Christmas Break and the Ice Cream Cone of Stress; Add Another Scoop!

The President was impeached along party lines yesterday.  As hour after hour of impeachment debates droned on yesterday, my mental and emotional strength was sapped.  My sons sensed that I was not doing well. My older boys seemed curious to know what was going on and what the representatives were saying.  I did my best to try to explain the complex realities of this current political moment. The younger ones just knew that Mom was on the edge.  They fought and pestered and ignored my pleas. The dog seemed in on it as well. Austin and Pepper chased and pushed and snarled at one another to find a place in my lap where they felt they both got their fair share of me.

Ben and I took a trip to Las Vegas for five days. It was glorious to get away, but since I have been home, I have been trying to make up for lost time getting ready for Christmas. All I have managed to do is rearrange the clutter, do some planning, and reset my circadian rhythm. The house is a mess, the chores were piling up, and the boys were all obliviously engaged in screens despite my repeated threats and pleadings. It all came to a head last night when Ben came home late from work.

Finally, I erupted.  I told them if they didn’t stop disrespecting me, Santa was going to take back their Switch.  Up until yesterday I had been very vague about whether or not Santa had any intention of getting them their much wished for toy.  Hopefully my threat scared them straight or it might be a very long holiday.  

Wesley’s tenth birthday is in two days.  He wants a Picachu/Beyblade cake and a friend birthday party.  And I haven’t wrapped a single gift yet for the birthday party or Christmas.  Not a single one! Most of the gifts are still in their Amazon boxes, not even opened.  The thought of how much work I have to do strikes panic into my heart. There are six days until Christmas!  

Also, I am going to sing a solo in sacrament meeting for the ward Christmas program.  That was a last minute decision adding a scoop of stress to an already mountainous cone of peril.  Thankfully with the impeachment over, the news cycle should calm down a bit and my anxiety for my beloved country should ease.

Photo by Sarah Gualtieri on Unsplash

At moments like this, my brain tends to focus on the worst aspects of this moment.  The lies, the gaslighting, the betrayal of values, the self-serving flattery of the President by his party loyalists overwhelm me in a sea of sadness and cynpicism.  I have been trying to focus instead on the moments of beauty and courage. Justin Amash gave a stirring and compelling speech. His courage to take his place as a lonely truth teller as the House’s only independent was moving.  Amash’s speech seemed to inspire and add to the luster of Steny H. Hoyer’s closing remarks.  I have seldom felt so moved by a speech.  After 38 years of service, Representative Hoyer’s words had the ring of gravitas.  He avoided hyperbole. He stayed laser focused on the relevant issues. He quoted John Locke, which shows a deep understanding not just of our nation’s founders, but also the political philosophers whom they studied.  If men like him are characteristic of the Democratic Party, sign me up! Steny H. Hoyer is now a member of the motley and diverse collection of new heroes I have found in this difficult and divisive time.

When Speaker Pelosi invoked the words of Elijah Cummings I was moved.  I thought of him dancing with the angels, maybe to an old African spiritual.  I imagined him hoping, as I do, that we can see our way forward to a better America with leaders who inspire and unite us.  Leaders like Amash, Hoyer, Dingell, and Cummings.  

Well, the boys are starting to stir.  Setting the expectations and the schedule early will be key to keeping the trains running on time for the next couple of weeks.  Wish me luck!!

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