Making It Through The Holidays-What are you doing?

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by SRL, Nov 23, 2010.

  1. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    So begins the holiday season, and along with it all the stresses of life seem to be amplified. I got to thinking about the many things I truly can't control, but maybe there are some things I can do something about.

    Finances are tight for us right now, but that's nothing new. I'll be shopping carefully and thankfully my kids have reasonable expectations. I just got hit with a fee for a band trip that was way over the top ($125 for an overnight trip to a town 45 minutes away :grrr:...times two kids) that's coming at a bad time, but my pantry and freezer are stocked so I'll just adjust the grocery budget to deal with it.

    Honestly my biggest stressor right now is my house. I've let things go too far--too long without getting rid of stuff and too long without regular routines. This weekend I put a big project aside that I've been working on to start in cleaning and here it is Tuesday and I've made little progress. Attention span usually isn't a problem for me but seriously I feel like I have housekeeping ADD, so today I need to leave the computer shut off (which is just too convenient in my kitchen) and pick out one room to deal with.

    How about you? What stressors are in your way...and what's your plan for dealing with them?:sword:
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2010
  2. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    I had to chuckle, SRL, because I'm in a similar boat here, especially with- the house run amok. I've spent the last full week in the basement just dealing with- laundry. It's now all sorted *and* put away for the first time in 3 years. My next task is getting rid of outgrown clothes. I found the cutest pair of overalls of Diva's in a pile of clothes - she was just adorable in them, when she was *5*!!!! Ugh! We've got a pile in our room left over from the house remodel, when I just crammed everything in boxes to get it out of the way... My goal is 2 boxes a day. This weekend I found a box that was from 2007 - unopened medical bills, paycheck stubs, bank statements, even tax returns.... at this point, I'm just ready to rent a dumpster, LOL.

    I have house work ADD too - husband calls it "bumble-beeing" - I start in one room, find something that belongs in another so take it in there, where I get distracted by something that needs to be cleaned, find something in *that* room that belongs somewhere else, get distracted in the third room, and the end result is it never looks like I get anything done. I'm trying to tackle 1 big job in each room a day, and instead of bumble-beeing, I just have boxes where I sort stuff out. When I'm done for the day in the first room, then I take the box and put it away in the next room.

    I'm thinking about rejoining Fly Lady, but that would involve getting on the computer several times a day and I tend to get sucked into the vortex of the internet, LOL.

    Biggest stressor this time of year is just the time of year - I was admitted 22 years ago today to try and keep my pregnancy going. The twins were born on Jan 2 - six fun-filled weeks flitting between ICU and the floor. Lots of baggage there - I just take it a day at a time thru the holidays. Try not to be too nuts.

    Diva is off school this week and I'm not working for the first time in 5 years, so I think we're going to start baking today. She wants to learn how to make pies. I think I'll hold off on washing the kitchen floor until *after* that little experiment, LOL.

    Mainly, I try really hard to focus on the fact I've got 4 beautiful kids who are, relatively speaking, healthy and safe. I've got a hubby who still makes me laugh and who I still love being with after almost 24 years. Working on maintaining an attitude of gratefulness rather than focusing on how hard some things are.

    And I have a stash of chocolate for when things get rough. :rofl:
     
  3. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Housekeeping ADD - I totally have that!

    My house is a cluster due to recent events. Wedding shower provided me with a ton of lovely gifts, of which I have no room for at the moment, so still in boxed in the basement (finished basement - used to be a living room). Plus my new husband moved in and brought a ton of things of course. Thank goodness difficult child moved out 2 days before the wedding or I would be drooling on the kitchen floor in fetal position at this point.

    Holidays are good for me, despite some sadness from past events. I really enjoy the holiday spirit and the decorations and the shopping. I can feel it inside me. It is after the new year that I usually tank.

    Hope you all find a way to muster some joy for a reason this season.
     
  4. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    SRL, I really like the bumble-beeing description. It fits perfectly!

