freelance, you are absolutely right. I am not in a position to "come out of the closet" with how I feel about the holiday and the wretched spectacle of consumerism it's become. Correcting this to my ideals will require a divorce, a death, and an intervention. I'm only slightly kidding. I've threatened (idly) for many years to flee the country after Thanksgiving dinner and not return until January.
Sushi - yummmmmm! My favorite are the spicy specialty rolls, like the Caterpillar (wrapped in avocado). It's an infrequent treat but one I deeply enjoy. Now you have me thinking about it!
Tonight's the first night of the week with nothing on the schedule. I need to use it wisely - and not fall prey to the recliner, fuzzy throw, snifter of single malt, and iPad. At least not until I can justify it as a reward for all the stuff I get done tonight!
With the amount of work I've been doing at work each day lately, I am prone to the fuzzy throw albeit with a glass of wine rather than the single malt. Suffice it to say it's been crazy here!
I have, however, gotten a lot done each day after work and before dinner hits the table. One day I got all (all!--there were seven) Christmas presents wrapped. One day I finally got the dog's nails trimmed (granted that's only 3 legs). And I've managed to keep the litter boxes clean.
I have to admit that this year, as we have for the past two years, we are not putting up a Christmas tree. The first year was due to having Ringo as a kitten. The second year was due to Louie being a kitten. This year is because DD isn't coming home for Christmas. Excuses, I know, but it sure makes things easier for me! We are putting up outside lights on Friday and I will put out some decorations--just no tree.
Ah Christmas. I don't know how I did it all those years. For 12 Christmas holiday seasons I did a live-in with a big labrador. Lovely dog. I visited my family on Christmas eve (1-3 hours driving depending on whose house it was at), then went off and visited DH's family (4 hours driving) on Christmas Day. All the while staying at the dog's house, looking after him, working, doing the Christmas stuff, etc. etc.
The first thing to go was baking. I simply could not fit it in anywhere. The drive to DH's family when they moved 6 hours one way away went next. Then my cousin suggested that, since the youngest "child" was now 15, we draw names and give one gift each to family.
Then I discovered pre-cooked hams and turkeys. About the same time I could afford to buy them.
This year is so crazy (with my father's shenanigans, getting the house ready to sell, etc.) that sending Christmas cards is gone.
One thing I will never give up is the tree. To me that is the most important thing at Christmas. I spend a relaxed evening decorating while Christmas music plays. DH goes away somewhere or naps in another room (he doesn't like Christmas music). I sit and watch the tree quietly glow and shimmer while eating my ginger snaps and drinking a glass of shiraz after the tree is decorated, while the Mormon Tabernacle choir sings the old favourite carols in the background.
It really IS "peace on earth" for me for that little while.
Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying "I will try again tomorrow" - Mary Ann Radmacher
Dagmar, no, this book is about physical, visceral fear over very immediate causes, like strangers in parking garages and situations you'd encounter if you were out running alone.
It's not about that bigger, almost existential fear that I suspect you're talking about, and with which I am also very familiar: My anxiety about being wrong, failing, falling, or being reprimanded or laughed at, which leads to my reining myself in, not working at full potential & living a smaller, more constricted & less joyous life.
Now that book is definitely out there, because I know we're not the only ones who think we are holding ourselves back. But I don't know what it is. If I ever find it, I'll tell you.
I have had a few of those moments and I try to always listen to myself. A vibe is a vibe. But it is so scary! I park near lights, I try not to go to a mall alone in the dark. I try to park outside instead of in the cement multilevel areas. I have hastened my step to a near jog when concerned about safety and personal space in outside park or transit areas. It can be a scary world.
Wow, do I sound as neurotic as I think I do?
Well, catching up on the task at hand. I have been mostly successful in my plan to get back on track. Need 4ish to get back to recent low comfort point.
Fairly stressing this holiday season. A bit jangled (my dh's term- i think it is very descriptive)
I do love the decorations once they are in place, but I also tend to kill myself getting them up there. For the last several years I've put aside a day where I send the boys out of the house and I pull out all the tubs and boxes and bags and get the decorations out and about, assemble trees, string lights, etc. When they get home they then help me decorate the tree. Before they get home the close to 20 tubs, three tree boxes and all assorted bags and etc must be back put away in the attic or storage. Decorations will be almost complete, with just a few left for DSS to help with. When he was younger he used to say it was like magic - when he left there was nothing, when he returned 5-6 short hours later it was Christmas. Poof. Yeah. Not so much. I let him help last year when I was pulling everything down because DH had hurt his back and couldn't take DSS out of the house. It was complicated to say the least. This year I went back to doing it all solo. I don't know which was easier. Like Dagmar I pump holiday music on the speakers, drink some nog or cocoa and enjoy the experience. Once it is said and done I sit with DH in the evening and drink a glass of wine by the light of the tree and I'm happy. I have decorations on the mantel from my grandmother and great grandmother's houses, I have things scattered through the house from friends and family. It makes me feel closer to people who aren't here anymore. My mom brought me up to be a 'little bit of Christmas in every room' person, so I have LOTS of decorations. And every year at clean up time I tell myself that next year I'll keep it under control. Then I put it all back out again. LOL
kc -I do the same thing when I'm out places alone. I don't think it makes us neurotic, I think it makes us aware. Hope the jangled feeling settles for you! I feel jangled this season myself, I'm going to borrow DH's word for it in my conversations.
