I’ve only scratched the surface of my gift buying. (This is the downside of my refusing to have anything to do with Christmas until after Thanksgiving).

Once I was back at home, I scrolled through the saved wishlists of my family, almost all were filled with books, games, and toys for my nieces and nephews, and nearly nothing for their parents. I thought about my online wishlist. If anything, there was even less of me represented on that list than my sibling’s. (My kids claim to have been very, very good this year)

I am seriously beginning to wonder if my house is bugged because shortly after I made this realization I heard from both my stepmom and my sister-in-law. They both were pleading with me to add some additional items on there. My sister-in-law told me that if I didn’t, she would be getting me a zombie survival kit (little does she know that rather than being a threat, that if it wasn’t so expensive, that would sound awesome to me).

Ever since getting their notes, I have been thinking hard about what I want for Christmas, and I am no closer to adding things to the list than I was on Friday. The things I want don’t fit nicely in a box.

I want my husband’s business to grow with sustainability. I want my toddler to be potty trained over night and be willing to eat his vegetables (really is this so much to ask?). I want my kindergartener to continue to look at the world with the same joy next year as he does this year. I want my published book to sell and my unpublished book gain some buzz. I want to be able to take a vacation or work when and where I want to (at my same rate of pay of course). I want more of the things that add value to my life, moments that live on in memories. Above all I want us to be healthy and happy. I want a lot of things, but I don’t want many things.

So I apologize if I am now in the hard to buy category. A gift card. A bottle of wine. A book or three. I will be content knowing that I was thought of this holiday season. As soon as I figure out a way to fit my wishlist in a cart I will be the first to let you know.

Success and Happiness Quote
original image by Gray Lensman (flickr)