Saturday, February 26, 2011

Letting Go

Jonah and I both tend to be hoarders. We're not so bad that it's any kind of disorder, and our house doesn't look anything like the ones you see on TV shows such as "Hoarders." But we do collect stuff, and we do hang on to things. We both can be a bit cluttered (although I think my clutter is a little more organized than Jonah's, but clutter nonetheless).

I can't speak for Jonah, but I often hang on to things for nostalgic reasons. I have most of the cards people have given me over the years; I have a collection of mementos people have given me during shows I've been in with them; I probably have every receipt, bank statement, and billing invoice I've ever received for the last seven years; I have an immense collection of Star Wars memorabilia; I have most of the newspaper clippings about not only me, but people I know in the theatre for the last 20 years or so; I have tons of scraps of paper with various information that I intend to transfer to a more organized system...some day; I have about a hundred VHS tapes, some of which I intend to transfer to DVD; I have a collection of DVDs and books - most of which I rarely rewatch or reread; I have a box of stuffed animals from my childhood; I have about 40 or 50 photo albums; and until today, I had 16 years worth of Entertainment Weeklys that I've just hung on case (of what, I don't know).

Living with Jonah has been an eye opener (in a good way) for me. He has more clothes than anyone I know; he has tons of assorted knick knacks and collectibles, many of which are displayed, but others that just sit around waiting to have enough room to display them; he owns a myriad of decorations and craft supplies; and we have a garage full of stuff that we intend to use one day, but haven't yet.

I am in no way pointing the finger at my spouse. I am just as much of a hoarder as he is. If anything, I am pointing the finger at myself; but being surrounded by some of Jonah's clutter has really inspired me to get rid of some of my own. Jonah can do as he pleases with his own stuff, but I am going to try to make a concerted effort to get rid of a lot of my own.

I realized that for much of my life, because I travel for work, I have lived much of my life out of a few suitcases, and you know what? I have survived just fine.

So I was asking myself, why do I hang on to stuff that really has no purpose or great use in my life? My mom has said about certain things I own: "Oh, that will probably be worth money someday." But even if it is, is that why I hang on to it? My Star Wars collection, for example, is cool and actually is probably worth some decent money, but I've never collected the pieces I own for the money. I've never had any intention of selling it. I just enjoy collecting action figures and toys and other assorted memorabilia. I've never even had room to display most of it, so even though I would like to display it, that isn't really the reason, either. And really, when I'm dead and gone, of what use will it really be to anyone?

Heaven knows why I hung on to my Entertainment Weekly magazines for so long. Did I really think I would go back and reread any of them? I think I did. Well, let me say, in the 16 years I've subscribed to the magazine, I've probably gone back and reread an article three or four times. Not really a good reason to hang on to 346 pounds of magazines. I probably spent $800 or so on those magazines over the years, and today (except for fifteen or so that I wasn't ready to part with at this time) I sold them to a recycling company for $19. And you know what? Totally worth it. Getting rid of that junk felt great. Even more surprising, I thought it would be hard to let them go. It was a relief. And it has spurred me on to get rid of other things.

I'm going to get rid of the cards I never read, the tapes I never watch, the books I know I'll never read, shred the financial records that I know are of no use to me anymore, etc. It needs to happen. I long for a simpler life, filled with less clutter and extraneous crap.

There's always that nagging feeling that's my biggest obstacle to getting rid of stuff: "What if you need it someday? If you throw it away, you'll regret it because there will come a time when you need it for something." Bullcrap. If I haven't used it in the last 2, 5, 10, 20 or 35 years, why would I believe I'm ever going to need to use it in the future? And even if I do find I wish that I hadn't gotten rid of something specific...oh, well! It's gone now. Can't do much about that.

Jonah and I got rid of five bags of clothes a couple of days ago and threw out three full garbage cans of useless stuff, and it felt great! And I discovered something; it's so much easier to help somebody get rid of things they don't need when you're not personally invested in them yourself. I told Jonah I need him to help me get rid of my junk because he has no attachment to it and will see it for the junk that it is rather than the nostalgic or practical excuses I project on it.

