Friday, December 27, 2013

Maybe. I Don't Know.

I'm feeling a little blue today. It is my first day off since Christmas, and I spent it all alone. I think I've spoken to the people who made my food and that's it. I didn't get up until after 2 in the afternoon (I woke up before that, but stayed in bed until I felt hungry). My whole house is kind of messy right now. I know that if I just cleaned up the clutter I would feel better, but instead, I just sat all day long. As I was coming home from picking up dinner (yeah...I didn't even pretend to want to cook today), I thought to myself, that I just have to take today for what it is. It is the post-holiday blues. I don't know if I've ever really experienced this, though. Usually it is such a relief to be done with the holiday shoppers and rush and crankiness that I'm pretty dang happy right about now. But making the choice to be happy and let Christmas be a part of my life again this year had this unexpected consequence. Maybe I feel like this every year, but I have never noticed it before because it is actually a rise in my mood. I don't know. All I know is I was sitting in my living room today after it had gotten dark, I plugged in my tree and felt sad. I felt sad that I would have to pack up these decorations that I had so lovingly put up for not only myself, but for my roommates to enjoy. I probably enjoyed them the most, but it was awesome to see the look on their faces when they first saw them. It was fun to shop for my family and friends and then to give them gifts that I actually enjoyed picking out, feeling that anticipation when they were opened. Would they like them? Would they need the gift receipt I got just in case? (Seriously...get a gift receipt). I think it was a pretty successful attempt. 

So, I can keep the decorations up until New Years Day, then New Years starts and I will focus on my health again like half the nation. Around the first weekend in February, 99% of the people who focused on their health on January 1st will have given up or gone back to bad habits when the Superbowl rolls around, then Valentine's Day, then it's just a long time until spring gets here. Spring will struggle to happen here in Utah, like it does every year...snow...warm...snow...cold...warm...snow...until May. May will be a good month because that is the end of the school year, my birthday, spring, then summer finally shows up, and I can travel without impediments again. Then, summer starts and I have to get used to a swamp cooler again that barely cools the house (when did this year become about me? Oh, yeah...my blog). I will go to work. I will come back home. I will go to movies by myself before school gets out for the year, but once it does, I will stop because then it gets too busy there. Summer will draaaaggggg. If it is a hotter one, like last year, it will be almost unbearable to do anything unless it's work or sitting and trying to stay cool (last summer sucked). I will probably go home to visit my family in Washington at some point during this summer or fall. School starts again. Fall will struggle to get here. Hot...cooler....hot....hotter...cool nights, warm days (look it's fall!)...cool...snow...cold...warm...snow. Then, I will start to get ready for the busy holidays again. 

Why did I write out what my next year is going to look like? Because it is the same. It's not that I crave change, but there is fine line between living and accepting a life you love and falling into a rut. And I don't think I've ever loved or accepted my life. Nothing has turned out how I thought or hoped it might. I know, I know, I KNOW this is one of the big life lessons we all have to learn, but learning it is so hard sometimes. I may make it harder than it needs to be, but I also hate to let things that are dear to my heart...go. For example, I had a really hard time giving up the reason I thought I was here in Utah. I don't know if anyone knows how much my heart hurts at this. Or how lost I have been. You can kind of hear it in the posts I've done this past year or so. They are disconnected. They are trying to find...something...to hold onto. Trying to find a reason. And to hold onto that reason because sometimes that's all I have to get me through another month. But it's never enough to fully satisfy the need and hole inside me. I try to fill the rest with food. Usually later at night. Usually alone. 

Maybe it's not post-holiday blues. Maybe I just feel lonely. Maybe. I don't know. 

Friday, December 6, 2013

A Series of Endings...then Beginnings

I know I just posted, but I have another completely unrelated thing to write about. I thought about tacking it onto the end of the holiday one, but thought that I didn't want to disrupt that happy ending. Not that this is going to be an unhappy post, but be prepared for some deepness. I know you've just been waiting in anticipation for my next discovery about myself, Imaginary Cyberspace Friend, so here it is.

