A Half-Assed Holiday Card

Merry Christmas! Happy Chanukah! Joyful *insert appropriate Winter Holiday here* and know that I really mean it… I hope your season is peaceful, warm and full of joy.

I usually send out a pretty Christmas card with lots of family pictures on them. In the envelope with the card, I like to send a letter keeping our family and friends up to date on what’s going on with the kids, my husband, the menagerie and myself. This is something I’ve done for most of my adult life. BUT… as with so many areas of my life, I’m not quite there, this year. I ordered the cards. They’re great… full of pictures of my daughter’s graduation and candid moments of the kiddos. There’s a great shot of my eldest son dressed in his formal duds (bowtie included) for his 8th grade farewell formal. I ordered them… and they sit in my laptop case, waiting for the couple of hours of downtime that I’ll need to address and stuff them.

But I suck, so I haven’t gotten them done. I haven’t written the letter. I haven’t stuffed the envelopes. I’ve mostly just moaned about how I don’t have time to do the things that I NEED to do.

Which isn’t entirely true, either. It’s just that the things I NEED to do have changed. Don’t get me wrong… I’m going to send out these cards (eventually). But I NEED to learn to rearrange my priorities. In the last year, I’ve had a child graduate from high school, begin college, mature into adulthood. I’ve had a child begin high school, be diagnosed with ADHD, learn to cope with the symptoms, the meds, and the diagnosis, and learn to cope with the world as a young man. I’ve had a child begin middle school, confront her first interaction with hatred, overcome with love. I’ve had a child begin 3rd grade, learn to write cursive, learn to play Magic: The Gathering. I’ve watched my husband struggle with his own business, work harder, stay later, bounce back with the punches. I’ve turned 40, gotten a promotion, begun to work full time for the first time in a decade. I’ve gotten news regarding my writing that I never thought I’d hear, in my life. I’ve struggled to overcome anxiety and a lack of creative drive. I’ve delved into new worlds with my stories.

If this blog post is popping up on your Facebook wall, if you see this on Twitter… It’s probably because I like you. Hell, you might even be someone who will (someday) get one of these fancy cards in the mail. I am writing this to say that it isn’t that I don’t care about you… I do, and I think about you often. But my priorities are changing. I’m trying to divide myself four ways — career, author, wife, and mother. Lots of people do this, and I know it can be done. I’m just new to it. I’m still learning. So, if some things have to fall through the cracks for a while, I hope you’ll understand. I love you, even if there isn’t a holiday letter. Even if next year, there is no card. Even if we don’t see each other or talk to each other for a decade… I do care about you. I’m just overwhelmed on a daily basis, but I’m getting there.

So until we see each other at the grocery store, or run into each other at a family function, know this — those who live in the Filak House are healthy and happy. We’re swimming in uncharted waters, because that is what life is, whether it’s 3rd grade, college, a new career, an old career, achieving a life long dream. Life is pretty much uncharted. If I figure out the map, I’ll send you a letter.

Peace, Love, and Excruciating Joy to each and every one of you…





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