What a difference a year makes
Last year at this time, we were mired in a deep, dark murk that made us feel like we were slogging through an emotional swamp. I had injured my wrist attempting to start the snowblower, so I was in constant pain. Husband was working outrageous amounts of overtime because one of his co-workers, the one in charge of the football season specials, had broken a leg. On top of the overtime, he was working to get his commercial driving license as part of the back-up situation. We were preparing to bring La Petite home from college to get her wisdom teeth out, and Amigo was struggling in school -- big time. My boss had drawn red concentric circles on my back, so I was constantly looking over my shoulder at work lest she take aim and fire.
The normal holiday efforts were coming along oh-so-slowly because we didn't have time or energy to accomplish them. I put up a few indoor decorations with Amigo's help. They didn't look like much, but at least Santa or other visitors would know we'd tried. Husband put up some basic outdoor lights (yes, he was very, very careful on the ladder). Our tree was one of the last ones on the lot. It barely fit in the minivan because it was a bit odd-shaped. We dragged it into the house, threw on a few ornaments, and collapsed from exhaustion. Gifts? I'm not sure how we ever shopped and wrapped. Husband did most of his holiday shopping at the Packer Pro Shop because it was the only store he could get to in the craziness of his job.
It was the juggling act that all families face, but we were no longer juggling fruit. It felt more like juggling flaming swords. We didn't sleep well, we suffered headaches, stomachaches, and all kinds of stress-related illnesses. We didn't have enough time or stamina to deal with all we'd been handed.
A year ago, life was destined to get worse before it got better.
When I look at the challenges this year, they seem minor by comparison. However, I still feel a little nervous as we enter this "most wonderful time of the year". I really enjoy the season, the music, the excitement, but a deeply buried part of me is leery of ever going through a winter like the last one. Stumble It!