Musette’s Musings – The Last 2020

Happy Almost 2021!!   I try not to do Musette’s Musings too often, lest I get lazy, but I’m lazy right now – so Musings it is.  Here we go!  (and this post is an early write, so ignore the future tenses)

Gratitude.  No, this isn’t going to be some uplifting musing – well, not persackly, anyway.  It’s more a wth is wrong with you? musing which, I suppose, is much the same thing.  So.  A few days ago I was having one of those teeny Pity Party moments (oh, the Paths Not Taken drama –  I love those…zzzzzz) where I was thinking ‘I am not happy with how my life has turned out’… as I was making the bed with these amazing parachute silk sheets and a silk charmeuse duvet, spritzing (I sh$t you not) with the watered-down remnants of Uncle Serge’s Un Lys…. drinking a really good cup of pourover coffee that I ritualistically prepare every morning.. preparing to text with not one but TWO good friends and then chat with my bfffe (with whom I chat daily)… then to walk my beloved Girl….. and I just laughed!  My life is FOINE!  My life is BETTER THAN FOINE!  I love and appreciate, I am loved and appreciated. The Girl and I are in pretty good health.  I have material things that cheer me and I am rich in spiritual contentment.  I need to STFU.  …so I did.  Does this ever happen to you?  I don’t mean that The Stuff I mentioned really matters – but in a way, it does – from a philosophical point – at least to me.  I am of the belief that the world owes us nothing – we have to play the hand we are dealt and how we choose to play it is what matters (ymmv and that’s FOINE) – but if everybody’s in pretty good shape and I am sitting in a warm house, with a good cup of coffee, watching the birds eat seed and suet that I have the luxury of being able to afford to buy for them… eh.  Of course I am still a Mean Dog – but I try to keep it in perspective… and I mos’ DEF laugh at myself.

I also call that the Liz Zorn Effect.  Years ago I wrote about her stunningly gorgeous Violets & Rainwater, and how it makes me all poetic and melancholy and tiresome AF … but Liz isn’t having it.  She also put a pragmatic note in there that tells you if you just pick the pot up, put it back in the saucer the violets will be FOINE.  And so will you.  You can want more (I always do – you should see my Lily List and hope springs that Idris will find my phone number ;-)) but don’t forget to stop and smell that coffee (it’s too cold for lilies right now and the GFA means I can’t smell much other than that coffee, alas)

The Art of Not Doing.  I am a gabillion years old.  And for every one of those gabillion years I have celebrated the cold weather Holidays (Tgiving, my birthday, Christmas & New Year) in steady, food-related (or more) fashion.  Family, husbands/kids, expectations – all conspire to trip that Tradition Trigger, where I haul out the decorations, prep a turkey, etc and GET TO WORK on the making of HOLIDAY.  And that’s fine but I really am not in the mood to do it this year – not because I am depressed or angry but because… I just didn’t wanna.  For the first time in forever it’s just me and TGirl and … well.. I wanted to see if I could buck the reins of tradition (I couldn’t do it on Turkey Day and while I had a great dinner it was every bit as stressful as it would’ve been with a house full of people, which sucked bigly).  I also kinda suck at having a lot of holiday decor out  – it makes me really nervous (did I ever tell y’all about the time I got all HGTV and had El O and the cubs put up a NINE FOOT fresh tree in the living room?  We put it up the weekend before Christmas, decorated to within an inch of its life… LOVED IT!  O, Tannenbaum and all that. 4 Days of Love.  We had a lovely Christmas Day… the cubs then went to their mom and 26 December found me alone in the house with that tree.  And within 3 hours I’d stripped it, boxed up all the ornaments, etc… and managed to haul that behemoth out onto the curb by myself! BP cut in half! LOL!!!).  This year I have limited my ‘decorations’ to some Trapp Golden Cypress wax melts, a couple of seasonal candles and a lot of paperwhites and amaryllis, some of which are just coming into bloom.   I thought I would feel.. barren..?  But it actually is very restful!  Especially since that means I don’t have to box that stuff up, come tomorrow!

Food is a bit of a challenge because I like good food and there’s no takeout here – but again, buckin’ those reins, bay-bee! And again – by myself!  So it can be whatever I want it to be.  I’m thinking… I’m thinking not having to think about it is a great gift!

Musing on food leads to .. Grocery… and how quickly values change.  In normal times, things like candy, cosmetics and good cheese are zealously watched-over…. but you go down the cleaning aisles with a tra-la air, grabbing bleach by the gallons, if you so choose.  Now?  You could probably stuff 3 boxes of hair color down your pants and nobody would notice… but bleach!  ammonia! worth its weight in gold!  (and there’s a qty 2 limit on ERRYTHANG CLEANING). At my high-falutin’ Kroger (the one with the Hatch pepper roaster and the split-corona daffodils), a gallon of name-brand bleach is at $5.69!!!  and they have put up those ‘we’re watching you’ video cameras… as if you could … on earth could you steal a gallon of bleach!?  WTH?  But it’s that kinda market right now.  I find it fascinating, how quickly things can be devalued and other things, previously marginal, rise up the value ranks.  I’m sure there’s a lesson in there, somewhere, but I just need to find some generic bleach at a more reasonable price, thank you.


