Dazed and confused

Now, the holidays…the time of year full of celebration and joy are here! As the holidays approach, all I’m feeling is dazed and confused! I try to hold the holidays at bay each year, but they always come flooding in with their strong pull toward joy and happiness and since my husband died, each year has been a different emotional adventure.

This year, I have many things to be grateful for and am doing ok…so far.  I can feel the stress beginning to crawl up my neck, but am resisting it with all my will.  I am blessed to have just been given a full time job.  It’s in a place I love with people I enjoy and it works with my kid’s schedule. My children are healthy. I am healthy. I have friends that love me.  So why am I dazed and confused?

I think am dazed because after two weeks of working full time, I can feel myself slipping behind again. I can feel tired sneaking up on me and taking over.  I can feel myself letting me down…that’s really what it’s about…I am still confused and feeling incapable of getting it all done, being happy, being whole, and being present to my boys.  I am dazed because as I head into the sixth holiday season without my husband, I am still lonely.  I am confused because even with good things happening, I still don’t feel good…good like I used to feel. I feel really good about my work…I love to work and I know it makes me a better parent.  I feel really bad looking at the piles of dishes and crumbs on the floor.  I feel really good about going back to school for my masters (oh, did I mention that?), but feel guilty leaving my kids for class.  I’m dazed again because I just can’t seem to get the balance right.

With Christmas around the corner, I was hoping to be superwoman again. I was dreaming of a clean, uncluttered house with a beautiful tree. I was hoping for the warmth and comfort that holidays bring.  What I’m living with is half hung Christmas lights, a broken oven, no tree yet, Legos everywhere and laundry and dishes piled to the ceiling! Where’s my Christmas joy? I’m feeling a bit scroogy.

Then I remember. I remember that I had it really special for a moment in life.  I miss that man who was around so I could put my heart into my work.  I miss that man who did the dishes and let me sleep in on Saturday mornings. I miss the man who hung the Christmas lights with joy. I miss that man who stayed home and watched our son so I could go to school and finish my theology credentials…way back when…

Every success, every step forward reminds me. Life is different now. Holidays are different. Working is different…everything, every little, tiny thing in my life is different because he’s gone.  Every success is one more not shared with him.  One more thing for him to proud of, but I don’t get that great hug that meant the world to me. I would do any thing for that hug! I don’t get that reassurance that I’m heading the right direction for our family. I really miss that.

But, even dazed and confused, I will move forward. I move forward toward who I am to become…even without him at my side. As much as I miss the old me, I am still grateful to have the new me around the corner…no matter how dazed and confused she is.

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