It’s been a crazy week. Between preschoolers performing, forty of them squeezing into an area more fit for 10 and heartily singing Christmas carols, and big changes at work and the annual holiday work dinner, not to mention the regular “stuff” of life and work, I’m exhausted. One might think that would translate into at least one night with no panic attacks or bad dreams, but it hasn’t and so the tiredness has accumulated over the past few days. I can feel myself getting twitchy and feeling short-tempered over the events and interactions that are generally just parts of the ebb and flow of life.
This time of year is so full of expectations and busyness for so many. Do they ever find time to stop and simply enjoy Christmas?
As a child, I had very low expectations for the holiday. They were not a particularly peaceful or happy occasion. That hasn’t changed much over the years and if anything, they have become a sad time, steeped in dark memories and grief.
If I’m actually able to sleep, I still wake up at 2:15 a.m. most nights even though this December will be the 13th anniversary of that horrible night. The anniversary, ten days before Christmas, is a vivid reminder of the fragility of life and how quickly things can change…a reminder that carries into January and February and more grim anniversaries.
It would be so easy in some ways to get pulled into the busyness and more, more, more—ness of this season. But busyness and more things are never true or lasting fixes no matter what false promises and hopes they offer. Even as I strain against my own expectation that things would be better by now, for the most part I’ve managed to avoid those trapdoors.
All my attempts to make and will myself better and all the books and exercises I’m completed to make things better and all the attempts at conversation haven’t worked out, and in some cases have even made things worse because it feels like one failure heaped onto another failure.
So after tonight’s party I plan slow down and rest as painful as it might be as opposed to constantly flailing and fighting that isn’t accomplishing anything.