A Little Perspective

December hit me like a ton of bricks! An extra big, extra heavy ton of bricks. Just ask my clients, every one of them learned the word “patience” in December since I got next to nothing done for any of them. The first couple of weeks I TRIED full time to work. Which meant I sat in front of this infernal machine and stared at it for 10 hours a day, feeling guilty and useless. Finally around the 3rd week of December I decided to give up completely and retreat from the working world.

As soon as I gave up I felt better, and less useless. I touched up the paint job in the upstairs of my house, I painted one wall of my office a bright LIME green (if that doesn’t stave off despair nothing will). I performed sponge-paint magic on one wall in my kid’s room. I also did some cooking, helped organize a couple of parties, rearranged my office and watched the entire first season of the Lost series on DVD.

But the most rewarding thing I did in December was to make and strengthen friendships. Several close friends are now closer than ever and I made a new friend who ROCKS!

December was month of parties, I think attended a total of 12 of them and turned down a few others. Parties mean lots of schmoozing I guess, talking and talking and listening and listening and laughing and trying not to over-do it with all the booze and all the food that’s always around. I did pretty well avoiding the drink, I often get bored with drinking at parties after just a few drinks, so I usually leave parties pretty much sober, not always, but often. I did a little worse with food maybe, but that’s largely due to the fact that I cooked several cheesecakes and well you know how that is. Cheesecake is God’s chosen food after all.

But when there wasn’t a party going on I was morose much of the time. I think it’s due to all the crap that’s happened to me in December. Too many memories. First off I think that holidays are just hard, it’s hard when my kid leaves to spend Christmas in the States with her Dad. But it’s also hard when family comes here. When people come here I feel the weight of their expectations, they expect me to cook and clean and entertain and stay in a good mood. And when no one comes it feels empty and lonely and wrong.

In December there are the two anniversaries of my dad’s death, and the 10 days in between which I always spend remembering how we were just waiting for him to go. Every year it’s like I’m in suspended animation during that time. I don’t function, I float, I watch, I wait, I cringe. But I don’t function.

And then there’s another tragedy in December. Seven years ago I lost a pregnancy in December. It was ectopic, meaning the dividing egg was lodged in my fallopian tube. Two days before Christmas my tube ruptured, resulting in the worst pain I’ve ever had in my life (next to childbirth with no anesthetic which I highly recommend as a punishment for your worst enemies). After bleeding internally for 12 hours my [now ex-] husband took me to the doctor. They sent me in for surgery immediately. They got in there and decided to clean out the tube and sew it up. But they missed some of the cells, which kept on dividing. So 6 days later the same tube ruptured again and I was back under the knife for a second time. This time they took the tube out. [I now how an ovary that is not attached to anything and moves freely around in my belly…when I get an ultrasound they always have to go hunting for it…]

When I went in for that second surgery I was certain I was going to die. Certain I would never see my little girl again. Certain she was about to have her mama die. And my husband didn’t get it, or couldn’t face it or something. I told him and he laughed it off. I was so alone and so scared and he wasn’t there emotionally. He was vacant.

When I woke up in that recovery room I was truly amazed that I was alive. I could not believe it. And that was when I realized that life is too frickin’ short to spend with someone who can’t be present when you are scared shitless. Why the hell was I doing his laundry if he couldn’t even hold my hand when I was terrified? So I got out.

And then I found Arturo. And I never feel alone now. Never. Even when we’re a thousand miles apart we are connected. When I touch him I feel completed. When he hugs me I feel cherished and honored and loved. And when I get the slightest ache or pain he begs me “don’t die, I love you”. If that doesn’t fix what ails me nothing will.

And so now I kiss December goodbye. Month of so many memories and so much change for me. And I start January off with the realization that if December is always going to hit me that hard that I had better PLAN for it. So this year I’m vowing to take the WHOLE MONTH off!!

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