I'm getting a little crusty around the edges these days. I wrote (and deleted) an entire whiny little rant about not liking the person that I am at this very moment in time. I wrote it last night. I reread it this morning. It is as true this morning as it was last night. But the question is "Why?" Why am I feeling this way?
I am doing the right things for the wrong reasons (my fingers just typed those words - that is not what I planned on writing).
I am going through the paces of Christmas. In doing the 'right things' (more specifically 'write things', in my case), I can usually push my way through my disdain of the material expectations that this season tends to illicit. I don't usually settle on giving 'material' gifts ... I give my time instead. It feels better. It feels right. For me.
This year, I didn't feel the inspiration to do the write things. In a panic, I ran out and bought five gifts for my Daycare Family. I thought 'if I have nothing else to give, I can give this'. But it is not enough. Not even for the families that started coming here only a few months ago. I need to give just a small piece of myself within my gift otherwise it feels shallow. That is me. That is the way I roll.
I give 'words' at Christmas. My letters and handwritten messages are 'my gift'. I have laughed it off in Christmases past "They say talk is cheap and they are right ~ this letter is the only thing that I can afford!" The joke was on me. The more that I gave of myself, the better I felt. It was a win-win situation. I learned to like this season-of-giving again, by giving what came naturally to me.
This year, my biggest 'gift' is a gift that is consuming me a little more than the rest. It is a 'gift of words' to my family. A promise. A promise that no one in the world is badgering me to keep (in fact, the mere lack of pressure has made this project become my longest, most drawn out writing project to date).
I have been puttering with my dad's family's memories. One chapter at a time. Each morning I work with one chapter of 'The Book' and try to tidy it up a bit. Then I place it out into a space where the family has access to watch over this work-in-progress.
I tease myself each and every morning by dipping my toes into this project, then I must pull myself back into the Real World and take care of my Daycare Family and putter with other Christmas Projects. It is like pulling teeth, to work on 'the trivia' that is Christmas ... when my heart is elsewhere.
I think that I just stumbled across the dilemma that I am feeling inside of me. Each and every time I think of working on my Family Project, I feel the desire to run away to a remote location where it is only 'Me and Our Book'. I want to shut out the world and immerse myself in memories. I want to feel them. I want no other distractions. Sometimes I think that I feel 'those who no longer walk this earth' whispering in my ear "Please be careful with these memories ... ".
It is a privilege to work with the memories of our family and I don't treat it lightly. Perhaps that is why I am struggling with the other Gifts of the Season this year. They feel so trivial in comparison (and they are taking me away from what I would rather be working on).
The truth is, that if it wasn't for the Season of Giving, I would not even have pushed myself out of my state-of-idling to start working on our family book project. The gift that I have given to others has (in the end) truly been a gift to myself.
I have almost two weeks of holidays over the Christmas season. Twelve days. If it was any other time of year, I could sequester myself into my quiet little corner of the house and immerse myself in all-things-book-related. But 'this season' is pushing me where I don't (really) want to be.
First and foremost, I am a mother. I need to be a part of my own little family's Christmas memories. I need to forget everything else in the world and simply exist within my own family unit.
Secondly, I am a daughter and a sister. There are places I want to go and people I want to see. Mom has cancelled her plans to come here for Christmas so I could/should go out to see her. And I will. Dependent on travelling conditions.
Third (this is the one that hurts), I have a second-job commitment. I had planned on working this upcoming Sunday and making myself unavailable during my vacation-from-daycare. When I last spoke to my boss, that was not going to work for her and she needed me to work one day of my vacation. This one wild card has put the rest of my holiday plans completely out of kilter.
I feel that I can plan nothing because travelling is dependent on weather conditions. My work availability will cut up the flow of my holiday no matter when I squeeze it in. I needed to work this weekend and put 'work' out of the equation.
And all I really want to do ... is stay at home. I want to enjoy the quiet moments with my family. When they wander off into their own lives, I want go into my room-with-a-door and lose myself in our family book project.
It is a simple wish. Oh. And I would also like oven mitts. Please.
If the Westjet Christmas Miracle would have happened to me, I would be standing along beside the guy who asked for socks and underwear...