Thursday, December 30, 2004

The Best Part of 2004

I've had a good year. I met the most wonderful man who brings the kind of light into my life that I didn't think anyone could bring. Funny how things happen like that when you least expect it. Actually he says I went "fwop" which essentially is me falling hard for him. And I did, I fell hard. It's wonderful being in love and looking forward to having a future together.

I'm sure there are many single folks out there who try to hold on to the last vestiges of their single life. Not me. I'm so ready to give it up. I figured it would happen to me if it were meant to happen. And if it didn't, well then I guess it wasn't in the cards for me. But I'm glad it did and with the person who is truly my soulmate.

Over the last few months we've experienced many highs and a few lows. The distance is probably the one thing that was a low. But on the other hand, it also allowed us to develop our relationship into a strong and loving one. The foundation we built with each other would not have been so without the distance. I guess you could say that it wasn't all that bad. We've had our misunderstandings but that comes with any relationship; I think it's all about how you handle the situation.

Thanks for being my one and only, and my rock. You are the best part of 2004 and, frankly, the best part of my life.

Monday, December 27, 2004

172 Days and Not a Minute More

So here we are at 172 days before the wedding. Seems like a lot of days but frankly I thought that when it was still over 200 days. Now that we've ventured into the 100s, seems like the days go by a little quicker. Nothing significant to report going on except we have likely decided our table decorations. I think I'd like to call them "whimsical" and fun. We figure we will have, at the most, four large tables of guests which will give us just enough tables for our theme of a Hawaii table, a Georgia table, a North Carolina table and a Nevada table. These four states represent the fiance and I, and our relationship. The actual center decorations will consist of a collage of postcards from each state and some accoutrements from those places as well. Like I said, it will be fun and whimsical.

Saturday, December 25, 2004

The Best Present of All

I had a nice Christmas though it could have been better if it was spent with family and the one I love. But I had a lovely day and the kind I like with no stress and no expectations. Slept in late, opened the rest of my presents (okay, I cheated and opened a few right after the clock struck 12 midnight), called my mom et al, and then called my sweetie and my other family. It's nice to have more family now; that perhaps is the best Christmas present of all. At one point in my life, I wondered if I would have anyone to grow old with. I don't have a big nuclear family and my extended family has grown smaller over the years. On occasion, I thought about what my later years in life would be like. I have more family now and hope to have more in the future. It's nice to have a future to share with someone and we look forward to spending it together.

This is not to say I didn't get a lot nice and thoughtful presents today. By far some of my favorite presents I received were tiny white gold hoop earrings, the DVD "Where The Heart Is," and some fuzzy bedroom slippers with the Georgia logo on them. It's nice that Christmas is on Saturday because I got yesterday off (Christmas eve) and tomorrow is another day off before heading back to work on Monday. Just a few more days before 2005 arrives and a couple more weeks before my sweetie is here. I can't wait!

Friday, December 24, 2004

A Monumental Year

I truly can't believe Christmas is in a couple of days and 2005 is little over a week away. This was a monumental year for me; my life changed in so many ways. At this same time last year, I couldn't even predict where I would be today. One thing is for sure, I would have never imagined that I would be engaged and planning a wedding. Heck, I probably wouldn't have thought I would fall in love the way I wanted to. It's been a wonderful year. Next year I start a new phase in my life, one that I am very much looking forward to.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

177 Days and Counting

I had quietly told myself that every Monday I would do an update on the wedding and what did I do? Yep, I totally forgot. Now it's become the random weekly update on the wedding.

Where are we at since last week? I've made an appointment with our minister for the first of our two counseling sessions. The second is to take place right before the wedding. I'm very curious about what this counseling session entails. I've also contacted a bakery that can bake a simple wedding cake and deliver it. Still waiting to hear from our photographer when she would like to meet us. Haven't decided exactly what kind of flowers we want for the wedding. I think the flower selections will need some thought.

In all, things seem to be moving along to the big day. We can hardly contain our excitement!

Monday, December 20, 2004

Winds of Change

As of late, I've had a lot of things of my mind. None of it has to do with my personal relationship or my impending marriage. Mostly it's about a particular friend who I suspect would rather not be my friend anymore. Our friendship hasn't been the smoothest and, for the most part, we don't really see eye-to-eye. But I noticed things lately that makes me believe that it's better for us not be friends outside of work.

She is the kind of person who can be your most loyal friend if she can get over your faults. She is very critical about the way people live their lives if it isn't by her standard. She tends to pick and choose who her active friendships are. I think what amazes me is that she also will remain "friends" with people she will dislike and talk bad about behind their back.

