Friday, December 18, 2009

Where's My Christmas Spirit?

Warning: This post contains, in part, the appearance of complaining, whining, venting, guilty feelings, and other crazy nonsense. Read at your own risk.

I have to admit that I've been having a hard time getting into the Christmas spirit this year. On a day to day basis I don't think I'm feeling completely overloaded. However, my actions might speak differently. I have completely forgotten (a couple of things) that I had committed to being a part of. Things that I wanted to do. Things that make myself (and others) look bad, and I REALLY hate letting people down.

I finally put my Halloween and Fall decorations away just a couple of weeks ago. There is dust an inch thick where my decorations used to be and to be honest, it will likely remain that way for a while. And since I am on this honest kick, I was even OK without putting up a tree this year (despite my kids begging me, which makes me feel like a horrible mother) and finally told Tim that if he wanted a tree he would have to be in charge of it.

I didn't even start my Christmas shopping until tonight (anything that has been done, has been done by Tim up to this point). I don't feel depressed, or angry, or sad, or even stressed. I really don't know what my problem is. I just feel blah.

Yes, we've had a few curve balls thrown at us the last few months. We've obviously had Ethan's surgery and subsequent infection which has really drawn out his whole healing process. Our "reliable" vehicle has broken down TWICE in the last 2 months which has cost us an arm and a leg to fix. And then to top it off, yesterday I got a LARGE bill in the mail for Ethan's surgery which should have been covered by our insurance, but, after an hour and a half phone conversation (and several tears), I was told that we were now responsible for it (a very long and complicated story). Seriously?

Well of course I panicked and called Tim at work over this bill. But to my surprise, he remained very calm and reassured me that everything would be worked out and even if it meant that we would have to pay more than we had expected, we are OK because we still have Ethan. And not only do we still have him, he is happy and he is healthy (OK, cue the guilt).

Well to make this story quick, Tim was right. His boss was amazing and immediately got things taken care of. I get teary thinking about it because honestly, that was my "straw". That one bill is what threw me over the edge, and it didn't need to. We're fine. And like Tim told me, we would still be fine, even if things didn't go as planned.

So where is my faith? I've been shown time and time again that things work out the way they are meant to. Do we have a lot of bills? Sure. But who doesn't? Life happens. Cars break down. Hospitals want to get paid. Kids want to eat :).

Are we rolling in the dough? No. But, can we pay our bills? Yes. We have good jobs. We have 4 priceless children. We have a wonderful marriage. We have our health. We have a supportive and loving extended family. We have good friends. We have our educations. We have a nice home. We have great neighbors who care about our family. And when it all boils down, we are happy (although I am aware that it may not seem like it in this venting session of mine).

I feel strongly about showing gratitude and being aware of the things that we DO have in our lives. My list could go on and on for what I am grateful for. Honestly, I count my blessings daily. I really do.

But all of that just makes me more confused and feeling guilty. Knowing all of this, why am I so blah? Why can't I FEEL the Spirit of Christmas? Why can't I get myself in gear? I'm going through the motions but I just can't seem to get there. I don't want to make excuses for myself. Everyone has their own trials and mine, although they may be different, are no worse than anyone else's. In fact, I have it better than a lot of people out there. So why can't I get that feeling? Why?

This is the point in my post where any suggestions will be welcomed.

For what it's worth, Merry Christmas!



cici said...

Dear Allison,

You are not alone. This season is very different indeed. I think we have finally come to the reality that it is not about the Christmas decorations or the Tree ot the Media telling us we should spend
for most of us it is not the most wonderful time of the year. For many of us it is pure added stress. You have been through a lot of worry and need to relax and enjoy the Holidays anyway you choose. Let the kids decorate the tree. They will love it and have more fun. I think it's time we all
remember the true meaning of Christmas and not the commercial one. I pray we both have the blahs lifted!
Merry Christmas Sweetheart!

Ty and Ber said...

Allison, I love you! And I have so been were you are now. Last year was the worst for me. I would ask my husband why I was such a Scrooge when it came to Christmas. I didn't want to put up the tree I hated Christmas music and would get mad whenever I heard it. I do hate the commercial aspect of Christmas but I think I was a bit more stressed than I let myself believe. I prayed a lot. Prayed for strength, gave thanks for my family and my Savior and asked for help focusing on the true meaning of Christmas. It took some time but I was able to enjoy Christmas finally.
So, forget about the inch of dust, the presents that you haven't purchased, and everything else that you feel like you should do. You don't have to do them, and don't feel guilty, your dust will still be there later and will have probably recruited friends so you will have 2 inches of dust and it's OKAY. Gather your little family together, enjoy their love and company and think about the Savior and His love for you.

Merry Christmas, Allison! I hope that you are able to enjoy the rest of this season. May your burdens be a little more light.

buddens said...

Something I have learned in my life is that just because you're aware of your blessings, it doesn't mean your problems go away. I'm super glad I don't have some of the problems other people have, but I still have the ones I have and they have to be dealt with. Sometimes that includes some blah weeks or months, and some reworking of how you approach things. Hang in there, I'm sure part of it all for you is just exhaustion - and don't discount emotional exhaustion! It's a doozy, and can't be fixed by a good night's rest like physical exhaustion can. Love you! Merry Christmas!

Fowers Family said...

You obviously read my post too! I am feeling the same way! Thanks god for husbands as mine holds me together too! How did we find such great men in our lives! No matter what you have each other, and sometimes that comfort goes a long way. We just need to remember that some Chirstmas's are better than others and that the kids won't remember the bad ones! I think we are both due to Olive Garden and a two hour talk! I am availabe all next week after Christmas. I will try and call you again. Love ya, Jody

PS ditto what the other posts said. Sometimes the things we get under the tree are not what makes us happy!

Heart Mommy said...

Hahahha... Ditto, no good advice... Just remember, we may not have our heart babies next year to do a redo.... LIVE IT UP!!!!

Karalee said...

It is so easy for me to feel the same way and more often than not, this year I do. The only thing that brings it back to me is truly looking in my childrens eyes, to their excitment and antisipation and singing christmas songs with April in the car...that's all I have to offer.

gatherum1 said...

Sometimes life is about going through the motions without the warm, cozy emotions to help us along. It's about pressing forward with faith in Christ, regardless of how empty we might feel. It's not about the feelings. It's about doing your best and giving the rest to Christ to worry about. It's about giving yourself a hug and knowing you are good enough. You have endured a ton over the last few months. Stress simply takes its toll. Your lack of warm fuzzies is predictable and OK. The blahs are nature's way of telling you your tank is getting empty and it's time to take care of yourself. God will watch over you and provide the real necessities. Christmases will come and go, but Christ will always be there.

summergibbs said...

The thing that gets me the most excited about Christmas is the giving back. Even if it's only taking treats to our friends and neighbors. I'm also excited to let my kids open their pajamas after dinner on Christmas Eve and then we will all snuggle in our bed and watch a movie. That's what it's all about...being with the ones you love. You'll get just have to find a way to let all of the stress go for a couple of days. It is what it is and worrying doesn't change anything. I hope you and your family have a very Merry Christmas!

Tiffany said...

Didn't writing all of that down feel so a hard-core emotional purge? That would have been my advice, but you did it already :)

Some people go through trials because there are things they need to learn and stretching that needs to occur. And then there are people like you that go through trials just to show the rest of us whiners the RIGHT way to handle trials. You are an amazing example. Hang in there. Merry Christmas.