Yesterday was a much needed day of rest around here. Truth be told...I had more than my fair share of down time this weekend- emotional, physical, and spiritual in nature. I came home early from work on Friday and didn't leave my house again until it was time for Sunday mass. And as long as I'm telling the truth, I confess that I almost skipped church altogether this week. I realized that I wouldn't be setting a good example for my kids who had come home early and unhappily from their grandparent's solely for this obligation.
The holiday really took a toll on me this year. I just couldn't put my finger on it, but something was just not right. The food was delicious. In fact, hubby and I both agreed that my Dad's turkey was the best ever and my step mother's sweet potatoes good enough to take seconds. The fellowship was fun and festive. We stayed late into the night playing Trivial Pursuit (hubby and I won) and Poker with family and friends. Still at the end of the day (and all during the day too), I felt a lingering, nagging sadness. Feeling sad made me angry with myself. Angry because I know I have have so much, so many to be thankful for. Each holiday, every milestone celebrated without my Mom makes me feel like I am losing her as I move forward without her, and therein lies the sadness. But when I am dwelling in my sadness, I am not even present in the here and now let alone moving forward, and that makes me mad. These negative emotions just bring me down, paralyze me.
I woke up on Friday and I felt like I was being assailed by the turbo speed onslaught of Christmas. It's like someone flipped the switch during the few hours I slept Thanksgiving night and instead of feeling grateful, I was supposed to feel jolly and joyful. Pumpkins needed to be replaced with Poinsettias...cornucopias with Christmas trees, sales needed to be shopped and parties planned. I tried. I just couldn't do it. I failed to find my Christmas spirit and I shut down. I am so not a Scrooge either!
So I guess it's a good thing that my kids spent most of the weekend with their grandparents and cousins. They had so much fun that Miss Bit came home scarcely audible her little voice a gravely whisper, and T. Bone had dark bags under his droopy eyes. And it's also a good thing that I went to church. Father Brian urged us to celebrate this advent season spiritually. I plan to faithfully revel in the miracle that is Christmas as fervently as all of the other festivities. When I got home, I was actually able to get out a few decorations. Miss Bit helped me in between games on the computer, the boys watched football, and the cats slept. We all sat down for a family dinner, and as I looked around the table, I remembered just why I am so joyfully thankful.