So.  What are your musings right now?  Do/did you celebrate any/all Winter Holidays?  What are your New Year’s Eve plans?  Mine involve….. sleeping?  Yes.  Floyd willin’ and the creek don’t rise… I think… sleeping.  What a gift, sleep.  You know I coined the phrase ‘Sleep is the New Sex’, right?  That was over a decade ago – now?  Now that I’m gabillion?  DEFINITELY!

Lmk what’s on your mind!!  Heck, I might even have TGirl poke a pawnail!!! Ya Nebber Know… xoxoxo and Happy Near 2021!

  • Anna Egeria says:

    Musette, Thanks for sharing your musings. I want to wish you and everyone at the posse a wonderful New Year! Drink some champagne!

  • rosarita says:

    You know I love your musings anytime Ms A. My husband and I had our usual day except instead of having brunch, he made gumbo and I baked him his annual pecan pie. We watched the Bourne trilogy as always – Christmas eve we watched Bond movies in sequence. The crippling anxiety that’s gripped me in waves all year has relaxed a bit, thank goodness. Hugs to you my friend.

  • Catherine A says:

    2020 brought me “back” to perfume. After months of solitude, I turned my reflections to my past with perfume, and thus I closed the year revisiting my Guerlains and Chanels of the 1990s. Heavenly. Not a bad end… Or a bad beginning to 2021

  • Ann says:

    I always, always enjoy reading your posts Musette!

    I’ve always had a hard time with Christmas because of high expectations! One year I asked for a Barbie doll, seemed pretty reasonable, but I got a Barbie doll head that you were supposed to make up – not what I wanted!

    Another year, knowing that my sister always got better presents, I sneakily swapped the tags on two boxes addressed to me and my sister that were right next to each other – I figured they were different versions of the same toy, but hers would be better – and when I opened it up my sister got the fancy pants pink satin dress Rapunzel doll, and when I opened “my” present I got the humble peasant girl doll. ??

  • Patty says:

    I keep thinking that maybe in a couple of years, I’ll understand what 2020 was really about, but that’s just not within my grasp now or for many months yet. I just fell so overwhelmed by all the loudness and solitude of this past year. I think I need a tattoo. 🙂 Yup, that’s all I’ve got, and a new year would be most helpful as well.

  • Maya says:

    I love your year-end musings. A graphic artist I used to work with sends wonderful Christmas cards. This year she put her and her husband’s face on holiday elves bodies surrounded by decorations including their cat in a cute beanie hat. On the bottom it said “Good Riddance 2020”. Wishing everyone a great 2021!

  • Jennifer S says:

    I’ve been telling myself these past few years that I’m not going to do much for the holiday but between the (grown) kids and husband it just….ends up being a fuss and I get a bit resentful and stressed, doing more than I want to and I just don’t like to feel like that. So I’m always glad when it’s all over.
    Hoping for a better 2021! Stay safe!

    • Musette says:

      Holidays (especially if you’re in Winter/indoor weather) always have a tinge of stress to them – which is why I love 4th of July. Burn a hotdog? Toss another one on the grill! 😉 It is hard to break with tradition, though, especially with the ‘real’ holidays like Tgiving and Christmas….but it can be done – maybe start with a couple of small things, see how you feel about it?? Wishing you a fabulous 2021!!! xoxoxo.

  • Dina C. says:

    Since I went all-out for Thanksgiving, we ordered Chinese for Christmas Eve and had appetizers for Christmas Day. Our house is moderately decorated like it is every year. I take down the decor on New Year’s Day. It is amazing how the value of items like toilet paper, sweatpants, Lysol wipes, hand sanitizer and such rocketed in value this year. Lately, I’ve had several friends whose parents have passed either from covid, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, etc., but all in the last two weeks. These were seniors who I’ve known and loved since the 70s when I moved to Virginia. So I’m feeling the general sense of loss that a lot of us are feeling right now. Here’s to a better New Year!

    • Musette says:

      This has been an especially difficult year for loss, since so many have been unable to gather to commemorate those who have passed. Take good care of yourself during this time. Here’s hoping for a better 2021! xoxoxo

  • Koyel says:

    Musette, I have those feelings around gratitude all the time, where I feel sorry for myself and then remember how immensely privileged I am. That means I’m in a much better place to work through my troubles than many others, and knowing I have that advantage always helps.

    I’ve loved my low-key holidays at home, with just me, my fiancé, and our cat. I’ve gone nuts with decorating and all out on elaborate foods, but in a joyful way with negligible stress. Somehow, knowing no one else will see and judge my food/deco made me work harder and more freely.

    Happy holidays!

  • Queen-Cupcake says:

    What would I do without some of Musette’s Musings, occasionally? Love them all, and I love the Posse’s comments too!!

    Living with a deeply depressed and anxious spouse is no fun, I tell ya. The craziness of this year’s events didn’t help. We did not have a tree this year, no wreath, none of that. And you know? It was fine.

