Yuletide greetings, gentle readers! I am in the period of Christmas preparation when I am staunchly treading water to keep my head above the surface of All The Expectations, as I’m sure many of you are as well. I’ve had plenty of times when the waves of What Must Be Done have crashed over me and I felt like I was drowning, but I’m fighting valiantly (and surrendering valiantly!) to also enjoy my swim in the festive seas that thankfully only rise to these levels once a year. I already said my piece about half-assing what can be half-assed, so I won’t belabor the point. But since I am halving-ass with such facility this year, I did think it might be fun to document my season in pictures so I can remember all the stuff, good and bad. Here goes:
DAY 1 – TIME WITH MY PARENTS
I always spend a lot of time with my parents in December, helping Mom with all the baking for our family feast and helping both folks with their decorations all season long. For the past two years, though, it’s been almost a daily December thing to go over and visit/help them out because my poor Dad has come down with a nasty systemic infection twice in a row now that knocks him down flat during the busiest time of their year. Add to that Mom’s growing anxiety issues, and it definitely adds to my load. My parents have enjoyed excellent overall health for the vast majority of my life, so I truly am thankful for their long healthy stretches of time, but I also know that things are only going to go downhill from here – a scary thought, but one I am doing my best to handle as it presents itself.
For me, this time of year is starting to look like me delivering a lot of lunches from McDonald’s or Dad’s favorite Italian joint (which serves a mean ham and cheese sandwich on fresh bread), plus lots of sitting and coloring/baking/crafting at their house while we watch Christmas specials, just so they feel like the monotony of their sick days has been broken up a bit.
Could they make it on their own if I kept to my firmer boundaries and stayed home? Of course they could. Would I be happier if I spent more time doing my own thing? Probably, depending on their level of need. But are they happier when I show up? In a word, yes. Considerably. And that counts for a lot. Balance is very important, but my hardwired brain still errs on the side of making sure my people are good before I worry about myself. There are 11 other months of the year when I can swing the pendulum the other way.
PHOTOS: fruitcakes (a big tradition with my mom since 1973 – even before I was born) and chocolate chip cookies (my dad’s favorite), getting the tree up so they felt like they’d gotten a start on the season, plus chilling on the couch watching our stories
Let me know what your highs and lows are this season over at the Half-Assed Circle. Until next time!