This is the best sort of post even though it is the hardest sort of post to complete. Today was a day that despite carrying all the sort of weight that the – in my mind – biggest holiday of the year drags with it, did not drag me down. The have-tos did not catch me and I did not spin my mind into a drama and sugar-fueled frenzy. I did not get sad. I did not get ambitious. I felt enough and ate enough and drank enough and observed others finally starting to modulate what used to be an incredible roller coaster of cliched, but inevitable emotions. A microcosm of my usual crazed rainbow all in twelve hours.
Today, I didn’t have the energy or the time to let it build into that inanity. Maybe I’m growing – maybe this too is a part of the magical transformation I am, and am aiming to experience. I slept late, went to the store with all the rest of the madding crowd and didn’t feel panicked or pushed – well, an nth of the usual distorted anxiety, I got more food than was necessary, but didn’t make the whole pantry just out of the spirit of shared excess that Christmas sometimes seems to take on.
Just keeping steady is an achievement. We don’t always want to look at it this way, but it is. I didn’t cry today, except, of course, for half a moment driving over after I survived the grocery store gauntlet. The sun was bright and I was alone, having accomplished my tasks of purchasing and last minute present buying and I had makeup on, I felt comfortable behind the wheel, and I thought that it was going to be okay. I felt the okayness and the fact that maybe I could push forward from here and there was a Dead Milkmen song on and it wasn’t Christmassy at all and I didn’t need it to be. It was weird and I was weird and working on shit, a thing that didn’t stop to genuflect before a day on the calendar. I didn’t need Christmas to circle around me and mend my wrongness and accept me. I was okay just as I was. For myself. All of this ran through my mind in a flash, and suddenly, tears. Good tears, like yeah, the brain and the body are together on this.
Then, as is natural, the mess of exhausted parents, edgy sister and boyfriend, two dogs and two cats cavorting and hissing about, everyone trying to cook and feel festive and take part and ENJOY took over. As for me, I just kept busy. This is just an overnight getaway. The cookies will be there in the morning. The presents will still be there if we don’t unwrap them all tonight. We can DVR the rest of the movie. We don’t have to embody a perfect holiday experience which is great, because we never have. It ebbs and flows, it comes and goes, and this year, I feel better for not being a part of it.