Tuesday, December 21, 2010

It just is what it is, isn't it

I realize I may be stating the obvious here, but doesn't it kind of seem like the pressure of Must!Be!Joyful! this time of year is what makes people unhappy? I know it's different for everyone, and I certainly don't mean to say that anyone who does feel the joy should cram it or anything like that. It just seems like anything that can involve such high expectations of happiness and togetherness inherently has a big risk of sadness and disappointment built in.

I'm realizing that as much as I can come off as "bah, screw the holidays", I have this internal struggle going on with not wanting to care while also building up unrealistic expectations of myself and others. I do want things to be special, but feel like I can't make that happen. I feel like things are expected from me that are not. No one is telling me that I have to do it all, or any of it, but I have a guilty nagging feeling that I should. I feel like less of a person for not having or making some brilliant decorations, for not doing even a quarter of what my mom would do and still being overwhelmed by it all. It would be easier to care less. Maybe I am just as caught up in the whole "Oh, that's what the holidays SHOULD be" as the people that I find annoying. But like most things that matter, I have a hard time balancing importance with just setting it up to be a big old display of failure.

On another note, I know it's generally not recommended to put your expectations on other people, but at the very least couldn't people just try to be more considerate and a little less shitty towards each other, for a little while?

And another note, I really wish I had some paid vacation time.

Monday, December 13, 2010


Found this picture from one of this past summer's zoo trips. My AlmostHusband calls this one "Bear Court is now in session" which is probably a better caption than mine: "Anyone else smell bear crap?"

Or: "Hey look, I'm bearly in focus!"

Friday, December 10, 2010

Pretend I posted this on Friday

So, how's the uh, holiday shopping going for you? I've gotten as far as thinking about buying a bunch of things, and that's about it. I'm stuck somewhere between "starting to feel festive" and "just wake me up in a couple months." For the past few years, I've thought that I'd get a head-start and shop online, so as not to feel all pressed for time and overwhelmed by crowds. And then it's about this time that I realize, oh shit - I better decide what to actually get people and get to getting it! (Update: the weekend passed and I'm no closer to accomplishing this.)

Are there people that you end up buying similar things for, every year? I'm wondering if they do actually enjoy/expect that, or are really thinking "ugh, AGAIN?" (At least my mom and my almost-mother-in-law do seem to like/expect my acting as their personal Bath & Body Works rep*, and that's pretty easy and enjoyable for me to do.) But I tend to buy a lot of things that I like for other people, or get things that I think would be a nice gift for ANYONE, and I don't want that to come off as impersonal. It's not that I don't like shopping, I think it's just like most things with me: I overthink it, I doubt, I procrastinate, I take something that could produce happy feelings and make it into a big ol' mess of worries (what if this sweater represents all that our relationship never will be?) when that's not what it's all about, right? Granted, the family gatherings, the food, the weather, the meaning of Christmas, etc. are pretty worrisome themselves.

I feel like I've written a similar post every year and it usually ends with "whatever, I'm making cookies" and you know, that's not always a bad way to be.

* I've actually branched out a bit from Bath & Body Works (*confused applause*) and haven't gone there quite as much in the last year as I used to. But a recent craving for festive scents took me there a-smelling, and here's a quick rundown of what I came home with:
- Slatkin & Co Scentegg in Fresh Balsam - I like the idea of these Scentegg things because they just sit there and smell - you don't have to do anything with it, they stay upright and look kinda cute, your anti-candle and anti-plug-in significant other doesn't have to worry about anything getting sparky or melty, and it's not a cat attractant like those reed diffuser things (they are actually a bit repelled by it). The Fresh Balsam scent is, as expected, a nice wintery Christmas-tree smelling scent - but you do have to find something else in the store with the same scent if you want a preview of what the Scenteggs smell like - in my case, I tried huffing (not really) the room spray without actually spraying it, but found it's much easier if you can find a candle to sniff. (And then smell another one in the same scent, just in case the first one was stale. And then smell something else and go back to the one you first liked, just to be sure.)
- Anti-Bacterial Gentle Foaming Handsoap in Twisted Peppermint - nice candy cane scent for in the kitchen, and the peppermint gives your hands a slight tingly feeling.
- Anti-Bacterial Moisturizing Soap in Vanilla Bean Noel - not sure if I will gift this or keep it. There are good vanillas and not-so-good vanillas, this one smells pretty artificial like a "I Can't Believe It's Not Imitation Vanilla Flavoring" or something - but seeing as how it's just a hand soap, I don't think it'll ruin anyone's life or anything. I hope.