Random Thoughts of a Disordered Mind

Boxing Day

4 Comments

Traffic jamI spent 5 hours getting home today, a trip that usually takes 3 hours but was lengthened by all of the other people who decided to head home from Christmas the same day that I did. You’d think we could have coordinated this better. I really don’t like driving at night but although the traffic was heavy and I had to be on my toes, at least I didn’t need to worry about rain or snow or ice, always a possibility in this part of this world at this time of year.

My Christmas was good but different. I spent it with my friends and their seven cats and two dogs – there was lots of furry love going around and pet hair is a condiment, but one enjoyed with laughter. Dee and Gary opened their home and their hearts and included me in the family festivities; she is a sister of the heart and we needed this time together to cook and shop, talk and do puzzles, be silly and be serious.

Christmas Eve we all bundled up and headed down to Staten Island and a big family gathering that was a totally new experience. It was a totally Southern Italian huge food extravaganza with family talking over each other as gestures got more expansive and the food kept coming. Apparently there is a Southern Italian tradition of having seven (or nine or thirteen!) seafood dishes on Christmas Eve. It’s a vigil and good Italian Catholics don’t eat meat – as a good Episcopalian, this never occurred to me before.

I didn’t quite know how to deal with all the food. I wanted to try everything, and to be honest, I did. We sat around the table in this huge kitchen and talked and drank soft drinks or water and ate as things came out of the oven in waves – it took a long time. I didn’t really like it all because it was all brown; even the vegetables had been breaded and fried or oven baked or something that made them coated. I’d never seen breaded broccoli or artichoke hearts before and I don’t plan to put them on my regular menu. I felt like a stuffed pig when we finally pushed away from the table to go open presents. No one made me eat everything; it was my own idea but I’d wished I’d practiced better will-power.

On the other hand, it was a fun evening and we drove home via the west side of New York City. I gawked like a tourist (which I was) and marveled at the lights on bridges and buildings, and at the red and green lights on the Empire State Building. We drove through the night with a soft background of Christmas music playing, talking quietly and lookng at the way different houses and neighborhoods were decorated.

Christmas dinner was lasagna, not traditional for me but certainly tasty. We made teeny tiny meatballs to put in with the sauce and then big meatballs (mine looked more like hamburgers) which bubbled in marinara sauce on the stove while the lasagna baked. I loved it but I ate more garlic bread than was wise.

But the day, the visit was about more than food. I made some choices that I’m not terribly happy with and today I found emotions bubbling just below the surface – a vulnerability of being with people who cared about me and knowing I was about to get in my little car and drive home alone to an empty house. I had the furry love of Marisa as I cried and the tight hugs of my friend to remind me that I’m loved whether I’m there or not. It was hard. Coming home alone is hard, even though I live alone and am used to it. It’s always hard after I’ve been away and with people I love.

On my long way home today I heard a song on the radio that I hadn’t heard for years – Georgie Girl – and as I absently sang along, the words suddenly hit me with force. Here is the last verse:

Hey there! Georgie girl
Dreaming of the someone you could be
Life is a reality, you can’t always run away.
Don’t be so scared of changing and rearranging yourself.
It’s time for jumping down from the shelf a little bit.

I’ve been pottsing around with the weight stuff for a while, not really doing it but not NOT doing it either. It’s time for me to get focused and change that. I need to center in and find my purpose again and then do what I know I can accomplish. First, though, I think I”ll finish unpacking.

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4 thoughts on “Boxing Day

  1. your Christmas sounds very fun – and NY twice in the same month!

    We had lasagna too – my mom was hungry for it for some reason.

    My brother in law left this morning – I was sorry to see him go – he was an easy and fun guest. He is single and lives in Denver – this was the first time he had EVER been here – I am hoping that he will make it a tradition to come back each year over the holidays.

    We traveled with him for a week – two summers ago – he does great with the kids – goes with the flow.

  2. Glad to have you back! I missed you. Don’t worry about Christmas Eve — one night of overeating isn’t going to mess you up as long as you don’t let it.

    Getting back to the routine and even WW is weirdly a relief. Eating too much can feel fun for a day or two but then it’s nice to be comfortable again and know you’re eating things that are good for you.

  3. I have to agree with Jen. One night or even two nights isn’t going to mess you up. As long as you get back into the swing of things, you’ll be feeling fine.

    One of my friends is of Sicilian descent (she’s also of Polish descent too) and she told me about the many courses of seafood on Christmas Eve. I often wished I could be at her mother’s house on Christmas Eve but then it would be a pain to get from Pittsburgh to Virginia in time for Christmas.

    Your Christmas sounds like fun (I agree with Vickie–2 trips to NYC–lucky you!) and relaxing and a nice break.

    Glad to have you back!!

  4. I do have one of those TINY crock pots. Do you think I could do 1/2 c oats and 2 cups water and leave on all night with out smoking out the house? Or do you think that I would be better off making big pot once a week and then reheating 1 cup at a time?

    Your original recipe:
    Overnight Oatmeal

    8 cups water
    2 cups steel-cut oats
    1/3 cup dried cranberries
    1/3 cup dried apricots, chopped
    1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste

    Combine water, oats, dried cranberries, dried apricots and salt in a 5- or 6-quart slow cooker. Turn heat to low. Put the lid on and cook until the oats are tender and the porridge is creamy, 7 to 8 hours.

    Makes 8 servings, 1 cup each. 4 points each.

    To reheat, simply add a little hot water or milk to thin out the porridge and then place in the microwave.

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