It’s going to be okay.


Today is Victor’s 12th day of never leaving his room, because in spite of the fact that it’s been the 10 recommended days of isolation, he’s still a bit sick and continues to test positive for covid. Technically he’s probably fine to be around us but he’s very conservative and wants us to be safe and probably also doesn’t want to leave his fortress of solitude where you never have to do dishes or scoop cat litter.

And it’s a bit lonely but fine, although we’re supposed to travel next week for my work and probably won’t be able to since he has to have a clean covid test to leave the country and I’ve read some people still test positive for months. If I was a normal person I’d just go by myself but I am not normal and my anxiety is too severe to travel by myself and I’m feeling a little shitty about myself because of it.

I know it’s okay. I know we’re lucky to be able to isolate here and that Victor isn’t sicker (thank you, vaccines) and that I am even given wonderful opportunities to travel even when my brain makes them impossible most of the time. But it doesn’t change the fact that I was feeling very pathetic when I started this post. And then I looked up and saw my Christmas tree, which is still up (although 1/4 of the lights have burned out) in spite of the fact that it’s now February.

And then I felt a little worse. And I considered taking it down but then I decided not to because honestly, I’m battling a touch of depression exhaustion and I need a little bit of colorful lights even if they are are a shiny reminder of my poor housekeeping skills.

And then I looked outside and saw that the trees were weighed down with ice and I felt bad about the fact that I still haven’t replaced the plants that died in the last freeze a fucking year ago and wondered if anyone else in the world is as behind as I am in everything. I walked outside to see how bad it was and realized that if I had replaced the dead bushes they’d probably be dead again today and that’s maybe not the healthiest way of looking at it but instead of feeling shitty about myself I congratulated myself for skipping one round of dead bushes by just jumping to “still dead” instead of “dead again but more expensive”.

And then I looked inside at my Christmas tree and from my yard you couldn’t even tell that a quarter of the lights are out or that I’m weeks behind on deadlines or that the laundry is stacked higher than my head. You could just see the twinkling lights, and the tv flickering from Victor’s room and Hailey dancing in theirs and Dorothy Barker with her paws up to the glass door as she whined for me to come back in and snuggle her.

And it was sort of beautiful.

Sometimes it’s all in how you look at it.

213 thoughts on “It’s going to be okay.

Read comments below or add one.

  1. I totally still have my Christmas tree up too. There are no rules anymore and time has no meaning.

  2. I love to see Christmas lights well into the New Year. They are so pretty and look warm and cheery to me, regardless of the date. So, THANK YOU for sharing your lights with us!!

  3. You’re not alone in being behind on things. I’m always behind on [fill in the blank]. And so what if you are? Who determines what “behind” is? No one else lives your life or has to battle what you do. So whatever works for you and your family is what is the best. Lots of healing thoughts for Victor and hugs for you and Hailey. Things will get better 💜

  4. I have a birthday banner (FROM NOVEMBER) still sitting on my kitchen counter waiting to be put away. (But I took it down about a weekish later so yay for me.) You make me feel so much less alone — THANK YOU. XOXO

  5. I haven’t taken the lights off my little indoor pine tree, and I’ve decided they’re just lights now. If they’re not connected to a holiday, there’s no wrong time to leave them up until! I’m glad when you took another look from a different perspective, you felt a little better.

  6. I just wrote down “this isn’t the end of a story; it’s a middle”, because it’s easy to forget we’re not at the end of things. It feels right to mention it ❤️

  7. This was in email inbox today, hopefully it will resonate with you as it did with me. We’re all afraid and anxious and behind in one way or another.

    “What you fear
    will not go away: it will take you into
    yourself and bless you and keep you.
    That’s the world, and we all live there.”

    —William Stafford

  8. For Christmas this year I put a colour-changing light in my window in the front room of my house. I discovered that it doesn’t just light up the front room but, when the venetian blinds are down, it casts a really lovely ever-changing multicoloured light across them into the street. People stop to look and smile. So I’ve left it in place and will keep it there. I’m sure there will be someone who will complain that I’ve left my Christmas decs up, but there’s a bastard in every crowd, and having the light on makes me feel happier. So to hell with them. And you keep your tree up as long as you want if it makes you happier. To hell with anybody who complains!

  9. Re: COVID testing – he should be doing rapid or at-home tests to see if he’s negative, at some point. I had COVID in Dec. and was told that PCR tests can show positive for up to 90 days (!!!) but rapid or at-home tests are better indicators. My PCP told me to just go by the symptoms but of course I tested myself anyways, haha …

  10. How you look at things makes a huge difference. Who cares if your tree is still up? It isn’t hurting anyone and if gives you joy on any level I’m glad it’s there. Depression lies. You’re doing great ❤ sending warm hugs

  11. Lovely. Take the tree down by Easter. Easter this year or maybe next year. In the great scheme of things, it’s not important. 💕

  12. All my Christmas decorations are up because they make me feel happy!!
    They’ll be up until August if I need them to be:)
    Gotta do what we gotta do to stay in our happy place!!

  13. Love it!! It is all in how you look at it. We choose our attitude and only live once so… Be content and give yourself grace!

  14. This is a wonderful post. Also, if you could see my house right now you would feel SO good about yours. Comparing yourself to others isn’t ALWAYS bad. 🙂

  15. I saw an English folklore thing about how Christmas greenery that is still up at Candlemas (2/2) invites goblins into the house. My swag is still up so I’m hoping I can have goblin help with packing and cleaning while I move?

  16. I am extremely anxious to travel alone. I have still dead bushes from last year’s freeze. Thanks for the perspective on still dead instead of more expensive dead. Took my tree down almost immediately after Christmas because it bothers me more to be reminded it’s over. But I do have 2 cats snuggling in on this icy day in Kerrville.
    You help a lot of people. Hope we help you some❤️

  17. The ghostly white arms holding a precariously tilted house (behind the Christmas tree) are what caught my eye. Have you ever considered doing a coffee table book with photos of all your curios and curiosities and the stories behind them? Instant bestseller, if you ask me!
    Wishing Victor a full recovery and you and Hailey continued good health!

