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Dec 19

Someone keeps moving my chair

I have felt off-kilter for days now. A favorite teacher once sighed about me that I spent all my time running around “putting out little fires,” rather than just keeping fires from starting in the first place through better planning. I’ve never really gotten consistently better at that, though I have tried. Usually, it winds up something like this webcomic – and I have to say that it was very reassuring to see just how many of my friends shouted an “Amen!” when it was first posted and went viral. Hurray for not being alone with my little bucket, running for the patch of burning grass…

Anyway, Christmas. Six days! Okay, so part of the problem is that it just refuses to feel like Christmas around here. The tree is up, I’ve got some presents wrapped…and I went running outside in shorts yesterday. Now, admittedly, I do tend to push the envelope on seasonal running clothing, but I didn’t even regret it halfway through, thighs burning red and going numb. No, I was perfectly comfortable, and that’s just wrong. This is Wisconsin; it’s not all that unusual to wear Halloween costumes designed to accommodate snow clothing. And Sam listens to the news, not music radio, so we’re not hearing carols nonstop, and there’s no choir cantata this year, and and and…it’s no good. This could still be Thanksgiving week.

I’ve got two giant boxes on my living room floor that need to go out TOMORROW, and it’s going to cost an arm and a leg at that. Why couldn’t I find a shred of Christmas spirit a week ago?

And it’s not just that; things keep cropping up that knock me off-balance. Gabe’s violin lesson got moved to this morning instead of Friday. Eric’s coming home early and cooking for the “Day of Feasting” his company holds every year before shutdown, which has meant chaos in the kitchen (delicious chaos, but also flour-covered and available-surface-covering.) Sam’s been knee-deep in homework, and also hip-deep in “how can I weasel out of this?” attempts that are making things worse and cranking my stress level to 11. Other little meetings and appointments popping up. An extra running club event. Shopping becoming critical.

I’m inordinately proud that the laundry is done. It’s the little things, you know.

Note the PJs. This is past bedtime. Note the presence of Father, whose admirable patience at this point is a mystery to me.

Note the PJs. This is past bedtime. Note the presence of Father, whose admirable patience at this point is a mystery to me.

Last night, I finally hit a physical breaking point, which manifested in an enormous crushing headache that radiated down into my neck and shoulders. I almost wept with it. It was gone this morning, but…is there such a thing as a “headache hangover”? Because I was exhausted and slightly nauseated in the manner of a hangover all morning. Frankly, I’d rather have an ordinary hangover; at least the earning of one is fun. This was just pointless and mean.

Oh, and on top of all this, the Connecticut shooting continues to leave my mind – and it feels horribly selfish to say that, recognizing what the people of Newtown are experiencing – and I’m having frequent conversations about gun rights and safety with Sam. And there’s this. I know intellectually it’s probably nothing; real threats don’t usually come with warnings, and these threats are happening all over the country, and there’s no logic behind the knots in my stomach. Can’t help it.

"You think you're stressed? Try having a phobia of wrapping paper at this time of year."

“You think you’re stressed? Try having a phobia of wrapping paper at this time of year.”

So yeah. Twas the week before Christmas, and all through my middle, the acids would not quiet, not even a little. I think I need a reset, but I can’t find the button. I guess I’ll just keep putting out some of the fires and hoping for snow to help with the rest of them.

Widdle baby tree, widdle baby holiday cheer.

Widdle baby tree, widdle baby holiday cheer.

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