December 20, 2013

How the Grinch Stole My Christmas

I've struggled w/ Christmas since 2008. The day before Christmas break 2008 was when I found out my ex was sleeping with my best friend. Obviously, I am 100% over him, but it was the mark of my loss of innocence. As I've blogged about before, I used to always wear rose-colored glasses, and lived in a place where evil never occurred, especially in my small flawless marriage. To be blind-sided the way I was, was completely life changing. I used to be that elementary teacher that went all out- dorky holiday shirts, projects, candy, everything. My own home was decorated to a "T" and I loved all Christmas traditions. It was such a feel-good season, celebrating my own Christian beliefs. Since that Christmas, I just can't seem to get excited about Christmas. In fact, some years it feels like gloom and doom, like I'm waiting for the hatchet to fall on my life. Stupid, right? Truth is, I miss the old me. I miss the dorky Christmas shirts and socks, the way I would get so excited about decorating the house, and the traditions I insisted be kept.

Why am I feeling this way? I rewind to that day, or really that month. I was SO absorbed in my class and in Christmas, doing all the "holiday things" that I didn't even notice what was happening in my life. In fact, the exact MOMENT I found out, I was busy packing sacks of uniforms for my students for Christmas gifts. What was I wearing? My best Santa tee shirt, Santa earrings, socks, and jeans about 2 sizes too big with grandma panties. Oh yes, exactly what every man wants. The other girl? She was the glamorous girl, the sexy girl, the girl at the cocktail parties looking perfect with big breasts and flawless make up and hair. I was the one with hair frazzled, food on my clothes, trying to stuff Santa in my car.

Since 2008, I have had a reminder in my head to not get TOO dorky. To be an adult, to keep myself together, to keep some sort of sex appeal, even if small. And these ideas in my head are no way reflection of my new hubby. In fact, he LOVES the dorky. He decorated our whole porch with a ceiling of Christmas lights, all different colors. He helped me think of ideas for "Chippey" our class Elf on the Shelf, BUT truth be told, I am ALWAYS wearing decent underwear. And the memories are still burned into my heart, a slight reminder that life can get sticky at any point and that scars remain.

And this year, another "thing" happened, the day before our Christmas break. I can't share too much because the school system is pressing charges against this person, but one of my student's parents did something COMPLETELY inappropriate and illegal ON OUR FIELD TRIP. So, I have been dealing with that for the past two days. Heart wrenching, exhausting stuff.

I just want my rose colored glasses back. I WANT that world where unicorns roam under rainbows.

We're leaving tonight to drive to Kentucky, something I should be ecstatic about. Why am I feeling dread? Yes, dread. I didn't even realize how much I was dreading it until Keith asked me why I didn't want to go (without me even telling him). He could tell by my facial expressions that I was less than excited. Honestly, mom and I have been having trouble lately. She's become so obsessed with perfect. And my heart hurts for her because I know she is working SO hard to keep normalcy in tact. I think she's facing her own inner battles, realizing that my dad is as well as he's going to get. And while he is 100% "well and self-functioning" there are definite personality changes. I can't imagine how she must feel, living with someone so different that they used to be. My new dad spends lots of time keeping to himself. He doesn't enjoy the things he used to enjoy. We actually went through a period where we tried to get him to ride his new bike, but have kind of given up on that idea. He rides a little bit, very slowly, but doesn't really seem to enjoy. Mom has tried to get him to do different things, but unfortunately, he usually just wants to stay home. I think it's because it's hard from him. I know he struggles a lot with mental tasks that are easy for others.

And running...
I took two days off after the 50K. I really only wanted one day, but felt pretty sore still. I actually listened to my coach and trusted my body. It paid off because that next weekend (last weekend), I was able to run back to back 19 milers, the 2nd 19 miler at 7:35 pace. AND, I did two workouts this week. I have no become a little sidelined after coming down with some sort of bad cold/respiratory thingie. Fortunately, I will still have a near 90 mile week, even with a cutback day (today). I'm running a trail marathon tomorrow morning as a training run. The goals are to work on my nutrition and footing.

