Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Today begins the reign of the 112th congress of the USA

And here are some other highlights.

It's taken me three full days to believe that I'm back at work after the wonderful couple of weeks we've had:

1. Week before Christmas = STAYcation. Katy and I were off from work together without traveling anywhere for the first time in at least 5 years. During that time, JB got his third set of ear tubes surgically implanted (3rd in 3 years). He did great. We were home by 10 AM. He watched more TV that day than any other day of his life and quite possibly more TV than any other WEEK in his life.

2. Christmas at TT's and Bill's house. We spent the better part of 14 hours there, eating, playing, opening gifts, and eating. Did I say that twice? I meant to...

3. The grannies came for a visit. They were able to avoid wintery weather during the long commute to and from Ohio, but got to enjoy a good ol'fashioned CT blizzard while they were here. JB and ML got to build their first huge snowman and go sledding around the yard with them. (JB's had a few winters, but none where he ever wanted to TOUCH the snow before.)

4. New years weekend was relatively quiet and Katy and I enjoyed some special times alone with our boys.

Today, Katy and I went to our first wake of the year.
Tomorrow, a funeral. Not someone we know, but the dad of someone we love.


Looking back, as I said above, we had some wonderful times over the holidays.
I feel so lucky and blessed, but I have to say, the holidays beat the shit out of me this year.
I spend a lot of time worrying. Anxiety-ridden might be a more honest analysis of the scene.

It was the first Christmas that "Santa" mattered to JB and the number of times I forgot that I didn't get something at "toys r'us" but "Santa brought it" was too many to count. He's easy to fool right now, but I've gotta get into this game, or the jig will be up by the time ML is 3...

So, I was worried about not being a good enough Santa.
I was worried about not being a good enough wife.
I was worried about money and time and family- not living up to the expectations of everyone. Or rather, not living up to my own expectations and not feeling like everyone judges me as harshly as I judge myself. I was worried about JB's impending surgery on the 21st of December. I was worried about getting the "right" gifts and not just getting gifts for the sake of getting gifts. I was worried about not being able to get done the "special gifts" like photo calendars and cookies that we planned to get done. I was worried about Katy and I not agreeing on all of these things related to gifts and how to celebrate the holidays (after all these years together, it is only now that that are kids are starting to understand a world that does not end at the tips of their fingers that Katy and I have to really start communicating about what we want the holidays to be for us and our boys). I was worried that the ways that Katy and I try to answer these questions and compromise for each other will not make sense to all of our parents - who we desperately want to be with and be respectful of but who we don't always agree with. I was worried about how I can possibly instill a sense of peace and joy and zen about Christmas (and life in general) into my children, if I am on the verge of panic all the time at this time of the year.

I was worried about work and projects that were very time sensitive and I had set a high expectation of success that would be a direct reflection of my work and require me to call in a lot of personal favors. I was worried about the weather and the house in the winter and getting the cars in the garage, and decorating, and keeping the house neat and clean, and warm! And spending enough time with the kids and trying to balance these two desires to 1) expose our kids to a lot of wonderful of people and things, get them out into the world to see lights and celebrations, and have them know family and friends that are family and 2) have quiet times alone at home with them, keep them grounded in a safe and reasonable schedule, and not drag them all over creation for things that they do not really need or understand right now.

It was a lot. And it started for me at the beginning of November. And I tried with some success to stay in the moment and did have some beautiful moments, and did (I think) manage to take care of my wife who was experiencing similar things herself... I think we did a good job with it all, but I feel like some of the (mostly self-imposed) pressure is off now. To be honest this week, I let out a big sigh of relief.

I'm going to work on this. I don't want every year to feel oxygen flushing back into my lungs with the prospect of the holidays ending. Yet, feeling a rush of Oxygen in your lungs is a good feeling, no matter how one comes by it.

So now back to the business of governing the nation...

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