Friday, December 26, 2008

A gift to myself

Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas !

Ours wound up not as planned because of a definite healthy move. It is sometimes the most difficult to realize that those closest to us can sometimes be some of our greatest potential saboteurs. They do not intend to be as such most times, and often do not even have an awareness of their impact, so it is not simply a case of asking them to stop in all cases.

My husband is a paid singer/cantor as a second job, and has been so for over 35 years. As time has gone on the monetary compensation he has received has gotten larger, which makes a Catch 22 sort of situation. The more money you make, the more you spend. Let's face it, have you ever met anyone with surplus money sitting around collecting dust ? It does not happen. In this case it means that what started as a nice little extra windfall has become a depended upon second income. It also means that Christmas and Easter have now become very busy work times filled with a lot of drama and nerve grinding intrigue. Very creative people do not tend to be seas of emotional tranquility, and combine creativity with a desire for perfection and time constraints, and it gets to be a whole other work out. Add midnight services followed by daybreak services and icy road conditions , and it starts to cross a line. Now place doing this at age 54 as sort of a cherry on the top, and you just get tired.

We had planned to go to my family gathering , as always, inspite of all of this because it is family.It's just what you do. My family is like every other family on the planet- you love em and you hate em depending on the camera angle, the lighting, the race results and so forth. Every family has it's characters, it's clowns and it's poster children for whatever cause you wish to champion or run from. It is part of adult life, and the extra spice that makes the holiday season so filled with drama. However, there comes a point when certain dramas just reach a point where enough is enough.

On Christmas Eve one of my sisters decided to air some very private marital dirty laundry in a very public forum. Absolutely her right and makes her feel some relif no doubt. However, this comes after six months of silence, and is an issue that is at least 20 years old, which means we will be hauling up one of the brothers in law like a token pinata while giving a sister permission to continue to wrap herself in her insecurities and remain stagnant for yet another year of hostility and harm to their 4 children.. For the last 15 years, it is the only communication she engages in , and as a result of the situation, my husband gets dragged into playing the buffer between the rest of the family and my sister's husband.Truth of the matter is , marriage is made up of 2 people and there are never any participants with clean innocent slates. Each and every year it has gotten more posionous , and it is one of those situations where no one wins. Yet, in the same way that we haul out the holly and put up a tree to mark the day, this couple chooses to to repeat their behaviors to mark the day as well.

Perhaps it is because we have spent the last year working on improving our health and recognizing the emotional factors that play into our physical behaviors that we just stepped back from the pattern and said enough is enough. We cannot play a part in this pointless dance. So at the last minute we backed out of attending and scrambled to create a dinner and a day of activities of our own. It is just as well- simply thinking about the situation has left my stomach very upset, and I know that if we would have gone I would have eaten a lot of garbage just to shut my stomach up. So we stayed home and I made a corned beef that I pulled from the freezer, baked sweet potatoes, broccoli and califlower mix and a salad. We played board games and watched TV, and I spent the evening with a very upset stomach, but genuinely thankful I did not have to live in the midst of the venomous vibes.

While it is a bad thing to miss the gathering with extended family, it is a positive move to step away from the seasonal disembowling ritual that seems to do a lot more harm to myself to participate in than any good for those who seem to treat this as their own personal sporting event. There is the Superbowl, the Indy 500 and the "My husband is such an evil meany musdslinging Derby".

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