I’m not going to make it to Christmas

I don’t recall the Christmas season ever being quite this exhausting and worrisome to me.  I think it’s because I’ve got a lot on my plate right now.

My grandma had a stroke yesterday.  She’s 94 and she’d been experiencing a decline of her mental faculties for a little bit now.  Her blood pressure spiked last week to 220 over something high (don’t remember).   Christmas this year might be quite a bit gloomier than usual.

I’m on tenterhooks about the job I interviewed for last Monday.  I know not to expect anything, even though they did mention perhaps sometime after Monday of this week. That doesn’t make the waiting any easier. I want to know if I’m rejected so that I can get on with life. Or accepted so I can adjust to the BIG changes that would happen.

Yesterday afternoon, I visited the very first laboratory I ever worked at for a tour, just trying to do some networking in case I don’t get the other job.   And I ran into a few people who I worked with back then, 17 years ago.  I was delighted to run into Kay, a lovely woman with an English accent who instantly remembered me.  I was saddened to see her almost in the exact same spot I saw her in 17 years ago.  I was also saddened to see all the automation of the laboratory is taking some of the art out of the science and the changes that give the lab more of a stale grey industrial look. But when a lab is run as a business (which that particular one was), it can happen that way.

I couldn’t quite put my finger on it, but it just occurred to me why it feels awful in there now than when I remembered it. They took out the only source of natural light in there – the entrance (with it’s glass doors and windows) to the main part of the lab was blocked by a new wall. And they built lab benches with shelves up high so you can’t even see your benchmates across from you. No wonder why it felt so much more claustrophobic inside. It’s because it WAS more closed up and blocked than it ever had been. No more looking across the great expanse of the room and seeing people you were fond of anymore.

I have to finish the presentation about forensic DNA analysis for my friend R’s 4th grade class next Monday. I’m only half-way done.

I volunteered for E’s preschool Christmas party today.

I have to go make gingerbread houses with K tomorrow at her school.

I have to volunteer for K’s kindergarten Christmas party on Thursday morning.

I got a phone call asking me to volunteer for M’s 2nd grade Christmas party Thursday afternoon.

But I’m supposed to rendezvous with one of my boyfriends* – the Orkin guy, the 50 something year old Gerald who is wacky about his fascination with critters.  Poor Gerald, I’m going to have to call him up again and re-schedule our liaison (again for the second time this month), where he checks/removes the mouse traps and places new ones down while I listen to him regale me with stories of the crazy things critters have done in people’s homes and pest control and his other clients, or tell me humorous stories about his daughter S.  The last time he was here, I was telling him about the cute little website PestWorld for Kids. I’m not sure who’s the bigger nerd, me or him. He’s actually one of the more interesting people around here in suburbia. Sad but true.

If you have been reading this blog awhile, you know that this lonely stay-at-home, intellectually/conversationally starved mama spends time studying and talking to service guys in her home – in a way that is so NOT Desperate Housewives. Far from it.

I’m a people watcher, a wonderer, a curious soul that needs to be connected to others. I do not like being over-busy with meaningless interactions with people, but I like the time to observe and connect with people meaningfully.

And that being said, all this rushing headlong into Christmas, a difficult time of year as it is, having to spend “fun” times with classrooms of wild and crazy kids hyped-up on anticipating Santa and presents, and the tension of the things that concern me, is turning me into one great ball of stress.

10 days until Christmas and I’ve got to get some things made (nothing beats waiting till the last minute, no?). I’ve got tons of sewing to do and I keep procrastinating. I’m procrastinating right now. It’s silly to do that. But my shoulders have been tense and I can’t seem to relax these days or focus much beyond today.

I need to get a time machine so I can jump ahead to January.

I also need to force myself not to write for about two weeks. Hardly doubt I can do that. Not writing is about as easy as not breathing.

* yes, my husband does get this is a joke, in fact, he’s the one who started it.

This entry was posted in career, combining science and motherhood, highly sensitive mom, holiday stress, Intensity. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to I’m not going to make it to Christmas

  1. Mom Gail says:

    Hi sweetheart,
    I’m so sorry about your grandmother. I know that this is hard on you, but just so you know, Our love and prayers are with you always. I wish that we could be there for you in person. Your dad has a hard time with travel and right now, money is tight. I’m trying to save as much as I can, but by the time payday comes around, I need what I put aside for gas, & stuff for lunches . I only get paid once a month, at the end of the month.
    I wish that you wouldn’t spread yourself so thin. the things for the girls school, well, that’s kind of expected of parents, but why all of the sewing? are you making christmas clothes for the girls? You need to stop and ask yourself, is all of this (including dinner with your mom) worth being so miserable? why don’t you & hubby start a new Tradition at christmas that is less stressful? Have a nice dinner at home with whomever YOU decide to invite. I know that your mother can be overbearing and completely unaware of anyone elses feelings, but eventually you are going to have to say ENOUGH!!! And if the rest don’t like it, that’s their problem. I don’t mean it like it sounds. I don’t mean for you to cut them out of your life, but all of the bickering, screaming and fighting isn’t healthy for anyone, especiall y for you I will call this weekend. probably saturday. Dad has an appointment with his oncologist Friday morning, so I’ll have an update for you.
    I love you to the moon, around the earth a couple of times and back Talk with you soon!

  2. raisingsmartgirls says:

    Mom Gail –

    I’ve got to get E to preschool soon, and go to K’s class in a 1/2 hour. I will respond more fully later.

    Thank you so much for your well thoughts and for your endless love for me.

    I love you so much!

  3. raisingsmartgirls says:

    Just to be clear, it was my younger sister to scream at me. My mother actually hadn’t the energy to. I feel badly that she has to deal with this because she has no siblings to speak of (Uncle J still being in NM), she has to deal with all of it.

    I feel for her, but at the same time, there’s nothing I really could have done because by the time anyone bothered to get back to me, it was already getting very late.

    And the third sister later told me that Mother left grandma in the emergency room with Youngest sister so that Mother could go to a school board meeting (even after the school principal said it was okay to reschedule the meeting).

    I told Mother that I would be available later if need be. But I am not dealing with Youngest Sister any more.

    I’ve never had anyone hate me so much other than people in my own family.

    As far as the sewing goes. My heart hasn’t been in it this year, not like it was last year. I wasn’t going to make clothes for the girls (I don’t know how to sew anything actually useful like that), but I was going to make dolly accessories and play food for Youngest sister’s daughter, and some soft toys for the youngest boys, and some things for the girls. I am giving up on that.

    I don’t have the energy to care right now to do anything.

    And I think I need to find a chiropractor because my neck has been killing me for about a week now.

  4. mom gail says:

    Hi honey,
    the chiropracter is a good idea. if you’re anything like me, I carry my stress in my neck and shoulders. Right now, I think that you have a major case of depression. Maybe i’m wrong, but what I’ve been reading leads me to think that this might be the case. I see this in my patients alot. If I’m wrong, please forgive me for jumping to conclusions. I love you and I am concerned about you.

  5. raisingsmartgirls says:

    Mom, it’s not that I’m depressed in the sense you are used to.

    I AM depressed, but not psychologically. Just physically. Tired and worn out and tense and stiff and sore.

    And overanxious about getting everything done I want to do.

    But I do have some support over here. J’s been good, and I have an internet friend who has been quite beneficial in this area. And I have you and Dad. Which is quite a lot of support when I think about it.

    I just need rest, and maybe some chiropractic/massage therapy type help for the neck/shoulders. And aromatherapy. And music therapy. And a big hot tub of water. And a good cry. All that sounds great right now.

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