December Daily 2014

December Daily 2014: Day 17

One Week Left

When I have approached this project in the past and found myself unable to finished, one of the things that has thrown me a curveball are days when I don't take pictures. Either because I didn't want to, didn't find the right moment, or just plain got too busy and forgot. 

Last week, I found myself in that place a few times. I had rough ideas of stories I wanted to tell, but not always photos to match up. A few times a little nagging voice said, "Oh just skip the 17th. Who cares?" The answer is obvious: I do.

Luckily there was also another voice. One that said, simply,

"Write. Tell the story. The image will emerge." 

Here's what emerged out of my on Day 17:

It’s exactly one week before Christmas. And though the presents under the tree have started to grow, not a single one was purchased or wrapped by me. That pile you see has all been created by Garrett and Lyra. This is the first year that Garrett has really thrown himself into the process of buying gifts for Lyra. He is always good to me, but the job of shopping for Lyra and our extended families has always fallen in my lap. And this year, like most years, I started the process early and felt tried hard to be prepared, but I still find myself scrambling to get to the post office to make the priority mail deadline. I still find myself with all of my wrapping to do. I still find myself stressed. And, if I’m being honest, I still feel those feelings of guilt creeping up. I still hear the voices telling me I should be doing more and doing it more perfect. All of this will be over soon. I am kicking myself for not enjoying it more.  For not savoring it more. I’ve almost run out of time. But there is still time. There’s still one week left.

Yes. The stress is hitting me hard right now. I'm trying hard not to judge myself for it. It happens every year, no matter how hard I try to keep it at bay. More than anything it's a signal that some expectations (mine) need to be lowered. Some perfection (mine) needs to be tampered down. And that some tenderness needs to be given. 

My daughter is missing her grandparents and cousins this Christmas and has been asking us why we're going to be all alone. I'm feeling the weight of that. I miss my parents, brother, and nieces this Christmas. I'm pushing the grief down, but I feel it. My body is fragile and compromised this season. I resent the ways it keeps me from doing what I want. And I resent all the little complaints I have from my position of so much privilege when I am so keenly aware how little others have, how dangerous their daily existence is, and how painful their wounds. 

So, on that note (if you made it this far), I'm going to thank you for finding my voice interesting enough to want to read all that angst. And I hope wherever you are, you're feeling merry and full of light.

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