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3 December 2002

Remember last year? (of course you don't, but I do.) Last year was a very difficult Christmas for me, for some reason. I didn't do a thing in preparation until the 24th, then I had my yearly nervous breakdown. Walt went and got a tree at some point--maybe the 23rd? 22nd? (Poor guy--seems that the only lot in town that still had trees was the Boy Scout lot and he knew better than to buy from them, since I rant and rave about it every year, so he drove all the way to the next town to find a tree!)

If it hadn't been for the kids, we'd still be waiting to get decorations up. The tree was decorated Christmas morning, just slightly before the family arrived. The dusting--all of those glass shelves, book shelves, etc., never got done. The only reason the dining room table got cleared was that we needed it for dinner. I just absolutely could not muster up any energy, interest, or enthusiasm for doing anything. I never did get Christmas cards sent.

It was the continuing holiday depression that comes with loss. When you lose people you love, when your life doesn't turn out the way you planned, when you think your holiday should be one way and it's turning out to be quite different, there it's just so hard to get interested in doing anything.

Christmas went off fine, of course. Thanks to the kids, the tree got decorated. Thanks to dim lights, the thick layer of dust wasn't as noticeable as it might have been. And thanks to a family that knows I'm the world's worst housekeeper, nobody said anything. I spent most of the day in the kitchen, so I wasn't around to look at and feel guilty for all the piles of junk that I never got cleared away. I made it through Christmas, somehow. I even sorta kinda enjoyed it, once it was underway.

So here we are, only 22 days before Christmas. Maybe it was that Thanksgiving was so very different. I didn't sit at Tahoe looking around at the empty places at the table. I didn't start my holiday season in tears because the people I wanted to be with weren't here.

Maybe it was being home alone on the Thanksgiving weekend. Maybe it was because I was caught up on transcription and was tired of playing Free Cell.

Who knows why, but at some point during the morning yesterday, I had this little feeling that if I were to start now, I might actually be able to avoid my yearly nervous breakdown. I went into the living room and looked at the disaster. The dining room table heaped with stuff, the layer of dust on the etageres so thick I could plant seeds in it and have a nice growth of something in time for Christmas. The credenza hidden by stacks of books, papers, bowls.

I got a bag and started tossing things. I managed to get the dining room table cleaned off and it looked so good, I thought maybe I'd start dusting the etageres. This is a job which usually takes about 45 minutes, since the shelves are covered with little souvenirs, all of which are dust catchers. In the past it's been an exhausting job which included hauling my bulk up onto chairs and balancing precariously while cleaning the upper shelves and the stuff on them. And at the end of the whole procedure, I was bone weary and exhausted.

Well, my word what a difference 80 lbs makes. The cleaning time was reduced. I bounced up and down off of chairs with ease. And when I finished, I felt just fine--neither exhausted, nor bone sore. In fact, I felt so good, I went on to clean another bookcase, and then to work at finding the kitchen counter.  (It's blue--I remember it now!)

In all I worked about 3 hours--which is about 3 hours more housework of this type than I have done in the past 2 years. I even....gasp...threw away stuff (ok--not a lot, but some).

When I called it a day, I realized that if I give 2-3 hours a day to "cleaning up" between now and December 25 (especially between now and December 10, when Dr. G gets back from vacation), I can totally avoid the nervous breakdown. Heck, we could even put up a tree by next weekend. I'm ready.

I guess life is finally looking better. I'm feeling more hopeful. It feels like the coming year will be a good one, not a depressing one. Maybe I'm coming back to life again.

It's a wonderful feeling.

I'm getting into the holiday spirit. Whoda thunk??

Quote of the Day

Until one feels the spirit of Christmas, there is no Christmas. All else is outward display--so much tinsel and decorations. For it isn't the holly, it isn't the snow. It isn't the tree not the firelight's glow. It's the warmth that comes to the hearts of men when the Christmas spirit returns again.

~ Unknown

Photo of the Day

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Look--there's even a Christmas
"thing" up as decoration!

(too bad you can't see how gleaming
the etagere shelves are)



One Year Ago
How Do I Love Thee? Let me count the miles
So in spite of dragging myself out into the rain to take two people who also probably would rather have stayed home in their jammies snuggled under a nice quilt, in front of a warm TV set, it turned out to be a good evening. Even despite nearly experiencing a very serious accident.

Two Years Ago

If Wishes Were Horses
I get such use out of my “old” things that I was surprised to discover that in the Smithsonian Museum of American History there is a display of kinds of Tupperware, which I am currently still using here in my own house.

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