I just rewatched the TV show "Lost." I loved it when it was on TV and loved it even more when I watched the entire series on DVD. One of the themes in the show is "letting go"; letting go of the things that hold us back or prevent us from moving on. This hoarding stuff, along with "Lost" made me think, too, of the non-material stuff we hold on to: guilt, anger, shame, embarrassment, fear, regret, etc. What stops us from moving forward, wherever that may be?

One of my biggest fears is looking stupid in front of other people, and it often cripples me. I care too much how other people perceive me, and I don't want to do anything that will make me look dumb. It gets in my way more than it helps me, and I think if I were to let it go, I would be more free and I think I would be a better actor in my career, for example.

Although I haven't let go of the LDS Church (and won't as long as it feels useful to me, which it currently does), I did let go of a lot of the shame I felt in being gay; I let go of my need to please other people and my religion at the expense of my own well-being; I let go of feeling I had to do things out of duty or obligation rather than of want or desire; I let go of the fear that my mortal and eternal life would face destruction if I gave in to allowing myself to love another man; and I am trying very hard to let go of selfishness and laziness, which I'm still working on.

But life has been so much better letting go of certain things and trusting God and in his plan for me. There are some people that need to let go of religion or people in their lives that hold them back. I say if that's what they need to do, who am I to judge? By contrast, there are people who let go of a religion or a person, but still hang on to bitterness or anger regarding their relationship towards that religion or person. Have they really let go then?

I don't judge. Some people would accuse me of holding on to a religion that does me no good; I think they're wrong, but that's their opinion. Recently, an individual came down on me for continuing to attend a church that he felt treated me badly. He was certainly entitled to that opinion, but I found it ironic that the anger and bitterness he held toward the LDS Church bound him just as tightly to that religion as he was accusing me of being bound to it. I'm quite sure I know which one of us has more peace in his life as far as the Mormon religion is concerned.

Anyway, I've really been thinking of the value of letting go of the "stuff," both material and spiritual, in our lives. I'm vowing to do more to get rid of those things that are no longer of any use (or were never of any use) in the first place.

In any case, I have a closet to clean out now. See ya!

Monday, February 21, 2011

My Other Ward, Part II

Church was really good on Sunday. I quite enjoyed it. Sometimes people ask me why I still attend a church that has basically rejected me. I don't really see it that way, and I still like going and still get a lot out of it.

I especially felt the need to go on Sunday because I was feeling kind of hard-hearted about something and thought a day at church would help me feel the spirit. It did.

Again, I just love how welcoming and friendly the people in this particular ward are. I really admire it. I love, too, how diverse the ward is. So many colors and unique individuals in the palette. Not what I'm used to seeing in Utah.

A youth speaker was the first one to speak at Sacrament Meeting. There is little doubt in my mind that he is gay (or will realize he is soon). Furthermore, his name was Halston Hightower (mom and dad, if your last name is Hightower, and you name your boy Halston, you're pretty much begging for him to be gay; you might as well have named him Clea).

Anyway, his talk was about missionary work and his desires to go on a mission. I'm curious what his life will be like ten years from now.

The next speaker gave a terrific and unexpected talk about immigration. Hers seemed to be a pro-immigration position. She talked about how our ancestors immigrated to this country in search of a better life, and that today's immigrants were doing the same. And while she did stress that the laws of the land should be followed, she also stressed the compassion and love we must have toward our neighbors from foreign lands. While the immigration issue is a tricky one (and she stressed that, too), I really liked what she had to say and was kind of surprised to hear such a talk in Sacrament Meeting (but thought it was very well-done). I'd be surprised to hear such a talk given in many Utah wards.

The Young Women sang a song, which was...meh.

The next speaker gave a talk on temples, which I wasn't into as much, but was still good.

Sunday School was about the Beatitudes, which I like. There was one woman in there who brought her granddaughter in, and that kid was LOUD! Really loud. And the grandmother made no effort to quiet her down. It was very distracting. The girl practically screamed, "I WANT TO GO BACK TO PRIMARY!" and I thought, "Why did she bring her here then?" Eventually, the grandmother relented, and the kid went away, and the lesson was much better after that.

