Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Holiday Wrap-Up

So, the holidays mostly sucked for me, which is why I didn't post during them, because despite the title of my blog I am actually not the gloomiest of persons and I am getting tired of only seeming to be able to come up with complainy-sorts of things to say when I blog, and anyway I didn't want to get even more depressed during the holidays by complaining about them.

Even if I am brilliant at complaining.

But I feel the need to at least summarize.

So, I was sick (again), and I had a writing project due, because despite my best efforts to get it out of the way before Christmas, I couldn't start on it until the week before, because the client didn't get the data I needed to start it to me until then. And we had too many places we were obligated to go, with too little time, and Isaac was stressed out and angry and (*gasp*) wouldn't eat anything at anyone else's house, and everyone was constantly trying to give us loving and well-meaning and under-informed and, well, let's say, less-than-useful advice about his eating issues, such as "Strap him to a chair and don't let him out until he eats," or "Set a sixty-second timer and tell him he has to eat three peas before it buzzes or you'll force-feed him a whole pot," or, the old stand-by, my absolute favorite, "Ignore it-- he won't starve himself sick. No child would do that."

(Never mind that he already has).

ROLFMAO, my friends, ROLFMAO.

And I had a major blow-out with my sister over her not coming to see us on Christmas, or the Friday before or the Monday after Christmas, or even the weekend before or after Christmas, because her boyfriend wanted to visit his father and his foster sister and his cousins and his second cousins and his cousins once removed and his best friend and his ex-girlfriend's mother for Christmas instead. (That's right: my sister's boyfriend's ex-girlfriend's mother ranks higher than me on my sister's Holiday Visit list. True story*).

And John had to work on New Year's Eve, so I spent it alone with a cranky kid who couldn't sleep because of fireworks outside, and the the consequently sleepy Isaac took a frightful spill on the sidewalk and nearly broke his skull on New Year's Day, so we had to cancel on the annual family dinner, but that was probably for the best as at that point I wasn't sure if I could take one more person giving me friendly cockamamie advice on how to get Isaac to eat something without telling them to eat their own words. Pun intended.

And as usual, I missed my mother and my kid brother, the two of whom I haven't been able to visit with on a holiday since the year 2000. Despite having new family now, I still find myself longing pretty frequently for the old one. Even if they did drive me nuts all the time when I did still see them regularly.

But Isaac got a mad haul of toys from The Grandmas, and he had tons of fun playing with his smallest uncles, and our $10 mostly-Isaac-proofed holiday tree looked TOTALLY AWESOME, even if no one but us saw it. So it wasn't all bad.

In fact, it probably would have felt better if I'd maintained a better attitude from the beginning. I think my childhood experiences in a divorced and dysfunctional, constantly arguing family conditioned me to expect to be unhappy and stressed out on the holidays, so I wouldn't be disappointed when it inevitably happened. Trouble is, expectations like that can become a sort of self-fulfilling prophecy, where you get so stressed in anticipation of stress that you're stressed no matter what, even if things don't turn out nearly as badly as you anticipated.

That's a thing I need to work on, there.

So, here we go: a New Year's Resolution:

I will try to stop being such a freaking pessimist all the time ;)

*Edit: After I though about this, I felt the need to mention that the fact that my sister hangs out with her boyfriend's ex-girlfriend's mom is not actually quite as odd as it sounds. My sister's boyfriend's ex-girlfriend passed away suddenly and unexpectedly a couple of years ago, due to an accidental drug overdose, and although my sister's boyfriend and his ex had been broken up for a long time, the news of her death was still pretty hard on him, and of course it was devastating to the ex-girlfriend's mom. So I actually think it's rather honorable and kind of my sister to go with her boyfriend to visit his ex-girlfriend's mother on holidays. But I don't understand her using that obligation as a primary excuse for not being able to find even 30 minutes to spend with her own local family members over the holidays, especially considering that my sister lives less than 15 minutes away from us! Grrrr. Cue Lifetime docudrama music. My sister and I so have issues.


Andrea said...

I know what you mean about stress begetting stress. However, my parents are still married and for the most part, my family is considered normal ~ what's normal anyway??? ~ and I get just as stressed and hateful during the holidays as well. People, even well meaning ones, like to snipe at each other more during the holidays, and there's such a pressure to be "normal" during the holidays that if something isn't done in the mainstream, it's frowned upon. Not to mention I'm disgusted by the greed and retail blitz I see around me. Mike and I didn't even decorate, even though Gabe is old enough now to enjoy it. Why? Because time ran out, and we weren't having Christmas celebrations at our house because all the festivities were at Grandparents' and parents' houses, so we figured, let them decorate. Gabe's not missing out in that respect, and it's less for us to fight about ~ because we always fight over how to decorate being that it's hard to mash two stubborn traditionalist's traditions together into something cohesive. Of course, next year the decorations will go up, but it was a nice reprieve. Until I tell someone we didn't decorate and they act like I'm depriving my child because we didn't buy a tree that would dry out enough for the pine needles to become hypodermic needles. But I digress... I mainly wanted to say that the holidays are stressful for a lot of people, and you're not alone being glad that they are done.

Gina said...

you should know if you ever want company give us a call and we'll have a playdate. Blaine had to work until 10pm on NYE we could have come up and spent some time playing.

Jaelithe said...

Ah that would have been fun. Thanks Gina. I wouldn't have thought you'd want to drive all the way up here (John takes the car to DJ, so when he's working on weekend nights I'm stranded).