  18. A former colleague left her tree up all year. And she left it decorated for Christmas. Partially because it was too hard for her to deal with on her own while her son was deployed. There were many of us who would have helped her. But she decided it made her happy and so there it was all year. It made me smile anytime I visited her. And between work and dog sitting for other people, I am barely home. So my place probably needs dusted, absolutely needs mopped/vacuumed, and a good scrubbing. Instead I go home and crash on my couch to read each night. Do whatever works for you.

  19. Jenny, you do you! If you want Christmas all year round – go for it! You are the Queen of your realm! Why should you care what anyone else says/thinks about your home/castle?! They are the problem if they don’t like it!

  20. My Christmas tree is still up too. And I don’t feel like taking it down because that would be a thing I would have to DO. So it’s festive! Or whatever. Do what you can and no one will care about the rest. (Or the rat. Really phone?!?!) big hugs but from a distance so you don’t get more anxious…

  21. A few years ago I wrapped a string of multi-function lights around our banister and we just leave them up now. In December I turn the little switch to multicolor and the rest of the year I turn it to solid warm white and we just have twinkle lights in our living room regardless and I love them.

  22. My Christmas tree is also up, because I love it, and the lights are pretty, and it puts a hppy in my heart, so fuck it.

  23. We only took our tree down last week; I didn’t have the emotional energy and like the pretty lights made me smile.

  24. We only took our tree down about 10 days ago, and I’ve still got twinkle lights around my living and dining rooms. Our Christmas cards still sit standing on one counter and I smiled the other evening driving by a few homes who’ve left their outside Christmas lights on. We haven’t put up lights outside for the past 2 years and I’m five years behind in so much of my life. But every evening when my twinkle lights come on it makes me smile.

  25. I still have my Christmas tree lot/holiday scene still out. I took most of the Christmas decorations out & now it’s a winter scene. I’m enjoying it being lit at night.

  26. I also have a dead tree and many dead plants that need to be dug up for a year and a half. Not to mention my “garden” that i planted and promptly abandoned. I have come to realize that my ambitions are larger than the effort I am capable of providing and that only one of those can actually change. Maybe one day ill stop being mean to myself about it. You are definitely not alone with the frozen plants lol.

  27. My tree is down, but I have permanent indoor twinkly lights around the doors to the deck, and outside lights on timers that I can see through the windows. Screw it, it’s dark, we need light!

  28. Christmas trees spread joy and the world keeps turning if plans get cancelled and chores are left unfinished. Making that my mantra for a while and hoping it resonates with some of y’all.

  29. I just started to take down my tree today. All the ornaments are off and 1 out of 3 sections are kn the box. The only reason it’s finally coming down is because I currently have a chicken in the house recovering from a fall. Have to make room for the chicken’s pack n play! All my dead plants are out front and in back and it rains constantly in Belgium so I’m not getting any of it cleaned up any time soon. So I’m right there with you but there are more feathers and wood chips in the house. Oh and the dog is super jealous and yells at us for giving the chicken attention. This can only happen at my house!

  30. That’s a beautiful bit of reframing. Isn’t everything a both wonderful and terrible all at once? Hope Victor’s feeling better soon.

  31. Christmas trees spread joy and the world keeps turning even when plans are cancelled and chores are left unfinished. Using this as a mantra around the house and hoping it resonates with some of you.

  32. I was so behind on unpacking after I moved that three years later when it was time to move again a dozen boxes were still packed. It’s been four months in the new place and those boxes (and more) are still sitting unpacked.

    There are definitely people who are as behind (and more) 😉

  33. My tree’s still up cuz I’m still recovering from Covid and am too damn tired to take it down! And I just realized today that a few of my indoor plants almost died because I forgot to water them, even though I look at them every single day and I love them. But it’s all OK! And you’re all OK too.

  34. I’m so far behind on housecleaning it isn’t even funny. I somehow spontaneously hurt my shoulder in my sleep almost a year ago now, and haven’t been able to do more than touch ups. I picked up HUGE tumbleweeds of corgi hair the other day, because I can’t use the broom or vacuum without aggravating my shoulder.

  35. You’re not behind- you’re ahead of the curve 324 days till Christmas 2022!
    Take Hallie with you as your travel buddy!

  36. As a diagnostics person a couple of nerdy points: 1. If testing positive on a rapid antigen test, Victor is still shedding infectious virus so he is doing the right thing. And 2. It’s the PCR tests that can test positive for months, and these are not the same as rapid antigen tests. He *should* start testing negative soon on the rapid antigen test, especially if his positive band is getting lighter. If you can use a rapid antigen test for traveling (assuming he feels better), go with that rather than the PCR, or alternatively you may be able to get a doctors note that says he has recovered from Covid with the last couple of months. Hang in there!!

  37. Jenny, I still have an entire dead tree in my front yard from last year’s freeze. A whole tree, just standing at the corner of the house in the front yard, like it’s suddenly going to come back to life. Except it’s wholly, completely dead.

  38. In march 2008 I went to arizona for spring break and got a cactus in a cute little pot. I flew it back to massachusetts and then proceeded to be terrible at keeping even a cactus alive, so it died within a few months.

    It’s now february 2022 and I still have that cactus in the same cute little pot. I think it still looks nice enough dead, so why should it become garbage? And no one has to know it’s dead, for all they know it’s a rare plant breed that’s MEANT to look like that.

  39. It’s February so I’m in the land of self help books (I go every year) and this year’s book recommended a brain dump. Mine was really just a to-do list. And it went on and on. I kind of felt worse after I saw it all written down, because I knew I’d forgotten some things (I went back later to add them). Which is my long winded way of saying “thank god there’s someone who is also behind so I don’t feel lonely back here.”

  40. You’re doing great. I’m in bed with covid too (diabetic so this is my worst fear realized) and only today finally have the strength to get on the horn to the utility companies and car loan to beg for grace. It is SO HARD right now, so give yourself a pass & try to reframe it as that you have applied for an extension of the joy of Christmas, and hey look at you NOT sending more plants to their imminent death by replacing last years, you’re over there saving plant lives! Love you!

