Here are a few lessons I’ve learned over this Pandemic Thanksgiving + start of Covid Christmastime: On the Wednesday before your it’s-just-us-this-year Thanksgiving, it’s really nice to cook the big meal with your kids while also not stressing about cleaning the house for company. …
How are you doing, you guys? Are you hanging in there? I’m sitting in the waiting room of my daughters’ gymnastics class right now, trying to get the last words of Book #2’s first draft on paper (one week behind schedule. TURBO WRITING: ENGAGE), and my head is …
I’ve fallen into the trap, you guys. And it wasn’t even like I was pushed. I jumped, both feet in, eyes open and not even holding my nose.
There’s no name for this trap, really. Because if I tried to describe it to you it’d sound more like oh-my-GAD-I’m-so-stressed-there’s-not-enough-time-in-the-day-holy-cow-I’m-never-going-to-be-able-to-do-it-all-WILLSOMEONEPLEASETELLTHOSECHILDRENTOSTOPBEINGSOLOUD?
It’s kind of like that. The Stressed Mommy trap. The Holiday Hellfire trap. The Fa La La $%#@ It trap.
Ooh. I guess I do have a name for it.
But I did it to myself. See, there’s the holiday stuff: the shopping, which I started early, thinking it would help my inevitable anxiety (BWAHAHAHA). There’s the decorating, and the wrapping, and the card ordering (I was going to go all Kardashian this year, but think they topped whatever I’d have dreamed up). There’s the cookie baking, and I should probably squeeze in some time with the kids at some point, I guess. I just got notification that my Christmas cards are being delivered today–and actually got a pit in my stomach. That’s not healthy.
There’s the school/parties/events stuff: all of a sudden my children are school-age and my calendar (and wallet) imploded. That happened quickly.
There’s the writing-books stuff. I have to like, write and edit some books and stuff.
And then there’s the house stuff. David and I decided that we’re going to try to sell our house (gulp) and find a new one (double gulp) after the holidays. Our listing agent thinks that, oh, the first week would be an excellent time to do so, to get ahead of the spring rush. This was perfectly fine by us, since Dave’s supposed to be working from home right now, and considering that at this moment he’s taking a conference call while pacing around the laundry basket full of clean clothes in our bedroom, the sooner the better. But there’s the de-cluttering. And the painting (have you seen our house? We live in a Crayola box. And apparently most potential buyers don’t care for cerulean blue in their dining rooms. Thanks a lot, most buyers.). And that it’s taken us seven years to finally replace the floors in our bathrooms only to move out and leave them behind. Because that makes sense, in David and Leah Land.
Do you do that, too? You can’t stand something in your house, but then get so used to it you don’t bother changing it? Why do we do that?
(On a separate note, I’ve begun packing up the “extra” stuff from our kitchen to clear it out for staging, and can I just say? No normal American family needs as many beer and wine glasses as we own. Well, maybe the Obamas. Or the Kardashians (why do I keep referencing them? WWWHHYYYY??). But not those of us who haven’t thrown a properly huge party in the last three years. And by three I mean four.)
Oh, and Cian! I forgot about Cian (I mean, I didn’t forget you Cian, of course, if you read this in twenty years. You just broke four teeth and are the cutest thing in the world. I couldn’t forget you. But seriously, your New Year’s Eve birthday is throwing me off). He turns one in less than a month. I need to plan a party or something.
The girls are downstairs right now watching a show on my iPad while I finish this post and tidy up the mess of bubble wrap and packing tape that’s taken over my dining room. Cian is…um. I think he’s around the corner. I should probably go check on that. Somehow I need to figure out how to make this season as meaningful and joyful as it should be–while getting my shoes packed away so our closet looks like it has more room than it does (Bwahaha).
I came home from Target today (items purchased: stocking stuffers [damn you, dollar section at Target!], sippy cups, packing tape, lip gloss, wrapping paper, Snickers bar) and filled the candy dish in our family room with Hershey Kisses (dark chocolate, thank you, wrapped in oh-so-festive foil). That dish is normally empty, because hello, if it were ever filled, it would STILL end up empty (get it? ‘Cause we’d eat it all?). Each of the girls chose a candy (“I got puh-pul!” Quinn called), and within seconds their teeth were brown with slobbery goo and I was picking foil shavings out of the carpet. Saoirse did a little jump and said, “That was so good I’m going to barf my tongue out!”, and before I could stop laughing, Quinn piped up: “My tongue feels sparkly!”
I’m not quite sure where I’m going with this one, friends. My brain is all swirl-y and confused and bursting with “to-do” items and jittery stress. I hate that I feel this way, and that I’ve become one of those people other people write blog posts about (wait a minute. Now I’m writing that blog post. Whoa). But then you have my kids, bouncing around in the playroom (thank you, Hershey’s), exclaiming about sparkling tongues and how excited they are about one tiny piece of candy.
I think this all means one thing: I need to stop stressing about the big stuff and find joy in the little. Even if it does mean I’m going to be finding bits of crimson-colored foil scattered around my house for the next month.