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I am experiencing the usual blues around this time as I fail to create an atmosphere I expect for this Holiday Season.  The expectation is mostly self imposed, but I also have to put on a show for family, friends and neighbors. I am an all or nothing kind of person. I know that is setting myself up for failure. I want things to be perfect, and they never will be. I remember when I thought perfectionism was a good trait.

I told my husband and son that I would not decorate this year, just as they were going to the attic to retrieve the boxes of decorations. They did not consult me about getting them down (you know, plan and do things together). It was just going to be the same old, “We get them down, you decorate it all.” I said that they could do it, but I was not. I had two reasons (besides or maybe because of the perfection issue): I am tired of being the one who puts it up and takes it down every year and the house is a filthy unorganized mess. I can’t put decorations up if  junk and clutter is everywhere (the perfection thing). Of course it is my fault that the house is cluttered and dusty and dirty. My depression makes cleaning hard. It is at a point where I cannot even hire someone to come in. So last Saturday they did not get anything down and my husband said he did not want to talk with me or argue with me about it right then. He never did.I waited for him to want to discuss it and he did not. I also get tired of being the one to initiate discussions.

After my mother’s good report from the pulmonologist, she agreed to try to come for Christmas to give my sister a break so she can focus on her husband’s family. After that I told my husband that I guess I’d have to decorate after all. (I have to hide my lack of festive spirit from Mom). He said, “Well, D and I were going to do it this weekend anyway.” Didn’t quite happen. They got the boxes down and put the tree up, but the lights are left to me as well as the numerous ornaments. The ornaments are really my fault as I have a huge collection. I used to love getting them. Now they are a burden. It is all a burden. The tree looks kind of lame as they do a poor job of shaping the limbs. I did not help but heard my husband trying to explain to our son how to fluff in three D. It is so hard to not “go over’ their work (perfectionism). But I will let it be. I drove my husband to the airport this morning for his weekly commute to Houston. He said if I got the light on he and D would do the ornaments when he returns on Thursday. There is so much more than that. He really thinks it is that easy.

We all had a good reason to not get it done this past weekend as we were all a part of a Live Nativity Saturday and Sunday night. (Friday was cancelled due to the unusual snow fall in our area which quickly melted and made the set a slogging mess. Plus there was risk of black ice and area officials asked everyone too stay home. We are such wusses here in the southern US when it comes to snow and ice on roads. But I guess it is better to stay off the roads than to risk accidents). School was cancelled on Friday, but H & D went out to play in the snow and by that I mean drive to where there is more than here. We had a couple of inches, so they went an hour and a half to where there was about 6 inches. (Roads were not really bad as long as it was all snow). I keep waiting for H to grow out of this. He is over 50 and still acts like a kid when it snows.

So here I am trying to figure out what to do. I feel paralyzed. there is just so much that needs to be done. There are the regular chores (laundry, clean bathrooms, kitchen & dishes not to mention cooking). Then the decorating. I also am trying to purge the house since we are moving in May after our son graduates high school. (That’s why Hubby commutes to Houston). I also wanted to try to be more regular here in The Tribe as a way to encourage others and to help myself. Not necessarily working.

In an effort to reduce my complaining, I cancelled my FaceBook account. Hoping it helps with time management as well. I have found that when I see or experience something that bothers me, I would post on FB. Then my daughter pointed out that I was always complaining. “That’s what you do,” she said. That hurt so badly. Not that she said it, but that it is true. Then shortly thereafter,some friends asked after my rant-post “Why you always trippin’?” I tried to avoid posting my small observations of displeasure. (None were serious, it was more in the line of comedic editorials). It was too hard. So I decided to take away my avenue of complaining. I have these thoughts of “That is so ridiculous. I should post… oh, I deleted my account.” So at least now I am aware of my thoughts and have sort of stopped the behavior.

My son also thinks I “freak out” all the time. I have seen some texts he has sent my husband. (I was not snooping, just reading texts to him while he drove). It is hurtful. So I now know my family thinks I am just a complaining curmudgeon who is not stable. My reaction? I am withdrawing. I want nothing to do with them. So I will pretend all is well while deep inside I am hurting. I am really hurting. It is way more than the Holiday Blues. No one really knows how far gone I am. When they realize I am afraid it will be too late.

4 Comments
  1. kimbeme 3 years ago

    There is always so much to get done. And living with anxiety doesnt help! Then dealing with depression knowing that your kids think you dont have it together, really sucks. I know, I go through the same thing. Theres no right solution. When Im feeling overwhelmed from my kids hurtful comments or all the things I have to do, I go into focus mode. It takes days to get me there. I get to the point where I feel numb. Then I block it all out and focus on cleaning my room, or moping the floor or doing something productive and blocking everything else out! Make a list of things to be done. Focus on the list at start of the day and pay no mind to anybodies bull crap! At the end of the day, you will feel accomplished and empowered! Well it helps me.

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      elf 3 years ago

      @kimbeme I am having trouble focusing lately. I am doing things I want, but I cannot stay focused to finish. I get distracted too easily. But I will give it a shot in the next couple of days.

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    elf 3 years ago

    @emptysoul I wish I were at the point of calling the shots on what I do. I am still in a position to meet the needs of others. I so often wish I were not married and had no kids so I could be free to do what I want. But I am not. I have a husband and I have kids (grown). And my mother is coming and she wants some festivities. And my daughter and her husband are coming (he’s military) so there are things to do with his family as well. I’d be OK not even seeing my daughter. I’d love to run away.

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    • kimbeme 3 years ago

      I have the exact same feelings… often. I wish I only had to worry about me. Not the kids, husband, family. I could survive anywhere…. I wouldnt need much. Id make it just fine. But Id need to go AWAY so there isnt anyone to judge me. Just be around like minded people.

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