Tuesday, December 24, 2013

On Break

We're on break.  

It's a break from school, a break from work, a break from having to be up at a certain hour so you can pack your lunch WHY HAVEN'T YOU PACKED YOUR LUNCH THE BUS WILL SOON BE HERE.

For me, it's not much of a break.  My break is full of things to do: all the normal things and then some.

I still get up early, still manage other people's lives.  Still shop for food, do laundry, pay the bills, prepare meals, sort through the mail, keep my eye on the calendar, clean the house.

Normal things have been put off or re-prioritized to make room for holiday activities.  In the past month I've gift-shopped, gift-wrapped, planned meals, attended holiday functions, and made arrangements for two different families to visit two separate times for two nights at a time.   I hope this year I haven't forgotten anything like in years past when I overlooked crucial things that were not unnoticed.  I’m sure no one will notice that there’s a fresh layer of dust on all of our Christmas decorations, adding to previous years’ dust when that same chore goes undone.  I hope there’s enough toilet paper this year.

It's not a sad story.  It's a joyful one.  So many people don't have what I have.  But it causes me strain and stress.  The guilt I feel for complaining about my blessings only adds to the weight.

I feel it in my tightening chest, the worry about money spent, the conflict over loving the holidays and wishing they were over already.  And it shows.  It shows in my snippy attitude, my loss of patience, the lines in my forehead that never really smooth out.  

But what also shows is the joy in the faces of my children, the smiles of loved ones that greet me when I open the door.  It's my husband being around to carry the weight of the chores that never end.  Our relatives bringing food and telling stories and watching movies and playing video games in our living room.  It's talking and hanging out in sweats and drinking coffee until the jitters set in.  It’s ripping open packages and stuffing garbage bags full of Christmas wrapping.  It’s saying thank you and eating too much and being grateful for time spent together.

It’s realizing that I am loved and despite the madness and the sour feelings, that I am part of something bigger than me.

It’s realizing that it’s just a break. 

And that this break is good.  



14 comments:

  1. I understand everything you're saying here. EVERYTHING.
    It's good that you see the blessings, the good.
    Have a wonderful Christmas!

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    1. Thank you Alison! I write the blessings out to remind myself that they're there. Because my attitude doesn't always show it. Thanks too for the Christmas wishes! xoxo

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  2. About a week ago when all the Christmas rush peaked, I was hit with an overwhelming urge to sit and write. Of course I couldn't - not like I wanted to, anyway, because... Christmas stuff. It made me angry. It made me so, so angry. Then I had to get over myself a little bit and get everything taken care of. I love it for my kids. I dislike it intensely for me. I stress. I worry. Everyone else is home and my workload increases tenfold. You know all this already so I'll stop complaining now and just wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas.

    P.S. That was quite possibly the worst "Merry Christmas" ever. I'm sorry. I will do better at New Year's ;)

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    1. It's okay. I'm also a pro at this type of Merry Christmas wish. I totally get it. Merry Christmas to you, too. May it be joyous yet swift, and may you escape the season unscathed and fully hinged. :)

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  3. I could have written every word of this post. Makes me feel better that I'm not alone!!! Wishing you more joy and less stress...

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    1. Thank you so much! And it sounds like you could use the same set of wishes - I hope the same for you!!

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  4. Enjoy your break. And take a deep breath! When your kids become parents, they will realize the work that goes on behind the scenes and will appreciate you all the more.

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    1. I can only hope that they appreciate it! I'm doing the deep breaths, and taking little mini breaks all day long. :)

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  5. You're so right, Andrea. It's a tough time of year for parents, no doubt, but the joy on those little faces does make it all worth-while. Enjoy your break!! Merry Christmas!!!

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    1. Thanks, Susan!! They truly do love it, and that reminds me that things really aren't so bad. I hope you are enjoying the holiday season!

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  6. Breaks are good for so many reasons. What you said about writing out the blessings? Come by the Ten Things of Thankful hop I link up with every week. It's awesome.

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    1. Thank you Lisa - I love reading your blessings!! Just articulating them (even here) makes a big difference in my perspective.

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  7. It is a busy time. But, yes, so full of blessings.
    I hope your break is wonderful, Andrea!

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    1. Thank you, Kim! It has been a good one so far. There's no reason to think the rest will be any different.

      Oh man, I hope I haven't jinxed it. ;)

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