Wednesday, December 09, 2009

In a mood

Not in THE mood, in A mood.

No real reason, either -- nothing catastrophic has happened, far as I know people are safe and okay, reasonably, and I just got back from our Bunco Christmas party which was a fun night of way too many carbs, interesting gifts, and good women who are compassionate and caring.

But right now I feel like I could just sit here and cry until I'm stuffy-nosed, drained, and exhausted.

Maybe it's just the time of year when memories overtake common sense and flood in. I miss my parents. I got cards from two aunts today, and puddled up thinking about the Dahl sisters and how much fun they had over the years. Three of the four sisters are still here; my mother and her two brothers have all died since 2005. My dad has been gone 10 years.

Maybe it's remembering Christmases when I did a lot of singing and loved it -- I still remember some of the choral arrangements of favorite carols, plus other, more difficult Christmas music that was so fun to sing. Or when R was little and we always had a houseful over Christmas, did soup and sandwich suppers on Christmas Eve with my best friend and her family before we sang at the late church service where candles lighted the sanctuary and illuminated everybody's face into beauty.

Maybe it's sadness over how difficult life is on some days for R, especially, dealing with voices and visions that are unsettling, if not downright scary, and not knowing either cause or cure, or even if there will ever be a life again without them for her. The last two days especially have been hard for her, and I even went with her to the grocery store today because it was just too much for her to handle by herself. Sadness that another daughter simply chooses not to communicate with us for reasons we probably will never know. And while we have a relationship with our youngest child and our only grandchild, it is cautious on both fronts and likely will never be the flat-out love affair that I see some of my friends having with their grandchildren -- for lots of reasons, many of which have been outlined in this blog over the past several years.

Life is not quite a Norman Rockwell painting for us as a family, nor, I suspect, is it for most families. We all have our skeletons hidden in closets, attics, basements, and it seems the holidays are a time when those ghosts loom large. It's shoulda-coulda-wouldas piled on top of a pot full of present-day reality for most people, I think.

And yet we are most fortunate too: we have a wonderful home in a good community, we have many friends and acquaintances, we are as busy as we want to be, we have enough resources to take care of ourselves (at least, god willing, at this point). We have each other and find support and love and acceptance in that every single day -- a HUGE blessing and gift, especially if you've known a past relationship that hasn't been all that great. Far as we know, we are free from life-altering disease or conditions. We are limited more by our own motivation or lack thereof than by exterior issues.

Acknowledging that holidays and events and mood swings sometimes throw us for a loop is a good thing, I think. Dwelling on things I cannot change or over which I have little or no control is not a good thing. Accepting that it is okay to feel sad sometimes, to feel a little cheated in some respects is okay. Remembering and accepting that I am neither perfect nor do I have to appear to be perfect to anyone is especially a good thing.

Susan Elliott, whom I have quoted before in these posts, writes in "Getting Past Your Past,"
"Don’t distort the holidays. It’s approximately 35 days between Thanksgiving and New Years. And there is always a January 2nd. Don’t compare your insides to other people’s outsides. Yes, you need to grieve what was and what will never be, but it’s not quite the giant bundle of greatness that many people are thinking it is. Don’t distort what was.

You can read the whole post here.

It's a good thing to read now. And re-read again. And remember that this, too, shall pass.

Life is short. It is too short to put up with people or things that bring you down. It is too short not to be grateful for it every moment, every day, to be glad for some wee part of your life that is good -- and everyone, EVERYONE, has something.

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