Saturday, November 29, 2014

Holiday-Thanksgiving Focus

I have not worked in three days. Wednesday I inadvertently spent on the couch, this round of gum graft surgery wiped me out and was more painful than the first round. Thursday I cooked, addressed Christmas cards, and decorated the house. Yesterday I bought a tree, a wreath, decorated the tree and finished decorating the house. I made Mom's bourbon balls. And went down a rabbit hole- Mom always made her bourbon balls with Jack Daniels, so that's always what I get. Was confused yesterday when I went to buy it and it said whiskey.
So I have myself an Internet education on bourbon vs. whiskey.
There's no actual baking involved so house smells sweetly of Jack. Which is funny because I'll inhale bourbon balls all break but if you put this in front of me in a glass I'd gag.
Go figure.

There are some, not many, recipe cards Mom sent me right out of college, when I was living on my own. She meant to keep going until I had all her recipes, but she started getting sick by the time I graduated in 98, and so I have only a few. I miss her more at this time of year. She's the one who taught me Christmas had a magic all its own.

Today, it's back to work. I need to finish chapter one of the dissertation to submit for my theory course.
I need to work on my Nightmare on Elm Street book chapter.
I need to choose one of my early modern comp questions to revise and send to committee member.
I need to grade last student research reports.
And I need to prep for my Viking Women study group tonight for this week's final exam.

Which brings me back to the purge-burn-it-down swing I've been on. I have four tupperware boxes and a hatbox of Christmas stuff. And in no way, ever will these things go on the purge pile. Unpacking each thing is a part of Mom. There are the snowmen, and wooden Santas, and the fairy tale figures (one of the few nice things from Marcelle). The ornaments from high school and college.
I love that I have traditions based on Mom's. Christmas starts as soon as you see Santa in the Macy's Day Parade. The day after Thanksgiving you get the tree and decorate it.

On the flip side, there WAS another round of purging.
  • Glass Christmas tree plates
  • three garbage bags of clothes (socks, sweaters, skirts, shirts)
  • Extra duffel bags and luggage stuff
  • Glass vases, glass beads
On this break's list of things I'm not:
  • I am not someone who wears skirts. I hate them. They're uncomfortable. So on the pile. I kept a couple of woolen ones, in case I move to another clime, but have a feel they may go in another purge.
  • For some indecipherable reason, I had ten cocktail dresses, dating all the way back to college when we had dress up parties. I kept three, black, adult cocktail dresses because they might be handy for faculty stuff. The rest, see ya!
  • I do not need twenty shirts, half of which are the same color. Gone.
  • I do not need fifty pairs of fuzzy socks. While I do need to wear socks in cold weather due to my Raynaud's, I need seven- one for each day. Out.
  • I rarely wear sweatshirts. Why do I have ten? No longer.
I stared at my closet yesterday and I pulled out everything that I had not worn in over a year. I will no longer cling to the idea that I might in the future and some point become that person. I will no longer make myself feel bad because I am not that person.
Sometimes it's easier to define ourselves by what we're NOT than what we are.

This is the first Christmas ever I have not gone home. Nehi and I will be staying here. I have no money. There's dissertation work to do, comp meetings to have, reading for next semester to do- just a lot on the To Do list, and not a lot of time.
So I imagine that there will be more purging (I'm eyeing books on the shelf now that I'm finished with coursework and can cut).

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