Holly Jolly Days

I do not feel “Christmas-y” or “Holiday-ish” or “Jolly” or … well, any of these things. I feel rushed and harried and harassed and hassled. I feel a little bit sad and beaten down by life. Really, I kind of feel surprised that it is almost Christmas. December feels like it has scooted by at lighting speed. It is roaring toward the end before I even got used to its beginning! I wonder if this means I am getting old. Or if it means I am not enjoying life as much as I should. Or if I am letting moments slip by me unnoticed amid my worries. Or, maybe, I am just stressed about things, overall.

Whatever the case, I have been trying to capture that “magic” of Christmas for myself. I’ve been reading favorite books, although none that are holiday-themed. I’ve been watching Christmas and holiday movies on Netflix. I’ve been listening to Christmas music in the car. I’ve been trying to do holiday-themed and festive nail art. We have had our tree up and decorated for a while, and I make sure it is lit every evening. I love sitting down next to a tree full of colorful lights. Today I sat down and wrapped gifts. That generally puts me in a festive mood. I love wrapping. And it did help a little bit.

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But, still, I have to confess I am more than a little bit in the doldrums. Even after all of my holly-jolly-making efforts. I’m just … tired. I think that’s what it is. My daughter’s schedule is crazy. My husband is still searching for a job. In many ways, we are no further along this Christmas than we were last Christmas. I had thought we would be in the midst of changes for the better by now. Or that we would be able to look forward to something new and exciting. But, really, I am looking forward to months of “just the same” coming at me. I think I am exhausted, both physically and mentally.

We are traveling this holiday season. My husband’s family wanted us to come to Texas for a birthday and anniversary celebration. We are going to spend a few days with my husband’s family. And then, my daughter and I will spend a few days with my parents. It means we get to see all the parents this year. And it means my husband gets to spend time with his siblings, which he enjoys. It’s a good plan, and I’m sure it will be nice.

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But … I’m dreading it. Does this make me a terrible person? Ugh. It probably does. But whatever. This is how I feel. I am dreading every bit of it. I’m dreading having to pack after spending weeks rushing from one appointment and school activity to another. I’m dreading having to get up in the wee hours of the morning to go to the airport for a 6 AM flight. I’m dreading having to go through security and talk to strangers. I’m dreading having to sit on a plane next to strangers. I’m dreading hearing my mom complain and feel sad about stuff. I’m dreading having to be around people who mean well but who ask questions I can’t answer. I’m dreading having to laugh and smile and pretend like everything is A-OK, when I feel like it is anything but.

Maybe I’m not capable of feeling jolly or festive this year? Or maybe I am just being a spoiled brat about the whole thing. It’s not like I would be happy sitting at home alone, either. At least, I think I wouldn’t be happy with that. Ugh. I don’t even know any more.

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And I guess that’s the thing: I don’t know what I want. I don’t know if I want to go or stay. I don’t know if I am happy or sad. I don’t know anything about anything any more. I just want to feel …

Festive
Happy
Excited
Relieved
Joyful
At Peace

I want to find the magic and happiness I used to feel during the Christmas season. But I have to figure out how to find all of that within myself. It’s still there, isn’t it? I think I can feel it, just there, around the edges.

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