Friday, December 20, 2013

the holiday season is hard for a lot of folks ... for a lot better reasons than mine

i find the holiday season difficult. i didn't always but i do now. it's hard to see people struggle like i have and it's just as hard that i don't see much joy in the season itself either. i loved Christmas growing up, truly loved it. we never did have much and i don't actually remember ever being "rocked" by whatever amazing gift i received or gave. it was still a fun time of year though. maybe it was the idea that i didnt have to be in school for a period of time and i could go play street hockey. maybe it was that i could go skate and play tag in the frozen ditch where saplings had grown amongst frozen water that had collected there over a long and wet autumn. we'd chase one another amongst frozen trees in some deserted and undeveloped subdivision near our house. i remember it as a completely genuine and hilarious experience.
i did love the holiday season though. somewhere there is still a germination of that feeling.
i find "get-togethers" difficult nowadays though, or rather get-togethers that require me to help host or prepare for the hosting of it. i freeze up and find it hard to know what i should be doing in order to prepare for the party.

it might be the expectation of it all.
it might be the thought that if it all doesnt come off like it should then i'll be standing there with egg on my face.
there was one Halloween where my sister's friend invited my sister and me over to her house for a party. we actually got dressed in costumes where my sister and i tried to coordinate ourselves, we showed up as Raggedy Ann and Andy. we were set up pretty well by my recollection. i remember being dropped off for the party and running up to the door (somewhat self-consciously) with my sister in preparation for a fun celebration. the mother of the house answered the door and looked at us with a puzzled look since she knew nothing of what we were talking about.
i can't tell you what happened after that. i honestly don't remember a single thing about the incident. we may've called for our parents to come pick us up again and take us home. i may've walked home (although i doubt that i did that all decked out as Raggedy Andy). we may've continued to hang out at the friend's place after something like that. i can't believe that i don't remember a single thing that happened after that. the incident was either completely uneventful or i guess i repressed whatever embarrassment i endured after that.

Wendy and i hosted our seed group for a Christmas potluck last week. i didn't find the prep work for the party to be an easy experience for me. Wendy actually gave me no chore to do that was difficult or anything that i had not done as part of any regular cleaning of our home on any given day ... and yet i was anxious, grumpy and near an anxiety attack. once the work was done i sat in our dining room and tried to think of why it is that i find such things hard to do.
it's a stupid story. i was embarrassed in an incident as a child. i do wonder if it has prevented me from putting myself "out there" over the years since. i attend and take part in parties, and for the most part i enjoy them ... if i don't have to stand in the limelight.
i still enjoy the holiday season. i also find it difficult. i suppose i don't put myself on the line much anymore, not like i would've as a preteen. i'm less creative than perhaps i could've/should've been over the years.
is it just about wanting to avoid embarrassment? maybe it is. i can't discount that idea. it has been a sticking point in my life though. maybe its just an example of something stupid that happened to some kid. having said that though it's certainly not a hurdle that cannot be cleared. feeling the fear of a situation and doing it anyway is still a viable approach to dealing with anxiety situations. i've seen that work in my own life.
i'm still not at all sure that i want to be the center of attention or the one responsible for seeing a major task to completion however.
maybe i'm just trying to process my own way through some of my own anxieties. maybe i'm just looking for excuses to cover for my own foibles.

ah, the joys of repression.

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