Surviving the Holidays

Are you surviving the holidays? I feel like I am barely holding on. I am so ready for 2018 to be done. I’m over it. This has been the worst year ever. I started out very optimistic. Turning 50, it was going to be my year. January started out good, but by the end of the month when our boiler went out and we had to replace it, it went downhill from there. 2018… you can suck it!

I’m trying to pretend things don’t bother me for my daughter’s sake, but it just doesn’t work. I don’t know if she can tell or not. I’m sure she can, she’s a smart girl. I try really hard not to cry in front of her, but she catches me once in awhile. Last night I just couldn’t bring myself to make any dinner because I was upset about my mom, so scrambled eggs it was. Of course, that’s her favorite, so she was happy. My husband, not so much. Then the Garth Brooks concert from Notre Dame came on. That cheered me up, except the memories came flooding back how I first came to hear his music when I moved back home with my mom in 1992 after a bad break up. I was working in a bar in the small town where she lived and most people were country music fans. I wasn’t, until I hear Garth. I played “Friends in Low Places” over and over. Likely until most of my patrons got sick of it. If you didn’t watch the special last night, the last song he played was “The Dance”. That song gets me every time, no matter what. Well, I had tears streaming down my face thinking of my mom.

If you are a normal person, you probably had lots and lots of arguments with your mom throughout your life. I did too. Many as a teenager, as we all do, but probably more as an adult. We didn’t see eye to eye for a few years. We were thick as thieves when I was a kid, but at times when I was an adult, she still treated me like a child. I think she just thought I didn’t know anything at times and it really bugged me. I grew up very poor. We never had enough of anything. Not enough money, enough clothes. We constantly moved because the rent was too high. We were on food stamps at times. I remember a day in junior high when a girl asked me why I always wear the same clothes. It was because I hardly had any and I had to alternate them. I’ll never forget that day as long as I live. So many times in my life I wished I had been born to someone else. They say that we choose our parents, but I never believed it. I was always mad that my dad left my mom and left us with nothing. How would I ever choose those parents? I will tell you that I would choose my mom a million times over. I may have grown up with nothing, but I grew up with more love than any parent could ever give a child. I miss her so much.

I know I’m 50 years old and maybe I should be able to cope better at my age. Maybe it’s just because her death was so unexpected. I never got to say goodbye. I hadn’t even seen her since January. She talked about coming to visit over the summer, but she didn’t. I guess the hardest thing is because I am an only child, so I don’t have any siblings to share the grief with. Her brothers don’t have any kids, so I don’t have any cousins. Our family is very small. I see these huge families on Facebook, and I am so jealous. I always wanted to be part of a be family. I don’t really have many friends. Since I quit working when my daughter was a baby, everyone pretty much forgot I exist. I feel very alone.

Once the holidays are over, I hope things improve. I’ve been getting back to the gym on a regular basis, so that has helped. In January, I need to focus on cleaning closets and getting ready to sell our house, so that will keep me very busy. Then once it sells, we will be moving into a temporary place while we build and we will be ultra busy picking out new house stuff. I need to keep my mind occupied 100% of the time these days and I am much better off.

Church/Holiday Cards

I was bound and determined to get up and start getting back to church this morning. Somehow that extra hour of sleep didn’t kick in for me. Or anyone else in the house. My daughter was getting ready for Sunday School and my husband was getting dressed to drive her. I started having one of my sad moments and I started crying and decided I didn’t want to go. It was 4 weeks ago today that my mom died. Every Sunday morning, I keep reliving the moment my husband came in and told me she died. I repeat it in my head and I get paralyzed with sadness. Am I going to feel like this every Sunday for the rest of my life? This morning I just decided I wasn’t ready to be among people. I knew I would sit in the pews and just cry. In addition, I have joined a Compassionate Caring group at church that goes out to meet with the shut-ins and there was a meeting today. I missed the first meeting last month because it was the day my mom died. I didn’t know if I was prepared to go to the meeting and explain why I missed the first one, or frankly, if I’m ready to go meet with elderly people. My mom wasn’t by any means elderly, and she will never have the chance to be elderly. That’s not it. I just don’t know if I’m ready to go sit with people who I am supposed to be listening to and being compassionate, when right now I have a lot of problems of my own. I don’t to bring anyone down.

Anyhow, by the time we would have been halfway through the service, my daughter started feeling really sick. The poor girl has come down with an awful cold and was laying on the couch all day. Then I started feeling pretty awful too. I hope I’m not getting something. I literally just got over a cold a week ago. It’s cold, rainy, windy, and downright crummy outside, so I guess we didn’t need to go out today anyhow. We’ll try again next week.

I spent much of the day working on my holiday cards and a calendar I make every year for the grandparents. I had kind of a hard time making the calendar knowing my mom won’t see it. She always loved it. I’m super early on getting my cards done. I order them through Shutterfly and just put pictures on. I used to hand stamp them every year, but that was when I had time. They will be here before Thanksgiving and I’ll spend that night writing them out. I send 80 cards every year, but last year I received half of what I usually get in the mail. Has social media replaced holiday cards too? I actually saw someone post their card on Facebook last year! Really?! That’s totally uncool. Keep sending the cards people! It’s seriously the only time of the year you get more cards than bills. Other than when someone dies and you get a handful of sympathy cards. But that is way less merry. You’re going to have to trust me on that one.