Friday, November 20, 2009

Posting has been tough lately

(Before you read this post, let me state here that I know how lucky and blessed I am to have what I have in my life. To be able to gripe about flying to Florida for a Thanksgiving feast with a loving family is a blessing in an of itself. I am no saint, I bitch and moan way too much...but believe me - I also count my blessings every day. That said...let the complaining begin)

These were some drawings from Thanksgiving last year - we're getting ready for this year...and I feel the same stress!

Like everyone - things are getting busy and then busier at this time of the year. I often feel overwhelmed with all of the things that need to be done, and the visits that need to be made. The holidays are the times when I wish my family lived closer instead of in Florida and California and Italy. We are never home for the holidays, unless we can persuade family to come to us. But it's so hard! Come to rainy cold New England for Thanksgiving or go to sunny Florida with the rest of the family and cousins. Not a hard choice. So we are off to Florida tomorrow for a week. I'm entitled to a little bit of bitching right? Okay then - my whine is that while I have to take vacation time to go see the family, it isn't a vacation for me in any way shape or form. We'll stay with my MIL, who is still recovering and will be pretty needy I think. She has Dr. appointments and we need to figure out why she is out of breath and so tired. And she also needs a second surgery and we don't know when that will be. Her apartment is very dark, and there is no place to escape to for any alone time. She's lonely so she talks to me. Just to me. Directly.

My niece will be at my mom's with her three year old - maybe! As of last night we didn't know if she was coming or not. So my moms house might be an escape hatch...or not. We'll see. My brother and his family will be there, which is great. Probably about 50 others also, and while I love seeing everyone - it gets overwhelming to me - everyone talks so loudly and it often becomes a competition of who can be heard over whom. And then there's the competition of who lost weight this year (not me!) and who has a new ring, or other new items, or hairstyle or other crap that I hate. I have 10 male cousins, and while their wives are mostly lovely women, they are mostly stay at home moms, with lots of bling on their hands. I can't tell you how far away from my life style is theirs. My two female cousins are more like me - we've all worked hard to make our lives, we are creative, and while none of us would refuse new jewelry - we prefer handmade, one of a kind stuff.

Here's an example of why I feel like Alice In Wonderland sometimes when talking to my family. I was complaining that I hadn't heard from one person that I sent a present to (a handmade quilt). The explanation? She's "so busy! She goes to aerobics every day, and pilates and also has to take the baby to day care, or to the nanny, so she has no time to call or drop an email". This to a woman who has a full time job, a house, a husband, responsibilities. I would love to have the time to go to aerobics every day at 9:00 am...not at 5:00 am.

Oh well, I know it sounds like sour grapes - and I have the wisdom now to stop trying to prove myself or change anyone else. I do try to enjoy things when I get there, and try like hell to enjoy my cousins, aunts and uncles. But frankly, if I could stay home - I would. And I look forward to coming home already, and I haven't even left.

No Internet at MIL's unless I steal wireless from the neighbor - but I have to go to the driveway to do that. So probably no posting for a week.

Have a good week everyone - I'll try to pop around to visit!

(just read this over and I did a good job of complaining - didn't I? Glad I got it off my chest)


Lisa at Greenbow said...

My family is coming here for just a day. There will be two children. Our house will be very lively for about 8 hours. Then all will go home. A perfect day. At least this is how I will try to think of it. ;)

I can tell you we have ungrateful family members too. Some days it grates on me and other days I can just say to self that is the way they are.

I hope this venting will give you room in your heart to enjoy it all despite the drawbacks. Love and Peace...

studio lolo said...

Mim, I'd lose my ever loving mind with that many people around me!
And the shallow ladies...PA-lease!

This will be my first Thanksgiving with any of MY family for 17 years. My niece and her husband will host. There will only be 5 of us...yay!

I wish yours was lasting only 2 days. I know you'll need R&R when you get back. Do what it takes to restore yourself okay?

We'll all be here waiting ;)

Teri C said...

Venting is a good thing and the day will be here and gone before you know it.

We are having a community T-dinner in our clubhouse. The owners supply the turkey and we all bring a dish to pass. Fun to be with everyone and then go home.

Then on the weekend I will make a small turkey for us--nothing better than leftovers!

Michele said...

I feel your pain sister. I'll be sending good thought out to you over the holidays and feeling my own family pain as well : )

Lynn said...

First off I love the Ms Em drawings from last year. Did you really get time to paint in all that hellabalu?
It sounds daunting fifty noisey people.
I remember a post from early days of meeting you when you were in an old house, the attic I think, looking at old letters and such. Will you be there again? Can you go up there and hibernate?
I have those same cousins with the big rings...we don't really live on the same planet at all. They think I am weird, their crazy cousin they call me. OH well. I KNOW I AM the SANE one! LOL

I must share this image. Five plus years ago I made an exquiste crocheted to look like Irish fisherman knit blanket for my daughter's baby shower gift (one of two as she was having twins). She wasn't overly effusive about it/them, the blankets.
This past weekend when we were there my five year old grand daughter ran up to me wrapped in that blanket like a shawl. She said "You made this for me!!!" The love in her face, the joy she had being wrapped up in the blanket, was the hugest thank you I could ever have gotten! You might just have to wait for the baby to grow a bit and thank you herself!
Big smile!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Renee said...

Oh my God if that was me I would be bitching all the way to the bank and back.

Nothing worse for me than vapid conversations. When really there is so much to say but no one will ever say it. To me that is torture.

I personally think it is inexcusable not to have been thanked properly for the quilt. God, I'd be kissing your ass.

Also, I have to tell you I was laughing at the 'talk to you directly'.

