Thursday, December 21, 2017

Weaving time in a tapestry


December. December there's so much to do, and not enough time.

And not enough light.


Our tree is missing a whole section of lights.

This is exactly how I feel about myself.


Christmas is my favorite holiday. I love the tree, the lights, the treats, the songs, the wrapped packages.

Still. Winter is not my friend.

This morning, after yet another disagreement between us, Nick suggested that I've been sliding into a dark place. Sometimes when we fight I feel like he puts the onus on me, because I'm honest about depression and anxiety. Easy to blame.

But in this case, I think his feedback is fair. I've been exercising five days a week, eating well with barely any sugar, and rarely drinking. Even with all that, I am going to up my meds, at least until we have more daylight.

I don't feel hateful, but why wait until I do?


December is one of those months where I easily feel like everyone does everything better than I do.

I got holiday cards. But being me, and continually adding people I love to my list, I wound up in the position of having more people than cards. So I got more cards. I haven't yet addressed them all.

I wrote holiday cards for the teachers, bought gift cards, stuffed them. They'll all be delivered by this afternoon, the last day before the holiday. Cards for our tenants, who are terrific. A card for the mail carried, a lovely man.

There are dearly loved ones on my holiday card list who aren't with us anymore. Our traditional Christmas Eve plan...isn't anymore.

Loss. This was a year of significant loss. 

Life is letting go. I've had a life of goodbyes. I used to be good at them.


Gifts. Gifts. This year, I pushed for one gift per person. One toy. People could still get books and clothes. Nobody but me liked this idea. But with my hard line--which has made Nick treat me like the Grinch--this year we are more restrained.

Next year, my hope is to travel. We all have an experience, rather than giving each other more stuff.

This year, as in most recent years, I made photo books for both grandmothers. It took me no fewer than 100 hours. Hand to God.


In prior years, I've invited a million people for Christmas dinner. OK, not a million. But one year we had 40 people. Because every time someone said they'd be here for Christmas, not traveling to family, I said, "Oh, you should come to our house!"

Betty told me to stop inviting strangers at the bus stop. It was practically at that point.

This year, I've held my tongue. It isn't easy. I open my mouth and then I tell myself to shut it and I do.

I wasn't raised with self-preservation skills. I was raised to carry your weight. Too heavy for you? I'm strong. Let me.

But it takes a toll. I can carry a lot, but I have a family of people who need me.

Sometimes I have nothing left to offer freely, because it's all been claimed already.


When I say I hate people, which I have exclaimed a plethora of times this past year, someone near and dear to me says, "Oh, bullshit. You love people. You have SO MANY people you love."

It is true. I have SO MANY people I love. I may have myriad weaknesses, but people are a strength; I have spectacular taste in people.

But when I spend a period of time all PEOPLE PEOPLE PEOPLE I stop functioning quite so well.

As it turns out, I'm a more delicate flower than I'd like to admit. I need a lot of sleep. I need a lot of time alone. My head is a busy place, and when there is too much outside commotion, I get exhausted.

It'd be easier, I am sure, if I were an extrovert. Or a misanthrope.

Apparently, I am neither.


I haven't yet made Christmas cookies with my kids.

I haven't finished my cards.

I have presents to wrap.

I don't even know what I'm going to make for dinner.


I'm doing my best.

It's December.


  1. December is difficult. So much to do, so little time. It seems like you're pulled in so many directions. You want to do more, do everything. And you can't. So you feel bad. It's a terrifying merry go round that just isn't merry.

    Next year we're doing secret santa. Because I just cannot do this anymore. I did my shopping, my dad's shopping and helped my mother with hers. And I had to bake. And do stuff for work. And there's no time for me. For quiet. I still have all the wrapping to do. All the shipped gifts are finally delivered and I can stop fretting about that.

    You're not alone in this Lisa. The fact that you keep moving forward, keep trying and not giving up? That's strength. It doesn't always seem like it. But it is.

    I argue with my Nick. I feel like the Grinch because I am asking for limits. I feel like a bad daughter because I am so tired of doing for them. I feel like a bad aunt because trying to find my nieces and nephews things is becoming a chore instead of a joy.

    It's December. We're doing our best. And although it doesn't feel like it, our best is good enough right now.

    1. Big hugs to you. You're doing an amazing amount, and I do hope your loved ones recognize it. Thank you for this thoughtful comment, and for letting me know I am not alone in this.

      I don't understand why there has to be SO MUCH STUFF. It does become a chore rather than a joy. I don't even like January, but it will be kind of a relief.

      Merry Christmas and lots of love.


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