  41. The outside looking in almost always looks a bit better than the inside looking out. Maybe we should step outside ourselves more often.

  42. I love this. I am in the exact same space – tree up, laundry high as the heavens, deadlines looming. But perpective is everything. Thanks for the nudge. I think I will go outside and see if our property is ready for the next storm coming tomorrow and then peak into the house and see what sparks joy.

  43. You are not alone in the being behind. I’ve been not dealing with my father’s passing away in May of *2020*. I still have bills of his I have to deal with, ignoring the mail that has been piling for almost 2 years, boxes left packed in my house, taking up space, more at the old place he was in (thank goodness my cousin owns the place and is fine with letting it sit, but honestly, she needs to be able to either rent or sell the place, taxes are high). I quit my job in August 2021, so I could take the time needed for mine and my my kid’s physical and mental health, take care of my house, and take care of stuff from my dad. And honestly, not much has happened. I think I emptied ONE box in my house. We did do TMS treatments for them twice, and now physical therapy. Applied for medical mj card for them, still waiting on that. When it does happen, the closest place we can go, is about 3.5 hours away. Stressing over all that. I still owe federal taxes from last year, the first time I’ve ever had to pay in federally. I’m hoping that isn’t the case again this year. Maybe since I quit after half a year, we will come in at the right income to not hit that. I didn’t make much, but it was *just enough* to tip the scale against us. So yea, you’re not alone. I think right now, the worst, is how much of a shambles my house is in. He works full time, I don’t have a paying job, but I’m getting nothing done. I feel tremendously guilty, as well as the fact that I’m experiencing more pain that I ever have, on a regular daily basis. You are an amazing person that helps me realize, I’m not alone. Struggles can be different.. but still. Thank you for being here and being you.

  44. Maybe you’re just actually really ahead of the game and already have your 2022 Christmas tree up!

  45. its not a Christmas tree. Its a winter season tree. and I can say beyond a doubt from Austin, it is still fucking winter. I regret taking mine down early this year, because it’d come in handy about right now.

  46. All of my Christmas decorations are still up. Thanks to covid we haven’t been able to celebrate with our friends-that-are-family yet, and I need the pretty lights, so f it. They’re staying up.

  47. So much of the time it really is how you look at this glorious mess of life…thank you, for the gazillionth time, for reminding us. xo

  48. My mother used to leave her Christmas tree up until Easter some years, once she had bought a fake tree so she didn’t have to worry about a live tree being a fire hazard anymore. The restaurant in Central Park in NYC had white Christmas lights up year round, which I always thought of as kind of magical. There is nothing wrong with leaving up the Christmas lights until Spring starts cheering you up, The Seasonal Affective Disorder monster needs those pretty lights.
    Those dead bushes can be replaced this spring, meanwhile they are creating a nice place for the wildlife to enjoy. I’m sure a bird or lizard or insect is using it as a winter hideout.
    Poor Victor, I hope he feels better soon. You can test positive up to 90 days on the PCR tests, but can be no longer be infectious to others. The rapid home tests are better to see if you are still infectious, but the fact that he’s still feeling lousy means you should be still cautious. I’m sorry your travel buddy is out of commission, on the other hand this gives you a good excuse not to travel while winter storms are causing mayhem across our country, and delaying flights all over.
    So yup, it is all in the way you choose to look at a thing, and to make lemonade out of lemons, or just smell the lemons and enjoy their bright yellow color if you don’t feel up to making lemonade, or making preserved lemons instead, or limoncello, or just put them in a dish as a centerpiece on the puzzlebox if it is still hanging out on the dining room table.

  49. I think the only way to be behind is to not have any plans of getting anything done. Which is also going to be really hard in practice because of things like laundry and dishes.

  50. Awwww!! Victor is your emotional support animal! 🙂 heehee Poor guy. I hope he feels fully better again soon!

    I’m so behind at Christmas, I never got around to putting up decorations three years ago and haven’t bothered since because I like that I don’t have to worry about taking them down either. I think the longest I went leaving them up when I did bother with them was end of March. No one’s judging, and if they are, tell them to mind their own business. Christmas feels like a greedy, materialistic holiday to me anyway. Thanksgiving is way better, IMO, but everyone practically skips it in the decorations department. It’s like the nerdy guy in school that turns into the hot millionaire. Gratitude is everywhere I want to be.

  51. Just a head’s up – he could continue to test positive for up to 12 weeks, as his body sheds fragments of viral DNA, but those virus remnants are not viable to transmit infection once his symptoms have improved.

  52. There are ALWAYS things to do. It’s easy to ALWAYS feel bad about them. All of the shit is never done, so why work so hard to get to an end that won’t ever come? I’m working on not morally judging myself for my dirty bathroom, the sympathy cards on my desk I haven’t sent yet, that thing I haven’t edited yet, all. that. dust. Instead, I try to praise myself for the things I DID do. I can turn almost anything into an accomplishment: I showered yesterday; good for me!

  53. fun fact*: xmas trees are most pungent (sweet) as they die so my tree didn’t really get good until mid-January and I was loathe to get rid of him. So I say ENJOY YOUR LIGHTS! YOU DO YOU.
    *maybe less of a “fact” than something my husband observed and asserted w/great authority.

  54. My tree is still up too! It cuts the gloom with the twinkle lights. And I can’t get into my shed to put it away because yup snow. (Maine here) hugs!

  55. The photo of the Christmas tree makes it look like you caught female Slenderman in the corner trying to sneak away in its red dress with its tiny house 😛

  56. Excuse me but it is now a Valentine’s tree and you’re actually ahead of schedule.

  57. I just moved my tree from inside the house to the patio, looking in at me. Because I love it. And maybe we should all just get rid of these “to do” lists in our heads and do whatever calls us at any particular moment. Love and hugs to all three of you and all pets.

  58. I have dead shrubs from last Feb too. I kept thinking about replacing them and never did it. This means they are one year dead but now with new ice and new snow. Guess I’ll keep thinking about replacing them.

  59. I have a friend who leaves her tree up all year, changing the decorations for Halloween, Easter, Valentine’s, July 4th, etc.

