Here’s to new chapters

I haven’t written in this space for three months, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been thinking about it.
Ninety days of “noggin notes” disguised as monkeys swinging from limb to limb. The ideas for this space dangle and sway in my brain and accumulate as loads of unfolded head laundry.
And when opportunity presents itself, I’ve released the writing wash onto whatever scraps of paper are at hand, including gum wrappers and old grocery receipts, and stacked them in a pile on my computer desk for “later.”
Well, “later” has arrived—either that or I will have to get a bigger desk.
So here’s to new chapters that begin with my agreement in the common narrative that comes round in more ways than one this time of year: “I ate too much over the holidays.”
This I admit while picking potato chip crumbs out of my computer keyboard and grazing on another five of those delicious “Ferrero Rocher” chocolates, three “Cadbury” fingers, and the leftover crab wontons from the New Year’s Eve menu as I suck in the evidence otherwise known as “Buddha.”
?But as I have admitted in the past, I’ve given up trying to fix that area of my Roman goddess figure I blame squarely on the child-bearing years of my youth. I expect that even after a year’s confinement to a tummy and butt spa in California, I’d have buns of steel but I’d still be able to grab a handful of baby fat below my belly button.
And pushing back that number on the weigh scale has been dragged through the mud, stepped on, run over by a truck, and raked through the coals a million times over. I’ve tried every trick in the book, including hanging on to the wall naked with one foot off the scale while holding my breath.
So here’s to new chapters that include self-acceptance first, healthy choices—and chocolate on any day ending in “y” as long as it’s more than two hours before bedtime.
Meanwhile, a new kitten roams the halls in this neck of the woods, sacked with the name and persistently hungry personality plucked straight from the Charles Dickens’ novel, “Oliver Twist.”
Every morning since Daughter #3 convinced me—in a moment of weakness—that one more cat would complete me, “Oliver” has met me at the fridge at 6 a.m., where he performs jumping jacks and pirouettes in a bid for kitty treats.
“Please, Mum, I want more,” he begs in relentless feline speech. I give in to his cuteness daily.
However, his favour faded briefly at one sunrise during the holidays when I found Christmas tree ornaments from the living room scattered across my bedroom floor—and no cat in sight.
Upon investigation of Oliver’s whereabouts, while returning the ornaments to their rightful place, I found him staring at me wide-eyed through the branches in the middle of the Christmas tree with that classic wild look that precedes the pounce.
I had a flash of anticipatory terror. It was a scene from the movie “Alien,” when that seed pod thing jumped onto the face of the innocent astronaut.
The cat-a-pult from the tree onto the front of my housecoat happened so fast that I was sure I would never recover from the shock. In fact, it took me most of the morning not only to calm my nerves, but also my frightful “Don King” hairdo!
Hence, asterisks have been added in the holiday notebook reminder for next year. Leading up to next Christmas, a certain feline will spend his nights in the basement—under the autonomy of the canine capers.
And last but not least, as I kick off a fresh curve in column writing in 2011, I must reiterate a “thank you” to the Universal Plan that waits patiently for those of us who choose to see the absolute grace and empowerment in stepping outside the box and accepting life change.
Here’s to new chapters.

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