Sunday, November 20, 2011

Today and Always...Well, Almost Always.

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'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.


Linda in New Mexico said...

Hell yes.....I agree, fun not labor intensive stuff that really doesn't matter. Rock on. XOXO Linda

Yve said...

Maybe you could have a word with my mum about the whole stressy Christmas thing. She has always had to do all the cooking and decorating and wants to keep it that way even though she's now in her mid seventies. Now she gets tired half way through and can't be bothered to do so much but gets really angry if anyone tries to help or "Take over" as she calls it!

SOoooooooooo glad I have my own place this Christmas. ;o)

Gloria said...

I agree with you too. It should be a shared thing. I enjoyed your story. Have a wonderful Sunday.

Michele Lynch Art said...

I'm with you my dear. Less is more. The older I get the more I understand this. We spend the first half of our life trying to get things and the last half trying to get rid of it. I bought a 6 foot tree this year that fits on a table and the best part is I can easily take it down and even leave it decorated if I want and just take it to the basement. I used to be the super Christmas mom too but no more, I spend the time with everyone instead. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving my friend! xo Michele

Whimsey Creations said...


oldblackcatboo said...

I couldn't agree more.
I had been having an awful time at work. A co-worker/friend was constantly preaching at me about how awful my work situation was and how my salary is so meager. She would call me at home to continue the conversation and I felt so stressed. Now that she is gone (fired) I find that although I have the same job and wage, work isn't quite so oppressing. I try to focus on the positives....the same could be said for the Holidays. To focus on the positives. Having people who love you, a place to lay your head, a critter by your side and having your health. I mean really, that's all that really matters. Who cares what your tree looks like or if you even have one. And cooking. do it if you enjoy it or just go out and buy it.
again, I agree, Peace! - Cindi

audrey said...

Well, Gerogina, I think I've taken a little lesson learned away from this post. Thank you very much. And you are SO right. Life is too short ~ we need to spend as much time as we can being happy and having some fun.
I've been happy happy happy since my blog came back and I actually did get an email from Blogger apologizing for the inconvenience. Now I just need to find some time to post something. lol
Have a great week, Georgina!
♥ audrey

Mary Helen-Art Saves Lives said...

I so understand this intensive pressure to be perfect...but no more. I am praying for the chance to share an afternoon with my girls without saying the wrong thing...or things. I am sending you blessings as you celebrate this beginning of impossible expectations that are thrust on us by ...well ourselves! Peace be with you!!! Mary Helen

Mary Helen-Art Saves Lives said...

I agree with you 100% ...where did we ever get an idea that doing being having MORE was the best idea since white bread??? I hate white bread! Peace, Mary Helen

Mary Helen-Art Saves Lives said...

I made it in Okay because we ended up with only beautiful flurries. The Christmas Carols do seem to be a good motivator for me. I am not sure what Ken is really going to decide to get for our health but whatever it is more than I am doing right now :0)!Peae, Mary Helen Fernandez Stewart

Elena said...

Hey! It's ME!! So honored I inspired a post. About holiday stress?! Haha! I'll take it. Funny Christmas and Thanksgiving were the only holidays that were happy at my house growing up. It seems they were poisoned after I grew up and I started letting the mass media impose this 'not enough' mentality as in not enough time, not enough food, gifts not good enough. So I'm banning them this year. I haven't stepped in a store or watched the news. I don't care who's killing each other standing in line over the next toy. Aya ellos! heehee Loved your post and story! Hugs mujer.