Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Tis the season!

We have an eight foot blow-up lighted Santa in our yard along with a tree of lights (Thank you dad!). We still have to put the lights on the bushes and finish decorating our tree, but at least we've started decorating. This is the first time we've been able to decorate outside and it's fun. I love Christmas lights. They take away a little of the gloom from the grey days that are upon us.

I'm really excited about Christmas this year. We have very little extra money so the stress of buying gifts isn't there. I hadn't realized how out of hand our Christmas's had gotten until now. It's ridiculous the pressure I put on myself to buy gifts and spend $$. That isn't what this season is about at all. I'm sorry it took this to make me see. When I was growing up we never had much money for Christmas. My mom was a single mom with three children to support. I never realized we got less than anyone else. In fact, I thought we were pretty lucky because I knew there were others who got much less. One of our Christmas traditions was to buy a gift for one of the kids on the Angel tree and we also volunteered at the Salvation Army. My job was always picking out the gifts to go with wish lists kids had created. I always took my time picking out what I hoped would be the perfect gift. One year there was a family who lived down the street from us. It was a father and his two sons. My sisters and I became friends with the boys and when my mom suggested that we buy them gifts for Christmas we were very excited! We bought each boy a gift and several gifts for the whole family. We delivered them to the family on Christmas morning and the boys were so happy. I don't think they had any other gifts. Christmas always felt full when I was a kid. As an adult I searched and searched for that fullness, but couldn't find it. I was always trying to outdo whatever gift I bought for people the year before and that only leads to frustration.
The problem with using things to fill you up is that you have to buy more and more things to do the trick. This year circumstances beyond my control are forcing me to step out of that cycle. I'm finding more creative ways to show friends and family how much they mean to me, and I can feel that full feeling again.

Things with my insurance are finally worked out so I'll be calling my cardiologist and surgeon tomorrow to reschedule the appointments I missed in October. I can't say that I'm looking forward to meeting with them. My blood pressure doesn't seem to be regulating beyond what it did the first few weeks I was home. In fact a few nights ago it went crazy and was 135/104. It scared me a little. I took my medicine and it went back down. I just hate having to be on medications to keep it normal. My hope is that I'll be able to put off the surgery until spring. From what I've read while researching ASD's and open heart surgery many patients go through a phase of depression after the surgery. I think I'll have a better chance of keeping my spirits up if the sun is out and flowers are blooming. I also don't want to have to brave the wintry roads to travel back and forth to Pittsburgh for appointments.


R said...

the heart thing is just so huge and must weigh on you . . . strength, friend.

since nate and i were married christmas has been about making it home -- being around family, but the boy adds some of the craziness you speak about. i have to kind of actively resist getting sucked into the oh, he needs this -- really? a dinosaur that roars -- probably not.

Kristen said...

Been thinking about your heart and wondering how things are...very smart, I think, to wait till spring if you can.

Your story about the boys was wonderful! That really is what it's all about.

aola said...

I loved hearing about how you spent your Christmases as a child - I didn't know all that, very cool.

Katt said...

Do you know how much I love you, and how it touched my heart to hear you tell that story. I didnt think any of you remembered it.
If we can all just remember that it is love that counts...our hearts will be full.

As far as the surgery goes... I will be there by your side.. and between those you love you and Jesus.... its all good.

I love you so so much...never ever forget