Broken promises of early holiday preparation has left me kicking myself from the near panic I find myself in as the mounting appreciations needing to be acknowledged to clients, family and friends. I have a love/hate relationship with the winter holidays. I am dumbstruck as I observe the pretty lights of my emotional yo-yo bouncing up and down. On the one hand, I love the lights, festivities and reconnecting with loved ones, but on the other, I am amazed at how large the network has grown and am overwhelmed by the prospect of even telling each one in a card I love them.
“Are you ready for the holidays?” Mothers ask me in a conspiratorial tone. It is one of a rebellious nature trying to break free from cultural norms of more, more, more! I fight the urge to blame my husband for his freedom and lack of responsibilities when it comes to the holiday season. Is it fair or even accurate? Not really, but everyone needs a scapegoat and he is mine. Should is a vile word to me during the holidays, and if I am being completely honest, pretty much all the time.
What is a holiday season without a fair amount of drama thrown into the mix. My favorite one we have had in our household for two years running is the dreaded stomach virus – proving there must be a mischievous sprite creating havoc in the winter season. Minute one – ‘mommy, I don’t feel good;’ minute two – projectile vomit flies across holiday fare like a nor’easter blizzard; minute three to thirty – the slow realization that all the stress and hard work I put into the food, gifts and clean carpets, in the violent storm of illness, has all been for not.
This holiday season, I was blessed with health insurance – something I do not have consistently. I thought I would further aggravate my holiday schedule by getting check-ups that were long overdue. What have I learned? My boobies are celebrities!! I went in for my first mammogram and I wasn’t sure I wanted to leave. It was like a spa – I was pampered and doted on by the staff. In the waiting room, calm, elegant women talked about their survival stories of breast cancer. As the youngest woman in the room, I wanted to show my support and understanding for their fears, setbacks, and triumphs. I admitted this was my first mammogram, but had experienced Lyme disease – apparently this qualified me and I was in the club. Women who were strangers one minute, bonded tightly, loved and encouraged one another with tight, heartfelt hugs and well wishes. It was my turn to go into the studio. My breasts were photographed and the images covered the screens; I think they felt special! A few days later, the office called and asked if I would return, because my boobies were so great, they wanted to see them again. This time, my boob felt like a runway model with cameras flashing from every direction, truthfully, I think my other boob was jealous. They have no gotten so much attention since I nursed my daughter! After all the photographs, I thought maybe my boob’s fame may be waning like a passing trend, but no, there is more to come. They assigned my boobie a temporary agent; I told her, as much as I like all the attention, this could really mess with schedule as the rest of me has several prior commitments. She told me, this next appointment may be the last for a year and I may have to wait until next year for another photo shoot. Fame is sooo fleeting!
I wake up the next several days at 4 am with the excitement of the season; I swear I have a five year old child living inside of me. I stay in bed trying to convince her to go back to sleep – it’s too early, I argue, you need sleep. I have whole conversations with myself in my head, but at 5:30 am, I conceded defeat and get up to write while the house gently slumbers in preparation for Christmas Eve festivities. I have let go of the mountain of lists, challenges and embraced the sheer joy of the season. The good in my life so far outnumbers the challenges while the trials become adventures in creativity. I wish you joy, love and buckets of fun this holiday whatever you honor. Until next year, have a Kuzala celebration.