Tick Mark

Since June, I’ve been operating with a list not of my own making.

Call it an obligation list, if you will.

To not sound martyred, so has my entire family. And that includes my parents.

I am generally not a “to-do” list person. Outside of work, that is.

Oh, sure, I collect personal things I want to do, but not many things that I have to do.

So my wants are: Wake Happy. Smell Coffee. Think Beauty. Listen. Relax. Read. Create. Journey. Sleep.

It’s the Aquarius in me: Singularly optimistic.

Unable to work around this inherited list, I had to acquiesce and just barrel through it.

It’s been: Funeral Arrangements. Paying Other Bills. Sibling Meetings. Bank Meetings. Emails. Group Texts. Real Estate Agents. Multiple 360-mile round trip visits to the house to: Make House Donations. Make House Inventories. Make House Rubbish Decisions.

And it seemed that every fourth tick mark adding on three more to do’s.

And every tick mark was followed by tears.

Well, after 4 months of living with this, and today me checking and re-checking my math.

I think, after tomorrow, my obligations are going down to near zero.

I feel like I should be whispering.

Here’s how I got there:

24 October is an onsite work meet & greet with new employees. It’s a bit of drive up there and back, but will be fantastic to have face time with co-workers.

15 & 16 November is moving day at my parents’ house. I hired a moving company to load a van with selected furniture, books and boxes for me and two of my brothers. Drew, Irish Twin and I live in a 15 mile radius of each other – so it just made sense to consolidate this into one van and one day. The removers agreed to drop various pieces at each of our houses respectively.

25 November, Drew is hosting Thanksgiving for all of us at his house. He went to Mum’s a few weeks ago, and brought up the Irish handblown wine and water glasses that we have used the past 40 Thanksgivings and Christmases, so we can use them once again this year, just at his table instead.

And, I think, that’s it.


At one point, I included the 25th of December.

It would only be natural to have it as something I must do, since I’ve spent every Christmas of my life with my family. Without asking, I set it up that Drew and Reba will do Santa their way. Fred and D-Man, they’ll be in their new place and find a tradition. Irish Twin? Yeah, I say he’ll be covered by Drew.

So a few weeks back, I began to wonder if I want to do something different this year … and make it just me and this poor wee cottage … perhaps with a small tree by the faux fireplace in my reading room, with the positive ethereal presence of my parents near me, as coloured lights illuminate the dark.

Right now, that sounds so lovely and calm.

That’s also the Aquarius in me: Finding solace in created silence.

Then Marty in Cardiff extended an offer for me to stay beyond Boxing Day (I’m heading over to England after Thanksgiving).

I could see us having fun with a Christmas dinner prepared solely from Tesco’s frozen food aisle. Mixed that with a few glasses of Shandy and some Christmas tunes? C’mon now.

We do improv well together.

Also, English villages are so inspiring during the holidays.


We shall see.

All I know is that what I want for Christmas … is a personal wish fulfilled, not a round table debate decided.

Happy Sunday.

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