I'm noticing a trend. The older I get the harder it is to ease into things—life changes...weather changes...my old jeans... and especially the holiday season. When I was in college everything was organized into class periods, semesters and breaks. Everything was easier. Back then, the end of the fall semester meant it was Holiday time! I could easily shift into preparation for Christmas music, home-cooked meals, wrapping, shopping, family time. By the time I pulled my rusty old Volvo onto Treys Drive in early December, I was ready for it.
Everything is different now.
I am unprepared for the sights, sounds, moods of the season. I sprinted through summer, was jolted by a lovely Florida vacation at the end of it, then got slammed by fall's indecision—warm days blended with cold, windy, rainy ones—never knowing what I'd get on any given day. All the while I was buried—whether it was during weekly work hours or on weekend time—mentally stuck under the stack of articles waiting on my desk, the never-ending to do list that got new additions by the hour.
Now we are four days out from Thanksgiving. And I'm not ready. Not ready to tie up loose ends at work as best as I can and let it all go for a four-day weekend. Not ready to pack up my bags and head over the mountain. Not ready to cook and scramble for hours, to trek over to my Great Uncle's and see 50+ family members waiting to hug and catch up. I'm not ready.
I'm not in the mood. I want to hibernate until winter is over. Hide under pillows and blankets dark and heavy enough to keep all of the light out—at least for a while.
It's not the holidays themselves—I love them. I love the cheerfulness, the togetherness, the decorations, the traditions. It's not my family—I'm obsessed with them, and I miss them dearly. It's not even money or lack there of—because it's not about that.
It's that I don't feel thankful.
I feel tired, overwhelmed, annoyed, unbalanced, unavailable, preoccupied. I know I am beyond blessed, but I am stuck in this I'm-not-ready-yet mindset. I just need some more time. I wish I could make time slow down—give me some of my weekend back, give me some of my morning back, and maybe I'll be fine. Give me back a month until Thanksgiving, two months until Christmas, and that just might do the trick.
I don't want to phone in another holiday. It's not worth it. It's not fair. But with the ability to adjust, adapt, I've lost the ability to psyche myself up at a moment's notice. There is no pep to be found in my step, there is no silver lining to spot with vision so foggy. So I go back to basics, the way I was raised. I go back to pen to paper, to pushing until some magic happens, to laying in the dark counting my blessings to bring on sleep.
I'm thankful for my amazing husband who is also my best friend. I'm thankful for a supportive and loving family. I'm thankful for my sweet dogs. I'm thankful for my job because even though it brings me down, it still puts food on my table and provides for my family. I'm thankful for my friends who listen to me and encourage me, and make me laugh. I'm thankful for my church and all of the ways it lifts me up. I'm thankful for Diet Cokes and corny jokes that help get me through the day. I'm thankful for my country—even when it lets me down so much that I ache inside. I'm thankful for people who believe in something so much that they're willing to stand out in the cold in protest for it. I'm thankful for warm socks that don't have holes in the toes. I'm thankful for unexpected shopping trips with my mom. I'm thankful for picture messages of my beautiful younger siblings. I'm thankful for an iron and an ironing board reviving the homemaker in me. I'm thankful for basic human compassion. I'm thankful for women who wear the pants. I'm thankful that books are back "in." I'm thankful for good health. I'm thankful for women and men who have the courage to serve in the armed forces that protect our country. I'm thankful for caller ID. I'm thankful for free coffee. I'm thankful for the amazing bloggers who give me a sneek peek into their lives and provide so much inspiration. I'm thankful for people who take a stand for the health of their families and maintain healthy diets and active lifestyles. I'm thankful for our humble abode. I'm thankful for soft tissues. I'm thankful for anything edible that involves pumpkin or sweet potato. I'm thankful for honesty, even when it hurts. I'm thankful for nervous/excited butterflies. I'm thankful for comfortable heels. I'm thankful for my faith. I'm thankful for photographs and how they sometimes capture memories better than a person can. I'm thankful Colin Firth was born. I'm thankful for unexpected kindness. I'm thankful for the ever-present hope inside me that keeps me from ever totally giving up, from believing the worst, that I'm not worth more, because it keeps me going with the promise that there is something bigger out there. Something better.
All l I have to do is stop comparing, dwelling, obsessing, complaining all the time, and just live for today, and then tomorrow, next month, at the start of the new year—go find it.