Happy Holidays

I’m writing this post from my new tablet keyboard, bought for me by my wife for Xmas.

This was my first Xmas with my new in-laws, and it was weird. I have only ever celebrated this holiday with my own family or my wife. I have never done anything for this holiday with anyone else’s family for any reason. But this year, we did Thanksgiving with my family, so we did Xmas with hers.

I’m here today to talk mostly about how strange families are and how odd a holiday based on pagan traditions with the name and face of Christianity is.

I’ll start with families. This family has traditions that are different than my family’s traditions, which pretty much makes sense. For example, my family opens stockings Xmas eve. This family opens everything Xmas morning. Not much of a difference really, just a few hours. But it  makes a difference when you’re used to one thing and end up getting something else. I certainly miss my family today, more than I expected to. I’m hoping that we can go see them today, even.

The other thing I’ve been thinking about (which I think about pretty much every year) is the oddity of this holiday in general. I write Xmas for exactly the reason that conservative Christians are worried about. I’m trying, actively, to take Christ out of Christmas. Knowing that the origins of this beloved holiday are predominately pagan, I am acutely uncomfortable with any Christian aspects of it. I don’t like the songs that talk about the star or the three wise men or baby Jesus in the manger. I like the ones that talk about sleigh rides and snow men and even Santa. I don’t put an angel on top of my tree, or even a star. I try to stay true to the origins of the holiday, especially since I lean towards paganism myself.

My wife and I have talked this year about what we want to do for a tree next year, when we will hopefully have a little more room. We’ve been talking about doing a little extra research and making a wiccan tree, or something that more accurately reflects how we both feel about the whole thing. With more planning than this year (we bought our tiny, pre-lit tree on impulse one day), this seems like a totally achievable goal.

Which brings me back to the family thing. I’m a little worried about how my wife and I are going to start our own family traditions with all of the traditions of both our families looming over us. I’ve never really thought about how married couples start their own traditions. It must be something that every new little family does, but it’s not one of the things that people talk about when they talk about new families. Maybe it’s supposed to be easy and just happen naturally. It’s definitely something I’m going to need to talk about with my wife.

I hope your holiday, whatever and however you celebrate, is as nice as mine has been.

❤ Eli

❤ Eli

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I can accept the universe’s plans for me.

Two days ago, my wife and I were in a car accident. We walked away sore, but not severely injured. The kicker for me, though, is how bad the accident could’ve been. If we had been three seconds faster, the truck that turned right into our little Kia would have directly smashed into my wife. If she had been hit, she wouldn’t have been able to hit the brakes and we would’ve rolled down a hill and onto the freeway below. This thought is terrifying.

My initial reaction was “DON’T DO ANY MORE THINGS THAT MIGHT LEAD TO DEATH.” I feel like this is a reasonable first reaction, but even then, I knew it wasn’t an actual possibility.

I have struggled with anxiety (among other thing) for most of my life. I have found ways to cope and even ways to make myself better through my mental illness. Since I’ve gotten my fancy smart phone and a tablet, I’ve found tons of apps that are geared toward the things I struggle with. One of my favorites is an app called Worry Box. It is an app where you put your worries and fears into a box, decide whether you have control over the situation, and then either help yourself find a course of action if it is within your control, or find the words to help you cope if it is not something you have control over. It can be very helpful.

Today I made an entry called MORTALITY. I talked about being afraid of my wife dying. I talked about not knowing what I’d do with myself if she died. I talked about being afraid of dying myself. And then as soon as I checked the box “not controllable” it was like something had been lifted. I found the words “I can’t control everything” and “I can accept the universe’s plans for me” and another layer of weight evaporated. It made me think about what I can control.

I can control the amount of time I spend with my wife. I can control how productively I spend the rest of the time I have alive. I can control how many enjoyable things I do in my life, on a daily basis. I can, to some degree, control how many toxic people are in my life, where they are, and how much I come into contact with them. I cannot control whether she or I lives or dies. But I can control most things up to that point.

And as cheesy as it may sound, I now intend to.