My Post Christmas Pity-Party and Life Lessons

This Christmas was not the ideal Christmas I had in mind. Funny enough, all the potential bad stuff we were anticipating went okay. The less than ideal Christmas was the result of everything I did not anticipate.

Leading up to Christmas, I did everything “right.”

  • I participated in the must do Christmas things. We went to Christmas craft-fairs, we decorated the house inside and out, we celebrated the holidays with friends, we listened to Christmas music, and we watched Christmas movies. There was no Grinch allowed in this house leading up to Christmas – I embraced the season and made a point to enjoy it all.
  • We organized everything days and even weeks in advance. The menu for each meal was organized and where possible things were prepared early.
  • I cleaned before our house-guests arrived and I’ve cleaned daily while they are here. Our house has been decently pretty the entire time.
  • We planned activities for our guests – day time activities, evening activities, outdoor activities on the warmer days, inside activities for the colder days. Activities like ice-skating, movie marathons, dog walking, gourmet meals, visit to the mountains, board games, etc.
  • We submitted all the adoption paperwork before Christmas. This was important to me so that we could look forward to 2015 with hope as we will move into the adoption home study in January.
  • We told all our family about our decision to adopt – everyone has been excited and supportive. Even those we were unsure about, have pleasantly surprised us by being happy for us.

Yet, evidently, all the preparation in the world did not result in an amazing Christmas break thanks to life being, well, life. It doesn’t seem to matter what I plan, life doesn’t go according to my plan. (When will I ever learn to throw away my plans and just accept that I have no ability to control and influence things beyond my control?)

We had four unexpected surprises:

  1. My grandmother fell and is now in the hospital having emergency surgery. She is going to have a long recovery which will undoubtedly be hard on her and many members of the extended family.
  2. One of the children in our lives whom we greatly love spent a few days in the hospital right before Christmas. He is home now, but will be facing a battery of tests in the coming weeks to determine if his illness has resulted in long term damage.
  3. I didn’t realize just how bad some of our extended family drama is. I’m incredibly worried about some of Mr. MPB’s family members, yet I also realize this is not directly my problem or my place to say or do anything. Yet, it has become evident to me that some sort of mental health problems are occurring in members of this family and they are greater than I had realized. So whether or not I like it, I/we will be forced to deal with this in the coming weeks and years.
  4. Mr. MPB and I are sorting through more residual RPL crap that I wasn’t expecting. When will it stop? When will the hurt of losing 5 babies go away? When will the years of hurt stop permeating into every element of our lives?  What more do we have to do to make it stop? I’m honestly just sick and tired of it. I thought we already threw in the towel when we decided to adopt, so why is it all so hard? Why can things not just return to being easy? When can we just go back to being carefree about life? Can we ever go back? Are the scars so deep that they will never heal? Are we forever broken?

As I sit here today hiding from our house-guests for a few hours, feeling pretty miserable about myself and life, I realized that maybe I/we aren’t as far down the path of healing as I thought we were. Maybe I/we were never that far down the path of healing, rather I was just trying to convince myself that we were? Or hopefully, this last few days is just a bump along the road, and we’ll re-find ourselves on more comfortable ground in a few days time? Maybe I’m exhausted from having house guests for 4 nights, and once I get my space back I’ll relax again? Or maybe I’m just broken and always will be.

While it was a more challenging Christmas then I expected I should point out that through all of it we did enjoy moments of joy.  We celebrated together and with our families. And, we did see moments of happiness every single day, and I have the photos to prove it.  So, while it wasn’t perfect and I’m feeling lousy right now, it could have been worse.  And, on some level I am grateful that it wasn’t worse.

My last thought for today – the biggest things this Christmas has taught me:

Next year I’ll lower my expectations of the holidays and I’ll just expect everything to generally suck.

Or better yet, next year I’m skipping the entire thing and am booking a trip to a warm and sunny destination!