When I volunteered to read a scripture, I was then asked to give my opinion about it. It was the one about blessed are they that thirst and hunger after righteousness, for they will be filled , and I made the point that Christ didn't say "Blessed are they who are completely righteous" or "Blessed are the perfect," but, basically, "Blessed are those that want to be righteous or who are trying really hard to be righteous, but might be failing in some aspects." Although somebody else later made the point that the 3 Nephi version says "they will be filled with the Holy Ghost," I was saying that those that lack in complete righteousness will be "filled"; that is to say that Christ's atonement will fill in the parts that we are unable to fill in ourselves.

In any case, I spoke for probably less than 45 seconds and said nothing different than I would have said if I was still a member, but it felt really nice to vocally contribute to the discussion.

I've mentioned this before, but another thing I really like about the ward is how active these members are in contributing to the class discussion; and not just standard "Sunday School" answers, but thought-provoking and thoughtful stuff. I've been to many wards (including my mom's ward, which I still love a lot) where people either sit like bumps on logs or just give pat "Sunday School" answers. I like the Sunday School lessons here, and like I said, it was really nice to actually be part of the discussion for just a brief moment - something I know will not happen often.

Anyway, it was a really nice day at church, and I was really grateful I had gone. ...and yes, it did make me feel better.

I spent the rest of the day cleaning part of mine and Jonah's house. It seriously needed it. We still have a way to go, but it was nice to clean our environment a bit.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

My Other Ward

I went to my ward in my home city today, and it was kind of nice. I like the ward because people are always very welcoming, something I haven't always found in some wards I've attended in my life. All three of the bishopric came up to me at separate times to welcome me, and two of them (the bishop and one of the counselors) remembered me from when I had attended before. The guy behind me struck up a conversation with me, and we chatted for a bit. So it was just nice to be fellowshipped. Of course, I feel that way in Mom's ward, too, since many people there know and love me, but some wards haven't been so friendly. For example, I attended the ward in another town for almost eight months, and not very many people ever acknowledged me. I even remember times when the bishop would go out of his way to talk to people he was already acquainted with who happened to be sitting, respectively, in front of me and behind me, but he would skip me. I thought it was odd, and I was also surprised that people in such a relatively small town - people who seemed to know one another well and had a reputation for friendliness - would not acknowledge me. On the other hand, I was freshly excommunicated when I started attending and didn't really want to get to know people or have them know me, so God probably knew that's what I needed at the time and thus didn't inspire those members to get to know me better.

But in this ward I'm attending right now I have always appreciated how outgoing the people are here and how they seem to go out of their way to welcome visitors. Anyway, I felt very welcome, and that was nice.

Then when the meeting started (Sacrament Meeting is first), the bishop reminded the congregation about reverence and the importance of the ordinance of taking the sacrament, and I appreciated his words and how he set a more sacred tone for the meeting.

One things I don't like about the ward (and many wards) is how lackluster the singing can be. This ward in particular is not very loud or enthusiastic, in my opinion, when it comes to hymn singing. That's actually one of my favorite parts of church, and I can be rather exuberant when I sing. I felt like I was too loud today, that's how soft I feel everyone sings in this ward (and it's not a small group of people, either!)

After the sacrament, there was a youth speaker (his talk wasn't too memorable) and then a woman spoke. Her talk was pretty good. It was about freedom of religion, and it got a little political at times. I didn't agree with everything she said, but I thought it was a well-constructed, well-spoken talk, and I appreciated that.

There was an absolutely gorgeous musical arrangement of "I Believe in Christ" played by a pianist and a cellist. The pianist also told us to read the words to the hymn while they played, and that did make it more meaningful. But it was such a beautiful, moving arrangement, and I really felt the Spirit.

The first lady who had spoken had given quite a lengthy talk, and so the meeting was nearly over when the second speaker got up. He kind of accused her of only leaving him with five or six minutes, and so he said he would just tell a story. He ended up talking for ten or fifteen minutes, and based on his talk, I was glad the woman had taken some of his time.

