"Family & Holidays" sounds like a title for a tired, bitchy entry, but it's not.
I'm not sick of my family, I'm sick of not seeing them as much as I want, as often as I want. Right now we're separated by many miles and large bodies of water (Hood Canal and Puget Sound to get to my sister/nephew/brother-in-law, plus Lake Washington in my mom's case) that take at least a couple of hours one way to traverse.
For the past few years we've celebrated Thanksgiving and Christmas on off-days, before or after the actual days on the calendar, so that we wouldn't have to contend with holiday traffic. I've enjoyed that, but now that my sister has a kid and we're planning to have one ourselves and we're all just getting older, I really want to live close together, to be able to walk to each other's houses or at least be within a fifteen-minute drive of each other.
In a bizarre new twist in my fantasy life, I've actually been fantasizing about Thanksgiving and Christmas. About celebrating on the same days everyone else does. Eating turkey at one of our houses, then walking to one of our other houses for pie. I've been fantasizing about the cool outside smell of late November as we walk to my neighbor/sister's house with a big bowl of cranberry sauce. About seeing my nephew, who is now (for real) singing, walking, and signing like crazy, every day.
I fantasize about living close enough to my mom that I can see her in short, fun, frequent bursts, instead of long, painful ordeals built up by ridiculously long drives.
I want to be able to pick up flowers or stupid gadgets during a grocery trip and drop them off at my mom's and sister's houses. I want us to play cards at night with my brother-in-law and sister after the kid(s) have gone to bed. I want to smell each other's houses so often that they all feel like home. I want all of us to get fat and happy eating from each other's tables.
Whenever we drive around town lately I imagine we're driving to my sister's or mom's house, and that we're only a minute away from arriving.
My sister and brother-in-law actually want to move to our town, so that part is settled in terms of goals. When that actually happens, I think our mom will get on board too. The problem right now is of course just money. Part of me feels certain it's completely in my power to make this happen within a couple of years. Another part of me is just so slack and unambitious, I get annoyed with myself.
Part of the problem is I'm pretty content with our lifestyle and what we have so it's difficult to feel motivated to make more money. Yes, I'd like to have our own house, health insurance, no credit card debt and to be near my family, but the reality is I hardly feel the absence of most of those things. I feel pretty fucking comfortable.
In the past I've been motivated by the fear of failure, and since I don't really worry about failing anymore I struggle to feel motivated. I feel like I need to perform a bunch of focused mental acrobatics at this time in my life to encourage myself to run harder and faster to realize my now ultra-mundane dreams. I'm simultaneously frustrated with myself and stultifyingly content. I make myself sick with laziness yet I'm also sickeningly happy. The only thing that seems to light a fire under my ass is watching videos of my one-year-old nephew and missing the chance to see him often while he learns new things.
I've never hated the holidays. Yes, I've hated celebrating birthdays and hated SHOPPING for holidays, but the actual Thanksgivings and Christmases have had so much goodness I can separate them from memories of family dysfunction, like when a huge Thanksgiving fight ended with my grandpa verbally disowning me. My family is smaller and less dysfunctional now, plus I miss my dad who LOVED Christmas and gift-giving; maybe that part of him inhabits me now and urges me into this sentimental frame of mind. I don't want to spend one single Christmas day on the road, I want to spend a whole week with my family, with kids in sleeping bags and no worries about how losing sleep staying up late together on Christmas eve to play Santa will potentially cause a car crash. I want to go to church with my sister, and argue about which one we'll go to. Maybe we'll switch off.
Going to watch a video of nephew then slog through the more mundane aspects of my work, trying to stay focused . . . trying to remember what's MOST important out of the billions of things that are important to me.
Labels: family, fantasies, goals, memories, money, mundane, Seattle, thanksgiving