* * * * * * *

"Life doesn't have to be perfect to be wonderful."
- Unknown

"That which does not kill you, makes you stronger."
- Handed down through the ages.

"Life's tough. It's even tougher when you're stupid."
- John Wayne

First Early Bedtime

Well, here I sit . . . winding down for the night.  And, surprisingly, I'm very tired.  Not my normal, late-night, go, go, go.  But, I think a lot of that is owed to apathy.  Depression.  Whatever you want to call it.  I don't feel particularly depressed, but I'm just . . . blah.  Not in a "bah humbug!" Scrooge kind of way; no, I don't feel the energy for that.  Just . . . blah.

I've been home for four of the past five days, and I've hardly gotten a THING done.  Oh, sure, I got that wall temporarily up and finished, and I rearranged and cleaned the living room.  And replaced the filter in the fish tank (a much larger task than anticipated).  And finally pulled out the stereo and took it apart and got it working again (after well over a year of annoying broken-ness).  But, I still haven't done anything regarding Christmas.  Christmas!  It's my favorite time of year!  I love hearing people talk about it, hearing carols played on the radio, hearing Lynne Rossetto Kasper asking Isaac Mizrahi what the holiday trends are in New York this year.  I want to bake cookies, I want to wrap gifts, I want a tree!  I just.  Can't.  Seem.  To.  Do it.

I guess it's no surprise, given my past year, but I don't understand why this, of all seasons, seems to be getting to me.  It wasn't like Christmas was huge to the ex:  I was always the one to do the decorating of both house and Christmas tree myself.  So, maybe it has nothing to do with the divorce at all.  Maybe it's just that I'm so completely and utterly exhausted.  The holiday season always requires that extra PUSH from all of us, and maybe I simply don't have any reserves left on which to call.

Maybe I'm outta whack because of the full moon.  And the full lunar eclipse.  I dunno, but it's something.

It's not that I don't want to celebrate; I do!  I just . . . seem to have to take baby steps on my way to getting there.  Maybe my tree this year will be like my cards:  a New Year's tree.  I know I'll be sad if Christmas passes over Swamp River Ridge, but I'm just not sure how I'll get there.  But, it does help to get this all out of my system by writing it down here.  Cathartic and all that rot.  ;)

And, yeah, I do need to focus on what I got done those first two days ("the wall") rather than the complete wad of NOTHING I got done in these past 48.  Bah!  Humbug!  (See, I guess I do have it in me!)  Okay (and feel free to skip over this self-indulgent bit), let's remember what I did get done these past two days.  I . . .
  • Did chores both days (chickens, geese, fed the furnace, chopped wood, hauled water).
  • Pretty much emptied out the car from the big city trip.
  • Did quite a few dishes.
  • Unpacked and assembled two new lamps.
  • Drank an entire bottle of wine.
  • Made myself decent meals.  That still tasted gross.  (See, I am out of whack.)
  • Tried to rid the refrig of the smell that is still gagging me just in its recall (rotten lettuce, I think).
  • Made a candle.  (One.  Whoo-freakin'-hoo.)
  • Put the digital trail camera up down the driveway yesterday.  Changed the batteries today.  It still won't work.  How much cold weather do they tolerate?  Seems like they're not much good if they don't work half of the year!
  • Cleaned up the kitchen.
(I'm reachin' here . . . !)
  • Did a load of laundry.
  • Got some business card work done for a client.
  • Worked on some Christmas presents.
  • Did a little online ordering.
Shee-it.  See why I'm down?  Gad, I need a jolt . . . of something!

So, with that complaining out of the way, I'll sign off.  And, yes, I realize I'm bitching and moaning.  Yes, I realize I truly have NOTHING to complain about (especially when I think about a friend whose husband and father to her two little boys returned safe and sound from a tour of duty in the Middle East today).

I'm going to shut down the house and trundle up to bed.  I've never been much of a person for a before-bed routine, but I think it will help my body settle into the "you're going to bed now" idea if I do the whole take-off-the-makeup, brush-your-teeth, wash-your-face.

Adios!  I'll letcha know how tomorrow's early alarm goes!


  1. Around the times of my life when there was something big that had gone down (death and divorce come to mind) I would usually be really good at what I would call managing how I felt about those losses. But still, every once in a while, they would sneak up on me and manifest themselves in unexpected ways. Like lethargy, or crying. You'll know if you've felt like this for too long; otherwise, do what you can and ride it out.

    My two cents' worth. Hope you get to celebrate Christmas in some way that is meaningful to you.

  2. When I went thru divorce, my best friend told me that if I felt like it or not, I had to get up every morning and shower, put make-up on, do my hair etc. even if I didn't want to. She said you have to 'fake it' until you get thru. So that's what I did and eventually it worked. Eventually. I felt ugly on the inside but tried not to look it on the outside. I think she might have been right.

    So you just keep plodding away. Make your own rules about when that tree goes up and comes down. Who cares? It's yours. Enjoy!

