Sunday, December 02, 2007

Snark The Herald, Angels Bling Bling...

I've read alot in the past few days about holiday guilt. Seems like a lot of women feel like they're doing it wrong every year. They are not good with cooking, or they don't have their decorations up yet, or they don't have the energy to go to a party, and on and on and on...

I wonder why we're like this? Is it all the ads that come in our mailbox? Most of us are the first to say "I know that's just a fantasy life," but has the media industry still warped us into thinking that anything less than perfection is a failure?

I ask you all this: Who said we had to do anything? I, for one, LOVE this season. I have my decorations up now. But I didn't do it to prove a point or compete with what anyone else is or is not doing. I did it for me. Until this year, I'd always wait until Dec. 20ish to get it together. For once, I wanted it up for a month so I could enjoy it. And the kids had a blast downloading the tree. (Is downloading the correct term for clusters of ornaments at the bottom rather than the top? Too much time with my comp hubby, I think.)

I wonder if neighbors, peering into my window on their nightly walks, will regard me as "one of those women". You know, the kind who care too much about the lights, or the presentation. The kind that lives for cooking the Christmas Eve turkey and hand wrapping the gifts for guests that I'm naive enough to think wouldn't want to be anywhere else but with me.

I question this, because I've been on the other side of my window, not just at Christmas, but many times in life. Um... many, many times. I've peered into others' existences and wondered how they "got it together". I mean, I wasn't exactly the kid at school being voted for prom queen. Hell, I was lucky I even went to prom. But I remember looking at the prom queen, thinking how lucky she was to be selected to be princess for a day. Slow dancing with some handsome jock, I marveled at her fortune to have it so together. But, did she really? Or, like my decorations, was it just a fancy light show? Did she, like the rest of us, have broken ornaments on the inside that needed repair?

I've made a commitment to myself on two levels:

1. Be the best person I care to be (not can be, but care to be) and not for a second defend my life to anyone anymore. If I have a cute husband and a nice home and a kick ass job, yeah for me! I deserve it. And everyone else deserves their fortune also. (Lord knows I'll be honest about the downside of all the good - one bitch fest blog post soon coming to an in-box near you!)

2. I will no longer give anyone else the power to make me feel like I'm somehow not doing enough. Because just being me is enough. In whatever capacity that is. And no one is making me feel anything. It's me making me feel what I think someone else feels. (Did I really say that?)

And 3... Yes, there's a 3... I always write too much... I want to help those along the way in any way I can. But if someone makes me feel bad about my choices, well, they can help themselves. I'm not interested. And that's okay, too. I'm Christian, but I can't please the world.

Wow... all that and my egg nog wasn't even spiked.


Gretchen said...

I don't like eggnog, but maybe I should try some. Me likey your thinky. And...of course, I tell myself the same things.

We're good enough for now, BABY!

His Girl said...

Wow, Mama P, you sound like you're ready to take it on! Good for you! I think I am getting closer to that decision too. Me and God make the decisions here... so people that feel the need to judge that need to take it up with Him!

I wonder how people who seem to 'have it all together' do it too... do you think it's really possible that it's all a sham? I don't know if that would make me feel better (relief of pressure) or worse (like giving up cause it just can't be done)

I know what DOES make me feel better though....
reading your blog.
Please keep writing... it's the highlight of my day ;)

Liza's Eyeview said...

An excellent point. Thanks for the reminder and enjoy the holidays :)

Pam said...

I like your attitude, stick to it!

meno said...

I won't even think about putting up decorations until about a week before the 25th.

And i feel just fine about that!

You are cool.

Monnik said...

You know... I've met lots of people who seem to have it all going on. And not just at Christmastime, but all year round.

I used to want to be them. But now I just shrug my shoulders. I'll do what I feel is right for me. Did I spend hours and hours doing Christmas crafts and cookie decoration this past weekend? (It's our last free weekend until Christmas). nope. I sat on my rear most of the weekend nursing a cold and hugging my little ones. And it was GOOOOOOD.

