Wednesday, October 28, 2015

The gift of Christmas

So, I was cruising along through October with barely even a hint of melancholy. I wasn't exactly hosting parties and chatting people up on the phone, but I was totally staying in my lane, doing my thing. Lots of reading, cleaning out closets, giving things away with abandon and glee, and I was even rocking a really solid healthy eating kick. I mean, how often do all of those good habits come together in the same month?!

It was hard not to start feeling a little cocky.

But as the 26th approached, the wheels started to come off.

Sometimes you just have no control over when all the feels are going to start clamoring to be heard. It seems like I should remember they often like to be heard at the end of October...

And then on top of an already significant anniversary, Jack let us know that he wasn't totally sure he was going to be able to come home for Thanksgiving after all. The boy has gotten himself a job and apparently when you get a job your employer actually expects you to work.

(I suggested he have his boss call me, but he didn't seem to think that was a good idea. What?!)

Then Timothy finished up his college applications and after much soul searching determined he was ending his quest to play college soccer. The school he most wants to attend is not recruiting any defenders for next year and he has always said the school was more important to him than getting to play. The schools that are interested in recruiting him aren't schools he wants to go to, so...he is content to hang up his cleats at the end of this year. I'm proud of him. I support him 110%. As always his decisiveness and uncanny sense of himself astound me, but I'd be lying if I didn't admit that this is another ending that makes me a little sad.

And Annie...well, she just keeps growing up and that always means new...STUFF. Mostly good stuff, but stuff that all feels different both for her and for me. She is not one of those little girls dying to get older so I'm watching her struggle a bit against changes she can't control, and it makes me just want to wrap her up in a blankie like a burrito and rock her to sleep - except she's practically as big as I am. But I would totally still do this if I could just get her to stop fighting against my efforts to swaddle her up. It's very hard to swaddle a 10 year old who does not want to be swaddled. Words to live by.

And there it is.

Nothing earth shattering and certainly small potatoes compared to other people's problems. But perspective only takes you so far when it's your heart that's breaking, justified or not.

So, what's a girl to do?

I did the only thing that makes any sense under the circumstances. The one thing guaranteed to lift my spirits and heal my soul.

I think you know what's coming.

Oh, yes I did.

Clutch your pearls and cover the children's eyes, because here it is....

I started listening to Christmas music.

It all happened about a week ago when I really, really, really didn't feel like taking Rooney for a walk. It was kind of gray and I felt tired and blue and uninspired. So, I asked myself, "Self, what would make this more enjoyable for you?" And I kid you not, the answer was immediate and clear.

Christmas music

At first I felt a little sheepish. I mean in spite of my very public confessions of my love for Christmas here and here, even I do not usually resort to Christmas tunes before November.

But then I thought, who will even know? It will be my little secret. Although I swear Rooney kept rolling his eyes and sighing in disgust.

And then I couldn't stop.

And then I made a new Christmas playlist.

And then I perused the Apple Music Christmas playlists and determined right then and there they should hire me to make them some decent Christmas playlists.

For REAL, Apple Music. Puhleeease. Your selections are embarrassing. And boring. And it really pains me to say that about any sort of Christmas music.

(I make the best Christmas playlists. I'm not bragging, it's just true. It could be because I have 275 Christmas songs. That is the actual number of Christmas songs I own.) #sorrynotsorry #proudofit #ineedmore

So, now I'm just not even pretending anymore. I don't care who knows. I'll shout it from the rooftop (or my porch since our roof is really steep). I am already listening to Christmas music and I can't wait to see who comes out with new Christmas music this year. I'm full on IN and if you think I'm going to grow tired of my perpetual Christmas by the 25th of December then you really don't know me at all.

If you see me walking Rooney with a smile on my face, you will know why.

And let me know if you need me to make you a playlist.

I will honor Christmas in my heart,
and try to keep it all the year.
~Charles Dickens

This kid gets it.
He always has.
He's been playing Christmas music since July. 

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