But my first day in my hometown I loved being there....and then the next three days were R-O-U-G-H. Imagine your worst teenage angst....and then picture yourself feeling and behaving that way now-ha.ha.ha. I never thought I'd be so glad to get back to Portland but I was...
The good news is I survived Christmas....if you want to call it that. (I think this year, I mainly just tried to pretend that it really wasn't Christmas). I had some soul-to-soul teary honesty about my current status with my parents in the kitchen on Christmas Day, including having to ask them for help (which I hate). My brother had triggered a melt down the night before, but then realized what was going on and totally wrapped himself around me the rest of the time back home (he's been there, he gets it, but we females in the fam do a good job of wearing a facade over what's really going on inside so it's not like he knew how fragile I was to begin with....).
The best moments of the week included:
--- hosting my parents in my house one night while they came to visit Granny. I deep cleaned away the dust and fur that they're allergic to, washed the bedding and set them up in the king size bed, and provided them apple strudel french toast for breakfast the next morning. Plus it was kind of fun camping out with the dogs in the front room and sleeping on the futon.
--- Dad had Mom ride with me on the four hour car ride south, so we were able to get most of our catching up in during the car trip and I think she enjoyed having someone to ride with who would chat with her.
--- Two runs. A 6 miler when I ran to the bridge and back and then a 3.5 mile loop. Both days felt great and the dogs enjoyed being able to stretch their legs too. Dad also was a trooper and let me borrow his Iphone so I could listen to Pandora for the long run.
--- Two great visits with my aunt and my cousin. I don't think I've seen this cousin in the last five years...and I'd forgotten how much of a hoot he is. It was great visiting with the two of them and getting to catch up with his wife and meet his kiddo on the second visit.
--- An evening catch-up session with one of my great high school gals. We've both had a tough year and so every time we can get together, it's so nice to be able to connect, relate, and just offer support to each other. Plus it didn't hurt that our drink tab was "anonymously" picked up by an older gentleman.
--- A quick visit with my gal D and her babe E--always great to see her even if briefly.
--- Christmas Eve dinner with Mom, Dad, my bro, and his (ex) wife....and the conversation over wine and dessert that ensued surrounding the table afterwards---just like old times. Granny would have been proud that there was actually a dinner "hour."
--- Mom made her regular tradition of whole-wheat cinnamon rolls for Christmas morning....and she even surprised me by having two frozen pans that I could transport home to make. She also took me grocery shopping for snacks and high protein foods, and spent most her time making sure I was putting enough sustenance in my body.
--- Insights. Realizations that I am so much a product of my family (although not sure how I feel about it all). Hearing my Dad say that the divorce doesn't have to be thought of as a failure and that they are proud of me anyway. Realizations that I'm still making the transition from D and I being a family to being okay with being alone....outside of my family of origin.
--- Coming back to Portland. The housemate was glad to have some company when I arrived on Christmas evening....and I polished off the night with the rest of the bottle of wine while watching (and appreciating) The Christmas Carol (Scrooge is a hoot!).
--- Catching up with my out-of-state gals. Part of the reason I came back earlier than usual was to be able to visit with two of my Portland friends who don't live here anymore..and it was seriously great to see both of them. I met Christina and our mutual PDX friend Erin for lunch at a Thai restaurant downtown and then met up with Carla and her fiance at Sasquatch Brewery in SW in the evening. So nice to see them and to hear of where they're at in their recent lives (most of my friends and I don't talk consistently....but it's always a natural transition back whenever we see each other).
And then there was a great afternoon back home when the dogs got to run around at one of their favorite places:
Always admist the seemingly unending gray, little pockets of sunshine do exist.
In the last two days I've found myself being much more pro-active and trying to clear some more of the fog away. I have to say that the last few weeks have taught me to be much more understanding and empathetic of what it's like to get lost amongst being lost. And it feels funny to say but in some ways I feel like I just "broke-up" with my ex-husband again this week---not that there was anything really romantic still in existence but I/we just made it clear that it's time for us to be completely separate entities for a long while. And honestly, in so doing, I feel like my vision has cleared up a bit. Each night I've applied for a new job and searched for many more. I'm still currently registered to take classes but I'm exploring my options, as part of me feels the need to pay down debts and do something new and different for a while. I'm back to checking off the little to-dos, focusing on the mid-size ones, and in the back of my mind planning for could-be fun outings (ie April trip to San Antonio? would mark one year from the separation, one year from my last trip there, and would allow me to see Little Big Town in concert!). There are still lots of unknowns, still lots of decisions I need to be making in the next few weeks, but somehow I feel better about it....and that (I'm learning) makes a world of difference.
While it maybe wasn't the "best" holiday, it was still nice to be with family and friends.....and I truly hope that each of you had an enjoyable Christmas filled with merriment!