    I realized that for some childish reason of my own that Christmas makes me sad. So I have now got my own meds; we are cooking, reading, watching TV and staying out of the way of the virus. Missing my lost cat Frankie, terribly and still hoping he will come home some day. Blessings and love to all of the Posse. Best wishes for 2021. XOX

    • Musette says:

      Gosh – that is One Lucky Spouse! to have you as a spouse! seriously!

      Hoping 2021 brings Frankie back to you! xoxoxo to you and yours, QC!

      (and I don’t think it’s childish at all, Christmas making you sad. Christmas, lovely as it can be, can also be a Heavy Haul. Knowing that – and accepting it – is an important part of dealing with the Season)

  • March says:

    Swinging pretty wildly between contentment/gratitude and anxiety/depression – it’s that time of year, and my migraines which had mostly abated (it’s been an irregular cycle my entire adult life) are back with a vengeance, I find them depressing and exhausting. Allergies? Stress? Diet? Any/all/none of the above? The body is simultaneously amazing and resilient and yet such a fussy, ridiculous Rube Goldberg contraption. Here’s to a less crap 2021, I’m over it and looking forward to something different.

    • Musette says:

      Dollface, you are gonna be Just FOINE! Hang in there! Wishing you something better (rather than something different) for 2021. xoxoxox

  • Portia says:

    Heya Musette,
    Sounds like you are getting along just fine.
    We are too. Softly entering 2021 this week, nothing big, at home together with the dogs.
    Portia xx

    • Musette says:

      omg! I LOVE ‘softly entering 2021’. LOVE IT! What a perfect way to usher in a new year – softly. Love to you, Jin, Kath and all your kith and kin. xoxoxo

  • Cinnamon says:

    I love your Musings. Keep ’em coming.

    I am thankful for a load of fairly simple things, but particularly this year, in no particular order:

    Xmas lights, but not the completely mad ones. They feel lovely and pagan.
    Mabel and Olive on YouTube, and Coconut Rice Bear as well (particularly the mask video). When you’re laughing you have to breathe.
    Civility — as in people wearing masks and observing social distancing. And still saying ‘good morning’ and stopping for a socially distanced chat.
    The dog big time in all kinds of ways, including because you have to get into the world no matter the weather and during the worst of lockdown here his walks meant I was justified in going out for more than one exercise session per day.
    Indeed, food takeaway, and the people who kept things going, in restaurants, bakeries and the drivers/bikers/etc.
    The garden because it needs tending and you have to imagine and plan which takes you out of yourself.

    • Musette says:

      in the parlance of the streets: ‘you ain’t never lied!’ 😉 every single one of these things is perfect!!! for staying sane. Happy 2021, sweetie! xoxoxo

  • Sarah says:

    Thank you for keeping it real. And making me laugh. We all just trying to not get virused here.

  • Ariel says:

    Love yer musings, keep ’em coming. May all the good smells return sooner than later!

    I told everyone that Santa has rethought the safety of stockings- and so, once less thing to do. We got the chubbiest, shortest tree (no really, 3′ by 3′). It’s. So. FLUFFY. I hauled out the ancient box of hand-me-down ornaments and told my three year old that the tree was hers to decorate. The rest of us drank very delicious whisky sours and gave zero cares. Last year was different, next year will be different, life is too interesting for box holidays.

    If you ever need some cookbook recs to make up for the lack of take-out, just let me know. Let cooking be a joy and not dreaded task!

    …if that pity party starts raving again, please write a Choose Your Own Adventure of your life- that is still way more interesting than most memoirs 😉

    • Musette says:

      Ariel, I LOVE that you let your 3yr old decorate that fluffy tree! That is the most delightful thing I’ve heard all day! Happy 2021

  • Kathleen says:

    Hoping for a brighter 2021 for all of us! I easily get overwhelmed with too many plans for holidays; yet always find myself hosting more than I’d like. I can’t decorate the house; too much stuff makes me anxious!
    I’m grateful as well, for good health, comfortable home, family and friends, and my dog. I have all I need!

  • Tara C says:

    Like you, I am deeply grateful for all the good things in my life. It’s cold and rainy outside and I’m warm, safe & dry on the couch with my girl curled up next to me. I have everything I need.

    The holidays are always low key with me because I don’t like a production. A few cards and decorations, nothing that takes more than 15 minutes to install or take down.

    And I’m with you on sleeping through new year’s. Staying up for last year was a total waste of time, not making that mistake this time! Hard to imagine how 2021 will turn out but after 2020 all bets are off. I’m bracing myself for absolutely anything.

  • Pam says:

    Always glad to hear your Musings. Our Christmas was great! After carefully quarantining for weeks, the daughters and family came over to share a meal on Christmas Eve. It was low-stress menu time with spaghetti and meatballs, but it was really about getting together. And being grateful for each other. Happy New Year to the Posse and let’s hope it’s a good year.

    • Musette says:

      That sounds like a lovely time, Pam! so glad you could all be together! Definitely wishing for a good year – for all of us! xoxoxoA

  • Jo Ann says:

    Wishing you and all the Posse a Healthy and Happy 2021.