    Getting through the Christmas season this year is going to be hard. My beloved mother in law is dying. She's been fighting cancer for the last 6 or 7 years, and she just doesn't have the strength to fight any more. She's disappearing before our eyes. And it seems that the knowledge that mother in law doesn't have much time is affecting the family differently. My sister in law has turned from her normally sweet and loving self into an out-and-out raving, maniacal...um...mean person (substituted for expletive). My brother in law has sunk into a depression deeper than any I've seen before, and husband is trying to be manful about it, but sometimes he just sits down and cries like a baby. mother in law has been more like a mother to me than my own difficult child-mom ever was, and I'm just heartbroken at the thought of her loss. What'll I ever do without her?

    Still, I want to make this a wonderful Christmas. For all of us, for the children and for mother in law. I'm looking forward to hauling out the ornaments and putting up the tree, decorating the house, and starting the Christmas baking.
    I have been knitting frantically, trying to finish all of my projects on time:
    - Little easy child's annual birthday sweater (He's my best Christmas present ever -- born just a few days before Christmas)
    - A jaunty hat for mother in law (she lost her hair to the cancer a few years ago, and has the most fab collection of hats)
    - A little sweater for Tyrantina to match her Christmas dress
    - Mittens or scarves for everyone else

    Grieving will come later. Right now I want to enjoy the time we have left.
     
  5. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    O that's a good one - Housework ADD. That's definitely my diagnosis...LOL!

    So does that mean I can get support services...like an ICP (Individual Cleaning Program) with a 1:1 maid - er....aid...?
     
  6. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I'm really struggling with my Youngest and grandkids being in Florida. It's hitting me harder than expected, especially because I am so worried about their situation down there, which is not good. I'm honestly not sure yet what I'll do about Christmas, it'll be the first one in my life where I have no reason to get up in the morning, let alone be excited about a gift exchange and family time. I've invited Oldest to spend the night Christmas Eve, so maybe that'll help .. but Christmas morning will be over in 10 minutes, as far as gift exchanges go. It's not that I want gifts.. it's that I loved the excitement of watching others open theirs, and even the passing out of the gifts .. the girls used to love to play Santa and took turns each year. This year will be more anti-climactic than ever.

    Thanksgiving, on the other hand, I'm heading to Oldest's for a feast she and her roommates are cooking up. The not cooking thing doesn't bother me one bit :)

    It's a new phase in my life, sort of a delayed empty nest reaction, I guess. I loved it being empty when Youngest and the grandkid(s) lived closeby. Having them so far away is an adjustment, so far.
     
  7. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Recent weeks have been very stressful, what with being sick for 8 weeks, getting everything in order to move my mom up from PA to CT, classes and schoolwork, plus working full time. Something had to give and it was my house. It's clean, just cluttered and messy. Everyone's schedules are such that none of us are able to dedicate the time necessary to get it IN ORDER. I mean, with H doing the construction addition, we've lost walls and shelves so to me it seems that every corner is cluttered with 'stuff'; fortunately I'm not home or awake long enough for it to drive me out of my mind.

    I keep thinking that this upcoming 4 day weekend will be a big help, but what I need is only one good day to de-clutter and re-organize but with HELP, in the form of two compliant adult daughters. I want to move a bunch of stuff downstairs to the storage room. I also have a paper due for one class and two chapters to read for another, plus study for a final!

    My goal this year is to be a minimalist: I will put up a tree, but it will be small. I will decorate, but only using half the normal decorations. I will prepare a menu for the week before and after Christmas to help me stay organized (we will be having company then off and on). I will say no when I truly do not want to something or go somewhere. And, lastly, I will not spend every last cent I have on presents. The only thing I will not change are the awesome Christmas stockings I put together each year for the girlies. I love them and so do my dds!

    Oh yeah, and I will not let H svck the fun out of my holiday or birthday!
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2010
  8. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    I've been struggling with a lack of time, expectations for myself and a very deep sense of loss of my kitty last summer. There's nothing I can do about the lack of time at this point so I'm just muddling through and constantly re-prioritizing as needed (which is often). I'm coming to understand that I probably will never meet my own or my mother in law's standards so I may as well relax and enjoy myself. But Pookie.... the grief is something I'll be wrestling with for a long time to come.
     