The story he told was about some famous hockey coach who had taken some kids who hadn't originally gotten along and turned them into an Olympic-winning team. When they won the gold medal, they said that was their proudest moment. When the coach was asked what his proudest moment was, he said it was taking this group of 20 young men with different attitudes and beliefs and goals and making them "as one" and turning them into a unified team. This story would have been well and good if it had had anything to do with the rest of his talk, but then he started talking about food storage and 72 hour emergency kits, and I couldn't see what one had to do with the other. It wasn't a very organized (or terribly interesting) talk, but maybe that was a consequence of his not having had enough time to give it. Anyway, I was nonplussed.

Sunday School was pretty good. No one in this ward knows I've been excommunicated, and so I considered "cheating" and giving comments on the lesson. It's not like I would say anything divisive or controversial, and they wouldn't know better anyway. But honestly, I didn't have anything noteworthy to say and "cheating" didn't seem right to me.

The lesson was about miracles that Jesus had performed, and it was interesting. One lady made a comment (I can't even remember what it was in response to) that sometimes the Lord gives us what we actually need and not what we're told we're "supposed" to need, and that comment touched me a lot because I feel that's exactly what the Lord has done for me - he's given me what I actually needed; not just what the Church told me I needed to be happy. I guess, bottom line, is it reaffirmed what I already know: God knows what I need better than any man or institution does, and for that I am grateful; however, I continue to love and sometimes defend the LDS Church even if I don't always fit in the "Mormon box."

There is a lady in this ward (actually, she's the one I made the comment I just wrote about) who often gives the Sunday School lesson (she didn't today), but I love her energy and personality. I like her and what she has to say, and I was glad she was still in the ward. I hope she's still a Sunday School teacher because I enjoy her lessons. Anyway, I was glad she was there and grateful for her contributions to the lesson (as well as the others in the room - another thing I like about the ward is there are a lot of people who contribute to the discussions in Sunday School class).

I didn't go to Priesthood. I don't attend Priesthood regularly. In fact, two or three weeks ago was the first time I had attended Priesthood in several years. Unfortunately, this did little to make me want to go again, so I think it will probably be some time before I go back to Priesthood meeting.

Jonah's nephew-in-law had a birthday today, and we celebrated with Jonah's extended family at our house. I'm getting to know his family better, and they have treated me very kindly. I know some are aware of our relationship, although I don't know to what extent, and I appreciate that they have treated me like a family member. It means a lot.

I bought Jonah some special Valentine's gifts, and I am eager for him to open them tomorrow. I am also really grateful that we will get to spend both Valentine's Day and my birthday together this year. I'm really, really happy to be with him. I've missed him so much, and it's so nice to be home and not just feel like I'm visiting.

Anyway, Happy Valentine's Day to all.

Love you lots.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

A Valentine's Miracle

I have been waiting for today for almost a week now. Several days ago a card came in the mail informing me that on February 12 (today), a local business would be giving away free boxes of chocolates. All I had to do was show my valued customer card that I have through them, and I would get my free box of chocolates. No catch. Just free chocolate.

I think Jonah thought I was kidding, but I've been talking about cashing in on my free chocolate all week, and sure enough when today rolled around, I said to Jonah, "You know what today is, don't you?"

He stared at me in confusion. "What?"

"FREE CHOCOLATE DAY!" I blurted in genuine excitement.

Jonah rolled his eyes, but was supportive in my bizarre desire to get what was most likely going to be a box of low-quality chocolate. Who cares?! It's chocolate...and it's free! What's not to like?

I'm serious when I say that our little excursion to this local business was truly the highlight of my day. It doesn't take much to make me giddy with happiness.

Jonah and I headed toward the elevators of this local business, and I was practically dancing with excitement. Jonah was giggling and rolling his eyes at my excitement over such a stupid thing. Stupid? Maybe. Free chocolate? Definitely.

As the elevator opened, an old man stepped out holding a red heart-shaped box of Russell Stover cheapie chocolates. Jonah and I entered the elevator, and the doors closed.

