I haven’t wanted to write this week. Like everyone else, I’ve been sad. (Sad is of course a great understatement.) The kind of sad that rings the “Now-I-Know-What-They-Mean-When-People-Say-Your-Emotions-Root-Deeper-When-You-Become-A-Mom” sad. We’ve all publicly ached in real life and online for those who experienced and are enduring the worst of what the world can bring. Despite I have zero connection to any of the victims of the unthinkable atrocity in Connecticut, as a parent I’ve felt empty this past week for those who will never feel complete and full again. I’ve felt empty, depressed, confused, angry, helpless and downright pissed off.
Just in time for Christmas. Which meant… This year, my holiday cheer would be fake.
On top of it all, today (December 21) is doomsday. The ‘end of the world’ they say… and I’m buying it hook, line and sinker. (No, I’m not an ancient Mayan.) But as old-fogie and just-like-my-own-mother as this sounds (no Mom, you’re not an old-fogie… I’m just making a point): The end of the world IS here. Or at least, the world as we know it. Whether we like it or not — we are in a new age, folks. A new age where crazy is a notch above our worst nightmares, unthinkable possibilities can become tangible realities and swift solutions from our most trusted leaders are hard to come by.
THAT IS AN END TO A WORLD – OR AN ERA – IF YOU ASK ME.
But a Fab-Mom must be resilient no matter what the circumstance or state of affairs. So how to Mom-Up in a world like this? Well… I started by turning off the TV. And yes, I DO REALIZE THAT I WORK IN TELEVISION.
As someone who absolutely L-O-V-E-S television — this was not easy. But I found compelling strength to try this tactic thanks to the perspective of a woman I’ve admired since I started my little blogging adventure 2 years ago (name drop: Jessica Gottlieb). Jessica recently shared her own experience of having a toddler and a baby during horrific events years ago on her famous blog. In a single paragraph, she sharply articulated something I’ve felt deep in my soul for a long time in the wake of unthinkable and frighteningly close-to-home tragedy that actually happens far away from your own home: Resist the 24-hour news cycle temptation, get the information you need to exist and contribute to the world and shut out the minute-to-minute noise. Unless something happens in your immediate community, choose to only pay attention to your own little family… take care of those wee ones who need you most appropriately. (Jessica, I’m hoping I interpreted your thoughts as you intended?) READ JESSICA’S FULL POST HERE... it’s one of my most favorites.
Turning off the tube this week helped me turn up the holiday cheer (although my cheer started as forced & fake, it’s slowly becoming genuine). No TV in the midst of such tragedy across the country helped my household. It helped me find the motivation to dress my baby like a crawling Christmas cookie. It helped me don my girls in their best matching pink-and-blue winter-wear for a mindless trip to the mall (to finish a trivial quest I found myself in…). It helped me mobilize us all for a morning drive to drop off toys for local kiddos in need. It helped me muster the energy to whip up a batch of homemade rocky road so that we can walk a nice little surprise across the street to our elderly neighbor. It helped me mom-up and give the holiday cheer that my 2-year old and 9-month old so deeply deserve.
Because, had I kept the TV on: The tears would’ve continued to fall out of my face and no one can read “The Elf on the Shelf” in that kind of state. My girls – as little as they are – did not need to experience a weeping mother who was incapable of turning away from our plasma screen during the days leading up to Christmas.
Although living in ignorance is something I do NOT believe in, NOT knowing certain things (that aren’t necessary for me to know) and faking my own Christmas bliss this past week has helped ME. And being the Mom of the house — that’s IMPORTANT.
So I’m proud to fake the cheer this year (mostly) amidst the noise, the uncertainty and the incomprehensible sympathy and heaviness that all of our hearts feel for those who’ve lost this season… all for the sake of my girls. And for the sake of trying – in some teeny tiny way – to make their big bad world a better place. Despite the horrific origin of it, there’s something magical about that 26 Acts of Kindness… I think I’m on #5… and look ahead to continuing the concept well past 26 for the remainder of my time here.
WISHING ALL OF YOU AND YOURS THE VERY BEST OF WHAT LIFE HAS TO OFFER… THIS SEASON AND BEYOND.
HAVE YOU FOUND YOURSELF FAKING IT THIS HOLIDAY WEEK?