Tuesday, December 31, 2013

What to Do

On Thanksgiving, it came to light that it was necessary for me to remove myself from a specific relationship because it is toxic.  On the surface, the event itself could be seen as an argument, but when you look more closely at it, it was, as I characterized it in a previous post, an unprovoked attack.  To reinforce my thinking, everyone who was present was not only blindsided by the attack, but were also attacked one after another, although I was the first and did not witness the others. I just heard about them later.

Suffice to say that things were said by this person that were not "heat of the moment", "said in a moment of anger" kinds of things - they were age-old accusations and recriminations held over the course of a lifetime, many of which don't actually have anything to do with me but are damaging and hurtful nonetheless.

So, a few days after Thanksgiving, the person sent me a brief and awkward apology via Facebook. I struggled to reply and decided that I had no reply. It was not my intention to make the person squirm, but not only do I not believe their apology, I am not prepared to forgive them or accept the apology. Ultimately, I did not respond to them as I felt I was not ready to do so.

Tonight, another missive came via Facebook. I am torn because I do not have any interest in continuing a relationship with this person. At all. We were not close before, so I'm not passing on something that I will regret for the rest of my life.  In fact, I have felt a sense of peace that I do not have to deal with the person at all and have looked forward to the absence of this tension in my life. On the other hand, I know that to continue in this manner hurts other people.  Originally, I submitted to superficial movements and approaches because I felt it was the right thing to do for other family members. It has been a challenge and Thanksgiving was just the final straw for me.  Now, I don't really know what to do. I know what I want to do, but I don't know if that is the right thing to do. It is right for me, but not everyone involved.

I want to be a better person, but I'm not sure I can.  I'm not going to put any time-pressure on myself to make this decision, but it has been on my mind tonight since I got the other note.  Am I looking to be right or to be happy?  Are they the same thing in this instance?  Who would I hurt if I decide to sever ties? Who would I hurt if I decide to reestablish some kind of superficial relationship with strong boundaries? Maybe I'm overthinking it. Maybe not. What to do...

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas Eve Traditions - Revamp

For a variety of reasons, this year is a bit of a slimmed down Christmas. It feels weird, but good.  I went out for a little last minute wrap-up gifts and found that I really have most everything I need.  I brought it all home, wrapped it all up and am ready to go.  This is momentous as I have NEVER in my adult life been done wrapping on Christmas Eve proper. I usually stay up well into the night after scrambling all day long to get all my errands done.

My office is open on most holidays, so on more family-oriented holidays, I like to bring some food and treats to the folks who are working. This year, we were supposed to be closed on Thanksgiving, but at the last minute, some folks wanted to work and we needed them. Unfortunately, I had already made plans for the day and I didn't do my usual treat-bringing. No one said anything until today (there were only 2 people there that day), but it was noticed.  I have felt twinge-y since then, so I knew I would want to bring something for today and tomorrow.  Since I live a ways away, that always takes up a couple of hours, plus the last minute shopping, etc.

One year, Roby and I stayed up all night wrapping gifts in extra heavy duty tinfoil.  Roby thought it would "look cool". It did - very chrome-like.  The downside was that all the foil kept ripping on the edges. Imagine wrapping a giant Cuisinart box in tinfoil.  Ahem. We only did that once. And we were young...

Anyway, I'm at loose ends now that I'm not frantically wrapping gifts or running around trying to deliver stuff. It feels weird and good at the same time, like I said.

Now comes the part where I start thinking about how I want to open up the new year and the things I want to do and the ways I want to document the year.  I have already signed up for the second part of Brene Brown's eCourse - "The Gifts of Imperfection". Check it out if you are so inclined.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

2014 - Recovering My Voice

I guess I just needed some time to cocoon this year, but I'm looking forward to 2014. I feel like something has shifted in me - something good.  I am feeling hopeful and ready to do some things to infuse joy into life. It isn't that there hasn't been joy this year - just that it has just happened rather than purposeful joy.  I like making it happen. I like thinking about making it happen.

Art will be an important part of recovering my voice. I started caring what everyone was going to think instead of appreciating the process. It isn't really about the product ultimately - it is about the process - creating, exploring, discovering. I used to find that with words, but right now, colors and images are calling to me.

This is good.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

An Odd Thought about Christmas

I was reading this blog tonight, as I do on Sunday evenings.  When I came across several photos of kids with Christmas trees, I realized something.  When people ask me what my favorite Christmas gift was from childhood, I can't really say.  I have this montage of Christmases that go through my head, but I don't have really any one toy or item that I remember in that way.  Maybe the stereo I got when I was about 14?

We don't have endless photos of us in Christmas finery or going to buy Christmas trees...I don't know how many real trees we had. I remember where I lived, I remember the Christmas we drove from Pennsylvania to Dallas, Texas with all of our unopened Christmas gifts on the roof of our Ford Pinto.  I was 9 years old. I remember crossing the mighty Mississippi River and asking my dad if he was sure he had tied down the box that held our gifts. I never liked to tell people this story because I felt like I shouldn't have been worried about those presents. I was. We had just moved back to the States from Germany and everything we owned in the world was on some ship somewhere on its way to Florida to sit in storage. The only hope of fun or comfort was tied to the roof of the car.  As the wind blew across the top of the car, I could feel it sway and I had images of the box opening and everything - all the wrapped gifts with their ribbons and bows flying out and floating down the river. I didn't say anything more about it because I didn't want them to know that I was afraid of losing it all.  The only gift I remember from that year, specifically, is a set of word search books.  I worked my way through every single one of those books eventually.

We never did anything on Christmas Eve - it was all about Christmas morning and then playing all day and trying not to irritate my father. He sat silently in his chair most years - observing but not participating. Not even to take pictures.

I fall somewhere in between now. I like the music, I like the decorations, I like people trying to be nice to each other. I don't like the social pressure, I don't like hypocrisy ("Let's hang out together for hours and hours and spend lots of money on each other, giving gifts that are completely meaningless because they aren't heartfelt"), I don't like feeling like I HAVE to be cheerful all the time. I wish I could enjoy it more. I do.

This year, I have been listening to more Christmas music and I have most of my shopping done. That has to count for something...right?


Blog Widget by LinkWithin