Thursday, December 15, 2011

At Last

It is now officially ten days until Christmas arrives.  Each year, the day after Thanksgiving, I begin to plan holiday decorations.  I bring out my collection of tiny Christmas trees to place on the mantel, and nestle among them my collection of vintage, flocked deer.   The glass bead garlands come out, to be draped in windows and from chandeliers.  Balsam and evergreen candles will fill the fireplace, and we will plan our family trip to the Christmas tree farm down the road, to pick out the very best tree. 

This year is...different.   With the exception of the Christmas tree (which I only grudgingly decorated), one would be hard-pressed to feel the essence of the holidays in my home.  So what's changed?  The only thing I can think of is that my son is now in his first year of full-time school - first grade.   He is gone from 8:15 in the morning until 4:00 p.m. in the early evening.  It was a time I was excitedly anticipating at the end of the summer.   I'll be able to do whatever I want, whenever I want to!   I can have coffee with friends, actually shop for a pair of shoes, go to the grocery store without the incessant "Are we done yeeeeet???", and even get a massage!  

And yes, I've done a few of those things, true, but mostly I just feel the weight of the silence in this big old house.   I find myself with so much free time that I should be able to be "Super Mom" - you know the kind:  laundry always done, amazing dinners cooked every night, not a speck of dust anywhere, and still has time to make home-made gifts for family and friends, gets Christmas cards out on time, etc.   Does that person even exist?

Instead, I find myself rattling around without much purpose or desire.  Laundry?  Meh.  It'll get done eventually.   Dinner?  How about Subway, because I can't seem to think of a thing to make.  Exercise?  I won't even get started on that one. 

I'm a jewelry designer and metalsmith, but my muse has been on vacation for several months now.  Winter is coming on and without my creative spark I'm beginning to feel the tiny tendrils of fear and depression reaching out for me.  Perhaps I'm at that point in my life where I'm thinking, "okay, what next"?    I want to feel energized, joyful, passionate, creative.   Instead I simply feel...empty.  I believe it will pass, but being in the grip of it is a bit lonely and terrifying. 

I've no idea if anyone will read this, because I've been SO lax at making new posts, but if there is anyone else out there who goes through something similar, I would love to hear about it.  I thank you from my heart for listening, and wish you a very happy holiday season.


  1. Oh, Tamra, you're not alone. My house is suddenly empty of two pairs of running feet and two voices giggling. It has left me looking for direction and purpose, also. Hanging up the ornaments they made with little toddler fingers years ago fills me with nostalgia and a bit of sadness for times gone. I too, thought "Hooray for some alone time!", and have enjoyed it sometimes, but I do miss them and feel such an emptiness while they're at school. Do not fear the dark winter, my friend, but lean on friends and family for that spark of warmth and joy that will keep the darkness at bay and stoke the fire of creativity and purpose. Allow yourself to find where you belong in this new role and know that there is at least one who understands.
    Love, Karey

  2. I love your writing and sharing, Tamra. I, too, have a big empty house although not for the same reasons as you. It is tough to be motivated some days, and then other days there are not enough hours. Creative people seem to need to go with the flow. Or maybe we only can go with the flow. I have no idea if and when you will see this, but you can give me a call or write and maybe we can connect, live and in person. That would make at least one wintry day bright and least for me. Much Love, Lana