Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Only 9 more days until Christmas...

I cannot believe that Christmas is only a week away. (I can't believe I left my camera sitting on my desk at work, either, but that's a different rant.) I don't feel like Christmas. And I'm definitely not ready for Christmas.

I used to get all excited about the holidays. The house would be decorated from top to bottom weeks before the neighbors even started thinking about getting their things down from the attic. I'd bake dozens of cookies, a different type every week, so that we could give trays out to everyone we had ever met. Our Christmas card list included 100 people, and I'd start making the cards when the leaves started to turn colors in the fall.

This year, just like last year, I've put off the Christmas spirit. Our tree is up, but it's not decorated yet. I've done some of the shopping, but only because I had to. I've not baked any cookies and I'm not planning to. (Why bake, when I'm on a diet and can't eat any?) And I didn't even pretend to make an effort at sending out cards this year.

I don't know what's happened. I feel like the grinch, and I'm not happy with myself for it. If anyone has ideas on how to get back some holiday cheer, please share them.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Is it just me?

Earlier today I read a magazine article about hoarding. Apparently this is gaining recognition as a form of mental illness. (Hoarding, which is only a short step beyond being a pack rat, is defined as obsessively collecting items that others would consider to be useless or junk.) As I read this article, a lot of things became clear. It's believed to be genetic in nature. People who hoard tend to have perfectionist personalities. Hoarders are able to see multiple uses for ordinary items, which is why they hang onto things that normal people would discard. And while there is no know "cure" for hoarders, with intensive therapy they can be helped.

If anyone's interested in learning more, I've kept the magazine for reference.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Remind me again why I had kids

I'm upset. Actually, it's more like depressed. And even though I know why, I can't seem to figure out what to do about it.

As a parent, and especially as a single parent, a lot of my identity is tied into my children. When one of them doesn't do well, I feel like I've failed. And my son is very good at making me feel like a failure.

Tonight we attended the enrollment meeting for Exit Option at his school. Basically, my son is failing out of high school and this is a last ditch, hail Mary pass at getting him the high school diploma. The program offers an actual high school diploma, but the students take only three classes (English, Math, and Critical Thinking) plus OJT (which means they have to be employed 13 hours a week). They also have to pass the GED exam.

I've rearranged my work schedule, bought a car I really can't afford, and otherwise done everything I can to help make this work. Only to have him comment, as we're leaving the meeting, "If I'm going to have to pass the GED test anyway, why do I have to bother taking any classes? Can't I just get the GED and be done?"

I don't know how to get through to him. I always thought my kids would go to college. It never even crossed my mind that they may not make it through high school. Or that they wouldn't even care.

Monday, December 01, 2008

We interrupt the intended update...

I was going to post something interesting today. Not so much because I had something interesting to say. Mainly it was because it's been a week since I've written anything. The problem is that on my way here, I stopped off at Ravelry.

I found a really neat reference to progress bars, which immediately made me green with envy. And instead of writing my intended post, I played around until I figured out how to put them up on the sidebar. With pictures, of course.

Unfortunately, now it's late and I don't have time (or energy!) to be clever. So you'll have to wait until tomorrow to hear the latest gossip. Sorry.

But hey, aren't those progress bars cool?

**UPDATE - JANUARY 7, 2009**
Just in case you noticed that there aren't any cool progress bars, I wanted to explain that I've decided to take them down. I don't make enough progress on a daily basis to make them interesting. Instead they just seemed to mock me, a visual reminder that I had too much to do. Since knitting is supposed to be fun, I'm going to go back to a once-a-week bragging session where I get to show off the beautiful stuff I do. And any guilt can stay tucked inside the WIP (work in progress) bags that are scattered throughout the house.