Tuesday, December 01, 2015
I haven't been blogging much these days, but this morning I have the itch.
Thinking about decorating for the holidays, and thankfulness, and anxiety.
I pulled out my box of Christmas decorations over the weekend. It is an old plastic tote that was probably passed down to me from my Mom when Dan and I got our own place. And after years of adding to our stash of tinsel and cardboard sparkly houses and garlands it was overflowing when I put it away last year. But I pushed the lid on as well as I could until I heard the sides pop, and put it away in the downstairs closet to wait another year for attention.
When I opened it Saturday, and started to pull out our "Santa stops here" sign and my hand knitted garland, I saw it. Mold. Apparently leaving everything in a musty basement closet in a box with a not so tight lid wasn't the best idea I've had in my lifetime.
I cleaned what I could, threw away what I couldn't, and without a tear went to TJ Maxx to replenish what had to go in the trash.
A few years ago I would have cried over that mold. I would have let it ruin my day and been sour grapes for at least 2-3 hours. I've never been so good with change...with molding.
The past few years have molded me into an entirely new person. That molding was painful, and still is some days. Becoming a mother...every day becoming a mother. Struggling with a painful split in my family that seems like it will never heal, but has taught me so much about myself. Learning how to be a better wife to Dan through lots of mistakes and, thankfully, forgiveness.
Holidays give us the time to look at what we've molded ourselves and our life into...and reflecting on what we've created.
The Christmas decorations are just icing on the cake, really. They don't define the holiday. They are the backdrop for the really good stuff we are placed on this earth to enjoy.
The conversations with my boys about what they want Santa to bring them, and what they want to
buy for each other. Sitting in a comfy chair next to the twinkling lights of the Christmas tree, enjoying a mug of coffee with whipped cream. A shopping trip to Wal-mart with my Mom to pick out Legos for the boys and happily peruse the Christmas decorations. Picking out happies for my Grandmother so I can send her a Christmas care package full of things to make her smile. Shopping for two teenage girls who's mother needs a bit of extra help this year... lip gloss and journals and candy. Watching my husband, who is not a fan of photos, snap picture after picture of the boys decorating the tree. Remembering to take a selfie with both of my parents after a day spent with them and the boys, making Christmas cookies, decorating their tree and enjoying pizza.
All of that up there has me feeling SO blessed this year.
But can I be honest? At the same time I am sad. And scared. And anxious.
I used to beat myself up over feeling those above things...because life is good and I have everything I need and blah, blah, blah. But not anymore. Because life is complex and hard and the biggest contradiction we'll ever face. To quote one of my favorites, Momastery, life is "brutiful".
I don't know if this post has made any sense at all, but I just want you to know that if you feel happy, blessed, scared, sad, anxious, overjoyed...all at the same time...you're not alone. I truly think, at our most true selves, that's the way God intended us to feel. A big old ball of emotions. Thankful and anxious. Noticing the blessings and the hardships.