  9. Marcie Mac

    Marcie Mac Just Plain Ole Tired

    SO asked me yesterday if I wanted him to bring the Xmas stuff this weekend out of his storage -I absolutely love to decorate for Christmas, and as I was looking around yesterday, got a little sad when I realized that I have absolutely NO ROOM to put up a Christmas Tree. My living room is an office, and the den, aka the Ode to Yoda room, is crammed with a showcase and display cases full of them, and dining room is just too small

    Not to mention the spillover here and there from SO, who has been helping his friend clean out storage units. We decided to get a stall at the swap meet at the beginning of the year and sell some of it, making some Xtra money on the side, and to start a pile of baby items, car seats, strollers, toys, household items (most still with tags still on them) etc that could be donated to local women's shelters. To say the garage has its gotten a little out of control is an understatement and its a battle to keep stuff out of our actual "living space" Its bad enough Danny has started a computer repair business out of my spare bedroom, which at times spills out to the dining room table and SO's desk in the Yoda room because he has so many to fix.

    I suppose I shouldnt be stressing out because everyone is working but I get distracted and on overload when its just too much "stuff" around even though I know it is only temporary, especially at this time of year when I want to drag out "my stuff"

    Marcie
     
  10. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Hahaha I can so relate to the housekeeping phht! husband and I have our hands full this week with cleaning. I'm not having company for Tday.....easy child is having it at her house because she has a playroom to occupy 6 bored kids. lol But still, it needs cleaned and we're tackling it. Plus I promised Darrin he could sleep over this weekend and well..........our bedroom (he sleeps on the floor in a sleeping bag) is a disaster due to husband moving furniture around and quitting in the middle of the project. ugh

    I'm also studying for state boards. Enough said. Studying is the only way to reduce that anxiety. lol

    Then of course there is the katie and family deal. I was getting majorly over stressed over that........but for the moment I've let it go. It will be what it will be and I don't have any control over it.

    To stretch money for Santa gifts............. I'm making a ton of gifts this year. I had husband pull out my rubbermaid Yarn box. I'm making hats, scarfs, mittens, pot holders and dish cloths, some dude named sackboy for Aubrey (a game character) and some gingerbread men from the left over yarn from sack boy. lol This gets rid of yarn left over from many old projects as well as provides lots of presents. And I've rediscovered how destressing knitting and crocheting can be, I've not had time to do it during the past 4 yrs of school..........:D

    If I have time and I can find my old patterns.........I'll sew up Kayla some baby doll clothes for the doll I found her. Nichole really loved it the year I did that for her. (even though I cussed like mad thru most of that project. lol)
     
  11. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    TDay attendance has dropped from eleven to six. I'm paring down the effort and plan to use everyday dishes etc. and not bothering with china, silver, crystal and fresh flowers. Believe it or not I doubt the company will notice as they are very make do people....I'm kinda mourning the change. :surprise: Christmas got downsized last year which was the first year in 69 with-o a realtree and lots of decoration. It makes sense but it takes some adjusting on my part. I keep reminding myself that many adults are used to excitement free holidays, lol. Interestingly only one of our adult children is really "into" the holidays. That strikes me as strange but I know that is their choice. I'm not depressed by the way but hype deprived. DDD
     
  12. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Our TG is on standby because we arent entirely sure when Cory is going to get home. He was supposed to be home late Wed night to early in the morning Thur but he called and said it could be early Fri morning. So...we shall wait. Tony was a bit of an ogre but I reminded him we did this with Jamie when he was in the service, and JAMIE reminded him we did this too so he bucked up...lol.

    I just found out that Tony has committed us to going to Jamies for Christmas week...UGH! We are supposed to head up on Christmas eve early that morning and stay till Wed morning. I am going to go stark raving crazy. This was not discussed with me prior at all. We cant take Keyana because Keyana's mom is moving to MO on the 29th of Dec so I am not going to get her for our normal Xmas week this year. I cant imagine making it for 5 days up there!!!

