I'm taking a personal day. I'm not sick, but I am feeling rather overwhelmed today.
I've felt like this for days. I couldn't figure out why, because traditionally the holiday season hasn't carried any importance to me and my family. But this year, with the impending divorce and a complete restructuring of our lives, we seem to have nothing on which to hang a feeling of cohesiveness.
My boys are going to spend Christmas with their father on the other side of the world, and I'm going to spend some time with my girlfriend in Southern California. (We'll go to a spa, go to the gym, buy munchies at Whole Foods and watch a lot of mindless TV.) My mother is whining because she assumed I would spend the ten days I'm away from the boys with her, but there isn't enough vodka on the planet for me to even consider doing that! I keep trying to figure out why I'm in such a funk for a season that doesn't mean much to me. I think it's because I want to recharge our sense of family but I don't really know how.
So today I gave up, for the day, on caring for myself, cleaning house, filing papers and paying bills. I am just sitting around the house, watching HGTV and really lame Lifetime and Hallmark Christmas dramas, eating sourdough toast. And as I sit on my favorite wicker chair, I look around my house and wish it was clean and wish I knew how much decorating for the holidays I should do. I'm conflicted. If we're not going to be here, then why bother. And yet, I want to change up what's going on around the house, get a different feel for the house, warm it up, so that the boys will know they have a real home to come back to, and that this is where we experience family.
I'm having the carpets and windows cleaned this week, and Merry Maids will be coming in to get everything else cleaned before the end of the year. The boys come back on the 30th, so they will come back to a clean home, everything organized, and some winter decor in place. (I don't do the Santa thing...we decorate with snowmen!) We'll have a small New Year's Eve dinner, just the three of us. Then on New Year's Day, I'm hosting an open house for family and friends, with lots of food and drink, conversation, music, games and a massive Halo 3 event with wall-to-wall boys of all ages. I'm inviting everyone who has been instrumental in helping us feel at home since returning to California. We've very grateful to them all!
Maybe this New Year's Day celebration will become our annual family thing. Maybe that sense of family cohesiveness will gain some traction that day and we'll be starting the new year in the right direction. I hope we can find our new family identity, one we can all share and believe in. We used to be world travelers, but that was really only an activity and didn't mean anything with regards to developing character and a strong sense of family and purpose, which is the direction in which I really want us to move. I'm not sure how to do that, yet.
I'm still surprised how writing all this down makes me feel better. I actually want to get a shower now!