I find myself in an odd emotional state. In the midst of a major transition in life, my emotional triggers are right under the surface. In a single ten minute period, I move between being so happy that I can scarcely contain my joy to barely getting through a sentence without crying. I am living as if there is constantly a magnifying glass on personal issues. If you follow my blog you know that I have often written about debt, under-employment, unemployment, genteel poverty and the frustrations that come with a mismatch of a job which I don’t care for but which has been a major blessing none-the-less. The countdown is on. I wrote my letter of resignation and submitted it November 28 to be effective at the end December 22. Yesterday morning I started the tenth remaining workday. Tomorrow begins the ninth remaining workday. The clock is ticking.
Waiting is not my forte. Added to the emotional mix is the craziness of trying to be a player in the various different roles in my life. When I am on the job, I am striving to do so to the best of my ability, yet a piece of scrap paper is always handy for me to jot down something that needs attention when I get home. At home, thankful for time with my husband, I find conversation occasionally interrupted mid-sentence by some new job-related task nagging to be finished. As I will be self-employed and working from home, there are dozens of tasks that need my attention; many of them, yesterday. My emotions are in a whirlwind. I feel giddy, happy, excited, tired, scatterbrained, exhausted, overwhelmed, pressed for time, and financially stressed as payday is still days away and we are momentarily broke. The merry-go-round that constitutes my present emotional state reminds me of an earlier me – at 34 when I learned I was pregnant. So thrilled with this event which I sometimes feared would never happen and then tossing my cookies the next minute. A roller coaster ride of hormones and emotions. Thankfully the joy of this particular journey is not tainted with morning sickness.
In some weird way, it seems right that all of the turmoil of the transition from one job to another is happening in the days of Advent leading up to Christmas. Our house is slowly being made ready for Christmas. It appears that Christmas 2016 will be celebrated without a tree. Remembering the exuberance of my father at Christmas, and his ornament collection that grew so large that there needed to be several trees and still they were hanging from curtain rods and light fixtures, this years’ treelessness is a hard pill to swallow. My DNA is hard-wired to long for the smell of pine and the giddy pleasure of having a full tree and knowing that the fourteen more boxes of ornaments will fit if only we work a little harder. I have tried to soothe the pain by using them in other ways — remembering the creative engineering of my father with ornament placement.
Ah — memories of my dear Dad. The house would be decorated, my parents would be having a Christmas party, my mom would go to the door to answer the doorbell, and Dad would quickly rearrange the ceramic Noel candlesticks to spell Leon. Gleefulness in making mischief.
My husband mailed the last of two small gift boxes yesterday and thankfully remembered to buy some more Christmas stamps. The gifts we are giving to each other, a negotiated truce that speaks to the limits of the pocketbook while bowing to the giddy delight of giving a gift, are wrapped and waiting. The cards were bought at the Dollar Store this year, and so far I have only managed to write about ten of them. It is a task I generally delight in as I find it a happy thing to sit and write to friends & family who are dear to me – but I would welcome some leisure time, and there is none to be had. My husband reminds me, yet again, that we can only do what we can do. I find myself torn and wanting more time. Time to prepare for the day – yet the days keep marching on. The countdown is on.
As I wrote last week, it is the best time of the year, even when it isn’t. For many people, these days before Christmas are a difficult time of year. My life is a bit of a rollercoaster this year, but compared to what others are dealing with, it is a piece of cake. It helps to remember that the season isn’t about perfectly trimmed trees or kitchens filled with exuberantly decorated cookies. It isn’t about cards being mailed or locating the Christmas stockings. It is about preparing for the coming King, the one who will transform the crazy chaos of our lives with all our attendant hopes, fears, and trials, and bless us beyond our imagining.