There is a turkey thawing in my sink. Every time I walk past through the kitchen, I smile because I am remembering another turkey thawing in a sink almost 30 years ago. That first turkey caused a house fire, a ruined bed and blistered fingers. How could a harmless turkey cause such mayhem, you ask? It all started when my little brother pissed me off. I can't remember what terrible thing he did, but I'm sure it was very offensive and unforgivable. Because he was an asshole and ALWAYS pissing me off. That's what little brothers do, right?
The other day D said to me, "Mom, do you know what I love the most about Christmas?" I was expecting him to say presents, or being out of school for most of the fucking month (seriously, why is Christmas break SO long?), candy canes, or endless renditions of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, but no none of these responses were correct.
"I love all the Joy that surrounds Christmas", was what he said.
Wait a minute. What is this "joy" that he speaks of? I have been in a shitty mood since November. Sure, I have four fucking Christmas trees in the house and have the radio constantly tuned to Christmas music, but I haven't felt a lot of joy in my heart this holiday season. He has not sensed much joy from me.
When he and his brother and sister are fighting over mundane shit (which is every day), there has not been joy in their relationship. When the dog threw up in the dining room and the cat came in bloody from a street fight with another neighboorhood cat, jumped on my bed and proceeded to bleed all over my white bedding...nope, no joy there either. When D and his BFF got in a fist fight in the back yard, no joy in that situation. Where is he finding joy when it is so elusive to me?
Then I remembered that I am a jaded bitch. I am an overworked and stressed out mom. I am the one who is refereeing and cleaning up puke and blood and mending relationships. I am the one who is suffering through weekly flares of fibromyalgia. All the while, the rest of the world is running around oblivious to my pain and indulging in joy. Those bastards!
The more I thought about how easy it is to be joyful when you have no responsibilities or worries, the more pissed off I became. I became less joyful with every thought. Fuck joy, fuck Christmas and wrapping all those fucking presents, fuck spending quality time with my family, and fuck Rudolph!
And then...I came to my senses. Fuck ME! I am a terrible person. I am ruining my children's lives by being such a bitch (well maybe not their lives, but mother's guilt hit me like a motherfucker). Why am I letting everyday life steal my joy? Yeah, cleaning up dog puke isn't fun, but it shouldn't ruin my whole day. Kids fight, cats fight, shit happens. Get over it. Joy isn't something that is handed to you. Joy is a choice. I haven't been choosing joy. I have been choosing anger and bitterness and resentment. I suck.
Sooooo...today and every day moving forward, I am making a conscious effort to choose joy. When that fucking dog pukes on the carpet again, I am going to clean it up with a smile on my face. If Cowboy comes in bloody as fuck and rubs his bloody head all over my face, I'm going to happily wipe the blood off of us both. I will soak my white sheets in OxyClean and be happy I have a washing machine big enough to fit my comforter. When the kids are fighting, I will be happy because deep down I know that they love each other. OK, maybe I'm getting a little too Pollyanna over here, but you get my point. I AM CHOOSING JOY.
Over the next few weeks, you will hear nothing but joyful shit from me. But, my dear readers, I am going to need some help from you. I want to hear about your joy as well. Tis the season and all of that. So I'm asking you to post your joyful moments to my Facebook page every day for the rest of the month. I can't wait to read them!