I squealed, "Did you see that?! He has the free chocolate!!" I knew we were just moments away from the miracle of free chocolate.

As we walked around this business, I saw several people pass me holding their red heart-shaped boxes...most of them old people. I was brimming with anticipation!

Finding the free chocolate was a bit of a challenge. It's a big business, and there was no sign telling us where to go. But like a heavenly beacon, an archway of pink, red, and white balloons suddenly appeared, and I suspected we were in the right place; just within reach of the free chocolate.

The irony of this promotion was that it was designed to reward locals for their patronage. Although this is my home, I am still a legal resident of Utah and have actually spent more time there than here. Still, I have my valued customer card, and that was all I needed for my free gift of chocolaty goodness.

There were security guards or employees directing all these pathetic people like myself towards our ultimate goal. One of them asked, "Are you here for the chocolate?"

I nodded and, just to make sure there was no catch, I asked, "I just have to show my card, yes?"

"Yes," he replied.

"FREE CHOCOLATE!" I thought. I noticed Jonah, who wasn't nearly as giddy as I was, pull out his card, too.

"A-ha!" I thought. "He wants the chocolate, too!" But not as much as I do.

Although they had stancheons and ropes set up to control a big crowd of chocolate lovers, I was fortunate to come when there wasn't a line at all. I was directed immediately to a table where a woman asked for my customer card and ID.

For just a brief moment, I thought my chocolate miracle might be thwarted by my Utah driver's license. They would know I wasn't a true local! They would deny me my right to free chocolate!

My brief moment of panic was eased when I was immediately directed to a room containing boxes and boxes of red, heart-shaped delight!

"Do I just grab one?" I asked in amazement.

"Here you go!" a man said, smiling, as he handed me my heart's fondest wish at that moment. "Happy Valentine's Day!"

I had in my hand a box of Russell Stover cheap chocolates (12, I think), and I didn't have to a thing to get it but show up with my customer card. It was like a Valentine's Day Miracle!

Jonah got his, too, and I carried both around, proud of my achievement! We had lunch, and I spent the trip home talking about our chocolaty miracle. Jonah simply laughed at me in amusement.

Here's my prize and me:

I haven't even opened my box yet. I thought I'd probably wait until Valentine's Day...although knowing me, I won't. The chocolates are probably just average. But who cares? In my book, any kind of free chocolate is a miracle to be savored, appreciated, and valued.

My gratitude is full. Happy early Valentine's Day, everybody!

Postscript: Jonah told me to make sure I don't re-gift the chocolate to him on Valentine's Day or else it will be a St. Valentine's Day Massacre. We'll see. ;-)

Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Right To Change My Mind

I deleted my last post because I decided I was overreacting and being a bit too judgmental, which is exactly what I was railing against. If you didn't read my last post, it wasn't that important. You didn't miss much.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Come Out, Come Out Wherever You Are

Lately I've been considering revealing my true identity on this blog. For five years you've all known me as Cody, but as I've said in the past, that is not my real name. When I started this blog back in 2006, my reasons for remaining anonymous were because I was still sorting out my feelings about my sexuality and the church, and I didn't want anyone to know who I was.

These days, I'm pretty much out to everyone who knows me personally, and I don't really have anything to hide. So why do I still remain anonymous here?

I'm certainly not ashamed or scared of revealing any aspect of my life anymore. I'm pretty forthright about how I feel about most things in my life.

I guess I continue to stay anonymous because the personal things I talk about here don't just affect me, but they also affect others in my life. If someone who personally knows me or one of my family members or friends and they happen to read this blog, and I say something personal about, say, my mom or my sister or a friend, then suddenly people who know them know things about them that maybe my mom or sister or friend doesn't want them to know. If it's all anonymous, then nobody is personally invested.

I think if I also reveal my real name, then suddenly all sorts of people who know me in my real life may come across this blog, and while I don't necessarily care who reads my blog, I think if I know a bunch of people who know me personally are reading it, then I will censor myself and my thoughts out of deference to my loved ones' privacy. It's not my own privacy I am concerned about, but the privacy of those in my inner circle.

