It is possible to get to the point where you cease to care. It's called "burnout." Or perhaps, more simply, "Monday." The new nurse in me brings you warm blankets, dims the lights, offers distraction and fluids until the doc comes in, while the emerging emergency nurse in me curses our health care system and wishes you'd realize this is a fucking emergency room - not the Holiday Inn.
The holidays were a blur of work, arguments with various family members (both blood and extended) regarding said work, and general stress. Don't get me wrong - I love Xmas Eve with my family - but this year, that wasn't possible. Neither was Xmas Day. And from my last post to this, I was hoping to just hit the fast forward button and be done with it all.
Hallelujah! Jesus' purported birthday is over! Can we just get back to normal life now?!
I think it's the sense of urgency that bothers me. Urgency, and consumerism. I love my family. I'm pretty sure they know that. Also, I have been - until very recently - historically, demographically, and perpetually Broke. This welling sense of obligation that occurs in the month of December, to purchase trinkets I can't afford, does nothing but piss me off. For the last 10 years, I've (for the most part) made gifts in lieu of buying them. This year, said gift (which shall remain detail-less due to the fact that my family and I have yet to exchange gifts) was also extended to a coworker, for whom I was designated her most voluntary Secret Santa. On the day I brought said gift to work, a few coworkers noticed the package on the break room table and picked up the box. And shook it.
"It feels like there's nothing in there!"
"Merry Christmas! Here's a box of air!"
I spoke up from the other side of the room and said, "It's handmade. Please don't shake it."
And that's not even the shitty part. The shitty part is that I took the gift back home with me that night (because the recipient, I was told, would not be working the next day), and proceeded to supplement said gift with day-after-Christmas sale items (yummy, nice items, but still) from a local (retail, corporate) store. Then I unwrapped my handmade gift, wrapped the Bought Items individually, and presented them the next working day with my handmade gift tied to the wrappings.
She liked the gifts. Didn't even mention the one I'd made. So maybe I have some work to do in the area of craftiness.
The point is, I gave my time. And I absolutely despise the notion that a Christian holiday (AND I'M A FUCKING ATHEIST!) is so seldom celebrated with works of love and all too often with works of the wallet.
So, again. Hallelujah. It's over. A new year has begun - another rite of passage that, as a service industry worker of 17+ years, I absolutely dread.
I love the passing days of January, those days in the late-first and second weeks, when everyone finally chills the fuck out and gets back to what matters to them, when everyone realizes they don't need spa packages or video games or expensive shiny gadgets to know that they are loved, that they love the people in their lives, that the best times spent together aren't because We Should but because We Genuinely Want To.
So here's to chili, to Sunday football, to impromptu drives back home. To long days at work, to people who listen to endless diatribes about said days and love us anyway, to siblings and mothers and fathers and friends we call because We Want To; not because It's Christmas. To simply Being, not Trying. To Accepting, to Worrying, to Pulling Our Hair Out and letting it grow again. To blood that's thin enough to flow and thick enough to last. To crying on shoulders and laughing inappropriately. To admitting defeat, to rising to the challenge. To movement, to forward motion, to self-forgiveness, awareness in general.
To burnout. To absolute exhaustion and the peace that comes with knowing You Did Your Best.
To telling off the bad guy or just meeting their stare, knowing they've neglected to make their own bed while criticizing yours.
To making your own bed with fresh sheets and blankets for someone you love.
To letting it go. To letting it all just be.
Happy New Year.