Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Have you ever been depressed?
Really depressed? Not bored, or lonely, or stressed out.
Depressed, and for no reason that makes sense to any sane person.

It's the holiday. You're supposed to be happy on a holiday. You're supposed to clean your house and watch movies and eat junk food and lounge in your pajamas even though allllll of your laundry is clean. Very, very clean. And folded. And put away. You're supposed to read that stack of books on your nightstand and work on your drawings and chase the cat off the wrapping paper five hundred times even though it would be easier to put her in the bathroom until you've finished wrapping the gifts.

But sooner or later, that stuff gets done and then it's you nursing a mug of tea and thinking your unhealthy thoughts and falling asleep in front of Star Trek again, and you wonder if the holidays were as much a misery for the adults in your life when you were small and you were just so busy being a kid you didn't notice. My brother concurs. He feels it, too.

I'm sitting here with the tree I forced myself to decorate even though it sat around the house for over a week in garbage bags driving the cats bonkers and making the place look bad. I put it up when the kids were here but left it bare because no one else seemed to care, either. It wasn't until two days before Christmas I begrudgingly hung just enough ornaments to fill up the three quarters of it you can see. I wound the tinsel around to cover the same spots.

Just where you can see.

I never do that. I remember a story I read once about the sculptor who carved the Lincoln monument. He carved in excruciating detail every part, even the ones people would likely never see because HE knew they were there.
I can't say my Christmas tree compares to the Lincoln monument. I don't think there is anyone suffering under the delusion that my tree is even pretty this year, but that is how I used to operate; like someone might stick their head in the corner and see that I had decorated the whole tree, even if that person was me. I wasn't excited about it, but I cared about the little things.

This year, there is no detail.
There is no smaller secondary "Grinch Tree" which was all about me, anyway, but still, the little things...
There are no cookies, nothing is wrapped, there's been no attempt at greeting cards.
The greeting cards are always a fail, but I usually at least try.
I haven't seen Ralphie in his rabbit suit, Max pulling the sled, Jack Skellington fucking up everything.

And I don't think it's just me.
I don't think it's just my family.
The world looks tired.

I need a new
point of view.

What do you do for the holiday that makes you happy?
What do you do that gets you moving?
Where do you find your joy?

I'm serious because...

It's the Holiday and My Kids Aren't Here

It's the holiday and my kids aren't here.

No, it's not that kind of post. I wish my kids were here.

The kids not being here means my house is cleaner and more orderly than the house of any parent has a right to be. There are only a few dirty dishes in the sink. The couch blankets are only a little disheveled. But for a pair of socks and a dishtowel, the laundry is clean.

The kids not being here means I worry, now, about those half dozen dishes, the token socks and dish towel. That light layer of dust on the base of the TV. The books that the cat has knocked off the shelf and I have put back on until there is no sense of order at all. Ray Bradbury and Laura Ingalls Wilder sit in uncomfortable silence next to Stephen King, and together they look in puzzlement at Stephenie Meyers and wonder how it came to this.

As clean as everything is, I have the hardest time not doing those tedious tasks. I keep telling myself, "If only I wash up the last few dishes, if only I wash those last few towels, if I stop for a minute and wipe the base of the TV, it will all be perfect."

But it won't.
It will not be perfect.
It will never be perfect.
It is never, ever, perfect.

Those things, they do need to be done, but doing them does not mean they won't need done again.
That something else won't then fail to be up to snuff.
That, and need is such an overused word. Do I "need" to sort out my tea cabinet?
Maybe for my sanity, but the house won't fall into disrepair if I don't do it. Nothing will catch fire if I don't do it. The cats won't notice if I don't do it. The only cabinet they notice is an empty cabinet with a cracked-slightly-open door.
The tea I drink is all near the front, anyway.

And there are other things to do.
I have art that is gathering even more dust than the television set,
cookie-baking ingredients that are fast becoming the first, second, and third helpings of my breakfasts, TARDISes to build, blogs to blog, and an amazing boyfriend whose company I should enjoy while we both have the time to spend.

The question is, "How?"
How do you not OCD people, and maybe more appropriately, how do you completely OCD people stop looking at the state of your silverware drawer and get to the important stuff?
I'm really asking because,

Saturday, December 21, 2013

The Grinch Who's Too Broke for Christmas

Christmas is almost upon us. Shoppers and stores in a state of last minute panic. People are filling in the holes, or just now getting started...
And you're trying to buy for that one person who has asked you to please, please, please, for the love of God, don't buy her anything.

That person? Is serious.
No, reall
NO, re
NO. Shut UP a second. (I saw that with love.) She really is.
Yeah, I know you want to. I know you've told her she doesn't need to reciprocate because that's not why you're doing it.
I knOW you mean this.
But when you're honest with yourself, if someone buys you something, and you don't buy them something back, don't you feel just a tad guilty?
Be honest.
You do.
Yes, you do.

And that's what you're buying your friend for Christmas.
A big ole' box o' guilt.

Are you seriously still arguing with me?
There's no, "But I wanted to do this!"
No. Not how it works.

If you've really gotta do something, hang out with your friend.
Heat some boiling water and have a sit-down mug of tea.
Watch "The Nightmare Before Christmas" and share a cookie.
Your broke friend probably can't bake.

If you wanna be nice for Christmas, do that.

(Disclaimer: This is not directed at my mom. She's unstoppable.)