Still, I'm mulling it over. I may reveal myself yet. We shall see.

Monday, February 07, 2011

Unemployment: How Sweet It Is! (And Other Stuff)

I am now unemployed...for two months, at least. I have another gig coming up in April. Normally, unemployment stresses me out a bit (usually because I don't make enough money acting to feel financially secure when times are harder). However, I feel pretty good right now. I've been steadily employed since May of last year, and I made enough that I was actually able to put some money away in savings. While I'm not rich by any means, I do have enough to get me through the next two months, and it does help knowing I have another job lined up. If I don't get a summer job lined up, I may start stressing then.

The other great thing about being unemployed is that I was finally reunited with Jonah, who I haven't seen for more than a couple of days since October, and knowing that I will have at least two months with him is, quite frankly, a luxury I am very happy to have.

Jonah came out to Utah, where I often work, and we kind of made a vacation out of it. He took the entire week off from his job, so we were in no rush to get back to our home in Nevada.

We spent our first night at my mom's house, and then we spent the next night at the Anniversary Inn (where we spent our honeymoon). This time our themed room was a pirate ship, and it was a lot of fun. We took some fun pictures. We ate dinner at the Rodizio Grill and did some window shopping. Our evening in the hotel room was a lot of fun and very relaxing. We took a bubble bath together in the very large tub (which also had a cute shower curtain that you had to unfurl like a sail) and drank sparkling cider.

We decided to get a room for the next night, too, because we got an incredible deal. We had our choice of all but two rooms, and we chose one called Room with a View, which overlooked Salt Lake City. The room was gorgeous with a very large bed and a big screen TV. We got complimentary cheesecake and sparkiling cider again. It was very romantic.

We spent that day in Park City (and it was colddddddd!!!) looking at art galleries and window shopping. We also bought some nice dress shirts because we would be going to an Evening with Stephen Sondheim that night.

We went to a special VIP reception where we would get to meet Stephen Sondheim in person. The food was really good, and there were a lot of people all dressed up. They had told us he wouldn’t be signing autographs or taking pictures, but I brought my camera just in case. When he came in, Jonah and I played it cool and showed some decorum, which is more than I can say for the crowd that mobbed him. I was afraid I wouldn’t get my chance because so many people were surrounding him.

However, I saw a break in the crowd and zeroed in. He was signing some guy’s book (which he wasn’t supposed to be doing), and as soon as his eyes met mine, I stuck my hand out and grabbed his (a bit too aggressively, I realized). I said, “Mr. Sondheim, I never thought I’d get a chance to meet you in person in my lifetime. I just want you to know how much your music and lyrics have meant to me in my life, and I think you are a genius.” I actually was misty-eyed by the moment, and Stephen Sondheim said to me, very sincerely, “Thank you. I can tell that’s very heartfelt, and I appreciate it.” He looked at my outfit and said, “And I’m so glad you dressed up and wore a tie.” If I’d been more quick-minded, I would have said, “Well, when you are meeting a god, you’ve gotta dress up.”

Anyway, I didn’t want to take too much of his time, and I knew there were others who wanted to meet him just as much as I did. I had asked Jonah to take a quick snapshot while I was talking to Sondheim. I didn’t care about the “rule.” This was my only chance to get a photo of Stephen Sondheim and myself, and I had seen other people do it already (at least I didn’t make him pose – although that would have been cool, too).

Some lady almost foiled our plan. She really liked Jonah's outfit and was trying to get a picture with him at about the same time Jonah was to take the photo of me and Stephen Sondheim. Fortunately, he got a really good shot.

Jonah has a knack for being a “people magnet.” It is not uncommon for complete strangers to come up to him and tell him their life stories and their personal problems. This evening was no different.

After the reception, we geared up for the main event, an interview with Stephen Sondheim. Sondheim turned out to be great, sharing anecdotes and stories from his career. I thought the lady that interviewed him was terrible. She was awkward and probably nervous. Sondheim gave terrific answers to not-so-good questions. It just seemed to me she was out of her element, and I wonder what the evening would have been like with a really good interviewer asking really interesting questions. I just left feeling that Stephen Sondheim was too much of a genius to be interviewed by someone so ill-prepared for the job. I thought, “This is the best they could do for someone of Sondheim’s stature?” Still, Sondheim came off great, and it was still a very lovely evening.

