Monday, December 19, 2011

It's About That Snow....

Um, I was going to try to....avoid this.

I am having a meltdown.

Hah. That's only partially true. I am not having a meltdown - the bloody SNOW is having a meltdown! Or, rather, it had it's cute little meltdown and now it is gone. From Minnesota, of all places. Home of the beloved Frostbite Falls (if you aren't a Rocky and Bullwinkle fan, just.....try to keep up ;-). Let me assure you, more than half the Minnesotans I know have No Problem at All with this. But for those of us tender souls (oh go ahead and snort already, get it out of your system!) who are aesthetically dependent, this totally, totally SUCKS. As if Holiday Spirit isn't a tricky proposition in this economy anyway!!

Every one I know has one or more friends/family struggling with unemployment. Christmas is very stressful in general - add higher gas prices and price gouging on Amazon (thanks, guys!) and you have a ho-ho-ho season that feels a bit more like NoNoNo! And then, take away my white, fluffy, security blanket? Sledding? Ice skating?

Come. On.

I have a kinder relationship with snow than most, simply because I don't have to drive in it much. And if I have to be out in it (for sledding or playing with the kids) nothing stops me from making a pot of coffee ahead to help me recover. Every kid understands the power of the blank canvas that is snow, and there is something about the quiet and visual calmness that a fresh snowfall brings. Sound is softened by snow. Dirt, dead grass, and patches in the grass are all smoothed over, and the view is refreshed.

Unless you happen to live in my neighborhood. In my state. The state of chilly mornings and brown grass. Offering no visual respite to busy bodies and tired minds. I went through most of last week with my husband on long days (thank goodness my kids turned into wildly cooperative and cheerful ones!) while I got the house set for visitors and a big meal. My youngest aunt is turning 50, so we also went out to celebrate the big day, We even went to a Christmas concert this weekend - and all this should have been enough to thoroughly wipe me out. I have a hate-hate relationship with stress - it gives me allergies, headaches, bad dreams, and I swear it triggers my vertigo too!

If it were just another event coming up like July 4, or a big birthday, it probably would have.

My Christmas stress seems to come from feeling like anything I choose isn't 'good enough' for the ones I love. (smells a little like insecurity, right?) There's a lot of grace in 'knowing yourself', and that's a huge help in honoring your loved ones with gifts. And my faith tells me that giving generously with love honors God as well.

This morning, after I drop my daughter off at pre-school, I think I'll pick up a peppermint mocha. When I get back, I'll put on Celtic Woman's Christmas album, or something else vast and snowy (Sigur Ros?) and finish addressing my Christmas cards so they can get in the mail and 'make' it by Friday. I'll wrap gifts, drink my water, and plan good meals for the week. I'll remind myself that Christmas is inside, more than outside, and let that guide me through the final week of anxious children, tired spouses, and other facets of holiday Hell.

I've got a long way to go, but I think I'll just worry about getting through today. And work on sorting out our blessings, our priorities, and our time together with gratitude.

Snow, or no snow.

Have a good week - may the weather be kind and not let you, or anyone you love, down :-)