Monday, December 28, 2009

Made it through the Christmas holiday

Here it is December 28th. I have officially made it through Christmas and all is well. I decided not tell Little #3 the truth about Santa. It just didn't feel like the right time. Even though I am not Christian, I enjoyed the Christmas that my family celebrates. This year I did something different. I finally celebrated the Winter Solstice with my family and it was a very magical night. I was very touched by the way the rest of my family joined me in the celebration.

I am often asked by the Littles what my favorite part of Christmas is and I often struggle to come up with something, but this year I knew absolutley what it was. My favorite part of Christmas was having all 6 of my Littles home.

I know that that sounds like an obvious answer. Why wouldn't that always be my favorite thing? But it hasn't always been the case. I have, in the past, very rarely allowed myself to enjoy much at this time of the year. I am usually in the midst of a dark time of the soul. Winter blues for me are more like winter blacks. Sometimes having all the Littles together became overwhelming with all the bickering and selfish behavior. What changed?

I did. I let go of bickering and selfish behavior and I believe that it helped the Littles to do the same. I feel warmer and more loving. I don't know if all the Littles would agree with this, but I have been evolving into what feels like a much more accepting mother. I don't find myself trying to put those that I love into a mold. And that includes myself. I have let myself free. I feel as though I am finally allowing myself to be the person I see in the mirror, instead of resisting that person and trying to make her smarter, prettier, kinder, etc..

I made a new friend this year. That friend is me. I have always agreed that you need to love yourself before you can fully love others. I could just never do it. I had to be ready to love me. It took me till I was 42, but I am finally there. I like who I am becoming. There are a few things that I still need to change. But they are not so big that they have an impact on my new friendship. I will gently help myself to accomplish the personal goals I have set for me. Maybe in 2010 I'll share those personal goals. I'm not sure I can yet.

So Christmas has come and gone and I am surrounded by a blanket of white outside. It is beautiful here in Minnesota. I am not feeling suffocated and dark as I usually do at this time. I may still face the winter blues, but I am ready. I am prepared to let the blues in for a tad, if they come a calling. Today the hardest things I have to deal with are getting my house in order for a New Year's Eve party and saying goodbye to Not-so-Little #1. She will be moving in with her dad for a few months. She will still be in MN, but not as close by.

She is going to get a break from her life. She needs to change some behaviors that have left her feeling like her life is going nowhere. I hope that she can take this break and get to know herself and love herself for the beautiful soul that she is. I have been where she is. I have had my spirit in captivity like she does. It is my wish for her that she is able to set hers free also. I don't know if she will accomplish this in 6 months time. Maybe she has no intention of changing and is just trying to escape for a bit till the smoke clears. Whatever she does or doesn't do really is up to her. I love her no matter who she is.

This coming year is going to be one filled with trials for me. Not-so-Little #1 trying to make a change, Not-so-Little #2 becoming a daddy and enlisting in the Army, and the decision to keep the Littles in school or bring them back home. These will all happen sometime in 2010. Along with the other trials that I have no idea about. I'm ready. I'm confident that no matter what comes my way, I will be ok.

I hope that the holidays have been merry & bright for all of you whether you celebrate or not. I also hope that 2010 comes to you with open arms and wraps you in a warm hug. See you next year.

Just my thoughts.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Here is what I DO know

There was a time in my life when I needed to know it all. During this time, any little drama or change in routine would put me into a tail spin. I hated not being in control and not knowing what was going to happen next or what other people were thinking. It made me feel small and insecure. Not knowing meant I was stupid and less than. I would often turn to others to protect me. I would look to others to bring me peace of mind.

I had no idea that all I really needed to do was look within and embrace the Divine. I simply needed to let things be. No answers were necessary. No protection was necessary. Peace of mind resided within. Trusting myself was all I really needed.

So what DO I know now. Not a whole lot. There are things happening in my life right now that I have no control over. There will always be things that I am powerless over. I can chose to accept things or I can chose to try to force the outcome that I desire. Forcing leads to fear and pain. Acceptance leads to peace, hope and love.

I don't know if Not-so-Little #1 is really going to go to out-patient treatment for alcohol abuse or whether she'll be able to pull herself out of the whole she's in. I don't know if Not-so-Little #2 is prepared to be a daddy or what will happen if he joins the Army like he says he wants to do. I don't know if I'm ready to be a grandmother. Those are just some of the things I don't know.

