Tag Archives: holiday

Holidays Are Hard

Holidays are hard…I am writing this in a crunch. I am listening to Taylor Swift, a Diet Pepsi that is so flat it’s not worth it is nearby, as is my daughter’s Christmas list.

I have been writing these blogs for almost two years. The first one I wrote as a regular contributor was right around this time and it was about the holidays and that pang. That pang you get as a parent who shares holidays with a former spouse.

Holidays are hard.

Let’s be honest they suck.

That dance you do. My least favorite dance by the way.

I wrote that blog from my perspective.

I didn’t stop to think about my daughter’s Dad. More importantly I didn’t stop to think about my daughter.

We have been attending this “dance” for almost eleven years. One year Santa didn’t come until the day after Christmas. She has had to wait. Ask me to share lists. Some people think she gets two things isn’t that great.

Is it?

So I asked her. How she feels about things. What she wants. She’s thirteen now. 

Well I should first tell you…Last year she put her foot down and told us how it was going to be. She wanted to wake up Christmas morning here, then go to her Dad’s. Then come home. She told me she was mad we waited so long to ask. I said well you were little…

That kind of smoothed things over. 

This year we now have COVID to contend with. Our state has actually mandated no gatherings with people outside of the home. So I asked her…now what? How are you feeling about things?

Meh she says.

What does that mean?

Mom, I can’t get upset about things I can’t control, remember? No point.

Wow. You are much calmer about this than I am. 

I know. She laughs.

I still worry that Christmas is never what it should be or Thanksgiving or Easter…

I will always feel that pang when she goes. I will always worry she is not getting the holidays she deserves.

The older she gets we are talking and making the holidays more hers. As they always should have been as I meant them to be. But as you know there’s no playbook for this. What you think is right maybe isn’t. So you try to make each moment, each holiday,better.

I am thankful for such a great kid in spite of me figuring this out as I go.

And maybe figuring it out wrong.

 

Be safe Mommas and much love.

💚Caprise

Season Of Gratitude

Season of gratitude….

With Thanksgiving right around the corner I am especially aware of how important it is to be grateful. Not merely as a concept, but more as an experience that can bring you to tears.

It has taken me the better part of my adult life to fully experience gratitude in my body. One of the turning points for me was reading a book called Gratefulness, the Heart of Prayer by Brother David Steindl-Rast. He has a wonderful video on YouTube where he described why we should be profoundly grateful to simply wake up in the morning. I encourage you to view it here https://youtu.be/3Zl9puhwiyw.

The bottom line is what Brother David expresses is everything in this world has been given to us. The air that we breathe, the water that we drink, our bodies that’s simply work. I used to take all of these things for granted. The idea that I could just go into the kitchen and turn on the faucet and have clean, potable water to drink. Both hot and cold running water when so much of the world doesn’t have it. That is amazing. Really.

This was also my wife’s favorite time of the year. She assigned all of her clients and students to write 1000 gratitudes before Thanksgiving day. I never once heard anyone say ” yay I can’t wait!” The reaction was more commonly a groan or a grunt. It always became an exercise in overcoming ourselves, but in the long run was a glorious exercise. And showed us how there are so many things in our lives day to day, to be grateful for. The people and things that we interact with every day make our lives wonderful, and we can stop and acknowledge that. 

Of course there are some things in our lives we cannot be grateful for, that we wish would never have happened,  or would never happen again, but that’s not what this exercise is about. Trust me, you can always return to that way of thinking anytime you choose, but for today, for now join me in thinking about all of the wonderful things, and all the wonderful people in our lives. Because we can.

~Steve

The Dreaded Day Of Valentine

The dreaded day of Valentine….This has always been a tough holiday for me. Since I can remember, I have struggled with being a single person on this day. When I was in college, I decided that I would start taking myself out on dates. I called them “Jesus dates.” It was just me and Him and we’d go and I would actually communicate with Him and treat myself to dinner and a movie. I continued these little dates about once a month or so regardless of the Valentine’s Day stuff and tried to value myself during these moments. It got me through young adulthood.

Then, as a full-on adult, still single with no prospects, I ran into an old friend who introduced me to a guy from another country. He was cute. He had a nice butt. I told him so. It was love at first sight.  I was in my 30s by this time. Our short whirlwind ended in marriage and our first Valentine’s Day was spent watching The Walking Dead. My husband bought me chocolates and he drew a picture for me. He drew the praying hands from scratch. He knew I was (and still am) a woman of Faith and drew the praying hands. I wish I still had that drawing. It was the first and last best Valentine’s Day ever.

