Friday, December 3, 2010

Breath of Heaven: Trying to find my Christmas Spirit

Project 365 is canceled.

I'm sorry. So many of you have expressed a love for coming here on Fridays to see my weekly pictures, but the truth is my heart just isn't in it anymore. I don't go out a lot because I don't have a car and while I love getting out and walking around town, it's been too cold for that lately. Also, it happens so rarely, when I do go out I find myself wanting to really experience this new place rather than shove myself behind a lens. However, Photogenic Friday was a tradition here before I started Project 365, so next week I will reinstate it. I promise.

Moving on.

Lately I've been a dismal blogger, I know. I could come up with a thousand excuses as to why I haven't been updating regularly. I don't know if there is really one good one. Several times I've sat down to tap something out and the words just don't come. There has been a restaurant review post swimming around in my brain for a couple weeks now and one of these days (maybe next week?) I'll get it on here. We have some truly amazing eateries around and each time we venture out the "must try" list grows. It's going to take us an entire year to get to them all. Seriously.

But today something else is weighing heavy on my heart and mind. It's been there for a while, but I've been resisting the urge to put it out there in the universe because I don't want to come across as ungrateful.

But y'all, homesickness has hit me hard in the last week.

For the first little while everything was great. I wasn't homesick at all. I missed my family, but regular phone calls and chats took care of that. I was completely enthralled with this new home and never, ever wanted to leave.

Then the night before Thanksgiving, my sister-in-law, Lyssa, called me to wish me a happy holiday and chit chat about how I'd been doing. We talked about how much Andy and I love Colorado and I even said to her that I hadn't really been homesick. She told me about the kids' latest adventures, and then we said goodbye. After I hung up the phone I felt a little tug of sadness. I miss my brother and his family. I miss my nieces and nephews a lot, but I shoved those feeling aside without a lot of though. I'd see them again soon. That's what I have been telling myself every time I miss someone.

On Thanksgiving morning I woke up in a terrible mood. Andy and Drew left for work, leaving me to my own devices for the day. I sat down to write a Thanksgiving post and when I typed it out and read over what I'd written I sounded like a spoiled, bitter child. So I erased it and settled for something short and sweet instead. Then I cried. A little later I sent Julie a text message with holiday wishes and she sent me one back saying that Mina had kissed the phone as a way of sending me kisses for Thanksgiving. In that moment I wold have given my right arm to be able to teleport myself back to North Carolina to be with Julie and Mina and my family that day. Just one day.

The thing is, I have never been completely alone on a holiday. Andy has worked holidays since before we were married. That isn't anything new, but I've always had someone to spend time with. Until this year. I was alone from sunrise until after sunset, and y'all, that was really hard. I talked to my mom and others on the phone, but it just wasn't the same.

Anyway, the point is, that ever since that day I've been in a funk. Even when people call me to talk I clam up and don't want to chat, then when we get off the phone I feel bad because they just want to know how I'm doing and I fell like a grinch. Which is exactly what I am.

It feels like every day someone, in some capacity, reminds me how many days there are until Christmas and it's like they're saying, "This many days until you don't get to see your family, again."

And then there is the flip side, where I just feel worse for feeling the way I do.

I have never once doubted that this was the right decision for Andy and I to make. From the very first day when Andy applied for the job here I knew it was what we were supposed to do. It just felt right. Like after so long our world had been turned upside down and now finally we were being flipped upright again. I'm so, so grateful for the opportunity to be here in this place. The people are nice and the area we are in is absolutely breathtaking. Seriously, gorgeous.

Since Thanksgiving I've been listening to Christmas music on Pandora radio in hopes of digging out and dusting off my Holiday Mojo. Did you know that if you're already kind of sad that certain Christmas music can be seriously depressing? "I'll be home for Christmas" is a terrible song! What was the author thinking? Not uplifting! Not even a little bit.

Anyway, this morning I turned it on again and "Breath of Heaven" came on. It's one of my favorites. I love everything about it: the melancholy melody, the rhythm of the music, and the lyrics. Oh the lyrics. I was paying extra close attention this time through and this particular bit hit me like a ton of bricks:

Do you wonder, as you watch my face,
If a wiser one should have had my place?
But I offer all I am
For the mercy of your plan.
Help me be strong.

I'm not pompous enough to pretend that my battle is in the same hemisphere as Mary's, but the God I was raised with and the one I believe in doesn't see any battle as too small or inconsequential. I know, with complete certainty, that this is our plan, mine and Andy's. I feel like we are exactly where we belong, but that doesn't make this any easier.

I can't pretend like moving right before the holiday season was ever going to be simple. We can only do what we can to make the best of it. Which is what I'm trying to do, though some days are easier than others.

I feel better just getting this off my chest. And I have two things, at least, to look forward to this month. First, Wassail Days are starting in Frisco tomorrow. I'm so excited to go around to the shops participating and enjoy some hot wassail. Second, our friends Robert and Allison are coming for a visit at the end of December. I can't even begin to tell you how happy I am to have some familiar, friendly faces to celebrate New Year's with.

Once I heard a saying that said something about what you are doing at midnight on New Year's is an indication of what your next year will be like. Spending the night with old friends gives me a lot of hope for 2011.

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