Between the interview and a question and answer segment, some University of Utah singers sang two numbers, “Children Will Listen/Into the Woods” from Into the Woods and “Sunday” from Sunday in the Park with George. I thought their performance was very cheesy and almost embarrassing. Still, Sondheim was a good sport and took it in stride (and maybe even enjoyed it). But I found it to be tacky.

The question and answer segment was very short, and again, I didn’t think the interviewer picked the best questions (at least, I’d like to think there were better questions than some of the ones chosen).

Still, I had a fabulous time, and even if the evening had just been my face-to-face meeting with one of my idols, it would have been well worth it.

Jonah and I had dinner with a friend at Village Inn, and that was very nice. After we said goodbye to our friend, we went back to our hotel and danced and made love. It was terrific.

I spent much of Wednesday cleaning and packing, and we did some more shopping as well. (Jonah loves to shop. Me? Not so much.)

Thursday was hard. I’ve been living with my mom while in Utah, and her memory is going. She doesn’t think it’s a big issue, but I think (and my siblings and in-laws agree) that it is a bigger issue than she thinks it is (I hesitate to write this here because she does read this blog). I’ve gone to her last two appointments with her doctor, who I’m not sure is the right doctor for her and who I think is a little “medicine happy.” I actually think one of the medicines he’s got my mom on, trazadone, an anti-depressant, is both unnecessary and may even be contributing to her memory issues. I also feel like he treats Mom like he’s never seen her before each time he sees her. I find his manner a bit off-putting.

Anyway, Mom canceled her follow-up appointment because she is tired of taking memory tests and because I’m not going to be there, and she feels like it’s me who is concerned with her issues. Anyway, I’m trying to get my siblings more involved.

Mom had to take her car in to get an emissions test, and she couldn’t find the shop even though I gave her simple directions and she’s been there many times before. She came home crying, and I felt really bad for her. But it also instilled in me a belief that this problem is becoming more serious even if my mom doesn’t think it is.
Mom has all sorts of excuses, but the fact of the matter is her short-term memory is terrible, and I see bits of her long-term memory slipping away as well, and I am especially becoming more concerned about her being on her own. She still does many things well, but I do feel her awareness isn’t as sharp as it once was, and I also see her getting confused about certain things more easily than she once did. I also worry about her driving, although she doesn’t drive much.

It’s helpful to her if someone is there to give her a nudge and help her with things. Unfortunately, I can’t do that right now, so I hope my siblings and their spouses will be more proactive.

It was hard to say goodbye. She’s enjoyed having me there, and I’ve enjoyed being there and helping her out. But it’s time to be with my husband, so I just pray things will work out well with my mom.

Jonah and I had a good drive. We stopped in Cedar City and had lunch and did some shopping. We also popped in on another friend in St. George. He and his partner have a gorgeous $2 million house which they can no longer afford. They used to have a multi-million dollar business, but are now unemployed, and I don’t think their relationship is going very well. My friend was really bummed about not getting cast in a show we both auditioned for (which I did get cast in). Anyway, he seemed really down, which is not typical of him. I felt bad for him, but it also brought home the lesson of living within one’s means.

When Jonah and I got home, we finished decorating for his niece’s baby shower, and on Saturday we had the actual shower. Jonah did a really nice job decorating and hosting it (I guess I helped decorate and host, but, really, I just do what Jonah tells me to do ;-) ).

Our cats were very happy to see both of us. I have missed them a lot.

I’m getting to know his family better and better each time I visit with them, so that’s nice.

I wouldn’t have been able to do a lot of the stuff I’ve just described if I weren’t unemployed, so it’s actually been a blessing. I am hoping to get unemployment benefits and maybe even find a temporary job to hold me over while I’m waiting for my gig in April.

Vacation’s over now. Jonah and I have a lot of work to do around the house these next two months. But I am very grateful to be back home.