Peace.

In case I haven’t already made it pretty clear, this holiday season has really kicked my butt. We all have The Never Ending Cold.  I burned myself.  Threw my back out.  Got round four of Mastitis (because I wasn’t smart enough to figure out how to avoid it after three previous bouts?!)  And I am sure generally pissed off a million people around me as I became the most forgetful and socially inept version of myself possible.

I can’t figure out if this is just me or if everyone is feeling extra frazzled.  (Yes, I would actually love to know, so please feel free to share your stress level below in the comment section.)

This is our first Christmas with two kids.  It is also the first one where I am trying to work (3 jobs, although not all are paid yet – ahem, PLEASE TELL EVERYONE YOU KNOW ABOUT THIS BLOG.) And it is the first one where we are staying put and told family they are welcome to come to us.  It is also our second Christmas season in New York City.

I am choosing to blame this new level of Holiday Season Insanity on that last factor.

Because even though it is everything else that has me running around like a headless chicken, it is the city part that allows me to never feel rested.  At peace.  Relaxed.

All I know is that my parents just sent me a picture of their new home last week and I find myself repeatedly looking at it.  Gazing at it.  Daydreaming.

I just want to be curled up with a book inside that house while looking out at such a peaceful blanket of snow all around.

No strollers.  No delivery guys on bikes.  No horns honking.  No sirens.  No fast, loud, dirty subways.  No car alarms.  Nobody screaming outside of our sons’ windows at night, waking them up and in turn waking us up.

This has happened a few times lately.  This daydreaming.   I was reading another blog, All & Sundry and saw photos of a house she liked…in the country.  Again, I found myself pausing to really look at these photos.  Imagining what people do in a house like that.

Bake bread from scratch?

Read books?

Play board games?

Relax?

I mean, I know everyone has stress in their life, no matter where they live, but living here in NYC just feels… extra.

Partly I think this holiday season didn’t turn out the way I envisioned.  We did waaaaaay too many road trips.  I probably shouldn’t have hosted a Christmas party. (Although I’m happy we were able to collect some coats for New York Cares.)  I definitely should have just stayed home for a few days when we all got sick.

I basically should have just said No a lot more often, and Yes a lot less.

Because all I wanted to be doing for the past month was listening to Christmas music and baking.  Taking time to really love on my kids and my husband.  Carefully choosing little gifts to show all of our family and friends how much we care about them.

None of this happened.

Today I am trying to check off the 17 things on my URGENT To Do List (not to be confused with lesser To Do Lists that will just have to wait until after New Years) so that I can do the dishes (from that party I probably shouldn’t have tried to fit in) and bake cookies with Carlitos for our neighbors before I run to a few stores to grab some last minute gifts.

I guess I can turn on some holiday music while we bake, but the whole thing still feels rushed, rather than serene.

And I don’t like it.

So, is it just me?  Is anyone else out there feeling this way this year?

Or do I need to start looking for a home in the country….?

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