Sunday, December 14, 2008

Tis the Season

Happy Hanukkah!
Happy Holidays!
Merry Christmas!
Seasons Greetings!
Happy Solstice!

There are so many commitments this time of year that the marketing machine's idea of the joy of the season tends to get lost. But I do wish everyone the best for now and the future. I hope things work out well for you and yours.

Okay, enough with all that. I've tried over the years to embrace the season, but invariably things happen that just dampen the spirit. December in particular tends to be a month of awful things for me, but I have kids and so I shove all that negativity aside and try to make the holiday a fun one.

Last year we travelled to Phoenix to spend the holiday with my mother in law, and before anyone pities me, she's a great lady. Loved spending the time at her place, even better, I didn't have to haul out my christmas stuff and set it up. And therefore I didn't have to take it down and put it away. Nice.

This year however, we are spending it at home. It's now the 14th of the month and we are just now looking at pulling out the boxes of decorations. I'm a little behind. But I do have a good reason, besides spending the last month writing furiously. The drama this time around involves tenants that we have in our rental condo. They won't leave. And they won't pay.

And so we are proceeding with eviction. Happy Holidays.

Of course, this all started back in September when they got arrested, but they were supposed to be out of our property at the end of October. We hadn't even gotten all the rent that month, but we knew things were difficult and she said she'd be gone. She wasn't. And she isn't.

So now we go to court. On December 23rd. Merry Christmas.

Oh, and the contract my husband works on was supposed to go to the end of July. Instead it ends December 19th.

Stress? What stress?

Actually, we're very confident of him finding a position it's just a matter of whether it's one he actually wants to do. We live in the perfect place for what he does. People move here from all over the world for IT jobs, plus, there's always the government. Not likely to go there, but it's an option. He'll get something, but in the meantime, we're a little, um, stressed. No rent from our tenants and we can't rent it out to someone who will pay since these people won't leave. A bit of job tension. And three kids expecting Christmas.

I've learned not to worry about things being perfect. Got way past that one a long time ago, and I stay away from all those holiday helping articles that tell people how easy it is to decorate like Martha Stewart or that you can bake like Paula Deen. I don't and I can't, so I don't try. I put out some decorations, we put up a tree that my kids usually decorate, and we have a very informal brunch the Saturday before Christmas to let friends and family stop by and visit. No presents or other expectations, though invariably someone brings some. On the good years we even get a few lights up outside.

I figure I'll get to decorate like the magazines after the kids are grown.

Actually, I'm more likely to spend the holidays in Hawaii and skip the decorating altogether.

And before anyone thinks I'm just being a grinch, my expectations for the season are now pretty low. December tends to bring some bad memories back. More than once my mother almost died in December and I took care of her a lot and then she did actually die Christmas night several years ago. Those are the worst, but I have plenty of other traumatic events that happened in December as well. So, it's not exactly the season of joy to me.

As I'm reading over what I've written it sounds truly depressing, but I hadn't intended it that way. Actually, I'm pretty positive overall. Things work out as long as you keep working at them and happy times follow those tough moments. There's an old saying that God doesn't give you anything you can't handle, and I truly do believe it.

I've had a lot of hard things to deal with in my life, but there are others who have had it a lot worse. It's all a matter of perspective. From my view, at the time things couldn't get any worse, but looking back and knowing some of the truly bad things people have to deal with I know things could have been worse. I got what I could deal with and no more. And those times made me the person I am today.

And while my life isn't the media's idea of perfect, it's pretty damn good. Besides, this adds fuel to the imagination for writing, right?
Happy Whatever!


Charles Gramlich said...

Except for some worry about my mother, who is 92, my life is very darn good at the moment. Not terribly stressful, which is the first time I've been able to say that in a long time. Stress is such a joy eater.

Travis Erwin said...

I too blogged about the season today, but I'm with you on the stress of it all.

Rick said...

won't leave, won't pay.

Now those are the tenants from hell.

BernardL said...

You've already learned to count your blessings, VL. When you can do that, the sow's ear eventually turns into a silk purse. :)

writtenwyrdd said...

Sorry that so much stuff is occurring to you at this time. Very stressful! I am glad that it doesn't seem so awful, that it's apparently surmountable; but nevertheless you have my sympathy.

A good attitude is your choice, and it's a good one to make. Things aren't so bad if you can maintain a grip on the positive.

One of the things that a government job has given me is an absolutely stable financial situation. That's the thing that living in Silicon Valley area didn't give me. I got laid off so frequently I never could get ahead.

Have a happy holiday!

Jennifer Shirk said...

Life IS good. Whenever it seems like it isn't, there's always someone around you who has it worse. :)

The holidays wouldn't be the holidays without stress. I hope things work out for you.

laughingwolf said...

what stress???

have a kool yule, and frantic first! ;)