I don’t really want to shop this year

In years past, I enjoyed holiday time shopping.  I would scour the interwebs in advance and come up with plans of shit to purchase for myself, for famiry, for friends and whomever might actually warrant getting a gift for.  And by the time Thanksgiving rolled up, I would go start going gangbusters on purchasing things from all the retailers that might or might not have had early, Thanksgiving day, or Brack Friday deals.  By the time December rolled around, I was mostly done with my holiday shopping, save for those closest to me that I’d want to keep getting things for maybe.

Obviously, the big variable in those years past was the availability of time, and having the time to do research, think about other people, and to come up with plans, and seeing as how this year can mostly be summed up that as far as time goes, I just never fucking have any, and as a result, I look at holiday shopping and gift giving as something more a nuisance and an obligation, as much as it’s something that I’m feeling enthusiastic and eager to partake in.

Yes I understand how curmudgeon and shitty that sounds, but that’s where I’m at right now.  Overwhelmed, overworked, exhausted and perpetually pushed past my limits, that I’m finding it incapable to enjoy things I’ve enjoyed in the past, much less any and most of the little things that might’ve lifted my spirits in the past.

Additionally, I’m not working now, as I opted to, and it turned out to be extremely essential, in taking my extended leave of absence from work beyond my normal paid paternity time, but that also means it’s 1.5 months of not getting paid, as my job is secure, but the paychecks stop.  So I have financial concerns on top of everything else, and I’m wondering what wells in which I should be pulling the necessary funds to make sure my famiry and loved ones can actually have some gifts from me, because we’re all capitalists and all feel obligated to buy shit for one another.

As the Thanksgiving week rolled around, my email box was bombarded by e-blasts and messages from retailers that I ordinarily would want to browse through.  Brack Friday prices now, extended, Cyber Monday, etc., etc., for an entire week.  Of course I wanted to look through and peruse and hope to find some shit for myself or my loved ones, but with what fucking time?  I don’t have any.  By the time I have any time to do anything of the sort, that time is spent cleaning shit and resetting shit for another day of parenting, before I’m too gassed and tired to do anything else.

As the week progressed, and in what fleeting moments I might’ve had that I could have done something so frivolous, I was basically at the point where every commercial website I’d go to had countdowns at the tops of their page ticking down the amount of time left that such deals would be in place.  And I hate working against clocks, much less visible ones, and then I’d remind myself, with what fucking money? And then ultimately just start closing browser tabs, and sink back into my general hole of angst.

Believe me, I don’t like admitting all this stuff as much as I am putting it in writing for it to be immortalized, but that’s where I’m at.  It’s like, I only want to shop for my immediate household, and would like to be alleviated from the feeling of obligation to shop for anyone outside of it.  Because that’s all my world really is these days, the people within my own walls, and I have no idea what anyone outside of it might want, or needing to exert thoughtfulness, because it’s just adding unnecessary stress and anxiety to me, and I really don’t need it.

Ultimately, I’m going to just start kicking down doors and demanding ideas for what to get people, because we’re still in a pandemic, I don’t speak or interact with people enough to have ideas of thoughtful observational gifts, and I kind of just want to be done with needing to feel like I have to shop for others.

Maybe, hopefully, in the future years, this’ll go back to being typical slaves to capitalism, where we’ll all be happy to throw our money around at shit nobody really needs, but at least we’ll be in better spirits.

Happy holidays!

Not feeling that thankful this year

Oversleeping was my fault. A lot of the day’s issues don’t happen if we don’t oversleep, but it’s simply something that can happens when living a life as exhausting and draining as ours of raising two under two can be.  But it’s how the rest of the day transpired that has left me feeling few emotions aside from disappointment, regret, and the polar opposite of what Thanksgiving is supposed to be all about. 

