Tag Archives: holiday

Grateful

It’s Thanksgiving again.

I’m sitting at the kitchen table, Hallmark Yule Log is on… Christmas music, dogs, pigs, cats and ducks are enjoying a toasty fire. It’s still way early. I’ve got a cup of hot coffee and four dogs by my side. It’s quiet… at least until they decide to start horseplaying with each other.

One of us is far away this year. He is being very missed.

Sunday was “Thanksgiving” in my house. We had 22 people around the table all enjoying each other’s company. Today will be ham and yams and stuffing and potatoes. Has to be early because squirrel girl works retail and has to be at work for 12 hours starting at 4 pm. Once upon a time it was a day to spend with family. Now it’s a day to spend.

There have been times over the past year when I have been terrified that we would not all make it to this time this year. There will be many more times that I am terrified that we won’t all make it to next year at this time.

It’s been an enlightening year.

I’ve discovered just how broken everyone is and just how each person’s brokenness can complete everyone else’s. I’ve learned that I’m not the only one who has been feeling so much less than adequate and I’ve been learning that it’s okay to open up even when you are terrified. Sometimes it’s hard to remember that people are just people.

I’ve discovered how much I can miss a soul that was a nearly constant companion for well over a decade. Peanut was such a precious little girl and I miss her scratching at the side of the bed when it was time to go outside. I miss her snuffling. I miss her so gentle nature. I get that she is no longer in pain and she can eat all of the nummy white bits that she wants at the other side of the rainbow bridge, but she still is missed and I still talk to her daily.

I’ve discovered how much I can love the cast offs, the misfits, the other beautiful souls that other people have discarded. Pain changes people. I think pain changes animals, too.

I have learned that depression and stress can have a hugely horrible effect on how much you care about what you do to yourself and how much care you take of yourself. I’ve learned that I need to find the time and the place in my day… in my whatever… to take care of myself because sometimes it is easy to forget that your why has to be bigger than your but.

I’ve found treasure in simple things. I guess maybe not entirely simple, but simpler. Pictures… coffee cups given just because… a hat that warms not only the head but the heart… surprise cards that come and bring happy tears… a set of dishes that came from their own adventures… a box of buttons…

I’m so grateful for today.

I’m grateful for all of the todays.

I’m scared of the tomorrows and what tomorrow may bring.

But for now, I have today. I have coffee. I have the wind and the heat and the music. I have love.

Love and Light
AprilJoy
11/28/2019

In The Midst of the Holidays

The holiday season is upon us (ALL the holidays… Hannachua, Christmas, KWanza, New Years, Winter Solstice… lots of them) and RA doesn’t discriminate based on what hoiday you celebrate.  Probably not an incredibly popular centiment, but you know what… I’m so totally passed being worried about people getting bent with me.
I sit and think about all of the Christmas’s past and all of the Type A memories I tried to make for my kids.  For years I made batches of cookies that no one ate but that I made becuase that is what I grew up with… making cookies.  I hustled and bustled and busted my behind.  And I made memories.  But the memories I made didn’t actually corespond with what I thought I was making.  The memories… Sitting in the chairs of the laser light show and watching the “jello” dance across the ceiling.  Putting up the Christmas tree and letting the kids decorate the bottom.  Dominick the Donkey and I Want a Hippopotomos for Christmas and Santa Baby bringing smiles because of their connotation.  And going to see the Christmas Lights regardless of where we are.  You don’t necessarily have to “do” to create the memories, you have to be.
Now that I’m celbrating with the addition of RA, I rethink what I do and what I plan to do so I don’t turn Ho Ho Ho into HoHumBug.
I know i can’t “do” traditional eggnog or a hot toddy or even spiced wine.  Meds and alcohol don’t really go together well.  It’s not that I have done any of this anyway, I know I’m a cheap drunk and it isn’t good for me to drink on a good day.  But I also know that a lot of people who are on similar meds do or have.  There are ways to celebrate in less alcohol rich ways.  Apple cider is wonderful, spiced grape juice is an awful lot like spiced wine and is <ghasp> healthy.  Look for the little things.  Look for ways that you can find your own bright spots.  Music sometimes help, too.  All things considered, finding the bright spots are going to be the best treat you can give yourself.
I know that it is especially hard, particularly when many of our families themselves don’t “get it”, but try to set expectations realistically.  You know how much you “need” to get done, be it wrapping, or baking or decorating or cards or whatever.  Be realistic with yourself and with everyone else. And don’t discount hiring out some of the things you feel you have to do.  Buy your cookies from a bakery or from some orgaization having fund raiser bake sale.  Have your gifts wrapped the same way (lots of stores hae charities who come in and do wrapping for a donation).  This has the side benefit of having a bunch of different wrapping paper that no one has seen before (hint hint, wink wink).  There is a big trade off between time(stress… effort) and money.  Even today when money is more tight than ever, sometimes spending a few dollars that you might be able to write off as donation to charity to keep from overtaxing yourself is the better option.  Save your engergy and effort for things that you really enjoy or that bring you happiness.
Find the easiest way to do whatever it is that you are goin to do.  I know this sounds obvious, but it is sanity.  ANd not just during the season, all the time.  A lot of getting by is just learning new ways of doing things.
Ask for help.  When you can’t figure out a way to do something without hurting, ask for help.  This was the biggest deal for me.  I have always been the one to try hard to do things for everyone else.  I’m not sure if that is a girl thing, or a mommy thing, or what.  It is what it is.
Keep in mind, though, that there are also tradeoffs for cutting back, especially if you cut back too far.  When you cut back (or out) on things that really matter to you, or that really matter to those who are important to you, sometimes th cost is your depression or even more stress than actually going through with whatever it is that you cut back on.  Those tradeoffs aren’t worth it.  Sometimes, in those cases, it is better to cut something else out or at least cut back on and find a way to deal with the added stress that the events or the tasks might cause.
So… I guess it all boils down to… do what makes you happy and enjoy the holidays!!!

