Thursday, December 20, 2007

pushed to the back of the drawer

it's not just you i'm neglecting

Despite a steady stream of packages arriving on my front stoop (making my mail carrier lady rather grumpy, I fear, because she doesn't simply ring the bell and leave, like the brown shorted fellows, no, she rings the bell and waits for me, sometimes for several minutes before I stop what I'm doing and get to the door. And I open the door, expecting to see a box, but always a little surprised to see her still standing there, holding it), I haven't mailed any of my own. I attempted the chore when I dropped my Christmas cards off at the post office, but the line was intimidating and I had both of the children with me and the youngest one was was already a crab. And I did not even try yesterday and today, well, today is clear and sunny and beautiful, a fine day to walk up with an armload of boxes, and probably the last day to send packages that should arrive by Christmas and yet, here I am. Not in line at the post office. I am pushing back my deadline and I'm going to call them New Year's Packages and expect that if any of my recipients grumble, I'll take them off the list all together for 2008.

Actually you know who's grumbling the most? Me. Because I expect the moon from myself and I never, ever deliver. Here's the thing: I've been giving myself such a hard time for not bouncing back from all the stresses this long year, arguing that *other people* (closely related, I'm sure to the elusive, mythical "they" who are always "saying" such-and-such) would be on top of everything, rocking routines and plans and not just slogging through the holidays, but making them the best holidays ever. I'm not at my best. And I need to be okay with that because giving myself guff, or assuming that furtive guff is covertly sneaking in from other directions, is like saying to someone with gluten intolerance, oh, but I can eat these flour tortillas and I feel just fine. What's your problem? Let's say that moving so much (plus at least one other big thing I haven't written about here) are the celiac version of flour tortillas. Or the fluffy persian cat equivalent of pet dander allergies. It's just been too much. For me.

I have to be okay with forgetting things, with letting other things slide, with expecting less from the start. Because that's just where I'm at this year.

So many things are getting away from me like old garlic. Does this happen to you, too? Do you dig in the back of a utensil drawer for that bottle opener or those tongs your rarely use, only to pull out a sprouting dried-up half-bulb of garlic? And you think, didn't I just buy that thing? And then you realize, no, no it's been weeks. Or longer.

The last time I found an old sprouting, garlic, my daughter declared it treasure and lovingly planted it in backyard soil tamped down into a cut off goat milk quart box, set it in the window and called it "Gloria."

Which sort of makes me think that even when things don't go "right" when I fall behind and don't do the scads of seasonal crafts I hoped I would, I don't help my girl acquire the supplies she needed to produce the certain handmade gifts she wanted to make, when I'm barely making reliable and healthy dinners, not to mention extra special Christmas baking, that somewhere in there, we'll still find some garlic shoots to call Gloria and something good can come out if it all.

Some good, so far this week:
-the unimitable word diva's soltice mix cd arriving in the mail
-a good friend's perfect gift of a whole case of my favorite condiment (this really deserves its own entry)
-my husband coming home for lunch and staying to finish putting our exterior lights on the house
-the sound of rain on my windows when I go to bed at night
-my son has taken to calling his Richard Scarry's Best Word Book Ever "the scary book" not, as you might assume, because of the author's name but simply because there are a lot of lions and elephant drawings and he thinks they're "scary"
-having had several excuses to wear my favorite coat, vintage a-line camel hair with the big, plastic buttons.


Lisa said...

I told Angelina earlier and I'll tell you too. I love the automated postal machine in the post office lobby. It can do almost anything for you and you can even pay with a debit or credit card. It saves me so much time. Even when the line looks scary and long there isn't usually anyone using the automated one.

I think that this has been a hard year for a lot of people judging by the decrease in cards and letters that I have received this year and everything I am reading. Especially when you've had so much going on, you deserve to give New Years gifts!

april. said...

i must pick the wrong times because there has also been a long line at the automated machine. i generally disdain any sort of automated machines (and drive-thrus, but that's probably something different all together) but if the line were short, i might reconsider.

i have only received two cards this year, though seasonal missives dwindle every year around our house, which i account to having moved so much that no one keeps up with our address.

sj said...

email me your address and maybe we'll actually get our "annual" (but hasn't happened in about 5 years) earth day letter sent to you in 08! christmas and even new year has always been too hectic for me to do a letter....and i don't actually do the letter's the husband. hm. definitely pushed to the back of the drawer!

midgettroyani said...

did you get that hot sauce stuff? Come on! Don't leave me here, all curious and growing curiouser.

Angelina said...

If it makes you feel any better, I have still not recovered from the excessive stress of my husband losing his job two years ago, me breaking my hip, him breaking his arm and getting surgery, and a huge move to another state. Even though everything really did turn out for the better, I'm still cowering in the corner of change and thinking that doing anything at all is pretty massive. I was thinking I might do some holiday baking AFTER the holidays. Two years it's been.

So I think you can just take it easy and nurse yourself back to normalcy-it takes time and you have to give it to yourself.

Lisa B-K said...

Am v v glad it arrived so quickly... and that you like it. As soon as I burn discs en masse, I'm always oh, crap, I would have sequenced differently.. and I totally forgot to put so and so on there... etc.

Got yr magnets in the mail! Yr kids are on my fridge!