Early this evening I had just finished reading a book. I sat there in the recliner for a few minutes, soaking up the emotion, and then got up to close the blinds against the pitch darkness outside. As I walked across the room I heard a crackling behind me, then a rumbling, then a thump. The star on my wall had come loose from the tape and crashed onto the table below.
This, I thought, is a perfect expression of how I feel about the holidays.
Not that I wonít hang the star back up there, of course. Thatís part of it, picking up the pieces when everything falls apart.
Yesterday I thought Iíd finished my Christmas shopping once and for all. I still had to wait anxiously for some packages to arrive over the next week and a half, but I wasnít worried. Then today I got a card in the mail from a company that Iíd used, more than a month ago, to order one of the most important gifts Iím giving. Out of stock, it said. Sorry, it said. Oversold. Would I like to give them a call and find an alternative?
Well, no. Iíd like what I ordered a month ago to have arrived yesterday, but that didnít happen and wasnít going to. If theyíd emailed me this news, I would have had a few more days to figure out what to do. I was dismayed, to say the least. I was distraught at the thought of going out shopping again, after I thought I was finished. Dismayed, distraught and distressed.
After wallowing in these very useful feelings for a few minutes, I went on line and ordered a replacement from a different company. It cost twice as much, and the promised delivery period extends from December 21 to December 27, and it wasnít my first choice, but Iím satisfied. Or relieved. One or the other or both.