I hate this time of the year.
I feel like I've just rejoined the world after a month of writing. The focus in that month is intense and it's hard to break it off, especially this time with the book not really done. I'm not ready to be done thinking about it or working on it.
December is like waking up in a bad dream. Always.
Everything about December is overwhelming. From weather to activities to keeping yourself sane.
The to-do list or the guilty-I-feel-like-I-should-want-to-do list can take your breath away.
There are layers to the overwhelmingness of this season.
Maybe it's all guilt.
Take the time to shop for the right gifts for the right people.
Make the treats.
Host and attend.
Wet mittens, cold feet, frozen fire wood.
School programs and activities and parties.
See the lights, the movies, the clothes.
Keep your attitude cheerful and joyous.
Put a wreath around your devotional spiritual choice.
Pour a drink, make another list.
Gingerbread and frosting.
This season is a time where I feel like I can't write. I can't think. I can hardly breathe. I just go from one list to another trying to keep up or catch up. It is a season of doing what others want of you. Meeting expectations. Playing games of try to make this person happy or be nicer than usual or more generous of time and resource. It's a game of making sense of people who are suddenly filled with a "holiday" spirit that is missing the rest of the year and not being openly doubting of it. This is a time of not missing all the little comments of likes and dislikes and wants and somehow not pushing all of those through the mental filters of greed and judgement.
I could just get more organized and handle the holiday season early so then I wouldn't have to deal with it all in December, but for me, that would mean doing it all in October or earlier. I don't want to think about the holiday that early. I'm selfish like that.
It's the same with deciding to just abandon all the pressures and expectations and do what seems right or sane to me. I could, but then I still have guilt and yuck of being selfish over the holiday. You just aren't allowed to be that. Especially with kids. Kids or any people in your life.
We won't even talk about all the home made things you're supposed to do with kids or the special devotionals or the way I always forget about all the non-immediate gifts like the teachers and kids friends and my own friends. We won't talk about how it feels bad to receive gifts or cards and know that I'm failing in some way to reciprocate or anticipate or be appropriately grateful.
Maybe it isn't anyone else. Maybe it isn't guilt. Maybe it's just me and I'm just grinchy by nature.