I cried this weekend. A lot.
Christmas is my favorite season. I am energized by the hustle bustle and I delight in executing the giving part: I choose gifts thoughtfully and I bake and decorate give-away cookies and I reach out to people whose importance I too often fail to affirm.
JB and I have been arguing. Jess is on a work project and missing in action. I am such a small part of the kids' holiday festivities.
I cried for all of this. What set it off was a tiff JB and I had in the paint store. Hurt feelings and rising anger over what type of paint to choose for the bathroom walls? Yes, just that. We are both astounded that neither of us can seem to foresee when we are going to overreact over stupid slights and frightened that we can't seem to figure out why this keeps happening.
We're working on it. I move from feeling alone in the world to knowing that I am with someone who wants to work out problems as much as I do. Hope strongly floats in a relationship that has lasted thirty years between two people who need not question their love for one another. But it's not easy either.
Sometimes Jess reads my blog so that part of my tears is more delicate. I know one thing: I will never ever want her to feel anything less than solid and at peace and good about our love for one another. We live two hours apart. This means I am not in the day-to-day life of her and Mike and the kids, and I am not on the immediate-help list when they need immediate help. This also means that sharing the holidays with my daughter and grandchildren is limited. I guess I realize that this season more than others. I'm sad I'm not sharing my just baked cookies or the Santa train at Look Park or the secret whispers and anticipations of Santa's arrival with them. JB and I could move closer, and I believe we would if asked or needed, but I don't think that feels right to any of us right now. If there is some middle ground solution to feeling more connected, I haven't found my part in it yet.
So I cried. For the better part of a day and night. My feelings welled up and the my tears wouldn't stop. My friend Renee, who died almost three years ago, as gracefully as a person ever could, called this kind of sadness "healing tears."
I stopped crying too. I just stopped. JB and I talked and wrapped presents and went out to dinner and finished some shopping. We reaffirmed. As I write this, I know I am solely responsible for how I deal, how I feel, what I choose to do and how I choose to interpret what happens and what doesn't.
In part I am writing this post because I know it's important for everyone to know that none of us has a perfect life. At this time of year, when the message is to impossibly reach for an impossible perfection, I'm on record that I cried.
And now I'm not.