In direct opposition to my good mood that lasted all through December, Christmas and New Years, I have now begun a streak of thoroughly rotten moods. I hate January in the valley. Why is it that just by taking down the tree and putting away the gifts there is suddenly nothing to do? I'm sure that my state of pregnancy has much to do with my lack of energy and general slothfulness, but I blame also the gloomy weather, the lack of light and the disappearance of the holidays.
My sister and I had a most interesting conversation at Christmastime. She has always been very grumpy about Christmas - hating the commercialism, the money money money, all of that. I didn't really understand and thought her rather a grinch until I had kids myself and found the pressures of Christmas to be overwhelming. Don't get me wrong - there's always been so much I love about the holidays, but there is also much for a mother to do. Both of us did better this year. I have to say, I was downright giddy for most of the season. It was such a fun year. Somehow I just let myself love the process of the season as well as the end result. My sister also found herself enjoying Christmas, even catching herself cheerily wrapping gifts next to a crackling fire while listening to Christmas tunes. Sounds crazy, but it's true. We had a discussion about this and she told me what kind of flipped her switch. It happened during a conversation with her neighbor. Christmas is about bringing in the light. The bleak midwinter can kind of seem like the caves of despair, don't you think? So dark, so cold, so hopeless at times. Christmas is bringing a light into our caves of despair. We all have them, don't we? And somehow she was able to accept that for some people, putting a giant blow-up Homer Simpson in a Santa suit on their roof is just their way of bringing the light. We're all celebrating the return of the light. I remember being disappointed as child when I learned that the birth of Christ did not happen in December. But now I get why December is such a perfect time to celebrate. Our bodies need the return of the sunlight. Our souls need the hope and promise of The Light, the Savior. I love it.
Of course, now it's January.
For today, I think I'll bring a little light into my cave of despair by thinking about what I'm grateful for:
* My friend Karen got to adopt her second girl. I'm really happy for her.
* Both of my sisters-in-law announced their pregnancies at Christmas time - we'll all hopefully have babies within a couple of months of each other.
* Both my kids had the flu this week and only threw up once.
* I got to spend New Year's Eve with good friends, even though I ruined the fondue.
* My family had a really great gathering on New Year's Day where we exchanged our homemade gifts and I thought it was a great success.
* I seem to be over morning sickness, for the most part.
* Troy has a job still.
* Our new bathroom, though not entirely completed, is so beautiful that it's now my happy place and I'm bathing much more often than necessary.
* Troy is so cute with our kids. He's so often able to be fun and happy and silly with them when I'm already at the end of my rope.
* I have a multitude of really awesome friends.
* The sun is shining today. Even though I know the haze is on its way, the sun in shining.
* We updated our computer so it's no longer super frustrating to use.
* We're getting ready for a trip to CA to visit my brother and Mickey Mouse next week.
* We're almost half way through January.
Okay, I feel better.