Monday, January 7, 2008

Christmas is offically over

I know most bloggers wrote their post-Christmas, sappy, back to reality blogs 1-1/2 weeks ago, but for us, Christmas was officially over this weekend. We like to spread things as thin as possible and eek out as much fun and enjoyment as we can, so we spread it to January 5. This past weekend was Christmas with my family at my mom’s. They retired in Southeast Missouri about 4 hours south of here. The boys have the time of their lives when we are visiting, and because there is really no place to go when we are there, we all have each other’s undivided attention. Every time we leave my family, I get the blues. Probably because I haven’t lived in the same town, state, and sometimes country as my family in over 12 years and probably never will. Because we are so 100% TOGETHER when we do gather, it is especially hard to leave. You have no idea how badly I wish we lived close enough to meet my sister for lunch, or to Christmas shop together, or to grab a cup of coffee with my dad, or to catch my nieces’ games without having to make it a weekend and a 4-6 hour trip. It is EXTREMELY difficult to leave, but that is reality. So this week is our BACK TO REALITY week. To make it extra real, we have tried to squeeze in as many unpleasant events as possible to kick start the new year – dentist appointments for the boys, a tooth filling replacement for Brian, my monthly cycle, putting away Christmas decorations, cloudy and rainy weather, and to top it off, the next cycle of chemo for Brian this weekend. I might schedule immunizations for the boys just for fun since they’re due for those anyway.

Back to reality for me is very difficult. It means thinking about the week ahead. It means organizing, cleaning, managing, budgeting, shopping, exercising, and reflecting. After a long break from reality, I spend a lot of time pondering the events that just past. Vague thoughts like –

Did I enjoy it enough?
Was I nice to people?
Did I spend as much time as possible with those I love and those that made an effort to see us?
Did I spend as much time and conversation as possible with those I made an effort to see?
What will Brian’s condition be next Christmas – did I make this as enjoyable as possible for him?
Will my kids be as excited and animated next Christmas – did I enjoy them enough?
Was I crabby?
Did I relax?
Why did I eat so much?
Was I thankful enough?
Why did I drink so much?
Was I generous enough?

Always, I am greeted with the same answer. Of course, I could have done MORE of any of those things. (except eat and drink – I don’t know if that is possible) I could always spend more time, be more generous, enjoy more, etc. (1/2 empty) Brian told me yesterday during the car ride home that I would make myself crazy with those thoughts. Why would I spend time asking myself regretful hypothetical questions instead of reflecting on the joy the last two weeks brought us? (1/2 full) So here are some of the joyful memories the last two weeks brought me:

Children smiling
Children playing
Children believing
Children indulging
Time with family rarely seen
Reconnecting with friends seen even less.
Good food
Micro-brew beer
A gift of some extra cash for our bank account
Adults smiling
Adults playing
Adults believing
Adults sacrificing
Lots of card playing
Dinner at Alexander’s
A gift of ¼ of a cow in my freezer
Good health (except for some coughs and sniffles scattered throughout)
Lots of time together in our home with little distraction



  1. There certainly is a lot of smiling and laughing during the holidays - that is certainly a blessing, isn't it? It sounds like you enjoyed your holidays - I am glad. Good luck tackling all the chores, appointements ... I have my share of stuff to do also - lots of stuff I really would rather not be doing, but must. Take care and have a good week. Kellan

  2. Sounds like an absolutely perfect late Christmas!!! Glad you enjoyed yourself :)

  3. I hope you got to enjoy some nice weather while at your parents' house. Sorry you have to leave them - I know that's hard for you. From my point of view and my time with you, you definitely laughed and made laughter enough, relaxed enough, enjoyed enough, and, of course, drank enough.

  4. Whew,Angie, we are two peas in a pod, sister! Thanks for letting us in on when your monthly cycle is, by the way! ;-) you know I'm just teasin'. I do the same thing, or used to a lot more than I do now. Don't punish yourself. Dr. Phil says, "You wouldn't worry half as much about what people thought about you if you knew how seldom they did." Did that have any relevance to your all???
    It seemed like it did at first.
    Anyhoo, I just know it sucks to over-analyze things to the point where you feel awful, like you can't relax.
    Just break out some of that beef, bar-b-cue some ribs, drink some of that micro-brew (whatever), and have a good time!