I am feeling sad and cranky and plain today, and my hair is kind of dumb and I’m tired of all my shirts. Paul and I had another argument, and whatever, the upshot was that I started cleaning out the basement storage area, and feeling about 10% satisfaction and 90% resentment-and-why-did-I-marry-a-jerk-who-was-such-a-jerk.
It HAS been satisfying to get rid of some things. I had two medium boxes of baby things I’d forgotten I still had—not particularly sentimental stuff, but the few practical things I’d kept Just In Case: the only front carrier I ever liked, the few receiving blankets that worked best, a hooded towel, the best play gym ever, the favorite baby toys. Time to get rid of those.
Also, do you remember the mother-in-law dishes? That was a long time ago and still so satisfying to me to think of. I swear those dishes made me more pleasant for my mother-in-law’s visits. But in the six years since my mother-in-law died, I haven’t opened the box a single time, or even thought of doing so. And so it is time for that box to go.
I’ve stalled on the basement project for now to give myself plenty of time to sit around fretting about Christmas. I always do that at this time of year, and everything always works out, but this year I am later on everything than I have ever been. That is, when I place orders, some of them aren’t going to arrive until after Christmas. I always at least get the Christmas card stuff up from the basement by this time of the month, and this year I haven’t even taken a picture of the children yet. The tree, which is never up long enough to suit me, is not decorated. And curses, CURSES on the earlier version of myself who thought it was a good idea to make gingerbread houses with the children, because they have latched onto that SO HARD that now I can never stop.
This morning I thought “Something MUST be done.” That is, I can’t just keep fluttering around being stressed and yet somehow not making any progress. And so I am going to take the drops in the bucket approach to this. If I hang one single ornament on the tree, if I order one gift, if I buy one single container of eggnog—all of these things bring us closer to what I’d like to have done, and make me calmer.
Yesterday I did TWO things: I brought the Christmas cards upstairs, and I brought a Christmas mug upstairs. I’d kept NOT bringing the mug upstairs, because “I can’t do that until I put away some of the everyday mugs, and I can’t do THAT until I bring up the whole Christmas box and take everything out of it so there’s room to pack away the everyday mugs.” But then here I was, every morning, not drinking out of a Christmas mug, and drinking out of a Christmas mug is one of my favorite things about Christmas. That mug can sit on the damn COUNTER if there’s no room in the cupboard, and today I put eggnog in there (purchased as the One Thing from the day before yesterday) with my coffee.
This afternoon I am taking a picture of the children. We were going to do one with all seven of us this year, but that’s not going to work out, and we’re out of time, so Just Kids it is. We haven’t changed much anyway. I will try to ALSO take the pictures off the camera, choose one, and order it, but that’s like three additional tasks so we’ll see.