  60. I still have my Christmas tree up that I never decorated, but it’s up mostly because the lights make me feel better and because the cats like it. I keep saying I’m going to take it down. Maybe this weekend. And yes, I am way behind on everything else too.

  61. Oh Jenny, you aren’t the only one. I hurt my back around the 6th of January the first time I tried to take my tree down, then again last weekend when I tried again. At this point I think the tree may be trying to kill me. If worst comes to worst, I’ll make it a holiday tree with different decorations every month! Hang in there, hopefully good things are on the horizon for you!

  62. “and wondered if anyone else in the world is as behind as I am in everything.”

    Oh, honey. I can personally assure you that there is. I’m too embarrassed to share the details–just trust me on this.

  63. I am leaving my tree up all year and decorating it for every holiday. My depressive self was finally able to take off the Christmas decorations and it is now ready for February 14th day. I was finally able to go to the dollar store and spend $37 on horribly fake, red, white, and pink flowers. The flowers are stuck all over the tree while my Elvis tree topper looks on. It’s cheap and ugly and I love it! Here’s to twinkling trees and twinkling brains!

  64. I always leave my tree up until superbowl weekend because I love it, I make the rules, and damn I need something cozy to make the winter better!

  65. Hubby and I are a week into our own Covid positive quarantine, and I agree 100% thank goodness for vaccines. Without our 3 a piece I’m not sure where we’d be. As it is I keep listening books, bingeing my favorite shows, and staying hopeful we don’t get worse than bad flu symptoms! Here’s hoping your house gets better!

  66. Our son and DIL had The Covid in early November (both are vaxxed but weren’t boosted yet). The day before Thanksgiving they took their long-planned trip to Germany and Poland to see friends. They carried a document w/ them from their county Health Dept. acknowledging their recent Covid bout which was enough to get them into Germany and Poland. Once they arrived in Germany they had to get a QR code from an apothecary also acknowledging their Covid status. And they got tested each time before crossing the border. The only place where the letter didn’t mean anything was Heathrow where, instead of going to the Harry Potter exhibit nearby on their layover, they had to quarantine at a hotel. (But, in fairness, Omicron had just started to spread in Europe by the end of their trip.) So, it’s possible Victor could still go, if he feels like it. I also vote for having Hailey go with you if Victor can’t. (I bought 60 personalized Christmas cards this year that are still in the box waiting to be sent. I’d rather have the tree and lights up.) Hugs and good thoughts to you all!

  67. We still have dead plants from last February also. I miss Christmas lights… they make things just a bit warmer.

  68. I don’t know why life always has to seem like a constant To-Do list.
    Isn’t “being” enough to do? It certainly feels like it sometimes.

  69. I constantly remind my daughter that there is no normal. So what if others can travel alone. That fact doesn’t make them more “normal” than you. It simply makes them a person able to travel alone. It’s sounds like a terrible sappy sentiment, but we need to support what each of us can do instead of focusing on what we can’t. You can find joy in Christmas tree in February. Less fun people can not!

  70. I admire how well you are doing …I still haven’t got my Christmas tree up. From 2020. The only thing I managed to do for Christmas was stick a wreath on the front door – and I just checked, that’s still there. I’m not even really sure if I brushed my teeth yesterday. You are not alone …. pass me a blanket to hide under …

  71. I live in the snowy and cold part of the country, so leaving up the artificial tree (okay, trees, I have two) and keeping the wintry decorations make the winter seem more festive, even as it drags on. Usually the end of February is my deadline, but bad winters sometimes merit the trees stay up until St. Patrick’s Day.

  72. I think if you aren’t religious there is no time limit to when a tree goes up and when it comes down. It’s now your “Twinkle Lights Make Me Happy” tree and honestly, who doesn’t want a tree like that?

    I also have a dead bush on my front porch that was killed in our heat wave last summer that was not killed in our surprise hard freeze this winter so it’s a win.

  73. We are inveterate tree-leaver-uppers. We shoot for having a Valentine tree every year – by just hanging paper hearts and stuff over the Christmas ornaments. After that, when the tree comes down is highly variable. Last year, we hung work gloves and sweaty old clothes on it for Labor Day before it finally went away. We’re cutting out paper hearts now for this year’s Valentine tree.

  74. I’m sending you my love. It’s snowing here, and I’m so happy–we get so little snow!

    I get depression exhaustion. It’s so real. I’m sending you some spoons.🥄🥄🥄🥄🥄 Autocorrect tried to make that sports. I don’t think that’s the same, although I guess we’re supposed to exercise? *Lifts spoons*

  75. Personally, I appreciate everyone who keeps their Christmas lights up well after Christmas. We could all use that extra cheer.

  76. Our tree did not come down until last week. My husband was going insane but I was fine with it. We still had a wreath up too! My house is filthy. I’m in the middle of 6 loads of laundry (no, 7 loads). 🤷‍♀️ I echo the sentiments of others, I too needed this today. Thank you!

  77. Friends always tease me about the Christmas tree that’s still up in February. My stock response now is that I put it up the day after Thanksgiving, and take it down when it catches fire.

  78. My 7 year old daughter insisted on taking down the Christmas ornaments CHRISTMAS NIGHT so I let her but the tree is still up in the corner of the family room because I suck at housekeeping and procrastination is life.

  79. A family friend left hers up until Easter. It didn’t have many needles at the end.
    You need a backup travel buddy.

  80. There was an actress/singer named Nell Carter (she had her own TV show called “Gimme a Break”) who said she used to keep a few Christmas trees up all year round because they made her happy. So you can do it, too.

  81. My fake Christmas tree is still up. It should have gone back to my mom’s storage shed weeks ago, but her septic system caved in and she’s dealing with so many problems, I’m not adding anything else to her plate…so, we ordered red heart garland to wrap all over it. Ta da! It’s a Valentines Day decoration!

  82. We are also in the February tree club. I did get the ornaments down but my husband and I agreed the lights are pretty, the tree is artificial and safe, and we might as well continue to enjoy them while the rest of the world continues to just be a black hole of suckitude. No shame, all love.

