Monday, December 25, 2006

Have yourself a merry, little Christmas!

Monday morning. I should be in the shower right now, getting ready to leave for my firend, Joe's house, but I wanted to pop in and say hello. For anyone who celebrates Christmas, please accept my heartfelt wishes for a wonderful day today.

This Christmas season has been one of introspection and growth for me. Pulling all of the old boxes with the decorations and ghosts of Christmas' past out of storage and letting them see daylight was painful but oh-so-worth it. I'd forgotten how much I love having a real, life-sized tree in the house and how beautiful all of those carefully-collected treasures are. Yes, I had to think about the last time they were out, and that's actually turned out to be a good thing.

It was 1996. I was 29 years old, 145 pounds, running 25-30 miles a week, wearing Victoria's Secret lingerie, and had bee married to my college sweetheart for 4-1/2 years. I was stuffing away the desperate cries of my heart that kept asking, "Is this all there is?" I wasn't unhappy, but I wasn't happy, either. My husband - a dear, sweet, loving man that I am still friends with - was getting on my last nerve and his mother was doing her best to do so, too. I couldn't think of a way out (it would be seven more months before I got up the courage to tell him that I wanted him to move out) or a way to make things better, so I spent a lot of time crying that Christmas, wondering what the future held. We carefully boxed everything up at the end of the holiday, sure that we'd be pulling it all out again in 12 months, just as we had every year since we'd been married.

Those boxes sat there for ten long years. For the first few years, it was all that I could do to get dressed on Christmas. Depression over the holidays was the norm. My parents usually invited me up to their house and we'd do dinner and presents and I'd feel that sense of family again, even if just for a day. I've dated a couple of guys over Christmases since, but no one that I felt a sense of "family" and "forever" with. Oh, I thought at the time that they could be special, but - looking back - I never committed myself fully to either of them (although I accepted engagement rings from both - is it any wonder I'm so messed up?)

This Christmas is different. Gloria describes the process of moving the blocked energy within as if you had broken a bone (pain), had it set with a cast and immobilized, and then, once the cast is gone and you have to start using it again, you're terrified because it's going to hurt and the muscles haven't been used in so long that you're not sure what they're capable of anymore. And that's where I find myself this Christmas...trying to remember how to love someone unconditionally and with my whole heart again. Because this one is so very worthy and, even though I know my timing sucks, I want to build a life together forever with him. With a tree, my decorations, our four cats, our wonderful families, and the man that I love.

So, I'm scared and excited and expectant and stuffed up from my cold. And just underneath the surface I hear the same thing, repeated over and over: It's not too late, it's not too late, it's not too late. It's Christmas Day and, just like Mr. Scrooge, I still have time to mend my dysfunctional ways and pull off a life worth living. A life filled with love and joy and sadness and frustration and every other feeling in the world.

Now, how shall I convince the gentleman in question of this?

3 comments:

Deb said...

I'm a little late, Denise, but I hope that you've had a fantastic Christmas!

mckay said...

"Gloria describes the process of moving the blocked energy within as if you had broken a bone (pain), had it set with a cast and immobilized, and then, once the cast is gone and you have to start using it again, you're terrified because it's going to hurt and the muscles haven't been used in so long that you're not sure what they're capable of anymore."

OMG!!!! you've summed this feeling i've had and couldn't explain so well. thank you!

p.s. gloria..who? if she wrote a book, i should probably read it!

mck.

Mother of Invention said...

I had no idea you were married before. You were brave and must feel good about the fact that you actually got out your own decorations and survived all of it. Good for you! It's all coming together and I wish you the best things in life.