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45 Comments on “My Post Christmas Pity-Party and Life Lessons

  1. Oh how I wish I could take the hurt away! Or at least tell you it’s just a bad day and you’ll feel better soon. Unfortunately, I can’t do either of those things. I can tell you, it’s okay if you’re not as healed as you thought. You and Mr. MPB have suffered unimaginable tragedy and you are handling it in such an amazing way. Take care of yourself, let yourself grieve as much as you need to and know that you have so many prayers and good thoughts coming your way. Sending you lots and lots of love!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think it is really important to not put a time limit on your grief. I don’t think the pain ever truly goes away but only lessens. You have had so much to deal with over the past few years you can’t box it up and put it to the corner of your mind and move on and you know what, that is ok. You will have good and bad days. Today was a bad one. I am sorry about the residual family stuff. And I hope the little one is recovering well. Hugs. xx

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    • Part of me just wants to box it all up and put it in the corner of my mind! I know you are right, I know it’s not possible, and it most definitely would not be healthy in the long run, but it does seem like if it were possible it would be easy.

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  3. I honestly think you are experience a hiccup. The road to healing is never straight and easy. It’s full of twists and turns and unexpected detours. I’m so sorry the holidays have brought you down. I hope the new year brings you hope and reassurance of good things to come.

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    • Thank you so much for your perspective. I do agree, it was just a hiccup and a bad few days likely due in large part to high maintenance house guests. I am feeling much better today. 🙂

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  4. I really think having house guests and having it be the holidays is both exhausting and filled with anticipation and inevitable disappointment. I would try to not analyze or assess until you have your house back and normal lives for a few days. Thinking of you. Xo

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  5. Honestly, Christmas is overrated, and Christmas vacations somewhere on a sunny beach are seriously underrated. I’m sorry things suck right now. House guests, as lovely as they can be, are more draining than they seem. I have one right now, who is easy to host, but has still disrupted my mental health maintaining routine. I hope things get back to being good again for you soon.

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    • Thank you for sharing, you are right, no matter how great the house guest they disrupt our routines. And right now, with everything we’ve been going through, I have become pretty reliant on our routine – going for my daily run, cooking our meals our way, writing, etc. All these things may seem really simple, but compiled together they are really important to my happiness.
      I am happy to report that I am feeling so much better now that I have our house “back” and I can get back into my groove. I hope you too get back to your healthy routine soon:)

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      • Yup! Our house guest left last night, and while I am glad she visited, I look forward to getting back into my routine. I am so exhausted though!

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      • Having guests also highlighted how awesome and efficient DW and I function together as a team, and how we intuitively anticipate each others’ needs and thresholds for certain pet peeves. It was a good experience.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I think at some level we all expect some kind of magic to happen over Christmas, and when it doesn’t the disappointment is way out of proportion. Not to suggest AT ALL that what you’re feeling is disproportionate or, in any way, “not real” … I mean, rather, that you did all the right things. You’ve been doing all the right things for a long time. And now it’s Christmas, for crying out loud. So why isn’t it twinkly and perfect? As Mamajo said earlier, try not to analyze and assess until life gets back to normal.

    And as for house guests … Well, my grandmother used to say, “Guests are like fish. After three days the best of them starts to stink.” I hope they go home soon so that you can enjoy the memory of their visit, free of the day-to-day reality…:)

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    • Thanks so much for sharing your perspective. I love your grandmother’s quote!!
      You and Mamajo are both right – I am feeling so much better now that our guest have left and I have had today to do whatever I have want without caring about anyone else. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m so so sorry. Ugh it all sucks and feels like it’ll never be ok again. But it will. We have to believe that. Congrats on everything you accomplished leading up to Christmas. You did about 500% more than me and I’m impressed lol.

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    • Thank you so much for your thoughts. I read this the other day and am just now having time to comment, but I really appreciated your simple words of “but it will.” You were right, and now that I have my house back I am already feeling much better. 🙂

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  8. I hope this is just a blip on the radar of healing. From my experience healing is a continual journey and there is no time frame – maybe being healed means accepting and living with the grief in a healthy way? Either way I do not think you are broken. And as far next year, my vote is somewhere warm and tropical – in fact, this very idea came up several times this week in our house!!

