The other day, while watching Charlie Brown’s Christmas Special with Sean it dawned on me that Charlie Brown and I oddly enough have a lot in common. No, not thinning hair or a lack of robust color in our wardrobe but that we both suffer from the holiday blues. He mopes around talking about how sad and depressed he feels during the holidays. He even pays Lucy a nickel at her haphazard psychiatrist stand to drone on and on about the commercialization of Christmas and lack of meaning. By God, he and I could bore each other to tears on end with our incessant brooding.
For the life of me, I can’t seem to find much motivation or direction to accomplish much these days. Not only do I lack organization or sense of accomplishments lately but it’s also coupled with a certain, unexplained frustration which I can’t truly account for. I suppose it didn’t help that shortly after Thanksgiving I managed to tear a calf muscle on my very first run down Timberline up at Mt. Hood. What a way to kick off the ski and holiday season. I had stopped in a rough patch in order to try to coax Sean down a steep spot in the run but to no avail. He tilted his head back, heavy with his shiny blue helmet yelling, “I want to go home!”
Not too long after my husband whizzed by, picked up Sean and skied with him to the bottom near the chair lift. I decided to start my way down but my uphill ski was wedged like an anchor in the wet, heavy snow and so I began to fall, almost in slow motion, too slow to release my boot from the binding, but hard enough to hear a pop of muscle coming from my right ski boot. Somehow I managed to slide to the bottom, ride the lift to the top and shuffle in my boots to the First Aid tent. My husband smiled weakly and said, “Will you be okay just icing it?” Which really meant, “Do you mind lying on the stiff army cot in the First Aid tent with your calf on a Ziploc of snow for another four hours while we get the most out of our ski passes?” Which of course I did, making small talk with the medics and watching my leg swell like a blowfish.
Two days after the ugly mountain mishap, my husband headed off on a planned trip to China (seriously, China, no joke) while I hobbled around getting the kids to school and activities, the shopping and cooking. That week might possibly have been the longest week of my life. Limping around the house, icing my calf on frozen peas, swearing non-stop underneath my breath and nearly falling into tears every time I would have to go from the gas pedal to the brakes -- the littlest tasks turning into heroic feats was just too much to bear. Without my husband I had little backup as far as Sean goes. And as far as Sean, he showed little understanding of why it took so long for me to get around or how come I would flinch so easily when he would come bounding towards me. My older son did his best to help out or run interference, but at only twelve years old, his schedule has begun to resemble that of a CEO of a Fortune 500 company and I have somehow been hired on without pay as his chauffer.
It has been almost a month, the calf has been mending quite well but my attitude is still in need of fine tuning. At least I am in good company with a certain Mr. Charlie Brown, who seemed fairly down on his luck and yet the Christmas spirit certainly snuck up on him and by the end of the special brought him great tidings of comfort and joy. So there’s still hope that I can turn it all around, I guess. Christmas is four days away. Here’s to holding out for a real sense of joy and comfort and peacefulness. That’s all I want for Christmas. I don’t need “stuff.” Just some happiness – and make it last.
Sam Smiles Project
3 months ago