Our friendship over the years has gone through ups and downs. But lately I feel that she would rather not be my friend. And it's for the best because no matter what choices I make in my life, they will never be good enough for her. If I don't listen to her or follow what she has to say, I am wrong. For example, when I was leaning on her for advice about what to do about the problems I was having with my mom not accepting my relationship and, at the time, possible marriage, this friend would tell me that I needed to tell my mom, include her, discuss this with her, go home to see her, etc. The irony of this whole story is that when she got married, she never even told her mom and they didn't speak for several years. Of course, I can see that she was trying to tell me her experiences but, really, how can you compare the two when I wasn't even thinking about doing what she did? Or when I told her that I would be leaving my present job about a month or so before my wedding to move and all she had to say was that I shouldn't do that or that I should go home and spend that time with my mom. Of course I would love to do that if I was having the wedding where my mom lives, but that is just not possible.

So in the end, everything I do is wrong because it's not by her standards. I know she is upset and mad that I have told everyone at our workplace that I am getting married. I think she liked being one of the few that knew this. Frankly it's really not her business who I tell.

I guess my dilemma is what to do about making it easy for her by telling her it's okay if she doesn't want to be friends. We get along pretty good at work but that we should only have a work friendship and not outside. It's better for both of us because in the end, the friends who matter the most are the ones who won't criticize you and be there for you despite the choices you make in life, good or bad.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Feeling Less Than Zero

Several years ago I took an introductory political science class in college where the professor proceeded to tell the class that American students simply do not appreciate other cultures. He, himself, was not a natural born American citizen. His reasoning was that foreign students will travel to the U.S. and learn other languages (English) therefore becoming bilingual or even trilingual or more. Furthermore he said that we (the American students) have every opportunity to learn other languages but simply do not want to. Therefore he concluded that we do not appreciate other cultures.

I was a bit steamed. I grew up in Hawaii and have always had an appreciation of other cultures even though I could not speak their languages. In fact, one of our close family friends growing up (people who I called aunty and uncle) were Filipino. We were not related to them by blood but simply by association. I have always appreciated growing up in a multicultural society where customs from the Portuguese, Chinese, Filipino, Japanese, Hawaiian and even different Caucasian groups (e.g. Swedish, English, etc.) were incorporated into everyday life. I know some people may not find this true but I am only relating my experience. My very best friend in elementary school before she moved to another school is Swedish. To this day, my mom will occasionally see this girl's mom and they "catch up" on what I'm doing or what this girl is doing.

So when I heard this professor make that statement, my hand shot up and I said to him that appreciating someone else's culture doesn't mean you have to learn their language. I think he realized the blanket statement he was making and actually agreed with me. Whether I changed his mind or not, I don't know.

There usually isn't much that gets me "steamed" or upset enough to say something. But in this case, I needed to say something to defend not only myself but the other students who simply sat there and didn't say a word. And maybe for the future students who will be sitting in his class in the future. I know we all try to be correct and just in our thinking, and no one is perfect, even myself. I guess I fear less for myself and more for my future children. I would hope they don't have to contend with stares, misstatements, or even blatant prejudice. I've experienced little of that compared to many others, but the bottomline is that when you let other people do these things to you, they exert their power and privilege over you. No one should ever feel that they are less than anyone else.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Divergent Lives

A few days ago I decided to get in touch with a friend who I purposely lost touch with over the last year. We had been good friends before she moved away from here for a new job. During the first few months she moved away, I was the one she called and lamented to when she was having a hard time adjusting to her new life. But I knew she would find her place as I had been through it myself numerous times. What I didn't expect was that she would eventually place our friendship on the back burner. It was okay because I understood how difficult it was to find one's place in a new environment. We slowly grew apart until I finally decided to give our friendship a hiatus.

Last week I decided to put out the olive branch and email her. She was quite excited to get my email and emailed me back immediately. I don't think she knew the real reason why I didn't get in touch with her before last week. She was so excited that she picked up the phone rather quickly to give me a call. We caught up on each other's lives over the past year. She also admitted that she hadn't been good about keeping in touch.

The ironic part of this whole story is that I found out she is also getting married next year. She got engaged about a month after I did and will be getting married about a month after I am. Our lives are somewhat parallel and somewhat divergent though I think more the latter.

I am truly happy for her and I am glad she can share in my day as I can share in hers. And I'm glad we can resume our friendship.

Monday, December 13, 2004

186 Days and Fashionably Old

The countdown continues to married life. I am so ready to be married. Compared to the first time I was pseudo-engaged, I have no hesitations or doubts. This was the man I was waiting for all my life and I am happy that I get to spend the rest of my life with him. Only 186 days until we are husband and wife, and even less than that until we set up household. I wonder how life will change for both of us when we live together? In a way, I'm glad we didn't just live together anticipating that we would marry 1, 2 or even 3 years down the road. I had always thought I might live together with someone for a few years before we took the plunge. But I also worried that it would be too easy to live together and not finalize the commitment. We're a rather old-fashioned couple in a lot of ways but not all ways. We generally agree on a lot of issues and ideas, and how we want our lives to be. I'm sure along the way we will encounter disagreements to the degree that neither one of us will budge upon. I'm okay with that because I know that for both of us, it's about working at our relationship and our lives together. There is no backspace, delete, or revision; just making the mistakes, correcting them and continuing our story.