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    • Thank so much for sharing your experience, I couldn’t agree more that healing is a continual journey. Although, I am happy to report that I am feeling much better today.
      And I’ve already told Mr. MPB that I’m planning a warm winter vacation next Christmas, and he’s welcome to join me if he wants to 🙂

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  9. I think the holidays are just hard on anyone who has had a rough year, or has been through something that’s been very trying and emotional. And having anyone stay in your house can be completely exhausting, whether or not things are going smoothly with them there. Adding all of this together is bound to bring out some of the worst (or at least bad) in people, and drag up some thoughts and feelings that aren’t welcome. I’m sure once you have your house back that things will settle back down for you guys, and you’ll feel better about life again. I am happy that your family is being supportive of the adoption decision…at least that’s one hurdle you got past! *hugs*

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  10. i am very happy to hear that your family is being supportive of your choice (as they should be). i am sorry to hear about the health challenges some of you family members are facing. that is never an easy thing for anyone to go through (as we all know very well). you talk about wondering when you’ll feel like your healing process is happening and i honestly feel like the pain you are feeling now will fade away once you have your child and you realize your dream of a family. we are finally realizing our dream of having a child and it’s like the pain of the last 4 years doesn’t matter anymore. it’s just kind of faded away. i hope this will be the case for you as well.

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  11. Oh the holidays. I’m glad it went well with mr MPBs parents – that’s great! I’m sorry about the other stuff. No fun. The holidays have so much pressure attached to them, I don’t know how anyone has a perfect holiday . ours were fine, but my MIL has post-holiday blues and that makes me sad. I told her it’s just a set of days – nothing more!

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    • I too am thrilled with the response we had from Mr. MPB’s parents – we hoped they would surprise us and be supportive, we never dreamed that they would be as supportive as they were. It’s almost weird, but we’ll take it. 🙂
      I hope your MIL starts to feel better asap. Now that I have my house back, I am already feeling much better. 🙂

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  12. It really is weird how we humans work. Somrtimes we think we are fine, then it sort of hits all at once that we aren’t. I hope you can cut yourself some slack for not feeling totally ok and happy 100 percent of the time. You’ve been through a lot. Hugs to you.

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    • Thank you so much for your kind words. You are right, we have been through a lot and sometimes I forget just how much we have been through and how much turmoil we have faced in the last few years – some slack isn’t a bad idea.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I hope you found the perfect combination of screaming, crying and drinking. I did all of the above, and drove my house-guests to the airport (before the drinking started of course), and I am a much happier person today. 🙂

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  13. Healing is an up and down journey, isn’t it? You have every right to have good and bad days – and there’s no time limit on it. Four nights with house guests is a lot though – not something I’d manage to survive without feeling like I needed to escape for a very long time! xxx

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  14. Sending lots of love your way! I hope your Grandmother heals quickly and things go okay with the little one who was in the hospital. Be kind to yourself. You have been through a lot! ❤

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  15. You know, T and I have considered going away for Christmas too. We just may have to next year. Although Christmas went okay, healing is a complicated process. I wonder if I’ll ever be okay. Hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m happy to hear that your Christmas went okay, and I really understand that while it went okay, that doesn’t mean it was perfect or easy or ever will be. Love to you. Maybe next year we should meet up on a beach somewhere and create ourselves an RPL island. 🙂

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  16. I really think that healing, like grief, comes in waves. Sometimes we feel like we’re past something, only to be drawn back into it. And sometimes we’re in the muck of it, yet feel like we’ve made it to the other side. I think there is honor and grace in healing and grieving–however long it takes–and only you can know when you’re ready to move on and let the light in.

    May you do so, sweetie.
    When you’re ready.
    And Only then.

    Blessings in 2015.
    May it be kind to us all.

    With heart,
    Dani

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