Winter Woes

Standard

Our furnace in our house went out today, and it’s 16 degrees Fahrenheit outside. I am running a kerosene heater, which stinks to high heaven, until hubby gets off work and goes to get an electric space heater. We have one in our room [because it’s in the back of the house and only has one vent], but the kids need heat, too.

This is pretty annoying, though. And cold. It seems like it’s always one thing after another. There’s something wrong with our van, too [our only means of transportation]. It runs, but not willingly. It sounds like it’s not running on all six cylinders, and the exhaust smells like unburned gasoline. God only knows what the problem is there.

The kerosene fumes make my eyes burn and my stomach upset, so I’m thinking that’s probably not a good thing. I wasn’t planning on running it all night anyway, because you just never know, and we have three little kids sleeping in the house, so I’m not taking any chances with carbon monoxide.

We finally put up the Christmas tree today. I’ve been putting it off since Thanksgiving. Christmas isn’t my favorite time of year. I know, I know, that’s not the kind of thing you usually hear from one of them there bornagainers, but there you have it. There’s just Too Much, you know?

As a general rule, I try to keep my stress level to a minimum. My depression is aggravated by stress, along with my Fibro symptoms, so avoiding stress is a necessity if I want to function at all. Minor to moderate stress is unavoidable a lot of the time in my house [three kids, a dog and a husband contribute quite a bit]. Add church on Wednesdays and twice on Sundays, and that’s about all I can handle comfortably.

Holiday get-togethers with friends and family are great, but draining. Even when I have fun, I’m still pretty done-in afterward. Meditation helps, but the funny thing is, when I need it most is when I manage it the least. Which begins the cycle of depression. Which is why December sucks.

That, and money is tight around here, so there isn’t much extra for Christmas gifts. Okay, there isn’t any extra, we just fake it. And that makes me sad. I shouldn’t be, my kids and I have enough clothes, food, and shelter [albeit a cold-kerosene-stinky one right now] but when they make the ‘list’ and I can only manage a couple of the less expensive things on it, it’s hard.

You want to give your kids their heart’s desire, you know? I don’t want to spoil them, and I don’t want to give them so much that they begin to think they’re entitled to the world on a platter, but I wish I could do more.

My oldest wants to take dance lessons so badly, and it’s just not possible. So I ordered her a couple of ‘how to dance’ DVD’s, hoping she can learn a little bit by herself, and that it will be enough. She also loves art [so do I] but art supplies are expensive. They all love music, and I would love for them to have music lessons.

It’s all stuff they don’t need in order to live, but can add so much to their lives. Music, drama, art, and writing are all things that I adore doing, and am fairly good at, but I often wonder if I’d had private lessons [or more classes offered at school], if I might have been exceptional at them.

It’s one of those things I’ll just never know. With my personality, I might have given up even if I’d had lessons, but I wish I’d had the chance to try. And that’s what I want to give to my kids. The chance to try everything and find out what they like and don’t like, and what they’re good at. And what they suck at.

Maybe it will give them a better idea of their potential at a younger age, and they won’t be wandering around at 30 still trying to figure out what they want to be ‘when they grow up.’

In my worse moments, those are the things I think about at Christmas.

In my better moments, I am filled with awe at the miracle of Christ’s birth. God making himself into a helpless human infant, totally dependent on a teenaged mother and a step-dad who may or may not love him. Wow. That was a pretty big gamble.

I am thankful for all that I have, even in my weaker moments when all I can see is what isn’t perfect. My kids are healthy. We have a home. And there will be gifts under the tree. I never forget that there are people who don’t have those things. I am truly blessed, and in the ways that really matter, I am rich.

Things are a little tilted in my life right now, but it will even out again, and get better. It always does if you can hold on.

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About Shelbi

Work-at-home wife, mom of three kids, and caregiver for my brother, who has Cerebral Palsy. Never a dull moment, in other words. No idea how much I'll post, since I'm super busy these days, but maybe I'll get over here once in a while.

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