Sometimes I Feel Like a Piece of Bologna

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Taking a Deep Breath

I love the holidays. I hate the holidays. I’ve enjoyed a wonderful month and I’m SO glad it’s over.  Maybe you feel the same way.

This season I found myself listening to Christmas carols, knowing that somewhere in my past, those words and tunes had brought joy. And they were intended to bring it again. But this year they seemed to bring confusion. Like, “I know there’s a fond memory in there somewhere, but I can’t find it.” I think it was buried under the piles of wrapping paper and the endless stack of gifts I still needed to wrap.

I feel this way every year. The festivities of the season remind me of the Norman Rockwell holidays I never had. Didn’t have them I childhood, and despite my best efforts, seldom achieved them in adulthood. (Does anyone??) Hubby and I go through the motions of decorating before the fly-in visit from our adult son and DIL, but it just isn’t the same as when he was home and so excited about every ornament, every gift, every tradition.

I still aim for the Norman Rockwell holidays, which means lots of cooking and baking, and entertaining. I do what I can in advance because I just don’t have the stamina I used to have. When Son and DIL are here, I do things that I didn’t do when he was growing up, like cook breakfast, because I’ve found that a leisurely breakfast is a wonderful time to talk (as is midnight to 3:00 am—but that’s another story). But having only on bathroom means that I get up first to shower and get ready. Then I cook while the others are getting ready. Then it seems that I cook again and again, either for entertaining here or taking somewhere else.

We’ve had an event or party to host or attend every day for the last 10 days. And that doesn’t even count the Christmas celebration with Mom and my family of origin the 17th and 18th (that, too, is another story). I’m really not complaining. I organized many of those events and enjoyed once-a-year time with family and friends from so many areas of our lives. But the joy of the friendships doesn’t eliminate the sense of exhaustion that follows--and the reminder that no matter what I tell myself, I can't do all I used to do. We're blessed to have friends to celebrate with and frankly, I can’t see changing this voluntarily, but when I reach January, something  deep inside lets out a huge sigh of relief. I think tomorrow would be a great day to take a nap and read a book. Because school starts again on Monday.

Photo Credit: iStockphoto

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