That Time of Year

I’m sure that the time of year hasn’t escaped anyone. All around people putting up lights, bustling around here and there for Christmas shopping, and the occasional Grinch grumbling about how ‘So and so’ isn’t doing something right. The tiptoeing to not offend folks and family because we didn’t get them a gift or send a card. It’s a mad craze. As this year moves to its end I’m becoming more and more aware of my anxiety and working harder to keep it in check.

I’ve found myself repeating (in my head) how I wish more people understood or at the very least don’t take the lack of certain actions personally. I’ll be the first to admit, I absolutely hate talking on the phone, or being pulled out to big social functions (sometimes big could be going for coffee). I’ve been working slowly on taking a deep breath and pressing outwards to make a phone call or make plans to meet up with a friend. Most if not all times are not nearly as bad as the anxiety would have had me believe. The true big chore is beating that fear and worry down.

A few months ago I pushed myself to reach out to friends and family to put together a Pinterest Potluck because; one I like to cook, two who doesn’t have a hundred or more recipes from Pinterest that they have been dying to try but never make time or have reason, and three to place myself in a light obligation to be social with those I care about. Kind of silly, right? Well it’s taken off and we generally get together every other week (once a month through the holidays) which works out great for everyone and I have an inkling that it may have added that extra fluff to our winter figures. Us ladies in Alaska like to stay warm.
Sitting here now and thinking on what might have caused this anxiety over social interaction I’m at a loss to what the big fuss is about. Plans sound great. It’s that day or so leading up to the event or even during the event the obscene awkward works its way out. Friends and family may not notice it and if they do they have yet to mention it to me. First starts the nesting mode while I tell myself, “I got this.” Steadily it gets more frantic till I’ve done about ten laps of the house certain I was forgetting something or forgot to find out the details. Topping it off I tend to feel like I’ve lost the knowledge of how to speak or behave properly. I’ll note I grew up and worked around nurses along with having brought three children into the world I have very little modesty or sense of dinner safe conversation topics.

I’ve caught myself tearing up at a joke I’ve told simply because whomever I was talking to thought the joke was funny. Seriously trying to stop myself from crying as we laugh. I cannot tell you the amount of awkward silences I’ve sat through because I generally don’t have much to say or am afraid I talk to much about myself when really I’m simply attempting to relate in the conversation. I really do care about how you and your little one are doing. I didn’t really mean to make you think you weren’t important. And if I don’t call often it doesn’t mean I don’t think of you. I am the world’s worst at keeping in touch. The honest to goodness only ones I make an effort to call regularly are my children when they are with their father through the school year and my sister.

It’s amazing how many people will get offended at this sort of behavior and yet when you explain… then just then it might make sense. The next day, however, it turns back to being offensive. This is one of the big reasons I try hard to be open minded. I may initially get upset but I do like to think my ability to remain quiet gives me enough time to think things through and try to view the situation with different perspectives. I will say that when anyone wants to help a person who faces issues like I do, the worst thing you can do is mention the lack of visit or calling when we get the nerve up and talk our anxiety down. For me at least it feels like a guilt trip, which I was already dealing with. By bringing up this topic, it makes it five times harder to work past the anxiety and tension the next time for a visit or call. After all who wants to call or visit anyone they think is disappointed in them.
So yes it’s that time of year when anxiety and self-doubt have raised their head. I miss my family that I cannot see more than anything. I feel like the world’s worst mom because I’m not in the same house as my oldest two children and the bad wife because the house isn’t just right when hubby gets home. Then there is the fact that as of January 4 this year, it will have been 11 years without my mother. 11 years since the world I was growing confident in turned upside down.

But it is also that time of year when we take a moment to remember what we are thankful for. I am ever grateful for my family and friends, each and every one. I am thankful for all that I have been blessed with. There is a roof over my children’s head and food in their belly. I tell them often how proud I am of them and am certain they know I love them. I have a wonderful husband who has been a rock even when we both deserved to break. I am thankful to have ambition for the future. Simply put, this time of year along with every other day I am thankful for all I’ve been blessed. Family or friend reading this, know I do care, I’m just really bad at showing it.

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays.

All my love,