The irony is that even if we don’t oversleep, there’s no guarantee that we would’ve made it to the airport on time.  Airlines appear to have tightened up two hours in advance rules to where they don’t even check people in for flights once within 105 minutes.  Long appears to be gone the days of when I could roll in with 75 minutes to go, no checked bag, TSA precheck and be ready to board group 1.  But with kids, all the kids’ stuff, and checked bags, that creates a tremendous amount more room for complications.

Ironically, regardless of if we left at our originally intended time, there’s little chance we would’ve made it on time anyway, because Atlanta airport’s parking is basically the worst lot in the galaxy, and it took us probably 30 minutes to find a place to park, and we would’ve missed the check in window anyway.

At this point, I’m kind of ready to punt; our original plan was to get us there as efficiently as possible, and pivoting with kids and checked bags never seems like a good idea to me, but mythical wife seemed more determined to see my family than I was, so after a 47 minute phone call with the airline, $465 basically paying for a full fare, we’re rebooked for a later flight to a different airport that gets us in four hours later, which slashes my already short trip and I’m wondering if it’s even worth it. 

Calling my mom to give an update is met with more disappointment and aggravation at the change of plans instead of any modicum of empathy or understanding. After my mom asks if we can uber to dinner after the money and effort to make sure the girls had car seats waiting for them, I’m already having regrets for not punting and heading into this trip with more dread than any sort of anticipation or excitement, that my family is finally getting to meet my kids for the very first time. 

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Thanksgiving musings

The following is a spatter of random thoughts that have gone through my head throughout the course of the holiday. I may or may not attempt to chronologically sort them when I’m done, as I’m pecking this out on my busted iPad.

The above picture is my wailing niece. I wanted to have some sort of visual to accompany this post.

This trip is the first time that I’ve brought my own car into the Commonwealth of Virginia in quite some time. The last time I drove my own car on my old stomping grounds was when I still had my old Nissan and I still felt it had the legs to make the trips from Atlanta to NOVA. Part of it is refreshing and fun to drive my own car on old familiar roads, but another part is apathetic and piteous of the residents of Virginia, whom have apparently been beaten into submission of driving like sissies in fear of the overzealous ticketing and fine system in place here. Safety is one thing, but the legions of people camping the left, passing lanes, going the approximate speed limit are bigger hazards to other motorists than the occasional tryhard going 88 mph, I would hypothesize.

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Derailing tradition, much to my dismay

Well, if I felt that my recent lack of angst and anxiety were reason for having difficulty finding things to write about, consider it my brog’s lucky day as both angst and anxiety have returned with but just a few mere phone calls with my family, to put me back in a state of mind where I want to vent to people around me, but don’t really want to burden anyone, so it turns into ultimately a great big vomiting of words onto whomever wishes to read them.

I won’t get into extensive detail, but I’ve made no secret about my parents getting divorced, and as much as I’d have hoped it would have been an amicable and clean separation, naturally it was and is not, and suddenly my plans over the Thanksgiving break that I had leisurely looked forward to have turned into a period of time in which I am basically dreading.

Why?  Because I’m going home for Thanksgiving.

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Photos: Thanksgiving

I can’t really say that I’m thankful for a whole lot outside of the typical generic ones, like the people around me, but one thing that I am genuinely thankful for is that my life is, although often times erring on the side of boring, but somewhat stable.

My family drives me nuts from time to time, but that’s what family does.  My job might be kind of mundane and boring, but it affords me the ability to pay the bills and sustain my fairly simple life.

The benefit to stability is the fact that when things aren’t going so well for others, I can be at my peak condition of being able to offer help and support, because things aren’t necessarily that complicated in my own life.  And it’s cyclical; it goes without saying that stability isn’t achieved without a decent support system in place for me, if and when I ever need it.

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Photos: Thanksgiving for the wayward

Blue Steel says it all.

Thanksgivings have been great since I started staying home for them, instead of traveling.  This year was no exception.  The destrucity of a 27 lb. turkey, successful Black Friday shopping, and the near completion of my Nanowrimo for the fourth time, all while sleeping in gratuitous amounts.  My kind of weekend.

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