Sometimes, trying to coordinate schedules makes me want to scream/cry/throw a fit/hide under the covers. Trying to coordinate details with various people and find time to fit into planned activities and not hurt peoples’ feelings and trying to remember that yes, our bodies are oft frail and though we push them mightily, sometimes they revolt, thus, yes, we truly do need resting time planned into the schedule somewhere and so there is just one more schedule element and it can be incredibly overwhelming. (So overwhelming I can’t even turn the sentiment into a properly grammatical sentence.)

Holiday trips tend to become even more stressful because there are so many more planned activities and when it is time to pack the car, it is not just “clothes/lovies/technological mumbojumbo/medicine bags/assorted random things” the three of us need, but also “ZOMG PRESENTS” including the ones we are bringing down for folks and also K’s gifts and other personal family type gifts. I already know that we’re not traveling with Rin’s chair this trip which opens up a bit of extra space/maneuvering room; however, I’m pretty sure that the car is going to be stuffed to the gills coming and going.

Trying to remember to breathe in the midst of all of this is a bit chaotic and it’s easy to forget to breathe. So, so easy to forget. Also trying to remember to have patience while trying to look at the schedule and trying not to sound like a cranky shrew even though I really, really, really get frustrated with scheduling and trying to figure out when we’ll be where and how many days will we be at “x” place and how many days at “y” place and holy crap, are we really doing all those things and…breathing…yes…breathing.

Many of you are lucky. You get to see the back end of scheduling – the results AFTER the minutes/hours/days spent between Rin and I trying to figure out what we need to do, what we’ve promised folks in the intervening time between trips, things we want to do while we are in town, if/when K will be staying with other people, how many miles will we be driving this time, all of that – as opposed to the oft tense and frustrating conversations that happen with just her and me. (The number of times that schedule planning has devolved into heated arguments is greater than 1 and if I were being honest, I’d wager that 89% of those were probably -my- fault, and it really isn’t fun and we really try to make sure not to take scheduling tensions out on other folks, really, really, really. See, I can be REALLY good at planning things and organizing things, but that starts to be less true when you start discussing four and five and six outlying factors that are “not enough information” or “can’t tell until we get there” or “won’t know until after ‘x’ thing happens” that I still have to try to plan around. My brain starts to revolt at the lack of concrete details and I tend to want to start erring on the side of “EFF IT THEY WILL SEE US WHEN THEY SEE US AND OMGSTOPTALKINGTOME.” >_> Rin’s patience tends to be tested quite a lot as we plan.)

The tricky thing is this: there is never enough time to do All The Things. There is never a trip where we see all the people we want to see/do the things we want to do/fill in every scrap of time with something because it simply isn’t possible. It’s frustrating as hell, though, and sometimes the knowledge of the impossibility actually makes it harder to plan. I think sometimes I start to mentally fall into a trap of “it’s either all the things or nothing or oh just whatever” and, honestly, I have to fight to keep from throwing in the towel early in the planning stages. Also a number greater than one are the times that I’ve been heard to say, “Fuck it, I’m not going.” And somehow Rin manages to take that sentence and understand that it is me venting frustration as opposed to me Stating Facts and she finds ways to deal with it…or ignore it. It’s overwhelming. And I’m sitting here typing this out as opposed to having a fit or just hiding under my blanket and hoping the schedule will magically make itself because I know it needs to be done and I am TRYING so hard to work with her but my brain is being a rebellious bitch.

And please, please, please, please, PLEASE do not take this as a sign that I don’t want to visit/want to see you/care/*insertnegativethinghere* because it really isn’t that. I do want to see folks. I miss people. There are some folks down south that I’ve not seen in ages that I’d love to be able to see this trip, but I’m just not sure if it will happen or not. We’ll see. I do want to spend the holidays with folks and I can’t tell you how thrilled I am that planning has worked out that, as it stands right now, all the Big Family To-Dos are on different days so there will be less anxiety for me. A lot of times when the Big Events stack on the same days, I run through mental litanies of “am I slighting this set of people? am I going to be a reasonable human being by the time we get to the next house? am I horrible person?” (I didn’t say it was rational.) The number of times that I’ve started parts of a holiday visit in tears is…a lot. And some of it is that I get weepy at this time of year.

There was a period that I HATED the holidays because…a lot of reasons. Having a child has helped assuage some of that dislike and has helped me find the magic in the time of year again. It’s hard to be all “I hate Christmas” when you have a toddler glowing like a tree on her own, you know? But…it can still be hard and I still find the dark places in my head and I try to fight those like a tiger…but I don’t always win and there are times that the negative kicks my ass so thoroughly that it’s all I can do to fake my way through it all. This year, I’m…I don’t know what I am. I’m looking forward to the holidays and, let me tell you, the sheer amount of Christmas lights that are up on houses around town has helped this A LOT because oohshinyyay. But it’s been a hard year. There’ve been a lot of things that have happened that have made me question myself in ways that aren’t super comfy…and probably aren’t entirely fair to myself in the long run. It’s…been a battle. The marks of that aren’t quite as raw, but…they’re there and there are still battles to be won in my own head.

So, I guess what I’m trying to say is that I’m trying and I’m doing and I’m trying to make the scheduling thing happen and trying to make it work but I’m a bit more fragile this year than I have been in previous years and I’m trying to take that into account, too. I’m also trying to take the words of Glennon over at Momastery to heart to face it like a warrior, tears and all. I’m trying to remember not to shove it all away and to try to handle the feels as they happen. Oy. This is hard stuff sometimes. My brain is a tricky place…it pretty much always has been and well, as the Lit song says, “Sometimes I kick the living shit out of me.” But I’m trying. And we’re planning. And we’ll do what we can do and we won’t do the other things and at the end of it all, that will probably be okay.

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