Saturday, December 26, 2020

The Moments Where Everything Gels

Whatever you celebrate during these shortened days of December, I hope it brought you peace this year.

Our family, with its secular Christmas, had a truly lovely day yesterday. (And you can't exactly see it in this photo, but our tree was twisted in such a way that we couldn't make it not lean. We decided it was a very 2020 tree.)

Christmas Eve was a little harder, where I put in very long hours at work trying to get instruments off my bench in time for people to use them over the holiday weekend, and the brakes on one of our cars died. I was exhausted and worn out when I got home, and found myself curled up alone in the back room of the house watching the beginning of It's A Wonderful Life.

I got overwhelmed by thoughts of how unfair it was this year that when I already miss people who have died, that I now have to miss the ones who are still here. In 2020 I've seen my mom, and one brother. Both masked. Both socially distanced so hugs were not possible. Everyone else I haven't seen in a year or more.

Plus, when you're upset, you tend to pile on and focus on the negative in general. Our old dog has gone blind and bumbles into everything, and gets caught in odd corners in the house where he either whimpers for help or gives up and just stands. Our house is giant mess. I'm tired of my back hurting. I'm behind on everything.

On top of it all, it didn't feel like Christmas. No snow. Most of our lights were dead when we pulled them out of the basement and it didn't seem worth the effort or money to replace them. I was feeling bad about presents since most of the boxes under the tree were cereal, and literally wads of bubble wrap with nothing in them but more bubble wrap. Normally I hand make my kids little mini versions of their Halloween costumes to add to a box, and it's something personal, but no costumes this year, so no minis to sew.

But then I got my best present of the year. One of my teens, who has tended toward the aloof and surly in recent months, discovered me crying alone in the back room. They asked if I was okay. I said I would be, but this Christmas was hard. They asked if I wanted them to sit with me. I said, "Do whatever you want," which is normally the response I get when I make any suggestions to them lately.