Reflections on Christmas past.

We’re having a big dinner tomorrow with my brother and his wife, some strange guy I don’t know (seriously) and taosma and her brood.
I have to clean the whole house today. I’m trying to keep Tempest occupied because she’s not the kind of kid that likes to help when I’m home alone and need to clean. She’d rather mess it up and then scream at me about how funny that was.

I’m actually doing okay this Christmas. This is the first time I can remember being this okay.
Last year I remember that we watched March of the Penguins on Christmas night, but that’s all I remember. This is why it’s nice having a journal – you can read back on the events that you’ve otherwise forgotten and it’s like living them anew. Journaling is probably the ideal hobby for the memory loss sufferer. Although there are times when I read back in my life five, six or more years and feel compelled to strangle my past self: there are worse things in life than the shit I was whining about back then. I want to speak to my past and tell her to stand up for herself and get a grip. How can you whine about getting up at 8am three days a week when in a few years you’ll be crying over the empty body of your second child? Ignorance is bliss.
Why did I let my boss sexually harass me? Why didn’t I tell off Dumb&Dumber and quit earlier? Why didn’t I keep it up when I had the chance? Why didn’t I spend more time with him before we left? Why didn’t I say goodbye to them? Why didn’t I take it more seriously? I should have gone out more, I should have taken another walk, I should have, could have, would have – but didn’t. I have more regrets than blessings today.

My children are sleeping and playing quietly and I’m running around the house cleaning every inch on my hands and knees to fulfill my obsessive need to live in a neat and organized home so that my mental state is not immediately apparent. I hate having people over when the house is not tidy. Tidy isn’t even the word for it: it has to be perfect. I don’t even know where I got this neurosis from, as a kid my room was a warzone.

Reading over this a few hours later makes me realize I’m probably not as ‘okay’ as I think I am. It’s still a vast improvement from the last many years.
Christmas 2005 was just after Jericho’s due date. 2004 I don’t remember, 2003 we were driving 12 hours up the province to move to the ass of B.C. and leave everything I’d ever known and loved behind. 2002 I just found out I was pregnant with Tempest but our house politics was in utter chaos. 2001 I was probably so consumed with wedding plans that I didn’t even notice the holidays. Just before Christmas 2000 I had my first miscarriage – we weren’t trying to get pregnant. I thought I couldn’t possibly be more upset than I was the day I lay in bed bleeding and crying with my best friend, thinking of Curtis thousands of miles away from me. I can’t stand to read my old journal entries, so I mark them all private. Years and years worth of entries that came from such naivetΓ©. I wonder, will I be as embarrassed of myself five years from now, too?

I started a little album with photographs from my pregnancy with Xan. Ideally I’d really like to do one for each child. When I was younger I was fascinated by my mother’s pregnancy with me. There are very few pictures of her while she’s pregnant with me and I cherished the few I ever saw.
My printer doesn’t work: we’ve lost a vital cable and I can’t find it anywhere even though I know exactly where I put it when we moved. Once we either replace it or buy a new damned printer I can print out some more pictures to add – or just get them developed through Superstore or something.
Maybe if I ever get the inclination I’ll start a blackmail album of all the funniest and stupidest pictures of my kids. I’ll call it something like, “First date” and keep backups.

A conversation Curtis and I had about the recorded message from the video store telling us we had to return our movies:
“A woman called today. She said you had something of hers.”
“I stole her panties.”
Rogers, she called herself. She called you a thief and demanded you return the item you have.”
“Right.”
“What’s going on with you and this person?”
“Plenty. This week we saw each other five times. We spend hours together.”
“But why?”
“Sometimes we laugh. Sometimes we cry.”
“You just love the drama.”
“And the action. We get a lot of action.”
“What will Blockbuster do when she finds out?”
“I can manage.”
“Whore.”

And now both my children are awake, but at least my husband is home. I have more cleaning to do. A two-hour break is more than enough. I need to hire someone to stand behind me and kick my butt.

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12 Comments

  • altarflame says:

    I’ve never been able to get more than a couple of years past any writing of mine – poetry, prose rambling, essays, journals, anything – without hating it to the point of humiliation and anger, looking back. It’s a bit ridiculous, and I wonder the same thing all the time – will I look back on what I’m writing now, that same way? I hope not? It seems slightly less likely since we’re growing up – we’re not children anymore, or teenagers, or post-adolescents. We’re “in our twenties”, we have children, we know enough to show that we know a little…or maybe I’m just in denial :p

  • My stepdaughter called me a while back and read page after page of her journals from when she was 13, 14, 15. It was hilarious and touching at the same time. We both laughed and cried a little.

    Everything in my journals from 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002… is about grief. I was so immersed. Those are the best entries, the best writing I’ve ever done. Even though I know I wrote them I read and wonder where those words came from.

    Journals are good.

  • fireyearth says:

    hello πŸ™‚ i found your journal through blognotfound and i’ve been reading it for a while now. i love how you write, you often make me lol πŸ™‚
    i hope its ok for me to ad you, you can ad me back if you want but i must warn you that my journal isnt very exciting :p

  • unconformed says:

    I’ve had this LJ for going on 6 yrs.
    I go back and read it all about twice a year… it embarrasses me but I can’t delete it.
    Merry Christmas.

  • taosma says:

    Mama I have seriously been reading through my journals lately and bawling my eyes out. I think “GOD JUST LOOK WHATS RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU” or I try to tell myself that if I did the other possibility things would be different. Then I realize the other possibility is impossible now. I seriously think that some of my naivete came with age. I was learning so much back then, 2 years ago, 5 years ago, and of course I still am, but its all relative and it all changes.

    And I must say I’m really happy to have you as a friend. You’re a beautiful person. πŸ™‚

    AS for photo albums, I too was interested in pregnancy photos of my mom. I only remember one of her when she was pregnant with me, one of her wearing this gigantic hilarious moomoo smiling widely. I have 3 photo albums finished of Tao’s, the first one starting with my pregnancy and many of my pregnancy photos, then his birth. I find it comforting to look through and I’m sure he’ll be interested some day.

    We’re really looking forward to spending tomorrow with you guys. What time do you want us to come over?

    • admin says:

      Our phone is dead. Again.
      Come over any time. My bro and his wife are starting at like… noon – so ANY time is good.

      • taosma says:

        Our phone is dead too. I just wrote a threatening email to Shaw, its really starting to piss me off. They said they’ve been having issues with the service and they’re working to resolve it asap. I’m sure the same applies to you.

        We’ll probably come over sometime around 3-4. We’re planning on going to the beach for a walk this afternoon. πŸ™‚

        See you then.

  • we had miscarriages around the same time. I was 16 at the time.
    I’m also embarassed about how I used to be . I’m embarassed that some of my friends are still like that. Mostly just embarassed for them that they havent grown out of it yet.

  • eiretamicha says:

    I really enjoyed reading this entry. πŸ™‚

    I hope you have a good time tomorrow. ♥

  • _evalution says:

    that is one of the hazards of journaling. somehow my version of myself gets clouded into something much more appealing, and when i actually go back and am faced with the reality of my then-self…it’s always rather embarrassing. i suppose that’s why every few years i have to completely change my livejournal. it doesn’t feel like who i am, anymore. at least with paper journals, once you fill up the pages it goes closed and into a drawer or box.
    i hope you guys have a good time tomorrow.

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