  3. May I offer a bit of insight for what it's worth? You've had loss this year, whether it was inevitable or not it was still a loss. Even though it wasn't an actual death, it was a death of what you had expected your life and marriage to be. With death comes grief which is usually especially profound at the first holidays you experience afterward. Each of us deals with grief in our own way-there's no "right way". Be gentle with yourself my friend! Sometimes pushing yourself because you think you have to makes matters worse and then you feel guilty which starts that cycle all over again. With the new year comes many new opportunities-perhaps this is your easy Christmas where you accept what is possible and let go what isn't. Don't beat yourself up because you haven't done some of the traditonal things. Give yourself permission to let it go, knowing that next year it will be different. Focus on what you need to do as you begin the new year rather than exhausting yourself trying to catch up from the old.

    Rest, eat, and take time to seek out some fun. Enjoy your family and know you have friends you've never met in person thinking of you and pulling for you!

  4. Thanks, Linda - that's exactly it. I'm usually pretty good about managing it all (really good, actually), but, yeah, sometimes it sneaks up behind and you and make you LETHARGIC. Good word! And, too, I also know when there's too much of that going on. I've taken myself off to a shrink before: I know when it's time. And, certainly, two days of lethargy don't make it time. Like I said, I haven't lost the Christmas spirit - it is inside me . . . I just can't get it to come out! :)

    Ms. Apple Pie, did you know? 'Fake it until you make it' is one of my favorite quotes! Usually it's applied to doing what's necessary to be a homesteader, etc., but you gave me a good reminder that it applies to these times, too . . . and yet I CAN "make my own rules" so that I CAN enjoy! Oh, you ladies are so smart!

    Oh, Becky, you are SO in the right profession! :) xo You know, last night as I was writing this post, I did think,"Hmm, what if I gave myself permission to start the New Year with a clean slate? Not worry about the things I *didn't get done* in 2010?" That would be HUGE for me. H-U-G-E. Like, life-changing HUGE. Yeah, I . . . well . . . I REALLY need to think about that. You couldn't have hit a nail more squarely on the head as it applies to me. Wow. And, to "be gentle with yourself"? Another r-e-a-l-l-y good lesson for me to learn. No matter what I say to others or project in my actions, I'm not very good at this . . . as witnessed by this / last night's post (focusing on "I didn't get this done, I didn't get that done, why am I so lazy"). Whooo - you have given me a lot to think about. Yikers. Starting the new year COMPLETELY fresh? No regrets? No excuses? Eeeek. (I think I can, I think I can, I . . . ?!)

  5. My gosh! You've got wonderful, intelligent readers and commentors!
    Such good, good advice.

    Hon, grieving takes time and it manifests itself differently for everyone. You have a huge loss to grieve. Not just this last year but so much more you've had to deal with before. Being a "glass is half full" kinda of gal, you've remained remarkably sane, sensible and "up" but the holidays (as they do for many people) have an odd, weird way of triggering feelings we maybe don't even realize are there.

    The way you're feeling is totally understandable even though you wish it weren't so. I agree you have to take it easy on yourself. IF you need an excuse for anyone, just say with a puzzled expression on your face, "This has been the strangest holiday season for me. I'm looking forward to next year being much different." I don't know of anyone who wouldn't support you in that. And if there is, lemme know and I'll take 'em out.

  6. I agree with these gals completely.
    I almost didn't comment they said it all so well. And I can say now looking back on my divorce, it was some type of mourning that I went through (although I felt relief.) But now that my life is good, and happy, I realize that it was really opportunity. An opportunity to learn from myself and to find me.

    My wish for you this holiday season is that you are able to relax, and spend time with YOU in the moment. B-R-E-A-T-H and rest. You will be wonderful and yourself (however maybe a bit of a new refreshed self) in no time.

    Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, and Cheers to new beginnings in the New Year!

  7. I certainly can't add more to what these great gals have said, but I can commiserate and have stood in your boots/shoes/clogs/slippers. I struggle with holidays, but try to focus on what the meaning is - and always end up looking forward instead of backwards. If all else fails, go spend Christmas wrapped in the warmth of your lovely family and start out fresh in 2011. Sending hugs from NY.

  8. Take your time and stop feeling guilty. You have been going non stop for a year. Sleep makes everything better. When you are drug down exhausted very thing looks worse then it is. All the other comments are great, now just take some of the advice to heart.
    You are a lot like me, stubborn bullheaded, do it your own way type of person. If it did not get done today it can always be done tomorrow. Please take care of yourself we all love you

  9. awwwwww! Yes, we got him back safely, yay! My first thought was exactly what your other gals are saying, this first big holiday after divorce or loss will be tough. It would not be unreasonable at all to take a break from it this year and start anew next year and add a little tradition in that is all your own! I did a tree after my divorce and it was hard to hang ornaments and want to turn and say something about each one to my other half and realize that there wasn't one... I had to be the "whole" all by myself. You WILL figure it all out,it just takes time, yep - fake it til ya make it!


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