Skip to main content

Under Construction

It's December. I love December. I love Christmas. Usually. Not this year. This year, I am literally and figuratively under construction. We are building an addition for my mom to move into. Why is my mom moving in with us? Because my dad died. So the former describes my literal construction and the latter, my figurative.

For the most part, I have dealt really well with losing my dad. He was old, had a great, full life, wouldn't have wanted to continue the way he was, declining and losing his dignity on a daily basis. He died very peacefully, in my mom's arms where he'd want to be. Blah, blah, blah, I have now lost my two superheroes. The two men who believed in me and encouraged me and taught me that anything was possible if you just believed enough. I feel like I'm alone now in believing as others roll their eyes and scoff at my idealism.

Well, that's not true, really. I passed my dreaminess on to my daughter, who wants to believe that real men love you like vampires do and sobs at the realization that they don't. Stephanie Meyer, I hope you're happy with yourself! This generation, girls and boys alike, is destined for disappointment because no love will ever be like Edward and Bella's.

I know that is fiction, and I can tell the difference, but I too want to believe in that. I want to believe people love each other enough to give up everything they know for that love. I want to believe in miracles and grace and God. I want to believe that being a good person does matter even if in the end, you need but to accept that Jesus gave His life for your salvation. I want to believe in doing the right thing even if you need but to ask for forgiveness, and through God's grace and Christ's sacrifice, you will receive it. But some days, it just doesn't feel worth it to try.

This is Chloe's last "real" Christmas at home. Next year, she will be away at school and coming home with new philosophies and dirty laundry. Of course, I want it to be special and memorable. Of course, my husband does too. I want to spend every possible moment with her, cherish every smile, every laugh, every bit of wonder this season brings. My husband wants to sink us further into debt to buy "stuff." We struggle with this every year. I try to make Christmas special and memorable. And every year, he looks critically at the material gifts I've bought and says, "It's not enough," and goes out and maxes out our credit cards to make Christmas "better." And I feel bad and inferior and like a failure.

This year, my heart is not in it. I am going through the motions and buying the material gifts. I forced myself to put out some decorations. We still don't have a tree. Thinking about getting one makes me sick to my stomach. When I was a little girl, my dad and I went to get the Christmas tree every year. In fact, my dad loved Christmas so much that he kept a little fiberoptic tree in the family room year round just so he could look at the lights. Because he believed in magic and wonder and miracles, and that little tree symbolized all of that to him.

So here I am, waffling between idealism and despair. Between wanting to make this Christmas memorable and wanting to go to sleep and wake up when it's over. Wanting to stay strong through this construction and wanting to curl up under my covers. I want to believe that God has a plan for me. I don't know what it is. As hard as I try, I don't know if I'm following the right path. But I keep trying. Because I just have to believe. "Faith means...knowing that something is real even if we do not see it." Hebrews 11:1.


Popular posts from this blog

Did I Love Him Enough?

I just started reading a new book. It's called Weight Loss for People Who Feel Too Much by Colette Baron-Reid, who I discovered on my current favorite podcast: This is Fifty With Sheri and Nancy. It is blowing my mind and showing me that some of the extra pounds I'm carrying don't even belong to me. Seriously. This is yours, this is his, this is hers, and oh wait, THAT? That belongs to a person who isn't even part of my life anymore! Great. Take your shit back.

More on that later. But, listen to the podcast. Seriously, you will love it!

Anyway, while in this super zen, grown-up, boundary-setting, higher self head space, I need to tackle an issue I've been avoiding for about 18 years but really strongly avoiding for the last 6 months. My son is growing up. He graduates from high school on Sunday, and in a few months, he's moving to Columbus to attend THE Ohio State University.

Can I tell you a secret? I used to LOVE everything about THE Ohio State University, bu…

Why Didn't I Report It?

When I was 17, I went with friends to a party at a boy's house from another school. I drank too much and passed out. I don't remember much about the incident, but I woke up with my friend screaming at a boy, pulling me up and dragging me to the car. She told me that she came looking for me and found me passed out. The boy had his penis in my face. I don't remember it. Thankfully.

I never told my parents who would have said, "How stupid could you be? You shouldn't have put yourself in that position." They would not have said, "No one should put his penis in your face without your consent."

A few months ago, I saw a picture of that boy on social media. He's a man now. With a beautiful family. He probably doesn't remember that night. I wondered: What might have happened if my friend didn't walk in and tell him to get his dick out of my face? Were there were other girls whose friends didn't come looking for them? Did they ever tell anyone…

Red Lipstick and Leopard Shoes

A month or so ago my friend and LOBL partner Melissa shared about a few of her favorite things. I loved this post because:
 1) The Sound of Music is one of my all-time favorite movies.
 2) Thinking about your favorite things is a huge mood booster.

In counseling, my therapist walked me through exercises to find a safe calm place inside my mind to go when feeling overwhelmed. The goal is to find peace, comfort, belonging, acceptance, worthiness, etc. within us so we don't need to chase it down from others. I always go to my favorite place: a beautiful little island near Key Largo we visit with our best friends. The first time we went was a magical experience: Dolphins played around the boat splashing in the aquamarine water, and I squealed, "This can't be real!" I tried to capture every single detail so I could go back there in my mind over and over. Any time someone asks me where I want to go, it's here. Always here.

I often write about these things, my favorite…