Sunday, December 12, 2004

So Traditional

Today I was walking around Borders as I normally do on Sundays looking for Christmas gifts. I enjoy and appreciate classical music though I am not very well educated on the subject. We had already decided that for the wedding processional I would walk down the aisle to Canon D by Pachelbel. Yes, so traditional. As I listened to a sample of a CD that had nothing but different versions of Canon D, I knew this was exactly what I wanted to hear on my wedding day. The music itself is timeless, classic, beautiful and everlasting. I can't imagine what Pachelbel thought about or what inspired him to compose such beautiful music. Of the different versions on the CD (and there are 15 of them), I had thought about sticking to the classical chamber orchestra version but then I noticed there was one using Japanese instruments, the shakuhachi and the koto, which would almost seem most appropriate considering our wedding. However, I really enjoy Isao Tomita & the Plasma Symphony Orchestra who use a light and lyrical tone which I feel myself floating to. Nonetheless, whatever version it may be, it'll still be very traditional and very Pachelbel.

Saturday, December 11, 2004

An Apple A Day

In the last few days I've made two calls to Apple Tech Support for problems that have perplexed me. Actually if I had put a little more effort into the first problem, I would not have had to deal with the second one. Furthermore, if the first problem was fixed with that effort, I would not have the second problem. But this was a good lesson in "optimizing" my computer every once in awhile, kind of like taking your car in for an oil change every three months. I have to say that for the money I spent in extending my original Apple warranty, it was worth it. I consider myself an intermediate user so I didn't have too much trouble conversing with the support staff. Actually, I think they do a good job with even the novice or beginning user. In the end, I decided that I still love and remain a loyal Apple user. As the tech guy said to me today when I asked another question and mentioned that I have another brand of computer at work that shall remain anonymous, "I'm sorry for you." Yeah, nothing beats my Mac.

Friday, December 10, 2004

All Talk

Sometimes I wonder if I'll miss the moments when all we could do is talk. Don't get me wrong because I do love spending the time together in person since there is no need to be more specific or direct about how we are feeling; we can see each other's facial expressions and body language.

In truth, it takes more work to communicate when you are not in the same room as the other person because you don't have the luxury of seeing how they feel. Our talks have evolved so much since we first started conversing with each other. There is a nice familiarity to the way we have conversations and the feelings that come across in them.

This time has been good for us. I think we talk more than most couples who have the luxury of being with each other day-in and day-out. Actually I can't imagine a day going by that we don't talk for a bit. When we spent considerable time together on my last trip, I really enjoyed discussing his day at work (I was on vacation and did not have to do a thing).

The one thing I'd like to do when we set up household together is regularly have dinner together at the dinner table. It was something I probably took for granted when I was growing up but now I realize the importance of that time together. I think it's important that as a family (he and I now, and later with our children) we spend time together talking about our day as well as other issues. I'm sure it'll take some time getting used to since we are both singletons and neither of us have dinner at our dinner tables unless necessary.

Monday, December 06, 2004

Holiday Happenings

Yes, the holidays have finally descended upon me. This weekend I got a little Christmas shopping done without too much stress. I hope it stays that way because I'd like to avoid as much stress as possible this season.

Last night I attended an open house to benefit the Girl Scouts. I am just amazed at the amount of time and trouble people spend decorating their homes. Of course all of it was just beautiful and put everyone into the Christmas spirit. It was the first time I had ever attended something like that and I enjoyed myself very much. The whole evening was enhanced by spending time with some very good friends at the event.

I am torn at the moment if I should take out my Christmas decorations. I have a small collection that I put together over the last few years and I used to take them out when I hosted my family for Thanksgiving dinner. Since we've decided to spend that day at their timeshare, I never really take out my decorations. Of course, this year I am also celebrating part of Christmas later than usual since my sweetie will be visiting after the new year and we have opted to celebrate it then. So I suppose I can bring out the Christmas decorations; I seemed to have answered my own question.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

He's Just Not That Into You (Or Is He?)

Last night I was talking to a friend who is becoming rather discouraged about her supposedly "budding" relationship. She is not sure if that relationship is growing anymore. After our conversation, I thought about a book everyone seems to be talking about lately called "He's Just Not That Into You : The No-Excuses Truth to Understanding Guys." I, myself, haven't read this book but in reading the synopsis on Amazon, the author simply states "if a (sane) guy really likes you, there ain’t nothing that’s going to get in his way." The problem is that he calls her several times a week and they talk, sometimes, for hours. But he has yet to make the commitment to come out here and meet her. Yes, they met through a dating website, and the same one my future hubby and I met on. And this happens to be a rather serious one and not a website those looking for "casual" relationships use. So what is the answer for her? I told her to be optimistic because this guy is obviously not spending his nights dating every woman on the planet but home talking to her. Perhaps he needs a little push in the "right" direction. For his sake, I hope she does it before her last glimmer of hope fades. If not, he'll never realize what could have been.