I was watching the Biggest Loser the other day. Surprise, I know. This season has been kind of lackluster for me. It's only an hour, so there's really no time to get into the nitty gritty parts of the contestants' lives. It's felt incomplete. The show has tried by giving us a minute or less of a deep discovery and then cutting away to a contest or to a workout. Well, this past week, Jillian was given the opportunity to travel to one of her contestant's homes and train him exclusively. With this came much more time dedicated to one player, which allowed for a deeper than usual moment to happen. Jay, the name of the contestant, took Jillian to this giant hole in the ground. There, he told her about how this was his childhood home that had burned down a few years back. He then told her about how his parents had divorced a few years before that and how that devastated him. (Little side note: this is the second time in as many weeks that I heard about parents divorcing when their children are grown and the almost more tragic effect it has on the adult children. Just food for thought). Jay starts to talk about the future and starting over. Jillian then asks him, what died in your life? If you are beginning, then there was an end. It means that something inside of you died. And you can't really begin again until you grieve that death. What died? (or something very close to that). Jay tries to talk about the future again and Jillian cuts him off, like she does, and says again, "what died?" And Jay, this strong cowboy, father and husband, starts crying and says, "I did."

I immediately started crying. And not just a tear running daintily down my cheek, but that ugly type of crying that only happens when something has rung true about your own life. I have been trying to begin, very unsuccessfully, for the past several months. I thought I was in a place where I could begin after being in a bad place. But to get out of that bad place, I pushed everything down. It has been very much like my later teenage years where I had no real emotion. I don't cry. I only let emotions in when there is something highly stimulating (movies are a good example...and the Biggest Loser, I guess). I have become hard. And so, trying to begin has been impossible. I have not faced that pain. I have not faced that disappointment. I have not grieved over what has died in my life. And so many things did...all at once. I lost relationships (so many), a best friend, and even a single mom to understand me (I know this might be unfair, but it was an end to something big in my life). I think I haven't wanted to grieve because that would be admitting that it really is the end. That these parts have died. And not the kind of death that is only for time (for all my LDS friends). Grieving means accepting that. It means crying sometimes. It means stopping the longing for something that no longer exists. I have always said that I am meant to do hard things, but I will admit, I haven't wanted to do this.

Maybe I will try beginning again tomorrow. But this time, I will begin again with the knowledge that I begin after an end I didn't want or expect. What do I want for this next part of my life? I don't know. I'm coming to realize that this life is a series of endings...then beginnings...with some not really knowing what you're doing sprinkled in there sometimes.


I thought I'd add a cute picture of my niece, Kait, just for fun.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Annual Blog Post on the Holidays

Well, it's December 6th and it's probably about time for my annual blog post on the holidays. Right? Shouldn't I be crazy (or getting there) right about now? It will probably happen in a couple of weeks, but right now, I feel...Christmas Spirit. It is a strange feeling. I haven't felt it for a few years, at least. I haven't decorated much for Christmas since I've been in Utah as evidenced by the fact that all of my holiday boxes are still in storage up in Washington. So, what makes this year different? Why do I feel content with just sitting by the tree I decorated? A week ago, I didn't think I would feel like this. I was preparing to feel all Scrooge-y again. In fact, I even ticked off one of my dearest sisters with negative comments about the holidays. I felt justified in my comments at the time. She didn't know how I was supposed to feel this time of year. She didn't know that I come home and just sit or sleep. All my energy is poured into my work. She didn't know that because of other people's negative comments or other people's attitudes that my life is worse. She didn't know that I am lonely. So lonely this time of year. She didn't know that when I come home each night to sit, I have no one to talk to about my day. I have no one who fully understands this except others who, like me, are jaded by this holiday.

But the more I sat there that night, looking at the meager decorations I had collected over the past couple of years still in boxes, something...changed. I didn't want to feel Scrooge-y. I didn't want to go through this short season bitter and putting on an act whenever I am at work, but then coming home to nothing. So, the next day, I started to plan. I pulled out the fake tree my roommate has kept stored in a closet (let's face it...it's much cheaper than a real tree). I purchased decorations (because mine are still in Washington) and put on Christmas music, willingly. And got to work. In the matter of a morning and afternoon, my living room and kitchen went from being very, very sparsely decorated (there were three blocks that spelled out JOY
and three bowls with pine cones and holly in them) to being fully decorated with a beautiful tree, two Nativity scenes, and a bunch more carefully placed nick knacks. I like it.