Has anyone seen my Christmas spirit? I seem to have misplaced it. I have a hunch it’s in the very same place as my patience, my compassion, and my motivation. I haven’t seen any of these in several weeks, so if you happen to find them, please send them back to me.
The Grinch December 7, 2009
I’m serious, ya’ll. It’s been a bit ragged around the Baileys household lately. At first, I was stressed out from Mama’s surgery and from having extra kids around the house. They filled up all the bedrooms and the front room and I couldn’t do any cleaning at all during nap time. I don’t like to leave the kids alone when they’re playing, so that was out, too. Nothing got done around here and I was perpetually in a bad mood. Soon enough, though, I was back to my normal four kids each day with nap time to myself. Even the baby had the good grace to start taking normal naps almost instantaneously.
Then, Brian’s work schedule kicked up for the holidays. If you’ve never been around us during the Christmas season, you can’t really comprehend it. He works six to seven days each week, 11-16 hours each day. Most of the time he works from 1 PM until 12:30 AM, getting home just as I go to bed, provided I’ve been able to stay up that whole time. He comes to bed around 3:30 or 4 AM, usually turning the light on in the bathroom to brush his teeth. No big deal — a man’s gotta see, right? But I sleep facing the bathroom…. I get up around 7:15, and he sleeps until about 11 or 11:30 and starts the whole cycle again. If we’re really lucky, he gets to open the store at 5 AM, or gets to go in at 7 AM, and gets home from either of those shifts around 6:30. On those nights we actually get to see each other. Work takes precedence over everything else, and the schedule is subject to change at a moment’s notice. The only thing that keeps me sane is the knowledge that as much as I hate it, he hates it 100 times more. It’s Sunday, at 11 PM, and he’s at least two hours away from coming home. Strangely, being alone this much makes me irritable and depressed, and unmotivated to do anything at all. I don’t like alone time. If I did, I’d still be single.
Because Brian is gone so much from mid-November through early January, all the Christmas prep falls to me. Usually I don’t mind. Usually I revel in the whole Christmas thing, decorating and baking, crafting and shopping. This year, I didn’t buy a single gift until sometime around Thanksgiving. Our tree has been sitting in our living room — scratch that: laying in our living room in its big storage bag — for over a week now. See, we have a little cat pee problem. Someone (we think Belle) is peeing along the baseboard. Not huge amounts, but really frequently. It seems to be an attitude issue. We’ve cleaned the carpet and walls and tried really hard to get rid of the smell, but she keeps doing it. Somehow she managed to get pee behind our bookshelf. All that needs to be cleaned before the tree can go up. It’s December 6 — at this point, why are we bothering?! Luckily, I have most of the shopping done that needs to be done. Of course, that’s nothing for Brian’s family since we don’t see them until after Christmas, and a lot of the gifts we still have undone are ones that I’m making. Did I mention I need to make about 12 dozen cookies, too? Yeah. And a lot of candy. Meanwhile, I haven’t packed up all of the Halloween decorations yet…. Did I mention I’m in a really bad mood like 99% of the time?
Today was no different. Things were going fine, and then they all went straight to hell in a hand basket. It’s a long story, but several things went very wrong all at once. I lost it. I was not nice. I was definitely hateful to my husband, and to anyone else around me for a while. Why am I putting this out there? Because I have a hateful tongue, and I need to deal with it. I’m done hiding it, pretending that I don’t, and I need some accountability. So here it is. Brian reads this sometimes, and all of my closest friends and not a small amount of family do. I have not been nice lately, and I need to fix that immediately, if not sooner. Keep me accountable, please. Even more important, please pray for my wicked sharp tongue and some self restraint. Lord knows I need it. Lately I’m overwhelmed by life itself, and when I get overwhelmed I get angry. I need to fix all this and get myself under control. I’ll be cutting out a few things, cutting out some of my commitments, saying “no” more often, and trying to remind myself that the important things are those I do right here in this house, for my husband, to make it a better place to be and his soft place to land. Somewhere along the line I forgot that and started feeling entitled. It’s time to find Simple again. Maybe then I’ll feel like celebrating Christmas and being all warm and fuzzy. I sure hope so.