  83. My heart goes out to you and Victor. Tell him thank you from one healthcare worker who is paranoid about giving anyone anything. Christmas trees inside sound wonderful, like a reminder of peacefulness and sweetness (and something for the cats to climb).

  84. I’ve noticed a lot of Christmas decorations still up around my town, I think we all need a little more twinkle this year. Hope Victor recovers soon, the “covid limbo” is no fun.

  85. My 28 year old daughter who has anxiety is on her way, alone, to Namibia from Arizona today and has dealt marvelously with flight cancellations, etc. One word: Meds. I’m so proud of her.

  86. My outgoing message on my cell phone has started with, “Merry Christmas!” for the past 10 years. Makes me smile when every message I listen to starts with the caller laughing.

    Oh, and it’s a well know fact in my family circle, that Christmas cards are not expected until Valentine’s Day.

    And I left the dead Cherry tree in my yard until it was so dry I could pull the whole tree from the ground with one hand and drag it to the side yard, where it sat for another 6 months waiting to be chopped into fire pit fodder.

    I’ve learned to accept these things as my norm. And from all of these posts, seems we are all in good company! 😊

  87. I totally empathize with what you’re feeling. I am so behind on so many things that I don’t know where to start, so I do nothing. And of course that just puts me further behind and makes me feel worse. But I have also been trying to remember to be kind and forgiving to myself. I’m not failing, I’m just human and I’m struggling a bit right now and that’s okay. We all need whatever light and cheer we can get right now so I say leave that tree up as long as it makes you happy!

  88. I’ve still got the white lights and fake battery candles on my mantle and in my fireplace, and they come on every night as it starts to get dark. I leave them until later when the sunset comes at a more reasonable time. They make me happy. That’s all anyone needs to know. I hope Victor gets better soon and good wishes for you all. Stay warm this weekend!

  89. My husband brought Covid home 12 days ago. I got it 7 days ago. And now I’m pretty sure my daughter has it. It totally sucks. Even with us all triple vaccinated. Had a big birthday on Feb 1st. My tree is still up and it brings me joy.

  90. OK—stop trying to step outside of yourself and feeling bad about you normalcy. YOU ARE NORMAL. period. full stop. Normal for you. ALL of us are normal for ourselves. You have anxiety which is NORMAL for you and that is just fine, dandy and okay. Lots of people are postponing travel, that is normal too. I am OCD-ish…no way could I leave a tree up as long as you did but that’s MY normal and ok. OTOH, I do like lights on the trees so good for you. Half of the lights on my tree shorted out before Christmas—we survived that. You are YOU NORMAL and that is just great.

  91. I have adopted Winter Tree – it goes up when leaves fall & stays until buds come out safely! I edit per mood & energy.

  92. I have a year round Christmas tree although technically since it’s decorated with Harry Potter I call it my Harry Potter tree 11 months out of the year and then call it a Christmas tree for the month of December. We still have our outside Christmas decorations up because they got buried under snow and now the snow is frozen because it’s been so cold. We turned off the inflatables but left the red, white and green lights on the tree and bushes on and I’m pretending they are in celebration of Valentines Day and St Pat’s Day. I also left the Christmas lights up around my cat Darwin’s memorial because I think he likes the lights and the multi colored are his favorite. Also, I’m much too lazy to take the time to go find some plain red or green lights to cover the next holidays, As long as he has some brightness, that’s all that matters to me. Plus Christmas lights are just cozy. I say rock on with your tree.

  93. I’m in the same boat as you, Jenny, and so many others on this list. What with the way the world is going, I worry about the people who are NOT depressed. It seems the only sane response.

    I hope Victor feels better soon and makes a complete recovery, for his sake and yours. I applaud his care and caution. COVID is scary stuff.


  94. YES! All of this!! Being in Louisiana, we slide right from the Christmas season to Mardi Gras, so there are myriad trees left up hereabouts, freshly festooned in purple, green and gold. I can send you some beads if you like, they do enhance the twinkle lights. I am also missing travel because of my hubby’s ‘Vid status. We both tested + just after the first of the year, I’ve since tested negative, but he keeps coming up positive. So no birthday cruise to Mexico for me. Ah well. We’ll go later, or not. Gotta love him, my little Petri dish! Warmth and love to you and yours!

  95. Please forgive the slightly morbid slant, but I know for a fact that your tombstone will NOT read “met deadlines, did laundry, traveled alone for work”. It’s going to say “beloved wife, mother, sister, daughter, friend who gifted millions with laughter and hope when they needed it most”.

  96. You are right. I was listening to Chelsea Handler’s podcast the other day and she had a guest, we’ll just say I am behind on remembering the name instead of I am too lazy to look it up, that stressed disposition is more important than position. Well thinking about it, it might have been a guest on Tig Notaro’s podcast. One of the two. Disposition over position.

  97. I left my holiday tree up for YEARS. In theory I would change the ornaments every month or season. Hence “holiday” tree. That didn’t always happen but whatever. Last year after Christmas the tree went in storage so we could redo our living room. Tear out carpeting paint replace wood work etc. one year later and I’m still painting the walls. Once I’m done with that everything can go back in a new arrangement with some new furniture. I’m aiming for next Christmas. If I get there before C-day, woohoo, I finished early! Your tree looks wonderful and I’m glad you kept it up. The reason does not matter. It’s beauti-fuckin-full!

  98. We’ve been living in a hotel since August and most of our belongings are in storage. Our dogs are with us but our cats are staying with friends. There were no Christmas decorations for us this year, so please know that the fact that your tree is still up is making me happy from all the way over here in Boston. Good luck in the ice, Jenny, and I hope Victor tests negative soon.

  99. I think I saw somewhere that Carrie Fischer kept her Christmas tree up year round. Add a picture of her to the tree and say its intentional.

  100. One of my Christmas trees is still up. My yard is full of weeds because we never got around to treating it (aka I didn’t pester my husband to do it enough because I can’t do it because I’m pregnant, and chemicals.) Our second tree is in the basement though and the lights are cheery when the weather is all crappy. Praying all the new crap I planted this year survives because I did a TON of work last year and there will be no work done this year (baby will arrive soon. I have low expectations for yard work this year. VERY low.) And we have a huge pile of crap on our crap counter that we never seem to get on top of. But it’s all okay.