Here is what I DO know. I do know that my Not-so-Little #1 has a spirit that is waiting to shine. And when she goes within she'll find it there with open arms. I do know that Not-so-Little #2 has a ton of love in his heart for this wee little one and that he is stepping up where many 17 year olds would run away. I do know that no matter where he ends up he'll be the best dad he can be. I do know that I have enough love in my heart for a gazillion grandbabies and that love will show me how to be the best grandmother I can be.

I am comforted by what little I actually know. I am happy not being a know-it-all. I love just letting my life happen. I am more present and I have peace of mind. My life if full and happy. Crazy happy!! Ok, right now its a bit more on the crazy side, but still happy.

Just my thoughts.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Tis the season to be...stressed?

I believe its supposed to be "Tis the season to be jolly" and I find myself a tad bit less stressed than I usually am at this time of year. I have always considered myself somewhat of a Scrooge and suffer from an over abundance of stress. I do enjoy certain things about this holiday season, but there are a couple that I find extremely annoying. So annoying that they usually over-shadow any joy that the season may bring. Santa and the idea that kids need a bunch of presents are the two biggest thorns in my side during the holidays.

I don't really remember whether I believed in Santa as a child. If I did it was short-lived. My fondest childhood Christmas memories seem to be centered around the decorations, the music, the food and, of course, the gazillion presents that surrounded our tree each year. I come from a family of 5 kids and our parents always over-extended themselves financially each Christmas. It seemed like it took us hours to finish opening all of our packages, and then the next morning our stockings would be over-stuffed with more treasures. It saddens me to think that the one thing that brought so much joy to us kids, more than likely caused strife among our parents. I have a feeling that watching the joy in our faces as we unwrapped each new gift made it seem worth it to our parents. But was it really?

I struggle each year with the urge to over-indulge the Littles. I feel guilty when there are only a few presents under the tree. I would love to be able to give them every item on their wish list. It would be easy to remedy. We could just max out a few credit cards each year and pay them off in time to do the whole thing over again the next year. I really just don't want to give the Littles the message that this time of year is only magical if you receive, receive, receive. I feel like that is the message I received. I can remember the let down when my parents finally had no choice, but to cut back. And I was an adult when that happened. So we don't over-indulge the Littles, but I do feel that we need to have a special holiday tradition to make up for the small amount of gifts they receive.

Please feel free to share whatever the holiday traditions that your family celebrates. I would love to gather ideas.

The other issue is centered around Santa. I think that this is the number one issue that turns me Scroogish. I have not liked how I feel like a liar. I don't like misleading the Littles into believing in this make-believe giver of gifts. I hate answering questions like why do my friends get things like Nintendo DS and Wii from Santa and we don't. Why do some kids get nothing from Santa? I don't even know how I responded to those questions, but I'm sure it was a lame answer. To me anything but the truth feels like a lame answer.

I remember when Not-so-Little #1 found out the truth about Santa. She was not happy with me. Not because I lied to her, but because I told her the truth. She didn't want to know. She wanted to hold on to the magic. Not-so-Little #2 was more like me, he just came to know and was fine with it. That brings me to Little #3. He is 11 years old and refuses to believe that his parents are Santa. I have never told him this and he is wise not to ask. All he ever says is that friends at school tell him that Santa is his parents and he chooses not to believe them. Is this healthy? Should I be concerned? I did overhear him tell his younger brother (who I am sure knows the truth and doesn't care) that he was afraid to ask me for the truth, because that would mean that I had lied to him. I did lie.

I am at a point where I am no longer comfortable with the Santa lie. I know that millions and millions of children are told the same thing and they are all fine, but I associate too much negativity around this fib. Yet when I watch movies like The Polar Express I am filled with the wonder and magic of the season. I get a good feeling when I see adults wearing t-shirts that say I believe in Santa. We have a wall hanging in our house that says "this house believes in Santa", and I really like the idea of holding on to a child-like wonder around the holidays. So I am conflicted as what to do. How can I be honest with the Littles, and still allow them to be filled with wonder and joy? I am really at a loss as to what to do.

Have any of you ever dealt with this conflict? Maybe you could share how you have handled it.

I know that even with these two issues I have with the holidays, this holiday will be wonderful. I know that this year the gratitude I feel for all the blessings I have in my life will be more powerful then the conflicts. I hope that no matter how you celebrate this time of year that you are filled with joy and gratitude. I hope that you are able to enjoy the simple things and not get wrapped up in the hype. Peace be to you all.

Just my thoughts.