I am hoping to get my artificial tree put together and get the lights on before my DD gets home from school today. DS is going home with a friend for a sleepover and she is very jealous, so decorating the tree can be something fun she can do while he's not here. I have a lot fewer decorations this year than I did last year because last year the dog ate anything that looked remotely edible. All the little ornaments the kids made in pre-school were casualties. I hate the clutter of the tree but I grin and bear it for the kids.
I have a lot fewer decorations this year than I did last year because last year the dog ate anything that looked remotely edible.
What a delight for me (though not your poor dog) to run into this account while taking a break on 3FC on my lunch hour this afternoon.
I've been feeling more interest in Christmas this year than I have for some time. Maybe because my apartment has been restored to me, and so it's a way of reclaiming it and also celebrating my thankfulness a little. But I do fairly minimalist decor: A single candle in each of my eight-paned windows, except the big bay window in the master bedroom. Two wreaths on either side of my French doors. Three poinsettia plants on various small tables. And two amaryllis which I swear are growing at least a half-inch a day.
I am trying not to feel pressured by the holiday this year. Just given up on Christmas cards entirely. Will attend one party, that's all. Will just have coffee at a work gathering next week. As I said, it's all very low key.
And my weight's the same as it was last Friday, which isn't bad at all.
I would knock you out of the park in a sushi-eating contest! Right now I'm facing a dilemma. We're going out to our favourite sushi place on Friday to celebrate my son's 15th birthday. At the beginning of the week I weighed in at 144 lbs, which is over my red line, so I vowed to order only a couple of small items from the menu. This morning I was down to 140 lbs, so the all-you-can-eat option is beckoning... What to do, what to do?
To be fair I was trying really hard to exercise moderation and control. I can put away 5+ rolls and have room for dessert :P
All-you-can-eat doesn't have to mean "all you can eat until you will vomit if you eat one more grain of rice" - do some $ math! Congrats on being back down, by the way!
All-you-can-eat doesn't have to mean "all you can eat until you will vomit if you eat one more grain of rice"
It doesn't? Why didn't anyone tell me sooner?
As it turns out, I found a fairly good middle ground last night. I did succumb to the all-you-can-eat option, but I prepared by eating slightly MORE during the day, rather than "saving up" for the special treat, so I ended up feeling less hungry and more in control at the restaurant. As a result I ate more slowly and discriminately. I estimate I consumed about 2,000 calories, substantially less than the 3,500+ I usually put away at this restaurant. Now to get past my sister-in-law's catered Hanukkah party tomorrow...
p.s. I measured my son this morning (his actual birthday) and he's officially taller than me. He's just above 5'11" and I'm just under.
Last edited by freelancemomma : 12-08-2012 at 12:37 PM.
Once it is said and done I sit with DH in the evening and drink a glass of wine by the light of the tree and I'm happy.
That sounds so lovely. I keep saying I don't want a tree, but this sentence makes me remember how nice it is to look at the lights in the evening. Now, if only we could wave that magic wand and have all the busy work done so we could just get to the sitting with a glass of wine part!
IOnce it is said and done I sit with DH in the evening and drink a glass of wine by the light of the tree and I'm happy. I have decorations on the mantel from my grandmother and great grandmother's houses, I have things scattered through the house from friends and family. It makes me feel closer to people who aren't here anymore.
This sounds perfectly lovely and I am sure that any guest who walks into your house also has that sense of family tradition & warmth, which is, after all, what this %$#@! holiday is supposed to be about.
I find myself thinking a lot this year about what Christmas is and isn't, what it should be, how it doesn't live up to its reputation much of the time. When it does, it seems to occur in things that sneak up on me: An unexpected feeling of warmth & goodwill & desire to help someone or be generous in some way. The rest of it seems like a noisy, garish party that's keeping me awake or distracting me.
A magic wand to wave and decorations appear would be awesome. Even better when it is time to clean them up.
I'll pull some pics together and put them up this week, show off some of my madness.
Saef, I try hard to maintain the traditions and goodwill of Christmas and not give in to the garish commercialism that surrounds us in so many places. DSS likes to repeat the stories of his favorite decorations year after year, and I love that. I have fond memories of decorating and storytelling as a child and I want him to look back at these times as an adult and smile. And I want him to understand that not everyone has the things we do and to be kind, especially this time of year.
We went to DH's office party Thursday night, first party of the season. So begins the whirlwind til the end of the year. Hanging on with white knuckles.
My first test of the holidays will be this afternoon, as my apartment complex is having its party from 4-6. I'll go because there are people with whom I enjoy chatting and I've met some delightful neighbors at past gatherings, whom I'd otherwise never see because of our working hours. I'm telling myself that I can get through two hours just fine, particularly with the timing of this gathering, which is pretty much the cocktail hour.
I had a raging sore throat yesterday, which is still sore this morning. I'm not up to cooking. I'll bring a premade veggie tray and hummus from the grocery store. Two years ago, this went over quite well (though of course, people decimate the carrots and celery before the raw broccoli).