The Holiday Weekend

It was quite a weekend.  I would SO much rather had not been on pager patrol for the weekend but it is what it is.
Friday I had the most horrible migraine.  Nothing sort of migraine medicine and a sleep would help.  I hate having those kind of headaches espeically when there isn’t anything I can really pin it to (like the headache I get when I don’t sleep enough or when I get dehydrated).  It was really good that work was mostly quiet on Friday and I didn’t have to think too terribly hard.  It would have been nice if I had gotten permission to work from home on Friday BEFORE Friday afternoon (sent the mail Thursday morning… I know where my mail ranks on EVERYONE’s list of “oooo… let’s read this” mails) but hey.
Saturday (Happy Birthday!!!) wasn’t too bad.  Started out by getting paged and having to work… but… hey… We went grocery shopping (got squirrel girl some GIRL shorts and some tank tops… got skinny butt boy a Runescape card… got yummy cookies… and like real food and stuff too).  I got a card from my wonderful Wyoming friend.  That made me really smile.  She is incredibly talented artist and i hope that she eventually realizes how wonderful her art is and does something with it.  She could certainly use the validation from someone, she doesn’t get it nearly often enough and she has no idea how much her art, and her friendship mean.
Oh.  And I got a perfunctory Happy Birthday text message… a surprise FaceBook message from my Sis (who NEVER EVER seems to get on the computer, which is why I treasure THIS so much) and had the most WONDERFUL chat with my mommy and my cuz that made me smile and cry and laugh and feel like I got a virtual hug.
Squirrel girl ran off with her peeps and hung with them all day.  She claimed she felt really really guilty not staying home for my birthday (and it is SO much fun to poke her about it) but even when we went to dinner out, she didn’t opt to tag along.  She and I did end up camping out in the back yard in the tent for the night, and it was wonderful to listen to the crickets and the owls and the trains.
Easter… Easter was interesting. After 3 hours working on pager patrol stuff in the morning, I hid baskets (19 year old’s was blue… 16 year old’s was white) and we had an egg hunt.  I made a movie of the egg hunt, but because she asked so nicely (and because I like to have all of my body parts intact) I opted for uploading it to YouTube and making it such that you can only watch it if you have the link.  Thought about posting the link to facebook and TECHNICALLY abiding by EXACTLY what I promised… but that would be cheating.  I would really like to edit it, though, and paste in the part where it turned into a full contact egg hunt and they were brawling over one EMPTY plastic egg…
Ham and Scalloped potatoes were yummy for dinner.
Now, it is back to work Monday.  I had a chat with the company head of IT about the fact that his kids are a lot like my kids and are older teenagers who look forward to basket hiding and egg hunts… and the fact that it means that they are great kids and that they have been raised right… they like spending time with the family and being around people who love them.  That made me smile.
Now… jasmine tea and watching to make sure that the world is safe from data inaccuriacies…