Sunday, November 20, 2011
One of my favorite people I've met via another mutual fav person, made a comment about enjoying the holidays or rather, how she has lost that ability to enjoy them. Personally, I've been enjoying them for years, but when I was younger, that wasn't the case. The holidays always represented time of severe stress and attempts to put on that "joyful" face. I knew I didn't like feeling that way, but I did and never really did anything about it since I'd always felt like that. Flash back into my mid 40's which was a time of great sadness, stress and emotional turmoil. I decided to get some counseling, ya know, the shrinking kind. Thankfully, through my sessions, I learned quite a bit about myself and how events in my childhood affected my adult life, even the simplest of things.
My wonderful belated Pop was in the liquor bidness. It was a family thing, which I think I've mentioned in a past blog. My grandfather started the business, selling it in Mexico where he lived, but also made big bucks selling to the creme d' la creme of El Paso, during Prohibition. My dad told me the revenuers would wait on the banks of the Rio Grande, shooting at the carriers who were hauling these barrels across the river and quite a few made it to their destinations, the elite of El Paso. So as usual, I digress. Well, my dad got into the business because of his father and older brothers. My uncle that lived here owned bars, which I would go sometimes with my dad...he had business with his brother, so I would sit at the bar and eat pickled eggs and pigs feet...ugh, can't even imagine consuming anything so awful now!!
As you can imagine, the holidays were my Pop's biggest time of the year...he made his bucks selling wholesale, so there were many private parties, organizations, businesses, country clubs, etc. that ordered their liquor from him. Of course, this came with a great amount of stress, stress that he brought home. Without going into any specific details, this time of year could get a bit testy. So without realizing it, I carried this into my adult life and forced this legacy onto my own family.
I had to be Super-Christmas Mom!! The house had to be decorated just so...I never wanted the kids to decorate the tree or have anything to do with that. I did ALL the baking, again, not including anyone else. I bought ALL the Christmas gifts for both my family and my ex's. Well, at the end of all this, I was exhausted and resentful! While I did all the work, everyone else enjoyed the holidays...WTF!!! Right??? Wrong!!! This is a case of "quien te manda?" or loosely translated, "who commands you?" Who said I had to do all the work, take on all the responsibilities, all the stress???? There laid the conundrum!! Who "said??"
During my sessions, I learned that I was the one who made those choices, I was the one who for some reason, felt I had to take it ALL on. I recall one Christmas Eve, which is the night we celebrate, my sister, who is not a cook or baker, made a comment about all my baking achievements for that evening. I told her since the birth of my youngest, Ian, who is autistic, I got real smart and didn't do as much (cough, cough, like hell, but again, I was clueless), she said kidingly that she was REAL smart...I then turned around and in a very sarcastic tone, told her she was an "f'n genius!!"
So now I don't do as much. I still have the bake-o-rama, but not because I have to, but because I want to and am good at it and love doing it. Gifts are still very creative and unique, or as creative and unique as I can get them, but I don't do the crazy shopping sprees anymore. I haven't done a Black Friday in years...I don't even go to the grocery store during that weekend. My funds are meager, but I make the best of it and my family knows that. About the only thing I really concentrate on now are gifts for my grandsons...they love Legos, so I got what they wanted already back in Sept./Oct. I already have some things made for other family members and even bought my mother her gift. She mentioned once that she wanted to read the Bible, but had trouble reading the version she has...it's the family bible and weighs more than she!! So I went to Barnes & Nobles and found a student version, meaning simple English, so she could start reading it.
In my forthcoming "old age," I'm doing less but enjoying more. So my feelings on what my friend posted today, "Our attitude towards life determines life's attitude towards us." ~ Earl Nightengale. So I choose happiness, every chance I get; I like what the Universe sends back to me. So there will be some dark days, of course, but there will always be a light at the end of the tunnel, so cut the crap, have fun and laugh...a lot. Peace out.
Posted by Georgina at 9:44 AM