If we were having coffee…

I would tell you that I had an awesome breakfast with my husband, Pumpkin Spice Pancakes, and Vanilla Bean coffee. He puts love into and makes them perfectly every time.

Image by vextok on Freepik.com

I would tell you that I had a great week, which started with meeting a friend for brunch last Sunday. I hadn’t seen her since shortly before the shutdown last year, but we hung out for a few hours catching up like we had just seen each other or were still co-workers. My week continued with a couple of good chats with friends and co-workers, receiving early Christmas gifts, and time to relax and hang out with my husband.

If we were having coffee, I would ask if you have tried Jack Daniels coffee. Talk about delicious! We will have to drink some next time we get together for coffee. Also, have you had Lou Malnati’s pizza? Definitely try the cheese pizza, it’s like a tasty, warm hug.

I would tell you that I am looking forward to several days off this coming week, with Christmas and the way the holiday falls on the calendar. I will have 5 days off, including a day I added to an already extended weekend. I am sad that I will not see my family but I know that we will have some calls and video chats. I hope the time that the rest of the family has together goes well and that the crazy travelling I won’t be doing also goes well for them. I’m sure I already told you the reasons I am not going, which include not wanting to leave my husband alone for the holidays but also that the rest of my family believes in the COVID vaccines, testing, etc. and is already a little concerned about exposure. Me, I’m still here, have been mostly healthy throughout this whole thing minus a few days. We are all entitled to our beliefs and freedom to make our own decisions.

If we were having coffee, I would share that I am excited to soon eat homemade waffles, which we will make with our newly received waffle maker given by my parents. Breakfast is my favorite! And, we will be feasting on Lou Malnati’s Pizza, given by my brother and sister-in-law and by Husband’s godmother. Yes, two different groups of people gave us the best deep-dish pizza ever! We will be eating well, if not healthy, for quite a while.            

I would tell you that I am excited for family and friends to get the gifts we gave, and we are hoping to make cookies and brownies to share with them as well. I am disappointed that my work unit didn’t have a Christmas gathering for the second year in a row – last year because we were all working at home, this year because we were in the office on different days, some co-workers have a lot going on, anxiety about everything, etc. They are like a second family, for better or worse, and it’s nice to eat together and be out of the office trying a new restaurant, playing puzzle and gift-exchange games. Maybe we’ll do something in the New Year…

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that some days I feel great and I can handle all that life throws at me, while there are other days when getting out of bed is a struggle. When you read the backstory to so many things going on that most people don’t want to hear about and pretend don’t exist, it’s a tough boat to row. Sometimes I stick to shallow waters and stay off the boat.

I’m glad we were able to have coffee today. Thank you for letting me share my thoughts and experiences. Maybe it made you feel less alone, or maybe you think I’m crazy. I’m just a girl trying to get through each day the best I can.

Have a good weekend!

Complicated…

No one looks forward to uncomfortable conversations. Some people do anything and everything to avoid the person and the conversation as long as possible. Others user a “bring it on” attitude and dive right in. Another camp talks to people they know about the impending conversation so they can prepare, all the while trying not to drown in anxiety and sadness because there is no real way around it. 

Photo by Giftpundits.com on Pexels.com

The holidays will bring about the uncomfortable conversation for me and my family, and it sucks. My brother, his wife, and their baby will go home for Christmas to see the family and introduce him to friends and relatives. The baby will get to see his father in his old neighborhood and will experience the other side of his family. There will be a few people missing from this holiday experience – my aunt, two of my cousins (one died, one is in a care facility), me, and my husband.

Holidays should not be complicated. They should be joyous and celebratory, which is usually the opposite of our experience.  I love my family in spite of the holidays. Many of my most enjoyable holidays were spent with friends and their families around college time or have been peaceful because Husband and I were not the family, except for the Christmas my brother and his wife spent with us in Texas. When we still lived near our families, Husband and I had a hard time seeing both families for the same holiday because of the inevitable energy drain, conflict, etc. Over time, his remaining family is more or less nonexistent, and mine is best in small doses. The last time I was in the presence of my parents and overlap with relatives a little over two years ago, and it did not end well after we left the family gathering. My parents and I have recovered the best we can from the debacle, a story for another post, and I enjoyed the rest of my trip with friends and time to myself. My relatives were happy to see me and I feel fortunate to have spent time with my aunt, our last in-person visit before she died earlier this year. 

Photo by Marina Shatskih on Pexels.com

This brings me to the currently approaching holiday season. After close to two years, the COVID thing is still lurking and is complicating people’s lives. Many people have natural immunity, while others insist on getting vaxxed and that everyone around them be vaxxed. Like many people, I fall right into the middle of this debacle. Most, if not all, of my immediate and extended are on one side of this while we are on the other side. I know a few people in the same situation but they, like us, have a few people on their side as well.  I don’t feel comfortable traveling during the holidays and leaving Husband alone, especially with the airlines in chaos, my job having legalized discrimination policies related to traveling and quarantining (punishing healthy people who make individual medical decisions), and the fact that one of parents shared that my brother and wife has already inquired about the status of family members. Oh, and they scheduled my parents for all of their shots. I have already expressed some thoughts on the matter months ago before this whole situation continued to progress and escalate to mandates in different cities and states, and even at the federal level. I have noticed communication with some members of my family have dwindled after a certain conversation with one person, um… so much for freedom and individual opinion. The unsaid uncomfortable conversation just hangs out in the atmosphere for now. It just sucks. Good time to use radical acceptance skills.

Photo by Olya Kobruseva on Pexels.com

As I’ve gotten older, my childlike glee for holidays has greatly reduced but does flare up around Christmas. I’m not a big decorator, but having little get-togethers with co-workers and festivities that make work enjoyable won’t happen again this year because my agency has decided against it. I have an office now, that doesn’t usually see more than me or a few colleagues due to back-and-forth restrictions. I’ve debated with myself about decorating for me and to contribute a bit to the building-wide décor or to skip it, but I’m still not sure… wait a minute, people can decorate several trees in groups but not have parties or meals together?

For the few people who might read this, I realize my opinions will stir up a myriad of feelings – how insensitive of you, how irresponsible, you selfish #!%&*(&,  f#ck those stupid Covidiots or good for you for standing up to the medical tyranny, and everything in between. As someone who has been sick only twice in the past two years, (right before the virus was unleashed and again right after jabs were widely available), I believe that I have a healthy, functioning immune system and that the most irresponsible people are those who perform ongoing medical experiments on a naively trusting public with no idea who this will turn out. However, I believe in personal freedom, mine and yours. All that keeps happening is that people allow themselves to be divided along the newest line in the sand that someone else draws and broadcasts it 24/7 on cable news until the world panics. 

On that note, I hope people can find some holiday cheer and that they can remember why holidays exist (other than to generate revenue for retail and travel industries) – family and friends celebrating and sharing. I pray for an end to the manufactured conflicts and emergencies, and for a resurgence of common decency, critical thinking, and humanity. I hope it’s not too late, or too complicated… cards hanging on Christmas tree

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…

Twenty-four days until Christmas, where did the year go?

I have been thinking about small, meaningful gifts for my family and I realize I have to starting working on them tho weekend. My new work schedule will limit what I can do it for a few days but I plan to do several things with photos, which will just take time.

I spent some time yesterday helping my new co-workers decorate our open-space office, which was fun. Boyfriend and I don’t do much decorating in our apartment due to the small space and our very active cat so I enjoyed putting up the Christmas tree and other touchs.

Merry Christmas!