  101. Ok, so, when I look at the picture of your tree, I don’t even consider that it’s February and your tree is still up. Instead, I’m thinking, “how DOES she keep her house so neat and clean and decluttered? Look at her floors! Not a speck of dust!” Clutter is something I’ve struggled with my whole life. We’ve read Maria Kondo’s book “the Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” and planning on going through her recommended process, but haven’t started it yet. @Wild Soloist and whoever she’s quoting are right. Disposition > Position. While you’re thinking of everything you do wrong, I’m such a complete and total admirer of everything you do right.

  102. Just embrace it all. Who cares if your tree is still up if it brings you joy? Also make sure Victor is retesting with a rapid test (not PCR) to come out of quarantine. His PCR may stay positive for months because it tests for DNA. A rapid is looking for the protein which is only present in large amounts when you are capable of spreading the disease. So he needs a negative rapid test to come out of quarantine:)

  103. My Christmas tree is going to stay up all year this year, minus the decorations. It’s got white lights and I just love how it softly lights the living room in the evening. And I’m going to decorate it for a Pride-themed 18th birthday tree for my daughter this month!

  104. This is me today; iced in, Christmas tree still up with lights blazing, all the books from the two old bookshelves piled at the bottom of the bigger, newer replacement bookcase, laundry piled high, pretty much all of it. Thank you for reminding me that I’m not alone. If my standards are the same as yours then that’s just fine for me!

  105. Love This. Needed This. Love YOU! Thank you for reminding me to remember the blessings.

  106. Wow. My kid and I have been in one room in a hotel since my lease ended, with our 2 cats, since 10/20. Paying for storage for everything but 2 suitcases we brought. I have had the same feelings about the inability to get a new place for us, and know how hard it is. Have not had a true Christmas since, and I loved the tree still being up!!!

  107. I still have my Christmas trees up too and don’t have the motivation to take them down, but yet I decorated for Valentines Day. Sometimes I don’t even understand myself.

  108. Thank you for this, Jenny. Been feeling VERY worthless and depressed over things I have no control over- to the point of insomnia lately. My heart knows I am a good human, but my head often tries to disagree.
    Just to add my 2 cents, in the past, I have kept my tree up until APRIL.
    You are fantastic and wonderful, as always.

  109. My lights are still up around the fence in my front yard. I could change them to white for “winter” but I haven’t yet. I have to go out there and click on each set to change them and it’s 4 degrees here in Minnesota today so it looks like it’s not happening yet, again. Plus, I have the lucky excuse that it helps to see our driveway at night so it’s helpful. But really, I just think they are pretty. That’s all I put up because I don’t have enough energy for ladders and stuff. I also put lights on one lilac shrub in my back yard and leave it lit all season. Nobody else can really see it but when I’m working at my desk I can see it outside when it’s dark out and it brings me joy.

  110. Also, I hope Victor is better soon! You are right it is going to be okay. Thank you for the lovely reminder.

  111. ‘it’s all in how you look at it’ is such a powerful thing, honestly. I’ve been unemployed for almost two years now due to covid layoffs and then my anxiety going haywire when attempting to job-hunt, I have laundry from months ago that I’ve only been able to do a bit at a time, my desk is so messy there is no room for anything else on it…. But my relationship with my mom is the best it’s been in years, my depression is pretty much non-existent, and I have my dog and craft hobbies that make me happy. It’s all in how you look at it.

    Your tree looks very pretty! We still have our (small, 3-foot) trees up, they must stay around longer this year since we didn’t actually put them up until mid-December. Sending lots of health vibes to Victor and hugs for everyone!

  112. All I have to say is, your tree topper is the balls and it made my day!

  113. Not sure why some think leaving the Christmas tree up is due to being lazy or something like that. Ours is still up, too, and not coming down until we’ve had our Christmas with Daughter #2 and her BF. They were supposed to travel from home New Year’s Eve (3 hours away) and enjoy gifts and then drive back the next day. The weather was crummy, so we decided to wait a bit. The her dad and I got norovirus and the next week we got COVID (omicron) and they couldn’t make the next date. Now, it’s going to be Feb. 11 (Daughter #2’s birthday). So do we do Christmas first, or birthday? If that’s the biggest question, we’ll be all right!

    Hope your family is back on track to normal (whatever that is) soon. Leave the tree up as long as it makes you happy.

  114. In Alaska, we often leave Christmas decorations up late because A) it’s cold AF and dark for much longer and we NEED THE SHINIES to make it through the winter, and B) getting outside decorations down when it’s below zero is not only very difficult but downright DANGEROUS, so most people don’t bother until things start melting in March/April. And it’s all just culturally accepted as the norm, and I will NEVER GO BACK, even if I do move away from Alaska. So do what you gotta do, and remember to just enjoy the things you haven’t taken down yet. Anything to get through this awful time. *Hugs*

  115. It’s absolutely in how you look at it. Your Christmas tree is beautiful. You should definitely leave it up. Our world is so crazed right now. Whatever brings you happiness is what’s important. Maybe you aren’t meant to travel at this time? Don’t fret about it. Do what your heart tells you to do. And, I pray Victor continues to recover, and you and Hailey stay well.😘❤️

  116. My Christmas tree is still up too. I was just too ill and tired to take it down and then I realized I needed it’s cheeriness. And then I got my electricity bill and decided to unplug it. But it will stay up for as long as I need it to. Agree with every one who says we need the shinies. 2022 is turning into another hard year.

  117. Immediately before the pandemic we completed the 1st of 3 stages in remodeling our home (and praise baby Jesus we did, little knowing we’d rarely ever leave the place again).
    The 2nd stage was planned 6-9 months later but has yet to begin. Mind you, we aren’t doing the work ourselves and the contractor is ready to go at any time. No, in spite of the fact that a master bath/bedroom remodel would vastly improve my life, I haven’t managed the REALLY hard work of organizing then clearing my crap out of there and you know, choosing tile & plumbing fixtures.
    God bless you Jenny, I relate to every word and it’s heartening to see you accept the blessings in the “so called” failures. It takes courage to keep fighting the good fight and you are so generous with that courage for the rest of us out here.

