Since I'll have no "Official Thursday Weigh-In" this week (Anna Marie has a school play and I can't make the meeting) you're getting a deeper, more philosophical post today.
Is it just me, or is it more difficult to stay focused this Christmas season? And by focused, I mean on the real Reason we celebrate.
A couple of weeks ago I posted about being in a "blue funk" about Christmas. It got somewhat better, but this week it's back with a vengeance. Part of this is hormonal, I know - my "friend" came to visit yesterday. (For Christmas! And I forgot to get him anything! And I know it's a male, because only a man would make a woman feel this crappy!)
But part of it is situational. The same dynamics which normally cause turmoil in my family are still at play. The usual financial strains are there, but of course more pronounced because it is the holidays. And yet, there is so much more.
I won't go into detail, out of respect for those involved, but a member of my extended family passed away this past weekend. The sadness has been multiplied immeasurably by the manner of his death, and no one seems to know quite how to handle themselves. It has, quite literally, thrown the whole clan for a loop.
I've thought in the past few days what an odd mixture of emotions that grief truly is: anger, sadness, regret, loneliness, it's all there and more.
Tomorrow is the funeral, and I don't know how anyone is going to handle it.
His death has helped me put some things into perspective - for instance, we were in danger of bouncing a check over the weekend, because of an unexpected withdrawal, and I realized that really, while I didn't want it to happen (and apparently, it didn't) it wouldn't be the worst thing in the world. Inconvenient, yes, but we'd make it through.
I have so much to be thankful for! I have a roof over my head. I have plenty of food to eat. I have a healthy husband who treats me with respect and a beautiful, healthy, happy daughter. I have a job, and even though it gets stressful and frustrating, there are many these days who can't say that. I have a wonderful, Spirit-filled church with a true man of God as a pastor and people who care about me.
(Oh, and wonderful bloggy friends! Hello!)
But sometimes, all of that seems to not matter so much. We get out of focus.
We begin to focus on the wrong things - the economy, the cold weather, the infighting in our families.
I told Jason today that I wished sometimes that the holidays wouldn't come. It isn't because I don't have anything under the tree for my child - her new, candy-apple-red Nintendo DS Lite came in today! - it was more because the situations in my family are making the traditional Christmas celebration almost impossible.
(Oh lawd. Here come the tears.)
He looked at me, and told me that maybe I was focusing on the wrong part of the holidays.
And he was right.
Really, as much as family celebrations are a part of Christmas, that isn't really the most important thing. I have to remember that we celebrate Christ's birth, and I can do that in my very own heart, even without anyone around.
It saddens me to think that Christmas may just be the three of us, but if I have to pull away from others to be able to keep my heart focused on Christ, I just may have to do it. I have resolved that my home is going to be peaceful, in as much as I have control over that. And sometimes, that means keeping out the turmoil from without just as much as keeping the peace within.
I've got so many different thoughts and emotions swirling around in my heart right now - so many questions.
It's hard to keep focused on the most important things when you have the weight of the world on your shoulders. But if I don't keep that focus, this weight I carry might just pin me to the ground.