Sleeping in way too late on the weekends.
Getting annoyed in store line-ups waiting for what feels like forever.
Trying to find parking.
Gifts people want.
Trying to plan my wedding. Oh god. Ok. I've made some headway on this.
For one, Mike and I booked our honeymoon (much more important than actually planning the ceremony. Sure).
We filled out a marriage license (the joys of doing things online). We do still have to go to the registry office and present ID. Not sure when to do that. Most likely we are getting married
January 3rd, in the dead of winter, at City Hall, with our families, weather permitting (please please please let 2012 be the year that I start escaping "weather curses". See previous posts about not being able to go to NYC in August due to Hurricane Irene. And see last winter getting the LAST plane out to Boston before a crippling snowstorm on December 26th. And then read about the flu that I suffered through for the entire time while in Maine, through New Years and it all). Oh and I still don't have a dress. I know that's not much and I have absolutely nothing to complain about--I know how sweet my January will be, compared to the all around hangover-holiday feeling January normally arises in me.....but I also know what it's like when you're looking for a certain something and how impossible it can be.
But all in all, December is not going to be an easy month. I already feel a kind of sinking feeling when I envision our Christmas Day, and I get that anxious feeling I know so well, too, and then the panicky one. I still don't have alot of energy or cheerleader-type 'love of life' right now to spread around to people. Sure, I can muster it up once in a while but I can't whip it up on cue.
Social commitments can leave me feeling scared and wanting more 'alone time'. I know, it sounds crazy. To me most of all. I remember Decembers past when I always had dinner parties, where I threw myself into shopping, wrapping, cooking. But not so much this year, I can feel.
I did some Christmas shopping today, for my niece and nephew, and just being in the stores was exhausting. The crowds, all the decorations, the pointless-ness of it all...and I know it's not, I do know that. It means alot to people. They see family, they get some time off work, and they just take time out to ENJOY life. Which is really something I've lacked a commitment to this year. It's just felt like an effort, everything.
I just compare and contrast Christmases past I guess. As Joan Didion says, the first Christmas after, she mentally did a 'this is what I was doing on this day last year'; before her own life went off the rails. I do the same thing--I always have. She talks about the time after that first year as the 'time to relinquish the dead--to let them be that photograph on the table.' I think it's that unending unknowing that keeps us from really ever doing that. Where where are they...where?
Today has been a sad day for other reasons too, it's another sad anniversary marking a terrible event, and today even the weather even seemed to observe the regret and sadness that went along with it.
Mike and I drove off the beaten path to the cemetery, to put down some flowers, we wiped the leaves off the stone, we wiped away our tears. We stood, for the most part, quietly, Mike said We love you, Mike said We miss you and I said nothing, my voice not working, my head just nodding along. What I really wanted to say was thank you, thank you for being in my life and Mike's life, and somehow, maybe doing something only you could do to make all this happen in both our lives. For giving us each someone to love.
So another December marches along. The time of year for some reflection, some soul-searching, and some serious gratitude.