Tis the Season

Apparently, this time of year, “Tis the Season” is the nationally recognized response to everything. Here are just a few examples I have heard over the last few days.

“I was up until midnight baking cookies!” – Tis the season

“I drank a little too much eggnog if you know what I mean.” – Tis the season

“All I have done is snack! Cookies, chocolates…If I don’t get something solid in my belly soon I’m gonna be sick.” – Tis the season

“Agatha’s grandfather passed away yesterday.” – Tis the season

“I’m sorry I’m running late. I unexpectedly had to scrape my windshield this morning” – Tis the season

“Let’s EAT!” – Tis the season

Fair enough, some of these actually make sense. There are very few other seasons where eggnog is consumed and this is a time of year when the weather is weird and unpredictable and COLD. But for far too many people, every season is the season for EATING. And people die all the time, and our response is not usually so cruel. I just imagine that conversation in July. “Agatha’s grandfather passed away yesterday.” “God bless America!”

Just because it’s a thing we say doesn’t mean it’s appropriate to say all the time. We can’t even slow down long enough to process a conversation before we launch into automated small talk response. I remain unimpressed with people and the necessity of verbal social interaction. We clearly don’t care what is actually said so why is it such a big deal that we talk?

OK, that was mean.  – Tis the season.

I have almost finished Christmas shopping. Gifts are wrapped, packages have been shipped, and final orders have been placed. Almost. Shelby and I are struggling to come up with gift ideas for each other this year. It was a lot easier when money wasn’t on the forefront of our minds. We’re still doing OK, quite amazingly. But it seems silly and wasteful to buy something we don’t neeeeeed to have right now. And it seems hard to ask. But I remain undeterred. I will find the perfect gift this year if it kills me. Because, tis the season for being broke and thrifty for yourself yet splurging on your loved ones, who are also being broke and thrifty and splurging on you.

Rainbows, Unicorns, and the Jump to Conclusions Mat

I’m sorta kinda trying.

You know how sometimes you get into a particular mood, whatever that mood may be, and you just want to sit there? Wallow in it. Like a pig in mud. It’s comfortable. Even if it’s lousy, or wrong, or makes you a horrible person to be around, you feel comfortable in that space and don’t want to ruffle the feathers of a thing you are making work somehow. Well that’s where I’ve been. And I’m sorta kinda ready to come out.

I’ve always been stubborn. I remember home movies of me refusing to smile on Christmas Day because I decided I was sick. Being uncompromisingly awful to my sister because she made a choice that benefited her in a time (surely the only time :I) when the world revolved around me. Moving far away because I could and no one could tell me I couldn’t. And countless instances of doing the exact opposite of what people expected simply because they had expectations of me at all.

I’ve been stubborn in my attitude lately, and while it was comfortable and gave me an excuse to go to bed early and yell at the cat and be uncompromisingly awful to everyone around me, even I am getting tired of it. And what exhausts me even more is my pre-emptive stubbornness. I have been lining up my defenses and mapping out my plan of attack. I have scripted responses and have prepared for every contingency for arguments that haven’t even occurred. I am so prepared for people to disappoint me that I never give them the chance not to.

So. How am I sorta kinda trying? Well I am so glad you asked.

Conscious effort. I catch myself, take a breath, tell myself to let it go, and then try to move on. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. When it doesn’t, I talk to Shelby. I know this is bogging him down and making his life less admirable, but he is being a champ. And I just decide not to worry. I know that sounds stupid and impossible. That sometimes doesn’t work either. But that’s not the point. The point is that I am making note of what is taking over my life and choosing when I give it permission to do so. Cuz I need control. I have control over me.

And also, I am holding on to beacons of hope. Specifically an upcoming and much needed infusion of child enthusiasm and honesty and true, raw emotion as can only be delivered by tiny nephews. Cuddles and snuggles and loud whining and tears and giggles and smiles and horsie rides early mornings and late nights and endless amounts of construction paper.

And conversations with adults who have like minds and can take jokes, my jokes, without tattling. Board games and card games and wine and exercise and way too much food. And Christmas lights on my Christmas Tree. And all the things I couldn’t think to be thankful for a few weeks ago that I am allowing myself to see.

It’s not all rainbows and unicorns. There are still dark spots and gray days. Days when being OMG so OLD and responsible for things makes me cry. Because I’m not that old and not that responsible for not that many things and what the heck man. But then I take a deep breath and think of Craig’s goofy grin, Liam’s sly glance after telling a little fib, and Jack’s confused expression as he ponders his next book. Thank goodness my sister had kids y’all.