I am exhausted.
Exhausted and sick and discouraged and stressed.
And feeling guilty about it.
It is The Holidays. I love this time of year. It's my favorite. Christmas has always been a big to-do around my house, ever since I was a teeny little kid. Add my birthday to the mix...exactly one week before Christmas...and well, December has always been good to me.
And I'm big on the gimmicks, too. On my mental To Do List every year is: watch holiday movies, drink hot chocolate, take pictures with Santa, wrap presents together, count down the days on the advent calendar, participate in every Secret Santa available, buy extra special gifts for everyone on the list, send out cool Christmas cards, take kids to a snow day event (we're in Miami, people), listen to Christmas music, decorate the house, go to a holiday park....the list is endless. This year? Um, we've managed the tree, some lights outside, and maybe a Rudolph movie or two (but not really to enjoy as a family...more to get the kids to sit still and be quiet for 28 minutes).
When I complain about all of this to Hubby (oh, wait, sorry, I mean Chris), he laughs: "What do you mean, 'We haven't done anything this Christmas'? Sure we have...we've done pink eye, multiple ear infections, throat infections, bronchitis, stomach viruses, fevers, colds....We've done plenty this season!"
I realize I shouldn't take it so seriously. I understand that what we've been dealing with is nothing...simple, inconsequential, annoying stuff. I know that we are incredibly lucky. Just this morning I found out about an acquaintance of ours, 42 years old, an athlete, a competitor, a health nut...died last night from stage 4 colon cancer. 42 years old. I realize his wife and family would give anything to be dealing with colds and ear infections and eye gunk. I should not whine. I have no right. And that's when the guilt kicks in. And then I'm more stressed because I think I'm so damned ungrateful and whiney.
I am exhausted.
I think the lack of sleep is finally starting to affect me. It's been a couple of weeks now, and my head is in a perpetual fog. Even now, as I write, I have all these points I intended to make...these themes I planned on writing about...but now, I feel like I'm still participating in the Half Drunk Challenge, because although I'm sober, I'm pretty damn sure I'm not making any sense.
Even this blog (and all those I love to follow and comment on)... it has become yet another thing to be stressed about. I have no time, no energy, no...zest.
Yes, that's it. Zest.
My zest has been all zapped out of me. And I'm usually a zesty kinda girl, you know? I like things big. I like things loud. I like things fun. I'm all for the whimsy, the silly, the metaphorical tinsel. But I feel like we're running on empty around here. It's been 10 weeks now. 10 weeks of colds and infections and fevers and complaining (mostly, mine). I'm sick of hearing myself talk about it, write about it, think about it. I just want to enjoy these next couple of weeks...my upcoming birthday trip, Christmas Eve, Christmas morning, my family, the kids, us. All of it.
So perhaps I have to force myself to let go of all of those things I think I am supposed to be doing in order to enjoy the holidays, and just...enjoy them. Maybe the less pressure I place on myself, the more I will actually get out of all of this? It always comes back to the same stuff...whatever our issues are...they keep coming back at us in different scenarios. My issue has always been letting go, surrendering, just existing. And it creeps into everything I do: work, losing weight, relationships, blogging, traveling, even Christmas. It's no wonder I'm exhausted. It's not the kids making me so tired; it's myself.
I guess this is evidence of how important writing is for me. It really is cathartic. Just by writing this all out, by going almost stream-of-consciousness, by complaining and venting and explaining it, I almost snap myself out of it. I remind myself of everything I need to learn: surrender, stop stressing, stop demanding perfection, be grateful. Breathe.