I don't understand why I can't get into the holiday spirit. Last year I was hyped for weeks about Christmas.
However, last year I had a new baby, I had a new house, I had the awesomest of awesome suprises that I was pulling off on my mom and dad, so it was easy to get into the spirit.
I usually get SAD (seasonal affective disorder, aka Winter Depression) to some degree every year. Usually, tho, it doesn't rear its ugly head until sometime in February. Usually that's about the time that snow days have completely snarled any syllabus schedule I handed out at the beginning of the semester, and I just throw up my hands and start asking how many days until Spring Break, and then how many days until May.
This year, I started getting the day-counting attitude before Fall Semester was even over with. I found it hard to be motivated to go to work, which is something that hasn't happened to me in years.
I thought I would feel better (i.e. less grumpy, more motivated about the holiday season) once I was done with finals. But even the hurrah of posting grades, then the hurrah of the college being closed for the next two weeks [so I can't even go into work if I want to] didn't lend itself to ho ho ho-ing.
I feel exhausted all the time. I go to bed at 9:00 or 10:00 most nights, and usually sleep pretty well. But when my daughter first cries at 5:45 or 6:00, I still feel exhausted. By 9:00 I'm wondering how long until her naptime, because I might nap too.
It's so bad, I don't even get excited about cloth diaper laundry anymore. Most of our pocket diapers are repelling or leaking badly, so we have to change pants almost every time we change a diaper. And I haven't even felt like dealing with the issue. (Hey, I put a squirt of Dawn in the washer, and it didn't help. I'm not sure what to do beyond that other than hand wash each one individually, or start boiling the damn things, so we're just going with what we've got at the moment.)
I had stopped all form of vitamins and supplements after weaning. I had taken those damn prenatal vitamins and fatty acids every day since I found out I was pregnant in August 2008. I needed a break from daily obligation. I started taking them again, but that hasn't helped much.
I'm eating pretty well. Have to, with the Wee One around. Any junk she sees, she wants. I've been eating cereal for breakfast, soup and grilled cheese for lunch, and our vegetarian offerings most nights for dinner. So I don't think it's eating that's causing it.
I had the house pretty cleaned. I had bought stuff for baking, since I wanted to start a holiday tradition with some recipes that I wanted to make with my girl. First I couldn't motivate myself to actually do the baking. I felt like I needed to have the tree up and the house decorated first. When that obviously wasn't going to happen, and when the snow came along making a perfect day for baking, we tried to bake our new tradition recipes.
After two consecutive recipes failed, I put my daughter to bed for a nap and sat on my couch and cried. My kitchen was now a mess with nothing to show for it, and I still hadn't put the Christmas tree up.
I've had money on my mind, ever since my overload class for the Spring got cancelled. My insurance premium for next year went up, but I'm having less money put into flex spending, so I'm hoping it evens out and my take-home doesn't change much. Or, any more than it will by not teaching an overload. My overload paid for expensive daycare, but I'm having some money put into a dependent care account, so maybe I can get reimbursed for that as soon as possible ...
This year, more than any other year, Christmas has just felt like a gift-giving holiday. I thought it was because of the not-going-to-church thing, but I went to two different churches over the last two Sundays, and it only minimally helped my seasonal spirit. Maybe it's because my parents get the newspaper and I see ads laying at my dad's feet every day as he tries to read the real news of the day. Maybe it's because I'm being peppered with so many cloth diaper giveaways and discount codes on Twitter and Facebook and my email that I just tune them out now. It started with pre-Black Friday sales information from online retailers and it hasn't stopped. Given that I feel constantly worried about money, it's no wonder that I'm having trouble making those two aspects jive.
So tomorrow my Wee One goes to daycare, because I have to pay for it, so why not. Then my agenda includes putting up a Christmas Tree, trying my hand at baking one more time, and finding a therapist. I'm pretending that we celebrate Winter Solstice, and that's why I waited to put up the Christmas Tree. Actually Winter Solstice seems like the perfect thing to celebrate right now. It's the longest night, after that, the nights are actually shortening [no, really] so it should, in theory, be the worst of the SAD.
It's also a Mother Nature celebration, so a good excuse to walk around the neighborhood [and look at the lights, which it has been far too cold to do, but something I think I would enjoy with the Wee One]. You're supposed to light candles to celebrate and talk about your connection to Nature and it's sometimes even called Yule, so I can try to bake a Yule Log (I thought I had sworn off baking...). Honestly, it's the first idea that's gotten me vaguely excited this whole season long, so I'm going with it.
Don't worry, Ma, I'm not Wiccan just because I want to celebrate the Solstice. It's a scientific event too, ya know.