  118. Dear heart…. You’re not behind. Look at how much beauty you just made. Chin up. And thank you

  119. Read this: How To Keep House While Drowning by K C Davis, LPC. It’s a short read, but helped change my perspective in such a helpful way.

  120. Because of the way things have been for the past couple of years, most nights when I go to bed I hope I will never wake up again. But thus far I keep waking up, which is a good thing for my little animal family of dogs, cats and birds. I fight depression every day and so far I am winning. I wish I could go with you on your trip but that is out of the question. I’m wondering if your sister could go with you? I remember meeting her once on one of your book tours.

    I love you Jenny, and you can always contact me if I can do anything to help you .❤️

  121. That *is* beautiful, and I’m glad you’re enjoying it! Thank you so much for sharing this. I’m sorry about how things are working out as to the travel, but meanwhile, you still have a Christmas tree to look at! With colored lights! I thought I was the only person in the US to have colored lights, and now I know there is someone else! Thanks.

  122. I couldn’t relate to this more. I’m struggling to recover from a mental breakdown in December. Feels like I’m set back from that as I got COVID, and all the progress I made halted as I’m trying to recover. Reading this gives me some hope that I might look up at one moment and see the brighter side of things.

  123. Thank you for this post. I’ve been struggling since a mental breakdown hit me in early December. Caught COVID last week and despite all the progress I made, it felt like the clock was reset. I’m hoping and praying I can look up and see the beauty as you did today.

  124. We still have the outdoor trees lit up blue. We recently debated taking them down but decided that they add cheer during an otherwise grey time. Also, we still have a snowman light in the entryway that looks very Christmasy, but snow doesn’t leave in December so our cheery guy gets to stay too.

    As for beating ourselves up for being behind…very common. It’s a constant internal battle for both my husband and me. I try hard to remind myself that I don’t have to meet the world’s expectations. As long as I maintain hygiene and some level of zen then all is well.

  125. Sending you lots of love and letting you know that I don’t need ice to be a terrible plant mom

  126. Um. My tree outside is still decorated in its Halloween decor….only 5% because I love that holiday and 95% because fuck it’s too much work…I’ll leave it til next year. I’ll thank myself then….

  127. I was just wishing yesterday that we had left our tree up!! It made me happy! Next year I’m leaving it up til my birthday in March!! Enjoy it Jenny! Hope Victor is well soon and you get to go on your trip, if you want to! ❤️❤️❤️

  128. We have Christmas lights wound around our banister and across the dining room all year round, and turn them on whenever we feel like it. You do you 🙂

  129. I wish my tree was still up. Before my house was cluttered but festive now it’s just cluttered. Also I’m so grateful for the folks in my neighborhood who still have their outside lights up: makes me smile.

    The bushes thing is a procrastination victory. That’s what I call it when I put off doing something so long it’s not necessary.

  130. Our “happy” may sometimes be a little fractured Jenny, but we take what we can get, right?

  131. I am very behind on things, and I feel bad about that. I feel like a mess. When I was a child/teen, this is not what I thought my life would be. Maybe this is why I haven’t found a replacement job, why no one wants to hire me.

  132. “dead again but more expensive”, very lol.
    I only have succulents because they’re extremely hard to kill 😄
    I like the way you’re looking at the pretty lights, very wise. Same situation, different perspective xxx 💞💖

  133. Carrie Fisher kept a Christmas tree up all year, so you are in good company. We kept a small tree up all of last year because we had the programmable, color-changing twinkle lights (super fun, highly recommend). We changed the light colors to fit each season.

    My daughter kept her tree up all year, too, because she got a super cool rainbow Christmas tree. I’m still getting my other decorations and ornaments loaded into storage boxes.

    I have not replaced all of our bushes either.
    I want to make sure they won’t freeze and die again, and I have not gotten to it yet.

    And if I stacked all my clean laundry and blankets that I need to put up, I could ski down it.

    So you are not alone. Offer yourself some grace and vodka. All we can do is the best we can do.

    (I say all this as I was whining to my hubby today about the house being a pit of despair.)

    We do what we have to, and eventually, we get to the rest.

    I hope Victor test negative soon!

  134. He needs to ease back into responsibility when he recovers. I think I went back to work 1 day too soon. By noon, I was running on empty with energy and I slid back into congestion in my lungs. Be fully rested and resume regular activities slowly! Even now, a full month after recovery, I’m only barely beginning to feel just ok. Tell him it gets better! As for you? Our little man-made schedules for holidays mean zilch. Go snuggle with your loving dog. 🙂 All is well.

  135. I have travel anxiety as well. I never go anywhere except Ohio (a 2 hour plane trip, same time zone, same language) to visit my mom and even that makes me nervous. No reason to feel bad about yourself for that. Just because everybody else loves to travel (at least that’s what dating profiles tell us…I hate cooking too…no wonder I can’t find a date) some of us are just home bodies.

  136. My FIL’s Christmas Tree has been up since 2020. He never took it down after that Christmas and as of now he has no intentions to take it down anytime soon. So, it’s way too early for you to feel bad about leaving your tree up.

  137. Thank you for a much needed laugh today. My brain is broken right now and I can barely function.

  138. I’m sorry to hear Victor is still sick. This Covid thing is shit.

    Keep that Christmas tree up all year if you want. There’s no Christmas police going to come and lock you up for not taking it down. It’s your house, do what you want 😀

    And the travel anxiety is such a feel. I used to travel alone, but I don’t think I can do it anymore. Not with Covid and my heart condition and all the millions of things that could go wrong. Covid ruined my ability to cope with all the what ifs. I used to be able to deal with them on bi things like a vacation because there weren’t that many for me on a day to day level. but now Covid lurks around the corner every day waiting to spring the “You’re never going to be able to work again, your heart is going back to it’s early disability era status and not ever recovering again!” trap and yeah. No big events for me.

    It’s been a rough few years. At least I know there are others like me who take it seriously and who understand. It helps somewhat.

