Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Very Merry

What to say about xmas?  Aside from the fact that it was a bundle of amazing wrapped in a bow made of awesome, it was more than I could have hoped it would ever be.  My mom really went overboard this year on the presents (no, I am not complaining).  Dan was shocked at the gross amount of presents under (or way around) our tree.  To be fair, there were presents for 7 people under the tree...

Anyhoo, I got everything that I asked for and a few surprises, so I'm assuming Santa agreed that I was a very good girl this year.  Some of my favorite presents included my cashmere Marc Jacobs scarf, MJ mouse necklace and MJ (diaper) work bag that holds EVERYTHING and then some (so nice to not have to carry 4 separate bags to work, now).  I got a nice Steve Madden black leather jacket, and a new Obey blanket jacket/wrap (most comfy thing on earth - like an acceptable robe to wear in public).  Lots of make up and brushes from Sephora ended up in my stocking somehow and my sister showered me with fun little Alexander McQueen themed items (2012 calendar, armadillo shoe ornament, paper doll book).  Dan got me gorgeous little skull earrings with real diamonds for eyes plus Willy Wonka on DVD (can't believe I didn't already own that) and Lemmy's autobiography which I didn't even know existed.  I'm quite pleased with everything.

It was fun sharing a family tradition with someone new.  It's interesting to see how others do things different than your own family and what you've always know to be "normal."

We snuck out to Casey's for drinks with old friends both Saturday and Sunday night and got to visit with extended family on xmas day.  My grandmother had a blast.  It's been a while since I've seen her laugh so hard which made my day.  Aside from it being too short of a visit, I couldn't have asked for more.

The drive home was miserable.  Driving a manual is a blast EXCEPT when you're in traffic and I happened to be in traffic for about 2.5-3 hrs of the 8.5/9 hr commute home on Monday.  It was not fun.  I was exhausted by the end of it, but we headed to Dan's parents to exchange gifts with them.  That was a blast, and I quickly perked up.  Dan's dad shared this amazing Brooklyn Sorachi Ace and we toasted to a happy xmas.  I got the most beautiful hand carved turquoise bracelet from Brian and Rosalie.  It really was a wonderful xmas.

Hope everyone else had as lovely a time as my family and I did.  Feeling very lucky this year.


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A True Xmas Miracle!

Well, I must've been good this year.  I only really wanted one thing for xmas, and I got it.  Dan is coming home with me for the holidays!  I can't explain how exciting this is for me and how much it really means to me...

It's a big deal because xmas for my family has always been the same since we were kids (mostly) - we get up early xmas morning, wake my mom up, she gets ready and turns on the video camera (to all of our dismay) and then we enter the "wooden-floor-room" (it's the rarely-used living room.  Most people have that nice/uncomfortable room that rarely gets used, no?) where the xmas tree and all of our glorious presents (from each other and Santa) live.  My sisters and I open our presents at the same time, while shouting out "thank you"s and "Oh my god!"s.  After we are done we run into the family room to get our stockings and run back to the tree and dump them out.  After we finish that, my mom and dad take their turns opening gifts.  You may think that this sounds like the routine from when we were children, but this is exactly what happened last year.

The only thing that has changed in our routine EVER in all my 27 years of xmas was when my sister's husband joined the family.  I remember feeling really angry about it, at first.  It's so silly, because I was an adult when this happened, but it still was this weird feeling about how our family xmas was going to be different.  Honestly, it wasn't very different at ALL, since we all act completely like ourselves around Rod.  It was just the anxiety of the change, I suppose.

He is the only person who has ever joined the Shaw family for xmas morning.  That's a pretty big deal, if you ask me.  I have had past boyfriends come over for dessert on xmas evening, but none of the full-on Xmas morning shebang OR the visiting extended family on xmas.  That's a really really big deal to me.

I can't imagine my life without Dan in it, so imagining the holidays without him there is really strange, even though because of work, he hasn't been able to spend any of the main holidays with my family, so far.  Thinking about xmas without him (he was originally scheduled to be on call xmas day) put me into a pretty shitty slump.  It was a mix of my being sad that I'd be spending another important family gathering without my best friend who is always at my side otherwise, and feeling like it was unfair.  Self pity, if I'm being honest.  I felt like I had done so much and sacrificed so much to be up here to share my life with Dan and his family that I didn't think it was fair that on the rare occasions that I'm able to to spend time with my family, he can't be there to share it with me.  It was really putting a damper on everything.  I just kept letting that shitty down feeling seep into everything else around me.

As you can see from my last post, I was feeling like most everything was going wrong and you start really questioning why you have made the choices you've made.  Why nothing you want to happen is happening and, "why me?" lives in the front of your brain.  It's easy to start questioning things that are completely out of your control, but like a flip of a switch, as soon as Dan informed me he found a coworker (I love you, Christina!) to take his shift at work so he could come home with me, my outlook on everything changed.  I've turned into this "glass half-full" person in an instant.

It's what makes me sure that I made the right decision in being here to be with Dan.  He makes me a happier person- a better person.  My positivity goes beyond being happy about him coming home with me, but extends to others.  I'm joyful and grateful and want to share it.  I find myself (who a week ago was deeply involved in shit-talking sessions) lending a different/positive perspective for people feeling discouraged.  Maybe it's also the yoga, but it's definitely a different feeling and it feels so good.

One big shining example of how my mood/outlook has shifted since news of our holiday plans changed is that when we settled in on Saturday night to do our xmas cards, it was quickly apparent that our list is a lot shorter this year.  Same with my shopping list.  I have a lot fewer people to send holiday greetings to this year, which if you keep in touch with me at all, you know I've been struggling with since I moved.  I explained to my friend at work today, "I see it not so much as a shorter list, but as a stronger list.  A more solid, less bullshit list."  And that's TOTALLY okay with me right now.  I have Dan, and that's obviously more important than the people who fell off the list over the past year.

I wish I could explain the elation I feel about the upcoming holiday and how good knowing why I'm so excited for it makes me feel.  It's a comfortable feeling that I have possibly never felt, or at the very least, not since June...  My anxiety and depression stem from the unknown and second-guessing and wondering.  Right now, I don't feel like I have to wonder.  I don't need to question anything.  It's a nice cozy feeling and that feeling is where happiness- for me- blooms.

May all of your holidays be as warm as my heart feels right now.  If you're having any winter blues, I suggest a little chat with me.  Not only do I understand those blues 100% and sympathize with them, but I also have a lot of positivity to share right now.  It's a rarity, I'm well aware, and don't want to waste it!   Maybe Sophie's half-full glass really is working an xmas miracle.  <3