Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Snowball Effect

The Snowball effect is the common analogy of the rolling of a small ball of snow down a snow-covered hillside. As it rolls, the ball will pick up more snow, gaining more mass and surface area, and picking up even more snow and momentum as it rolls along.

The snowball of not  blogging has rolled away and grown larger with each passing day.  One week slid into one month and as time marched on, my drive and ability to sit down faded because it felt like so much was happening, that to catch up would feel like climbing Mt. Everest.  “Imposorous!” as Dr. Suess would say. It's stupid  to feel buried in snowball when there is nothing to be defeated over. I am not a writer under great pressure, nor must I write so I can eat. Although, ironically, I am writer who likes to eat,  but that is totally different.
Since I stopped training for the unicycle half-marathon, I pooped out. I realize my creativity is fed and watered while riding my unicycle. Really, it’s great thinking time and I miss it! So this ginormous mental snowball must begin melting so I can get back into my groove. Just like Stella!

Much of this snowball is musical. These past months I immersed myself chaperoning the regiment band with my freshman son. There was Pep Band for away football games in a “Twinkie.” That’s what the band parents call the school bus. Also, performing at home games and, Saturday competitions, hours away in a Twinkie. These experiences introduced me to a new  subculture in high school. I was a cheerleader, so that tossed me in Jock culture. Jock culture is remarkably different from Band culture (this is a whole other blog post). Lucas's band commitment was demanding of time and energy, it fueled friendships, improved musical skills and with the band season (finally) over, my little drummer boy decided he wants to do it again next year.  Last week was his Winter Holiday concert and he looked  handsome in his tuxedo that we had to rent for the year. This was a wise requirement from the Music Department because (for some puzzling reason) formal clothes make the music sound better. Go figure.
The growing snowball has contained lots of camouflage and air soft  battles sponsored by my younger son in the local ditch. This kid loves all things military, army, aviation and weapons related. At eleven, his favorite channels are the History and Military Channel. No kidding.  As much as he wants to be a soldier, I remind him that he is so very smart and that Annapolis or the Air Force Academy would be a better fit for him. Aim high, right?

This growing mental snowball also contains special family time, such as Arizona turkey. That is what I name our Thanksgiving trip to see family in Phoenix. A long car ride, but totally worth it because my sister-in-law is an awesome cook. Stopping at a truck stop in the desert, I found the perfect Christmas gift for my friends with an off-balance sense of humor such as mine. I regret not buying this little (?) Indian. While in Arizona we spent time with Lucas's friend from heart camp. He loved that! Lucas is preparing to speak at a Camp Del Corazon fundraiser in Santa Barbara next month. Very exciting!
Last week my husband and I took our first yoga class together. He has the entire month of December off to burn up his vacation time, less he “lose it” and forfeit it back to Obama. Stretching is one of my favorite things to do and I enjoyed it, despite sore hips the next day.  Today I am going to join the studio (Merry Christmas to me!). What better way to improve balance and focus? Especially since Blanche has temporarily retired to the garage for the winter, (she's usually parked in my living room begging to go out for fresh air.)

A good part of this snowball  is my discipleship group. I love the depth and commitment that this study contains. Even though there’s much homework; it’s spiritually fulfilling. A few weeks ago, we studied the Holy Spirit, AKA: The Holy Ghost (in the Catholic world I grew up in). Just a side note here … that term spooked me as a kid. Holy. Ghost. Isn't that an oxymoron? Am I right? Anyways, we all have the power of this “helper” God gave us and I decided to connect spiritually and tap into it.  I have been on this “By the power of the Holy Spirit I can … (fill in the blank) kick” and it has been a good thing. Nice to know that God cared enough to send me a helper, because I definitely need it!
Other parts of my snowball are prayers and positive energy that has flowed to my friend with breast cancer. We started a meal chain at the end of November after her double mastectomy and they are slated to receive meals through the beginning of February 2012! It required coordinating and organizing, but by the power of the Holy Spirit, I did it. Helping feels good and her cancer reminds me of the upside of any medical crises; it draws close friends closer. That’s a blessing.
And, alas, there is Christmas. The anniversary of Baby Jesus’ birth that is shrouded is gingerbread houses, tree trimming, wrapping (Yo- yo Dawg, where has the year gone?), Christmas cards and cheer-filled festivities; just to name a few. I whipped Christmas cards out early so I can sit back and enjoy the season that is packed with joy and merriment. The Christmas traditions and honoring of our Lord who came to earth as a little human baby is the best time of year.
Whew! The snowball effect feels less intimidating after jotting down a few  of my thoughts. I didn't get to the Blue Man Group, hosting the Russians, Baby Benson or the awesome cookie exchange, but this was a start. I hope it will smack me back into balance!  Can I now move on with my life and get back in practice with clowning around on my keyboard?

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