Now, with about 10 additional years and two children in tow, it’s just me again. A party of one. With onesies… I have returned to being alone on this dreaded day, but I have kids now. They see everything.

EVERY. THING.

How do I navigate these waters without teaching them that I absolutely have no love for this holiday, for what this holiday currently means? I must decide every year to approach it head on for them. At some point, I’ll teach them the history, but in the meantime, I will have to show them how to love their peers and teachers. Last year, I bought my kids silk roses and mini hearts with chocolates inside. They turned around and gave the silk roses back to me when they saw I did not have any in my own hand. They shared their candy with me, too. The silk roses are still in my kitchen where they gave them back to me. This year, we went to the Dollar Tree and bought each of their teachers a customized gift. That was fun for the kids. It helped me not be depressed or angry this year as I pursue a divorce or reel from the loss of several friends or other significant relationships or jobs or what-have-you.

The Dreaded Day of Valentine is just another day this year. This is better than it being a day to look forward to hating.

~ALG~

Please Pass The Eggnog

Please pass the eggnog.

Holiday party season is in full swing. Which means I get grilled. You get grilled. There is not a single person at a holiday party,gathering or function who is safe except maybe someone’s Grammy. As she should be as she is a big part of why we are all gathered and typically in my experience brings the best baked goods.

Please pass the eggnog.

Sadly that’s not what this blog is about.

It’s about that uncomfortable questioning that comes each holiday season.

It makes me so uncomfortable my eczema flares up. This year I was hoping my flare was because of my new tattoo, but I’ve been going to the same guy for five years with no issues. Also, said ink is nowhere near my flare up location.

It was because I had a holiday work event with new people and I knew I would get questions about my plans for the holidays.

Which honestly is a perfectly acceptable thing to ask. It’s people’s reactions to my answers that can be tough.

At  this year’s gathering I was asked what I was doing for the holidays to which I said my family was visiting from the East Coast.

I then was asked if we spent time with my husband’s family.

No. I’m not married. Divorced.

Oh … you’re not married. Remarried?

No

Oh. Do you have a boyfriend.

Ummm… well kinda, it’s new so…

So just you and your daughter?

Well…

Oh that’s too bad.

Wait, wait, wait. First of all it’s not just me and my daughter. It’s her grandparents and aunt, uncles, cousins. AND even if it was just us, WHICH it has been many times we have traditions in place.

Like our gingerbread house that gets attacked by dinosaurs that we build every year no matter what. It gets attacked because frankly gingerbread houses are hard.

Cookie baking.

Hanging out in jammies all day on Christmas.

Going to a movie.

Pizza!

Yule log for breakfast!

My Christmas may not fit the mold but it’s mine and hers and even at what I thought was the hardest and worst she didn’t, and shame on me I shouldn’t have either because I had her.

At the end of the day as hard as it is to answer the questions and feel like it’s not perfect, remember and I believe Noelle sings a similar song on the regular… it’s about moments. It’s about time. It’s about each other.

I sometimes forget I have the best Christmas gift of all, she’s eleven, she’s almost taller than me and it does make me giggle that singing Jump Around at the top of my lungs embarrasses her a little.

In the meantime though, maybe pass me some eggnog with a little something extra in it.

Remember Mommas we got this and I got you.

Much love and Happy Holidays,

~~Caprise

Single Mom of the amazing Dbl G
Teacher
Sometime DJ
T-shirt collector
Henry Rollins Middle Aged Punk Prom Date

2018 Approaches Another Year To Put Behind Us

And here we go, the countdown into the Holiday Crazies and 2018…another year to put behind us and another year to create in front of us.  2017 was the end of a lot of things for me, mainly my corporate Executive Team position with Dreamstime.   Most of you know that after almost 15 years I stepped down to spend more time with my family and to do the work that I feel compelled to do in the world…it has been a time of transition and 7 months later there are still days when I feel complete and utter terror, however I also feel a sense of freedom and right choice.  I know without a doubt that I made the right decision and I look forward to starting the year fresh with my own company and not having to worry about what other people are doing.

I am starting to think about making a list of all the things that were accomplished in 2017 and all of the things that need to be left behind, behaviors, attitudes, conditions and in some cases people.  I am feeling like 2018 is going to be an amazing year filled with miracles that we don’t even expect.  Soon I will start talking to you guys about writing down goals for 2018, so start thinking about that—if you could accomplish ANYTHING in 2018 what would that be??

Also start thinking about what needs to be left behind you as we enter into this new season–and what in 2017 you are grateful for.  The more work we do on being complete and preparing for the new year that we want to manifest, the better things will be.  We will keep talking about this….

 

Noelle