Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Finding the Spirit Anyway

I can't tell you how many times I have sat down at my computer over the past few weeks wanting to write.  Needing to write.  But the words don't come.  I don't know if I can explain why.

Maybe it's Mom Syndrome.  It's such a luxury to take the time to sit at my computer and pour my brain out, that it feels too selfish.  I sit here and think I should pay the bills.  I should put the laundry away.  I should exercise.  I should get the Christmas shopping done.  I should get some wrapping done.  I should cook something to feed my family.  I should CLEAN, for God's sake.  And when I sit here, alone with my brain and my keyboard, to write, that's all I do.  At least when I watch TV I can fold laundry or iron or wrap or dust or whatever at the same time.

Maybe it's just too emotional sometimes for me to write.  Maybe I fear that I don't have anything important to say, that nobody cares anyway.  Maybe it's a combination of all of this.

Whatever it is, here I am, again.  I'm writing anyway.  When I started this blog I did it for myself.  I still write for myself, so I need to not care if nobody else thinks it's important or even reads it.  I try not to worry about that, but there is a bundle of people out there that actually read this little blog, and I really want to make it worth their while.  It's an arrogant thing, really, to write a blog and ask people to spend their time reading what you say.  So thank you for indulging me.

Sandy Hook.  What a punch to the gut.  I cannot begin to comprehend what happened in Newtown, those babies.  Those parents.  Those families.  That town.  The devastation is something that is impossible to understand, yet we try anyway.  It could have been anywhere.  It could have been any of our babies.  It is affecting me, every minute of the day.  I have a constant stomach ache, and I know it's because I can't stop thinking about the horror.  There is no right answer, no logical solution, because what happened is not logical.  There are steps we can take to try to feel safer.  We can talk to our kids and help them feel safe.  We can argue about gun control, mental health, politics.  But the thing that really shakes us, that nobody really talks about, is that there is no real way to protect people from this kind of horror sometimes.  This can be an evil world.  We just have to do our best to survive it, and try to remember that the world is also a beautiful place, filled with love and peace.

I will put these families in my prayers every night.  I will ache for them over this Christmas.  But while I do that I will live my life, even though it feels a little bit wrong.

It's Tuesday.  A week from today is Christmas Day.  A Very Merry Christmas to all of you.  I'd love to know how you all are doing this year!  My preparations have been slower than normal this year.  Thanks in part to the late start due to my hysterectomy, but also because I am not hosting the family this year at all.  Add that to the trauma in Newtown, and it's been a little more difficult this year for even me to maintain my Christmas spirit.  I channeled Buddy the Elf this morning, in an effort to get my sparkle back.  I was alone at home, so I figured, "the best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear."  I plugged my iPod into the radio in the bathroom and sang along to Christmas songs in the shower as loud as I could, got dressed, put on my sparkliest Christmas jewelry, and got a few presents wrapped.  It really did help.

You know what else helps?  All the lovely Christmas cards that come in the mail every day!  I swear, they bring me more joy than presents.  I absolutely LOVE all of them.  The old-fashioned greeting cards, some even just with a signature, no note, no picture.  Long letters filling me in about what's happening in the lives of people that I maybe haven't seen in a while.  Pictures showing me how big everyone's kids are getting, or how nobody other than me seems to age.  Ha!  I treasure each and every one, and the fact that somebody keeps me on their list.  And maybe it's old fashioned, the whole Christmas card thing, but here's why they mean so much to me:

We send out Christmas cards.  I don't do a long letter.  Mostly because I'm sort of lazy, and I'm so open on Facebook and my blog that my cards would seem redundant.  I used to take a family picture, make lots of prints, and enclose it in an old-fashioned card that I would sign.  I recently switched to the new-fangled photo cards where you can design them on line, pick them up at the store, and send them out.  I made the switch to those simply because they're cheaper.  Envelopes are even included!  Anyway.  When I sit down to sign them, stuff the envelopes, address and stamp them, I think about every single person or family that I send one to.  Whether it's on purpose or not, I do.  I remember a moment or two that we shared.  I wonder how they're doing.  I hope they're happy.  I admire their cute kids.  I spend a moment with them, in a way.  And if that's what happens when others fill out their cards, then that means that the card I'm opening in my kitchen is filled with more than just a photo and a name.  It's a greeting, a little love.  And I devour it.  It feeds my spirit.  So thank you to those of you that send them, whether I'm on your list or not.

So here's to another beautiful holiday season.  I hope we all can put the families that are in pain this year in our prayers and our hearts, and have a happy Christmas through any tears we may shed.  It felt good to write this evening.  I feel calm, I feel like I've had a successful visit to my therapist.  If you read this, thank you.  And feel free to prod me if you feel like I'm hiding from you again.  I need this outlet.


  1. Oh, I wish I could see you in your sparkly Christmas jewelry, Frodo! Sending you lots of love and squeezy hugs this Christmas. I am late-as-hell on Xmas cards this year, so I am making no promises. But know that I miss you guys and hope that you have a very, very Merry Christmas and an amazing 2013.

    Smooches, trick!

  2. Christmas can be such a mix bag of emotions.My Mom is feeling depressed, mostly because we all get so busy and she feels left out. I share your pain it's hard not to feel guilty for feeling joy when others are dealing with such a tragic loss. Life goes on and if we have learned anything from this tragedy, it's that life is far too short to waste a single moment. Thank you for deciding to write a blog and for the visual of sparkly earrings and you singing Christmas carols, it brought a smile to my face!