Over at Things I Can't Say, she is hosting this week's Pour Your Heart Out. As usual in my life, I'm a day late. But I love her prompts. They force me to see what is important in life. So, I begin my own PYHO today. Focusing on What Matters
I used to LOVE Christmas. I mean love everything about it. As the oldest grandchild, I always helped my grandma. She had a big family, and as they all multiplied, we would usually have about 50 people - aunts, uncles, cousins for the holiday celebrations. I would help her get out her decorations, put them up, clean up afterwards. We'd have baking days when we'd make cookies, days to make cheeseball. My sister and I always wrapped every gift she purchased for that big family. We laughed, we had fun. I was always excited to get out the church that played Silent Night - it was made of some weird cardboard concoction that had some spongy snow on it. It was probably asbestos, but so far we've mostly survived! My cousin recently posted a photo from her childhood in front of the tree, presents stacked all around. It brought tears to my eyes. Five years after my grandma's death, I still miss her every day.
After the first stop on the insanity train (marriage number 1 - I'm still not ready to discuss that openly), the holidays became dreaded to me. If not for my kids who were just babies, then toddlers, I would have been happy to not even celebrate Christmas. But I went through the motions.
Now that Jack and I are married, it's still not my favorite time of year. So far, every Christmas, he has had a bout of depression/period of the down side of undiagnosed bi-polar, something that has taken the fun out of Christmas. I can never do or say the right thing. I don't put the tree in the right place, and on and on. I can't remember any Christmas that wasn't covered in a gray cloud.
This year, though, I've resolved to focus on what matters. It's not about the fact that we don't have one single decoration out or up yet, not about the fact that we are again in that "winter doldrums" with his behavior. It is about helping others and being God's hands and feet on this earth. For the first time, I've actually volunteered to help during the community Christmas. I've done things behind the scenes, but never interacted. I'm going to do so. I've been helping in some other ways that help me to remember why we have Christmas in the first place. And when I do those things, I think of my grandma then. It's not about the decorations or the color of lights on the tree, it's about people and relationships. Even if Jack doesn't want to stop drinking and participate in life, I do. So I'm going to focus on that and go on - Wife Goes On...with or without him.
I hope you'll stop over on the blog and read others' posts. It is very heartwarming.