This is a true story about My Christmas Nervous Breakdowns. And yes, I’ve had more than one over the past three days.
Starting early this past week. If you know me, you know how I love to make homemade and creative gifts. Furthermore, I’m a conservative. We recycle, re-use, upcycle whenever possible.
So, I was busy making teacher Christmas gifts for Princess Buttercup’s teachers. I was in the midst of lining the inside of a used whole kernal corn can with a ripped paper bag. Somehow, I got burned by the hot glue gun. I yanked my right hand out of the can, and the bag strip wrapped around two of my fingers. My closest family and friends know that when I’m in real pain, I don’t say anything. I jumped from my chair and dashed to my kitchen sink. The only thing that helped for the next hour was cold water.
I’d say that was my first Christmas nervous breakdown.
I gave up on lining the cans with paper. Bad idea. The next night, I only glued the exterior of the cans. That worked a lot better, but I ended up burning my left thumb. Ouch!
I gave up on the glue gun and started using decoupage glue and Modge Podge, instead. They worked fine.
My third Christmas Nervous Breakdown occurred yesterday around 2:45 p.m. I was on the frontage road, preparing to get to Parkway Place Mall in Huntsville. The story of my life–I was stuck in traffic. I mean, really s-t-u-c-k. The light would turn green, only to allow two or three cars to go. Sweet.
Let’s put it this way, I’d already spent an hour or two traversing Whitesburg (nightmare) Drive, only to find two of the presents I was searching for.
So I sat there in traffic. Suddenly, I say, “I’m going to have a nervous breakdown. Right. Here. In. The. Middle. Of. Huntsville!”
Just to clarify. I didn’t start screaming or anything crazy like that. My nervous breakdowns tend to be mild and internal. Probably not the healthiest of nervous breakdowns. But at that moment, I couldn’t have hopped out alongside the Parkway and jogged in place. Wouldn’t have been prudent.
So at first chance, I turned around. I did realize it was going to take an hour or so to get home. But at least I was heading out of town.
But at that time, everyone from Redstone Arsenal was getting off work early. Everyone from Research Park was leaving early. Not to mention the thousands of city/county school employees who were already on the road, searching for those last-minute gifts.
There was a wreck on I-565. There was a wreck on Highway 72. Every artery in and around town was clogged. I took a few deep breaths and did some praying for patience. I told myself that I’d eventually get home.
I tried a shortcut around one of the wrecks and think it took me longer than if I’d sat in place.
Finally, I did get home. The rest of the shopping would have to wait. I’ll admit I binged on Stacy chips and humus. Alright, I did have a couple of cookies, too.
I also realized my problem: perfectionism.
Instead of settling for “good enough,” I was seeking Eden on Earth. And that went away a long time ago.
Lefty and Princess Buttercup volunteered to help me wrap some presents.
“Christmas,” said Lefty, “Is about survival…not perfection.”