Monday, December 18, 2006

Monday. I slept past 7 this morning and only panicked for a second, then I remembered that the boys did not have to be up and out the door in 20 minutes. So that makes today the first day of holiday break. I've puttered a bit, showered and dressed. William is showered. Max and Alex unloaded the dishwasher. Maria is eating leftover Chinese food. Geoff is at work. Geoff works every day and late.

I want to make a plan for the week, so that we don't squander our precious time. I want to visit beautiful places and see family. I want to get out of the house and also enjoy time in the house. I want to find a way to soar over the hurdles that seem to appear on a daily basis. Maybe I am the biggest hurdle, because I can't seem to find the faith or assurance I need to overcome the setbacks. I've been sick. The kitchen sink has backed up for the fourth time. My burnt thumb hurts in a nerve damage kind of way. We aren't unpacked. Where are the stockings and those Christmas gifts I bought last September? The new landlord was here when we were out. I can tell because he cut back the blooming roses, again. They are hacked to their bases... it helped to look beyond the murky, thick sink water and see roses in the garden. Yesterday when I was under the sink and learning how to run a snake through the pipes, I wondered what Gary thought of the mess he must have seen looking in the house.

I know that this is the time of year when the worst stress is the stress we bring upon ourselves, so I am cutting back. No Christmas cards from this house. I thought this would give me some relief, but I feel kind of sad about breaking a 26 year tradition. The tree looks shabby, thinly decorated. Where is the other box of ornaments, and the nativity figures? What other stress am I creating? I guess I am one of those closet Martha dreamers, hoping to hang home sewn stockings and serve eggnog to drop by guests, after volunteering at the shelter. Give me any circle of women friends and they will all admit they are climbing up Christmas Mountain pulling a full sleigh, but how many of them are willing to jump on the sleigh and just let it take them on a wild ride?

My expectations are unrealistic, for me. But I still do want to make a plan. I still hope I can get the house clean and send that last package of gifts. I know that if I can keep absolutely everything out of the garbage disposal the sink may not clog again, and if it does clog, I know how to remove three traps and clear crap from all three arteries. I know that no matter how much or how little I do, the days will pass and this school break will come to an end, and I don't want that day to come without some special memories to hold. I remember I said I was going to enjoy the privilege of being very busy... maybe I just need to adjust the weight of the sleigh I am hauling.

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