Do you find that the days following Christmas are somewhat anticlimactic? I mean, I usually spend the last part of November through well... Christmas Eve running around shopping for that "perfect" gift, attending silly white elephant exchanges and staff Christmas parties. Throw in to the mix that for 95% of the functions I'm attending I am also required to bring a food item of some sort. So, of course that means extra grocery shopping. And extra cooking. Not to mention I like to make baked goodies and candies to give out at random. There are a few treats that I ONLY make at Christmas time, like peanut butter balls and Peanut butter cup cookies. They taste so much better when one anticipates their deliciousness for a whole year. ;)
Now, don't get me wrong... I usually love this. I love they way most everyone is moving together towards one common goal.... well except on black Friday when that "one common" goal is the last cashmere scarf that is on sale and some chick with her arms loaded down with the about 25 of them cause she plans to sell them on ebay, nearly knocks you down with her baby stroller. Well, then all my good will towards men ( and women) is left behind in a puff of designer perfume.
But I digress...
As I was saying.. I love the unity, the oneness, the parties and the singing. But what usually happens is, as I run in the door from one party and two hours later run out the door for another, clothing and receipts and paper reindeer projects are thrown about like confetti all over my home. That is until it's my turn to host and I quickly gather all the mess and stuff it into the office and shut the door..and lock it... which is an important step if you have 3 kids who will certainly open that door at the most inopportune time, revealing your big ugly secret to all your holiday guests. Then locks are imperative.
So today and yesterday, during the lull between Christmas and New Year I have spent some time "de-cluttering". You know, files and junk drawers and closets etc. I started last night with my email in-box. I know, strange.. but.. I don't have any explanation..it's just what I do. I wanted to keep the things that were important or special. There were emails with birthday pictures attached, news of my 2nd pregnancy, the emails where we let people know the updates with Jillian's health and ALL the encouraging emails we received back, news of the death of my dear friends baby and all the supporting, prayerful, tearful emails that replied.
And here's my point: As I read these emails...there were several from my oldest and dearest friends, my loved ones, new friends, friends that I made when I moved here. There were several that as I look back have remained steady friends..either for several years or for just a few. I was surprised at the relationships that I still have with some of these women. There are a few that I would have thought unlikely to be close friends ..but have proved to be exactly what I needed/need in my life. Some... we met and were instantly tight knit... and are still close to this day.
I could see that through all the emails..the consistency of these women in my life didn't change. They were the ones I ranted too, cried too, sent silly forwards too, etc.
Some of the women I don't talk to much anymore. And I'm not surprised by this either. We are not enemies, we just are acquaintances. And that's ok.
But I will say... there are about.. well 2..that have completely blindsided me. One in particular that for reasons not really known to me, has all but cut me out of her life. She isn't mean or spiteful and if I do happen to talk to her or see her... she is polite. I am only vaguely aware of the things that have happened in her life that are related to this "cutting of ties" so to speak and I have really searched my heart over and over and I know that.. it has nothing to do with me. I suppose in a way she is doing what she feels she needs to do to "de-clutter" .
It has taken me some time..but I am at peace with this. I will say I was a little surprised and hurt.. for more than just a little while. I had thought we were closer. She, apparently, had not. I have had to deal with the fact that she found it so easy to walk away. I took it personal and even blamed myself. But through all this de-cluttering I have realized, once again, it has nothing to do with me.
I am working on being able to let go of the burden of feeling "responsible" for EVERYONE'S behavior. I simply.. am not.
People come and people go. God has a way of helping us declutter the relationships in our lives. Sometimes I don't want that. I want to go on about my merry way, with everyone moving happily in the same direction, working towards a common goal. Trouble is... people change directions. And when I try to hang on to them as they run their way and I continue mine, I am pulled and become aggravated and frustrated and the relationship quickly becomes toxic. I was never aware that this is what has been happening... but it explains SO much.
As hard as it is for me to say good bye to these ladies that at one time meant a great deal to me... cause pretty much EVERYONE in my life means a great deal to me :/, It is what I need to do. I need to de clutter my mind, my heart, my time from the people and relationships that I can no longer influence in a positive way and who suck the life out of me.
I hold no hostility or animosity. I wish no ill will on anyone. Quite the opposite... I pray for peace and blessings and favor for them. They are NOT my enemies... I only have one and that is Satan.
They are still my sisters in Christ and at ONE TIME we were good friends. So I am letting go of all feelings of guilt and condemnation and responsibility for their choices and praying God's best for their lives, as I hold tightly to the relationships in my life that have been the constant, consistent, flexible, patient, understanding of my bouts- of- insanity, pour into my life, open their hearts to me, hold me accountable women. I am re- organizing my thinking, my priorities, my relationships.
There is a place for everything and everything is in it's place. There are the fair-weather friends that will always occupy a place in my heart, but not necessarily my day to day life ... and then there are my stormy -weather, all for one, one for all, push comes to shove, ain't walking out, regardless of geographical location friends. And they... well they each hold a piece of my heart in their hands.
Saturday, December 25, 2010
Christmas 2010 turned out to be a pretty peaceful one. I have to say I had my doubts. I just had the hardest time finding "the Christmas spirit" this year. It's been an emotionally grueling year and the month of December wasn't any different. I'm still not sure if it's circumstances or spiritual (probably both) but I sure experienced the blues this year.
Thankfully, my kids have turned Christmas into something more special than I ever could have imagined. I do believe the anticipation of waiting for the kids to get up on Christmas morning is even greater than that which I experienced as a child. When I was a little girl, my brothers and I used to all camp out in their room. We would listen to Christmas carols, sneak out to check for Santa and tickle each others feet. The sleepover is a tradition we chose to continue with our kiddos. And while it's a little tricky now, trying to get everyone to sleep and all.. I do believe it will be a special time for them for years to come.
I loved the looks on their faces this morning as they came into the living room and saw their presents sitting in front of the fireplace. The glow from the Christmas lights gave the room such a warm, magical feeling. Nate, my parents and I looked on as they took turns opening their stockings and squealing with delight at the goodies inside; bubble gum, barbie dolls and even a personal roll of tape for each child (My kids have a strange fetish with scotch tape this year).
As I watched them, laughing and grinning and loving each other. My heart was at peace. And that was my only Christmas wish this year.
They really are amazing kids. And I get to be their mom. And if I never do anything else ... I am their mom. And that is enough.
The spirit of Christmas is love... Christ's love. A mother's love. A family's love.
Merry Christmas everyone!!!
Posted by Monica at 9:03 PM