This week marks a firm line in the ground of the holiday season, one I both take an obscene amount of joy in as well as find myself full to the brim about to tip over with worry and anxiety. As I spend odd hours here and there to string colorful yarn loop after loop to form pom-poms, I also busy my mind with thoughts of the many ways in which for some, it is not enough. We all have the stories: the ones where we wish so-and-so from this side of the family would be there so that the matriarch would be at peace, where we linger and hope for an apology from another, or have just lost hope entirely.

Or others, like my friend who has been made to be the bad guy in an odd turn of events, broken over what she had hoped family would be and has failed to be. Thanksgiving in sight, another conversation or rather, confrontation continued to bring light to this twisted reality. Tears turned into comfort as a mentor whose words have made their way through my friend into my Christmas craft induced thought brigade that, “although you are being made out to be a big deal, take heart: you are just not that big of a deal.”

I am told I am rather negative. I want to speak of the things I see as they are, even if they are not the way they are meant to be. Yet, I miss out quite often on what is good around me, and there is much good, as well as needing to remind myself that I should not simply see what is, but what could be; resurrection hope beginning in the humble beginnings of birth, pangs we long for like contractions as we know He is here, He is coming.

Many things are true at the same time, seemingly opposed, yet interlocked and cannot be separated. My husband makes me stretch out on the couch, my feet on him so that he can rub them, something I will see his father do for his mother in a few short days. He does this today while we discuss serious things, an act to show that he is staying, although we are at odds. He is tender, patient, and firm.

Because my friend isn’t that big of a deal, and yet, many completely different people from different spheres of the many places she has touched all huddled together to ensure that she also knows how big of a deal she actually is to us.

There is time to spare this week, with time for my hands to create and bake a sweet that even my sugar-averse stomach will be able to stomach. My gut is already upside down, the lies that also seem so real to be untrue playing a brilliant tennis match inside of my body, preparing myself for the week to come. The line seems to be too blurred to tell where it fully lands, that line of how much to care what others think of me, unhelpful in aiding me to know what is appropriate. Sometimes, people will prefer the boxed, frozen pie to the homemade, for reasons ranging from the paleo palate from which it came from to just it being preference and not a slight.

The ache of the holiday leaves me with the taste of pumpkin pie spice in a recipe being used for the first time and may or may not turn out, as well as the hope that although things are not how they are supposed to be, one day, it will be made right.