Oddly enough, Christmas is one of those times that is both difficult and joyous for me at the same time. Weird, isn't it? I find it really hard to explain. Ever since I was little and can remember, Christmas has kind of been one of those times to cause angst for me. I get this knot in my stomach. I think it comes from worrying about money. I've always worried about money. I was a saver. When I would get birthday money from others when I was younger, I'd put it away and save it, counting it many , many times. I'd look around stores when I would go with my mom, and it would take me MONTHS to get up the nerve to buy something I really wanted. I would pick it up, put it down; pick it up, put it back. I would do this several times, my mom would remind me, and then I would purchase it. Afterward, I would second guess myself and the purchase. I guess I'm still that way, in a sense, today. It's not that I mind parting with the money. That's not it at all; I love giving people gifts they want or need. I'm not selfish, by any means. So I don't mean it to sound that way. What I really mean to zone in on is the fact that I don't ever like to feel unprepared, or uncomfortable when it comes to money. And, to be quite honest, I feel both of those. I'm not "comfortable" or "prepared" at all in a financial sense. Maybe that's what makes me nervous, so to speak, about the holidays. It's almost as if my thought process includes thinking, "If I spend just fifty dollars more, then what if something comes up and that fifty is exactly what I needed? Shouldn't I just hold off and see?" I probably don't even make sense. Point blank: the holidays make me nervous. But, at the same time, I continue to tell myself to remember the reason for the season, even if no one else does. And that is the birth of Jesus. I just keep trying to tell myself that. But it works some days, and some days it doesn't.
On another note: my oldest daughter turned eighteen a week ago. Yes, I officially have an adult child. Wow. It doesn't really seem possible. Do I feel old? Some days. Do I feel differently? Only when I really sit and dwell on it. I pulled up some of my very old blog posts, back from 2006 and read them the other day, Friday, right after school. I have to admit, I teared up when I read some of them. One of the ones I read was right around Christmastime when we first got our dog, Maddie. I had written about how she was our new baby girl, and how my baby, Makaili, was turning thirteen. THIRTEEN! And now she's all grown up at eighteen. It's hard to believe. I get choked up even thinking about it. So much time has passed in such a hurry. And so many things have happened. Re-living them all makes me emotional. I just have to sit and breath deeply, taking one moment at a time.