Sunday, December 24, 2006

Staying Afloat

Right now I am battling within myself. I am struggling to understand why some people say things and then when you take their advice get angry at you. I am wondering why people cannot just be happy that you have worked hard and put yourself in a place where you can possibly have more income (income of necessity not want). If they can't dictate to you how to live your life then they question your loyalty. What is that all about? Does one have to ruin any financial opportunities to prove loyalty? I think the key is that one must do what one needs to survive.
I am reminded of a quote "Don't tell me who you are. Don't tell me what you'll do. Show me what you've done and I will know you."

I just read a wonderful entry by Judith HeartSong. She makes such wonderful observations about life. She speaks how such situations are learning experiences. I must view this that way. I am about to embark on a journey. Where paychecks will not be steady. I have not received a paycheck in three weeks. (I am expecting to receive one for two of those weeks soon.) It's a bit scary. I have to view this as an opportunity to receive an education at which time I will start to earn money. Patience. Something I need to work on.

Christmas time has always been a struggle for me. It began when I was ten years old. I remember that Christmas as though it were yesterday. We took in a brother and sister foster children. My mother knew their aunt. For Christmas we were poor, my father was in the Navy and there were four of us children already. We crammed them into our rooms and now there were three sharing our double bed. For Christmas my mother bought the girl a teardrop pearl necklace. It was beautiful. My sister and I received a child's table with two chairs. It was ideal for my three year old sister but I was ten and although petite couldn't fit close to the table on the tiny chairs. My cousin called me and I went to her house. She had received a metal miniature kitchen. The sink even had running water. She also received a beautiful birthstone ring and many other things. I had such envy. It was so hard to deal with. The foster daughter was very mean to me. My mother kept telling me that I had to be understanding. At night she dug her fingernails into my arms until they bled. It was hard to be understanding. Finally they went back to their parents. We never heard from them again. Since then Christmas became an emotional ordeal for me. I still don't understand why but years later this haunts me. This year has been especially tough for us. We are both from large families. We have twelve nieces and nephews between us and two greats. We also have seven siblings and four of them have spouses. Over the years I have asked to stop exchanging. Some have agreed but most have not. I am overwhelmed with trying to shop and buy for all these people. Many of them buy anything they want all year and want or need nothing. Yesterday one who had agreed three year ago not to exchange called to tell me that she had bought us both gifts. Now in the eleventh hour am I expected to be out shopping for them? It gets harder each year. My charge bills arrived yesterday and thought I might need medical attention. I want to stop the madness. My mother-in-law's gifts are still here because I didn't have the money to ship them up there. I did ship the box with the children's toys earlier. I love buying gifts and I love giving. When the giving is so sacrificial it becomes difficult. It took me until the summer to pay off my charges last year. If my situation remains the same next year I think I am going to have to bite the bullet and refuse any adult exchanges except for each other, my son and our parents. I just can't keep going through this year after year. It ruins the holidays. I want to experience a Christmas Eve with the excitement that I once could. No stress, no pressure. I want the gifts I give to be sharing time, quality time with people I care about. Not an obligatory gift that I know they will be thinking "Who can I regift this to?" Sorry but how can I give you anything you want when you buy what you want on a daily basis? What can I give someone who is receiving diamond jewelery each year? Why do I feel pressured to go out shopping to get something for someone who agreed not to exchange knowing that I have two prescriptions I will be running out of in two days that will wait until my paycheck arrives to be filled.

This is my Christmas prayer: Lord please help me stop the madness and fill my heart with peace. Please don't let this stress get to me and necessitate a trip to the ER because I can't afford the copay. Amen.

1 comment:

jennifer said...

To those people I give gifts from my kitchen. They can either enjoy them or toss them to the birds. Plus I love the creation in the process, so it's a two-fer. If they think less of me for the gift, the problem is theirs, not mine. Took awhile to figure that out, but I'm glad I did.