If I'm being honest, this year's Advent looks a lot different than I thought it would. Honestly, I want to crawl under the covers until June at this point.
Mr. Oram has something nearly every night until Christmas - a rehearsal, a meeting, more rehearsal, etc. - which leaves the babe and I mostly on our own. So I give her dinner while I throw together something myself, I forget to light the Advent candles, by the time I get to sit down, she's done and wanting to be held...you know the drill. I see him less and he can't help as much, and I'm only now realizing how much I depend on him to help me every day, how blessed I am to have my husband around so much to help me with the house.
My Christmas projects are all behind because I'm working. My work (youth ministry director, again) is behind because I'm tired, and my parish is still getting the hang of this "we're-a-team" concept. I'm feeling frustrated with the program - frustrated with myself, mostly. I step into these positions because they need doing and then I feel everyone expects me to be making magic with next-to-nothing in next-to-no time. I feel unseen and unheard, like an afterthought. That's extra hard when I feel like I'm sacrificing so much of my family's peace for this job.
The house is a mess, obviously. At least we have a tree (lovingly toted home by us and some friends, in a ....convertible. great story, really). Strewn about are half-unpacked boxes of decorations, and stockings that I can't decide whether to donate or keep. Add to this craft projects for CCD, holiday magazines, my previously unfinished Christmas projects, and oh yeah, Zuzu's suitcase from Thanksgiving (for real).
I feel a bit of a mess too. How is this Advent? How am I preparing? I'm not! I'm an overworked mess, and I feel like there's no way to get out. I always read about people doing this stuff and I usually think, "what an idiot! Why over commit? Commit to NOTHING." And yet, here I am - I don't feel like it's my fault, because these things really have to be done and it happens to be my husband's busy season - but it's so frustrating, nonetheless.
I try to comfort myself by thinking about the Blessed Virgin. This wasn't really a blessed season for her either, was it? 9 months pregnant, traveling on a donkey to who-knows-where, all because some idiot emperor decreed it and her husband was from somewhere else! That is certainly grounds for a tantrum right there. But she pressed on...and had the son of God, in a stable somewhere foreign, without her mother or any women at all around to help. Maybe she was so stressed and worried and frantic feeling - or maybe she had peace, because no matter the externals, here she was - holding her precious baby, the son of God.
I'm trying to grab some of that peace myself, before the season passes altogether and I'm left feeling dazed and unhappy that I wasted such precious time. If you have any tips, feel free to let me know.