    Hey CVA...tell ya what...I will come spend some time with you to help with your empty nest! I told Tony he better have money for a motel for a few days at least, I cant do this.
     
  13. Kjs

    Kjs Guest

    Holidays are so sad for us. Since my parents passed away nobody in my family gets together. They all have their own kids and grand kids to tend to. husband has nobody. His brother passed away on New Years day last year in Canada so he had to make a trip for that. He hadn't seen him in over 30 years.

    I cook, I love to cook, but I work the holidays. Every single one. Night shift. This year easy child is going to girlfriends parents. Just leaves husband and difficult child.
    xmas I have no idea what go get anyone and nobody will say. difficult child will be 16 on december 16 but is so angry at everyone he wants nothing.

    Dreaming of June when the weather warms up and school is out.
     
  14. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    (((hugs))) Janet. OMG a whole week?? What on earth was Tony thinking? Is he treating you to a hotel? lol

    Our xmas dinner will be at my house. I considered letting easy child host that one too (whole family brings food) but if it's at my house katie's kids will at least have some time to play with their presents. If it is at easy child's they get to open them and that's about it. ugh
     
  15. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Lisa...I might be able to drive to OH...lol.
     
  16. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    I've decided this isn't the year that I'll be attending Thanksgiving with my family. I'm having way too many personal "hauntings" from 2 years ago that my mind isn't completely on task.

    Saying that, having downsized the trip to my Dad's house it's just kt & myself. If that remains the case she & I will make home made calzones or a big plate of my husband's recipe for salsa & the most complete plate of nachos you can imagine. kt & I decided we would start our Christmas baking at that point.

    On the sidelines though, kt has been trying to convince me to invite her boyfriend & his mother for a more traditional meal. I might be willing to have boyfriend & mom over ~ don't want to do the traditional meal. I'm thinking the calzone's instead. I did order groceries that should be here any second for a traditional meal if the mood strikes.

    My housework is neither here nor there. Being just kt & myself it's being taken care (except for kt's laundry). Not touching it - I think she's stuffing her dirty things in the crawl spaces/attic upstairs. If she's stinky nasty her boyfriend won't want much to do with her & I like that.

    I find this season to be one of mixed blessings. I take things day by day; give as much as I can or am willing to do at the moment. I have few expectations ~ the tweedles hopes are high this year. It's to be the typical 16 y/o gift certificate for clothes at the local mall though. kt loves clothes; wm will do his best to sell the certificate so he can by video games.

    I feel blessed that we have survived another year - not so much in survival mode, more in the real feelings, making choices mode. Especially for myself. I will make it through this season by saying no to what I know will cause anxiety, fear or anger. I will be thankful for that ability.
     
  17. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    lol Janet! It would be awesome if you stopped in to visit! I'm just a couple of miles off of I-95 so I bet I'm on the way ;-)
     
  18. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Janet you and Tony are always welcome at my house. Let me know if you want the address. lol

    Linda if you opt for the traditional meal with boyfriend and his mom you can order it from kroger's precooked and even pick it up hot I think. Then you don't have to cook at all. :D
     
  19. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    So far we are keeping to the annual tradition of having no plans for the holidays. If someone wants to invite us, fine, but we're not doing a big shin-dig for 2 kids who have made arrangements with MY FAMILY which exclude me. For the most part.

    We are going to have Thanksgiving dinner at a friend's house. Nothing special. I may buy a turkey to put into the freezer for soup and such later on, since they're so cheap right now.

    I joined the Christmas Choir, and so the Saturday before Christmas we are singing at a very beautiful chapel and I have invited friends and we will do hy toddies or hot buttered rum, or whatever at my house after. I have no plans for Christmas. Maybe I'll check my vacation site and see if I can get a super cheap last minute vacation somewhere? I don't know. Just hanging out. Is there a good movie being released Christmas day? That's my kind of holiday.
     
  20. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    CVA..I know you arent too far from where I am gonna be...lol. Im gonna be right off exit 140. Pretty close to the Rappahannick (sp) river.
     
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