I'm trying to wrap my head about 50 miles, thinking more and more about the race, mentally preparing.

Merry Christmas, friends! May you enjoy a peace and happiness with your families.


  1. I know what it's like to associate a season or holiday with bad memories. It isn't something I try to do or dwell on, in fact I overtly try NOT to, but there are so many sensory triggers to the memories around holidays. Smells, music, traditions, visual reminders - all can bring up old memories. I've made a point to create happy traditions around the holidays instead, so that those become my memories. But it's still hard.
    I hope you can enjoy your visit home, Gosh, such a hard situation to be in - I'm sure you and your mom are both stressed out and are having difficulty dealing with accepting your dad's condition and each others' perception of it. I hope he enjoys a happy and peaceful holiday and that that brings you both joy!
    Oh and thanks for reminding me to wear nice undies. I've seriously become an old hag since getting married, and meanwhile my husband has gotten - well, more hot! So I feel super frumpy lately. I suppose a $6 pack of panties from Target might be just what I need ;-)
    Merry Christmas to you and your family!

  2. I am sorry to hear about what you are going through now.

    I can imagine (maybe) what must have happened on the school trip. Yes, I can quite an imagination!!

  3. In my eyes, you run, so you have to be sexy... OK I'm not a big fan of grandma panties!!!

  4. I came this way while getting caught up on writing some race reports for a running group's blog that you may know of. :-)

    The race report I expected to see; this post, I didn't.

    First of all, it was great to see you and Keith here in Texas -- and, most of the above, you've shared during those times.

    Christmas is a challenge for me, but for different reasons. Our Pastor said it uniquely - and recently - that some of us spend money we don't have on things others don't want for people we don't like.

    I believe that we should have the spirit of Christmas in our heart towards people all the time, all year-round; therefore, I struggle with the fuss of the season many times. It hasn't been until the last couple of days that I've gotten into it - and as much as I'm going to get. :-)

    And, of course, it is a challenge - as we've all experienced in various ways, shapes and forms -- when that spirit and love in our heart towards others is let down, broken or destroyed -- or vacated towards us by others.

    There are others of us out here who understand - in our own way, but many may never be able - or be bold enough - to articulate it similarly.

    You have a wonderful husband, an excellent coach, great friends and a family that loves you despite a challenging time or two.

    You'll do well in February. There's no doubt in MY mind. :-)

    Merry Christmas to both you and Keith. - Jon

  5. Ditto to Jon.

    While we both have been tossed some heavy stuff that we didn't ask for and it ALWAYS seems to be timed wrong, it helps to just acknowledge that you did the best you can. Which I know you always do and you're starting to see it now in some aspects:)

    I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers this Christmas. I'm trying for the personal theme of "low-drama holiday" just sounds more realistic!

    I'm working on my camo costume for Feb now.... wink wink.

    Love you to pieces girl!!

  6. As much as you may miss your rose colored glasses, you are most likely a more complex and interesting person without them.

    I am a firm believer that denial and avoidance can feel great in the short term, but that they truly do more harm in the long term.

    It takes strength and true inner beauty to confront the ugly realities of life with grace, compassion, and love (both for others *and* yourself). Acceptance is the hardest part of living at times.

    It is so obvious from your writing that you try very hard in everything you do to be a good person. No doubt this is much more attractive to anyone you want in your life than any clothes or physical appearance ever could be.

    {{{Virtual Hugs}} to you for the Holidays. I agree, they can be difficult.

  7. My heart really goes out to you and everything you've struggled with. I am so happy that you have moved past all of the stuff that happened with your ex, but I can understand that reminders (like the holidays) make old feelings pop up. It sounds like Keith is a wonderful fit for you and would find you sexy no matter what you did. I hope your break was restful. You have a very busy/stressful life so hopefully you were able to get some "you" time.