BulgingButtons

Not bad for a fat girl


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The Saddest Day of the Year?

Having just wrapped up Christmas, my sweetheart announced that December 26th is the saddest day of the year. His reasoning is that there’s all the pre-Christmas buildup, then Christmas Eve, then Christmas Day. After that? Nothing. At least not in the United States. It’s kind of a letdown if you look at it that way, so I choose to see it in a different light.

To me, December 26th is the day that all sorts of pressure is lifted. Didn’t get the cards mailed? Doesn’t matter now. Didn’t make a gingerbread house? Doesn’t matter now. Didn’t get all the decorations put out? Doesn’t matter now. Didn’t catch your favorite Christmas movie? Doesn’t matter now. Maybe next year. December 26th is when you can take a step back, evaluate all the things that you enjoyed about your Christmas celebration, and start to relax. Of course it’s easy for me to say that, since December 26th falls smack in the middle of my winter break.

If you’re very fortunate, on December 26th there may be new bikes to ride, new lego sets to build, new gadgets to set up, new books to read, or new clothes to wear. The decorations are all still there, the sweets and treats are still around, and you probably have enough leftovers to make cooking unnecessary. December 26th is a day to take a walk around the neighborhood, take a deep breath, and enjoy what’s left of the holiday season, without all the pressure of the actual holiday itself. December 26th isn’t sad, it’s not sad at all.


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A Different Kind of Christmas

No parties, unless you count a brief masked outdoor lunch at work (that I skipped).

No shopping, unless you count online shopping, in which case there’s been plenty of shopping.

No strolls around the neighborhood to enjoy the light displays, unless you count the daily walk to the mailbox that is more of an exercise in avoiding clusters of unmasked people who have come to our neighborhood to stroll around and enjoy the light displays.

No live performances of any sort. No Dave Koz, no children’s choir, no Nutcracker, no Christmas Carol, not even a school winter holiday concert.

I’ve noticed that several of my friends have really embraced the holiday season this year, setting up elaborate displays and decorating their homes to the max. They aren’t going to let a little thing like a global pandemic get in the way of enjoying Christmas. They are the grit your teeth and get it done no matter what folks. I admire them.

I, on the other hand, have gone the other direction. I’ve gone low key this year. Yes, there’s a Christmas tree, and it’s decorated, but there’s another whole tote of ornaments that didn’t make it on the tree this year. It’s okay, though, because the special ones are there.

The stockings are hung, but they’re the only thing on the mantle, which I usually decorate with greenery and various other holiday items.

The picture above the mantle is the same one that’s always there, not one that I put up just at holiday time. In fact on the walls I have exactly one holiday quilt and one holiday cross stitch piece.

The dining room table is covered in a red table cloth, and the kitchen table sports a green one, but neither holds a centerpiece. And Hanukkah? I’m afraid that got skipped all together.

Still, the house looks nice, not overcrowded, and I’ve baked some cookies, so that’s something. My son is quarantining so he can join us on Christmas, and he’s preparing the main dish. He’s turing into a very good cook.

Mine aren’t quite this perfect.

This holiday season may look different, and it may feel different, but I’m fortunate to be able to spend it with the ones I love, so I’m luckier than many people this year. Every day I’m grateful that we’re all still okay. Every day I hope that our good fortune holds out. Next year things will be different, hopefully they will be better. For now, though, I wish you the very best this holiday season. May you know peace, good health, and love.


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4 am in the Emergency Room

Here I sit, next to my mother’s bed. We’re in the emergency room a few miles from her house. It’s almost 3,000 miles from my house.

This is her second ER visit in a little over a week. The first one prompted a hastily prepared cross country road trip. Lucky for me, my son was available to help me drive. Lucky for me, I work with the best people, who made it possible for me to take off at a moment’s notice.

This mom of mine is tough. She’s stubborn and resilient. She’s got several things going on with her and she feels pretty bad right now, but I can’t imagine her slowing down too much. She’s got too much to do.

As much as I dislike sitting in the hospital with her, there’s no place else I’d want to be while she’s going through this. I know she’s going to be fine, but there are some hurdles to overcome first. I’m glad I can be here for her.