A breather please

Whoa. Hold on just a minute. I need to sit down. No, nothing crazy, no exciting news. I just need to find a chair and relax for a bit. I haven't stopped in the last month and a half, baking, visiting, hosting, holidays, parties, crafts, cleaning, mopping, washing, shopping, wrapping, decorating, cooking, frosting, mailing, who knows what else. I've done so much, thought about everything, got things for everyone and thought about everyone, except me. In all the hustle and bustle, I forgot about me.

The holidays were great, amazing really. I couldn't have asked for a better Christmas. It was really, truly, joyful, happy, calm, (well- a little chaotic with kids and gifts, but you know) just enjoyable. So much I had hoped for, but was afraid to ask for. Everyone was happy, (well until they started throwing up the next day) and it was probably the best I could ask for after all the changes we've all endured the last few years. It was sincere. It wasn't pretending that it was how it used to be. It was taking it as it was and just enjoying the day, the season, the people, the gifts, the food (until that food came back up 12 hours later I suppose, hehe).
*Somehow 3 of 10 people we saw Christmas eve, got sick, along with 5 of the 12 we were with on Christmas day, got sick throwing up the following day. But, we did not. And no, I did not poison the food!*

I am, by nature, a "giver", a "doer", a "helper", so I want to, really want to, give. Be it in forms of cooking, cleaning, hosting, gifts, something that makes that person think, or just feel, thought of, or noticed, or taken care of. And I truly enjoy finding gifts and ways to make people feel that way. Throw a party for everyone and make food, taking days to shop and wrap and feed you all I got? No problem, love it. Until...I'm dead on my feet. Until it's over. Until I feel "gived out" (the past tense Kian prefers). And, then I don't know how to convey that. I get antsy, I get claustrophobic, I get irritable. I want my house and my house only and no one else in it. It's my refreshing time. Some people get refilled by being out and about and with other people. Not me, I get my refilling and refueling by being in my house with just my little family and not having to answer anything or do anything. Of course, then I feel lazy and start doing things around the house....I just can't stop.

I have a problem getting Kevin to understand it. He does the homebody and the social butterfly equally well. He has no problem having company or going somewhere and doing things every single day of the week. Sometimes twice a day. I do. We';re different in how we recharge. He gets annoyed at me, and I get mad at him for not letting me just be, just stay home, just not have people around. Tomorrow will be the first day in over 2 weeks, that we will not have company or somewhere to go. Two weeks. Every day for about 16 days, people here, some place or function to be at. It's making me batty, I was starting to get a tic last night until Savannah brought me a bottle of Strawberry Arbor mist! I'm so thankful I can just have that day tomorrow. Nothingness. Playing with Christmas toys. Enjoying the last few days of the Christmas tree. Reading the paper. Eating leftovers yet again. Possibly even savoring that last glass of wine in the bottle...

Today, we took down most of the Christmas decorations. I hate to see them go, but at the same time I'm ready. I can only handle so much garland drooping yet again, so many knocked over tin snowmen, so many nativity pieces losing heads or ears and finding little glass lambs in my baking cupboards, Mary under Karter's crib, ornament hooks in my sock...you know what I'm talking about. I'm also trying to think of ways to fit in more time for myself this year. It's not easy, I feel guilty doing things for myself. The most I've really done is take that boxing class over the summer. How I miss it. I hate spending money on myself, I hate feeling indulgent... Is it a firstborn thing? Is it a me thing? How do I balance it? I have no problem buying and doing for others, why not myself? Seems selfish I think. But, I'm seeing that when I don't take that time, I get anxious and irritable and I lose my patience and I'm no good for my family. When I don't just splurge a bit and buy the stupid jeans that actually fit me, instead of being miserable pulling and hiking up the ones that are too big, complaining all the while, I actually feel better about myself and my attitude changes.

We've also realized how little time Kevin and I have made for each other in the last year. The guilt thing again, I tell ya. Of course it's more challenging when you're nursing a baby, you can squeeze in short amounts of away time. Now that Karter is older, even though he's still very much a mama's boy, I can get away for a bit. It's the sitter part that was holding us up, but I think I've now found one and can't wait to use some of the gift cards Kevin received from his clients. So lovely of them, we'll have a few nice dinners thanks to them! That's when we start getting crabby with each other. It's good we're realizing this, yes, and working on ways to prevent meltdowns with each other or the kids or whatever. It's just never easy. But, we're also seeing the reasons for vacations and downtime and I think we'll be planning something this summer that is more than just a weekend thing. It will be good for all of us.

So...here's to a new year. A new year of realness, of being in the moment; of enjoying life; of not letting life pass me by while I'm busy washing another pot or floor or worrying about refilling the food instead of enjoying my friends, family and company. A new way of being. A new sincerity in every aspect of my life--my family, my kids, my husband, myself!, my health (exercise!), my faith. Worry less, hold onto less negative and hold onto more positive, inhale life instead of exhaling with so many sighs. To not put off for tomorrow, what I should be enjoying today. I hope you do too.

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