Sunday, December 21, 2008

December Daze

Today is the Winter Solstice. It definitely feels like winter. It is 22 degrees as I write and tonight the wind chill is supposed to be 5 to 10 degrees below zero. I have tried very hard to stay in the house today. I have only ventured outside a few times because tomorrow is trash day and I must put my trash on the curb.

There's been lots of activity in the house today with last minute Christmas chores. All the presents are bought and wrapped thanks to the mighty efforts of my wife. If Christmas was dependent on me, there would be a lot of sad people in my family. I just try to stay out of the way.

I am feeling very tired and depleted. Last week was a stressful week for me at work. I was forced into a situation where I had to terminate someone's employment one week before Christmas and in the midst of difficult economic times. I don't feel guilty about my actions because they were justified but I do feel badly about them. I care about people and I liked the person I let go. All weekend I have felt tired and totally lacking in energy even though I slept ten hours on Friday night and almost nine hours on Saturday night. Today I am feeling very old even though I am only 57 years. The cold and damp weather makes my bones ache. Today I was looking at my own skin and realized much of it is wrinkled. I think every hair on my body is now gray assuming it hasn't fallen out. Christmas is four days away. I have mixed feelings about Christmas and all holidays. I want so much to like them and to be in the spirit of what ever holiday is it. I really can't think of a bad holiday memory. In spite of this I am often less than in the spirit and many times can't wait for them to be over. Christmas especially is a mixture of joy and dread.

Yesterday I went to the nursing home to see my Dad for the first time since before my surgery, hospital stay, and the death of my mother in law. In his mental state he hadn't even noticed. I spent nearly three hours with Dad and it was exhausting. He was in a fairly good mood but nothing seemed to please him. He didn't like his lunch. After lunch he wanted to go back to bed so I took him to his room. As soon as we got there, he wanted to leave and go sit in the lobby. As soon as I took him to the lobby, he wanted to go back to bed. As we waited in his room for the attendants to put him back in bed, he complained about how slow they were. When we got him back in bed, he complained about his pillow not being fluffed enough. Each time I tried to leave, he looked at me and said, "You're not going to leave me are you"? Way to make me feel guilty, Dad! Finally I just had to leave him and hope he didn't realize what I had done. On the way home I visited my mother and sister only to have the news dumped on me that another family member was in distress. Jesus! To keep my sanity I stopped at a couple of bookstores and spent every penny of two gift cards my staff at work gave me as Christmas gifts.

Tomorrow is another day.

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