So my neighbors might not get cookies from our household this year, but you know what? It's ok, because I got a lot of snuggling instead, and that's worth more than making myself crazy this time of year.

liv said...

this post just reminded me how much I love you. really. i feel the same way. much of my life is disorganized, but by late november, i'm so ready to drag out all the joy and decorate. it keeps getting earlier and earlier, but i keep loving it more and more.

hamiam said...

:contented sigh: Yes, Mama P...yes, to all of this.

Anonymous said...

"But I remember looking at the prom queen, thinking how lucky she was to be selected to be princess for a day. Slow dancing with some handsome jock, I marveled at her fortune to have it so together. But, did she really? Or, like my decorations, was it just a fancy light show? Did she, like the rest of us, have broken ornaments on the inside that needed repair?"

You hit the nail on the head!! EVERYONE has broken ornaments in their lives. Keep going - you're going to find the answer you're looking for.

Steph said...

Great post! Great attitude! Pass that eggnog, sister!
BTW, you can wear a pink dress ANY time you like. :)

Steph said...

Great post! Great attitude! Pass that eggnog, sister!
BTW, you can wear a pink dress ANY time you want! :)
(Sorry if this appeared twice. Technical difficulties....)

Steph said...

Well, duh. I NOW see the comment moderation thing. For a communications person I'm quite a reader! Anyone, please ignore this comment and one of the previous two....

Anonymous said...

How Cute!

CPA Test Reviw

ms chica said...

I like the pledge you made to yourself...Number 2 says a lot in few words. I'm still working on that one.

Lovely tree. You should continue to enjoy the holidays as long as you want, they ways you want, and as much much as you want ;)

Cheryl Wray said...

There are too many expectations at Christmastime. In my "Perfect Christmas," I would enjoy the simple joys of the season, help others out as much as I can, and remember that the One who started it all would rather us do those two exact things!!

Valerie said...

amen that. i don't know how we got started judging ourselves against others, but i'm done with that.

i am me. like it or lump it.

Melissa said...

Dude. I thought I was the only one who looked into other people's lives and wondered how they got to be there.

Nothing new under the sun, huh?

Great post - glad Valerie linked over!

Dapoppins said...

I am loving the tittles for your blog posts...I seem to have heard some of these songs...!

I do the decorations for the kids...and this year they were ready for decorations after Thanksgiving. In fact, they did as much as I would allow them too, and would have done it all with me watching had I let them. I am building traditions here. They better remember this, and not me yelling because they broke an ornament...or lost the baby Jesus.

Susie Q said...

You are THE best dear heart, This is something that we all need to hear and think and remember. I still find myself beating myself up for my lack of elegance and style and flair...for not being everything I perceive my neighbors or acquaintances to be. I hate that I do this because I promised myself to STOP that many years ago. I had always envied one of my military neighbors, thought she had it all together. She was so pretty, had a gorgeous husband, 2 beautiful girls, a great job and always kept a perfect home. One day, out of the blue, she comes to see me. She begins to tell me how much she envied ME. Envied my normal life...huh? Me? Normal? Turns out she was fighting anorexia which began when that handsome husband began cheating on her. The kids were both suffering from various problems, her house was so clean because she had major obsessive compulsion disorder and she hated that perfect job. I decided at that moment that I would never envy anyone again. That it was okay I was overweight and had a husband who left his underwear on the floor sometimes. It was okay that we had adopted our son and lived nice little life.Every now and them, this green monster pops back up but I have more control of it than I used to. Geez, I oughta. I am should have learned something at my advanced age!

And that prom queen? If she is anything like the ones I used to know, she has been married 4 times, is a recovering alcoholic, has a son who she hasn't seen in 10 years, a horrible credit rating and
acid reflux. And fallen arches.

You are the best and I am blessed to be able to read your writing.

Now I will quit writing this overly long winded comment!