Your a doll Mim. This was a gret post.

Anyway I wanted to tell you I dreamt about you last night. I have no idea what it was but someone asked me something and I said 'oh hold on, there's Mim.'

love Renee xoxoxo

katie jane said...

Oh Mim, I feel for you. I always hate this time of year because all our relatives live out of state and we have to work both the days before and the days after Thanksgiving and Christmas so we have mostly always stayed home. We have no children and so we are mostly alone on holidays. After reading this post I feel so much better with my holidays than yours. Families are wonderful, but like fish, after three days they start to stink! Try to bear with it and have something that resembles a good time.

kj said...

man oh man oh man oh man oh mim.

this is so easy to GET! i have one obvious question: why go for a full week? why not go for 4 days and soak up the remaining 3 days alone or with dh? just asking...

i can't wait for the day when things lighten up for you. i can't wait to see you soon! how excited am i about that?--how about over the moon and back?!

how come renee gets to swear on your blog? oh okay, i know you'd let me say a little one here and there if I needed too... :)

you know what's funny? i want to tell you to call me if you need a break. i know you don't like to talk on the phone and we've never talked on the phone but that's how i feel about you: two good friends who give eachother breaks when needed.

hang in my good friend. there's no where at all for some quiet space and quiet sketching? you might just have to go to starbucks (aka debra kay)and i hope you will. but next year, mim, how about just four days????

love love

ps email coming

Mim said...

Renee does such a gentle cursing KJ - it comes out like a flower sneeze. Now I assume that when you curse, you might sound more like...a woman enjoying the old english vernacular just a BIT too much. But if it makes you feel better...then go ahead and swear! The boys probably won't read this girlie post anyway.
I've tried for 4 days, really I have. But have you even had Jewish and Italian mother guilt at the same time????? Wow, that's powerful stuff.

amanda said...

Will be thinking of you as we travel to visit family. Oh, the lack of personal space and alone time. Although I truly love family, I can definitely feel that stress creeping over me as well.
I will miss you usual posts, but sometimes an internet break is good for the soul.

kj said...

NO! NO! mim. i am the gentle flower sneeze and renee is the vernacular truckdriver.


okay, i will sneak in one of my favorite swear words sometime. but don't worry--i draw the line at bodily functions. (oh, maybe one passionate verb excepted)

love you mim. i hope your week is a good surprise.


sukipoet said...

this is a great venue for getting things off your chest. We are all patient listeners. And I know many of us can related to the stress.

By the by, my mom always took a very very long time to recover from operations, tired, breathless etc. If she was allowed to go at her own pace she did okay and she really knew for herself what her pace was./ Also, a big complaint for years from me re: visiting Mom and Dad was that all the curtains had to be closed in the daytime as mom didnt like light or heat. I used to hate that.

In any event, hope you enjoy parts of yr trip like the warm weather and the delicious food. Be well, oh and I posted a photo on my blog of a little store called "Mim's Place." Found it in Northfield. :)

Debra Kay said...

Oh Mim-you know how I struggle with the holidays since I've moved back to Oklahoma.

I'm cooking dinner here at my house for my brother, his GF and Mom and Dad. I'll do BBQ on Friday for the crowd-at MOM and DAD's house.

My Bro's kids will probably not be around as much-one has a boyfriend here locally and for that I am grateful. 4 kids and 2 nervous old people are more than I can wrangle, plus my own nerves.

I have to have quiet time and the dynamic is that whatever the guests want, my Mom chimes and agrees with-and I can't cope with it. I've had a talk with Mom-I can cook, or I can give dogs shows, but I can't do both-I get tired too.

My goal for this year is to try to be more assertive without actually leaving the party-as in say "no, I'm tired I don't want to pull a dog out" and then just stay around and visit.

Sadly, it's not the little kids, it's the parents of the kids who are the most demanding.

Thanks for this quiet corner of the internet where I can come and vent.

Stampmaiden said...

Great post, Mim. And I love the Ms Em drawings - too funny! Have you considered going every other year? My heart goes out to you girl. Big hugs.

Renee said...

Mim I love the pictures above and I foretell in my crystal ball that you are going to have a good time this year. Isn't that funny. It is because I saw you doing a few things for yourself for a change.

Love Renee xoxo

PAK ART said...

I had a great time reading your post. I hope you know that we all have family we hate to deal with and we all get stuck doing it some time or other. Since we live in AK we are ALWAYS expected to go south to visit relatives for our vacations. I always coming home feeling like I didn't get a vacation even though I love my sweetie's family. It's too much - too much traveling, too much food, too many little kids, too much togethernes. Too much.

Baino said...

Poor you. It sounds a little like our Christmas celebrations which I love but are exhausting although nowhere near 50 people involved. I share your frustration with the 'busy' woman. A couple of my friends are extremely wealthy, one was complaining that she's had to reduce her cleaner to once a fortnight. Her children have left home and she and her husband are rattling around in an enormous house. She also complains about not having money yet in the next six months, she's holidaying in New Zealand, Aspen and Croatia . . .to me . . who's idea of a holiday is three days in Melbourne, a free flat and flying down on a $175 discount fare! Shits me to tears frankly. Now that you've vented I hope it's not as arduous as it might seem.

BT said...

Oh Mim, I really do feel for you. Jim is in the UK at the moment and I'm just loving the solitude. I would hate, just hate, all that chaos and all those relatives and no space to escape. I think you should put your lovely foot down next year and say NOOOOO. It's not easy, I know, but it has to be done sometimes.

I hope MIL recovers ok and that it isn't all too awful for you.