Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Lessons in taking down the Christmas tree

I took down the Christmas tree today. Finally. I was determined to recycle it, as it tears at my heart to see the used up abandoned Christmas tree corpses all over the street starting the day after Christmas. I did some research and learned that it was possible to recycle the tree when I live, but I'd have to drive it somewhere. I groaned, but it turned out the somewhere was close, I knew where it was, and the tree was small. And its the right thing to do.

To recycle the tree here, I only had this week to do it. This was stressful to me since I have applications for financial aid due, and taxes needing to be completed early for said forms. No time for anything else- I am squeezing the number crunching in between some strange places.
I try to break things down to get them done, and so I got all the ornaments off the tree, and thought for a minute that I'd leave it at that. Do the rest tomorrow. I am working so hard on training the part of me that puts shit off until tomorrow, so I was very pleased when that very part of me said, albeit meekly, you could do it now. I was fired up. I am going to take the WHOLE tree down AND recycle it! This is the problem with everything I do! I told myself. You only do things to a certain point and then you stop. I saw it as a break though. I compared my life to a tennis swing. I have no follow through. I will get some follow through. I had solved the mysteries. I was thrilled.

After wrapping the tree in a sheet and dragging it outside, pine needles everywhere, a bucket worth of spilled tree water spilled on the rug- how and why so many needles when the tree actually had water? No idea.

Recycled the tree on the way to pick H up from school. I felt so accomplished. So followed through.

H climbed in the car, I told her proudly how I had recycled the Christmas tree. (She is miss ecology these days- the recycling police. She picked up a plastic fork the other day setting the table and asked if we could use the "wasteful ones") Well. She freaked out. Apparently, unbeknownst to me, she had been waiting "all day! Every day!" to take the tree down.

I remembered being upset at this very circumstance when I was probably about H's age. My mother told me that I didn't really want to take the tree down because it was very depressing. My mother, as I probably have mentioned, takes Christmas very seriously, and I believe taking the Christmas tree down for her is one of the most depressing things she does in the year. She convinced me though- that it was this horrible thing to be reserved for grownups- children shouldn't see the dismantling of Christmas. I adapted that sadness, that aversion to things passing that I've noticed lately.

In my guilt, my feeling horrible that H was so upset, I found my mothers words trying to get out of my mouth. The "no, you wouldn't want to- its too sad" Instead I apologized, told her I had no idea she was looking forward to it. She cried most of the way home from school and we talked about how we could make it right. We agreed (thank God) that it would be silly to cut down a tree from outside, bring it in redecorate it and then undecorate it. When we got home, we shook hands and I promised to decorate AND undecorate with her in the future.

Sometimes we don't follow through right away for a reason.

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