  139. Your lights don’t have to come down for a few days yet and here’s the proof! Outdoor holiday lights were invented in Denver Colorado in 1914. We took it so seriously that by the 1920s, we were known as the Christmas Capital of the World. We still regularly make lists for the best displays in the country, so I suggest that we can reasonably be considered top experts. The tradition among Denver natives for decades is to leave the lights up until the Denver Stock show is over. Since this weekend is the closing of the show, if you took them down already, you would officially be too early. Again, perspective. Besides, it’s best not to argue with history

  140. I work for an international travel company and our guests can travel with a Document of Recovery as long as they are asymptomatic. You can get one from your doctor.

  141. I always consider it a victory when the tree is down before Easter, so I am not tempted to hide eggs in it.

  142. Don’t feel bad about the tree. I just took the decorations off of my tree last week but the tree is still in the stand because my husband hasn’t helped me get it in the tree bag and put it away. Also all of the bins with the xmas stuff are still sitting in my living room. Now I am regretting taking everything
    off because I miss the lights and sparkle. I hope you are fairing well with the cold weather you don’t normally get.

  143. My tree is still up too. Last year the same thing happened so we decorated it for Valentine’s Day. There are a bunch of small chores around the house that have needed to be done for….a long time. It’s not just you at all.

    I’m glad Victor is getting better.

  144. As for Victor’s test–have him go to a drive-through testing site and have one done. They are more thorough. Or maybe a doctor? My husband had to go through one to go back to work. They wouldn’t accept our test-at-home results because there’s a huge false-positive percentage.

  145. Yep, my tree is still up too. One of my sons asked me to keep it up until he leaves town since the Christmas tree is one of his favorite things (which I didn’t really know – I’m glad he told me❤).

  146. Hey I hate traveling and am anxious about it but also very brave so if you want an emotional support human, hit me up 😄 (my one skill in life is putting square peg types at ease)

  147. I once left our little table top tree up for a whole year. Was living w/my mom. I didn’t want to put it up in the first place that year, but she insisted, and said she’d take it down. A month after Christmas, she told me to take it down. I reminded her that she agreed to take down if I put up. Every couple months, she said “We really should take that down.” I’d say “Go right ahead.” It remained up (gathered a few cobwebs along the way) until January of the next year-when I took it down. I kind of liked having it up-cobwebs and all. I like multicolored lights!!! Didn’t put up a tree this year, because I had kittens in house who were abt 6 mo old in December. Kittens have the common sense and self-preservation instincts of a gnat. I figured it was too dangerous this year. 🙂

  148. Our Christmas tree is still up, our decorations are still on our front porch. Sometimes I think I’ll take them down, but they’re beautiful and they make me happy. When it’s warmer, I’ll put up my beautiful wind chimes, but until then, I’ll enjoy the lights, and I’ll enjoy seeing your lights, and the lights of everyone else who, like us, just needs a bit of color in our lives right now.

  149. We had the “C” word last week. The doctor told us no need to retest as we’ll test positive for weeks… if not months! Hope Victor and y’all stay well 🙂

  150. Hello! I work in a COVID testing lab and may I suggest trying to get a saliva test if he’s been doing nasal? Those tend to be a little less sensitive and will give you a better idea of if you’re still contagious. We test all our employees with nasal swabs but switch to saliva for awhile after they recover from COVID. Good luck with everything and you can email me if you have any covid questions!!

  151. I left a strand of white Christmas lights across my fireplace mantle, and also a teeny tree that I plan on hopefully decorating year round. I needed the extra shimmery lights in the darkness this year

  152. The other day I finally made two small pieces of furniture (Speaker stands) that I had been meaning to get around to for 15 YEARS. They don’t even make the stain I used to build the rest of the furniture that they needed to match (fun with chemistry fixed that) so, yeah, there are definitely other people whose list is long and Way, Way behind. Don’t beat yourself up; we’re all plodding along at our own pace.

  153. I have Christmas lights up in my kitchen & hallway all year long, because I love them. My tree is still up too, though. I’ll get to it when I get to it, that’s all.
    Also, laundry is overrated, & you really should be done washing clothes for other people, unless you’re occasionally feeling generous

  154. I commented earlier but I wanted to add, have him take Musinex if he still has coughing and congestion. It tries to linger in your lungs but Musinex has an expectorant that helps kick it out of the lungs. Today was the first time I could breath freely! Such a beautiful feeling.

  155. Well I never BOUGHT a tree for 2021 so I guess I win? I’m old and there are no little kid relations where I live so I just don’t bother. As far as Christmas cards goes, I didn’t send any in 2020 or 2021. My intentions were good (I bought holiday postage stamps!) but I just couldn’t do it. My brain is giving me so much trouble and I can’t seem to get it fixed. I retired in August of 2021 and I had so much trouble finding an in-network shrink and therapist. In a very short time I fired one shrink, another retired, the third’s psychiatry group didn’t renew their contract so she became out of network, and now I’m on my fourth. I’ve seen him once and also the therapist and they both seem OK so that’s progress.

    Regarding undone housework, just leave it. It’ll keep.

  156. I’m chronically behind on everything as well. When I started seeing my new therapist last spring, she asked who does the cleaning in our house. (We were talking about division of labor, particularly when I was working grueling hours.) I was like “uhhhhh… no one.” And really wasn’t sure if I’d ever be able to face her again. But I did. And it is ok. (Still the case that no one really cleans though, even though I quit working!)

    I live in a fancy stepford neighborhood and today noticed that some neighbors who have left pumpkins out since October have had an unfortunate explosion of pumpkin guts all over their white steps. I guess the pumpkins froze and then imploded? It looks like they threw up all over their entry. So…. At least your yard doesn’t look like that. No one can tell what’s dead in the winter anyway.

    Hope you feel better soon!

  157. My tree is still up. Might string some pink garland and beads on it. I understand the traveling. I miss being able to travel alone.

  158. I have my tree still up too – February is the longest fucking month and we need all the light and color we can get to get through it!

  159. I just wanted to add that your admission that you’re also struggling with Christmas tree and housework was really helpful on a very bad day where I wondered if I will ever be functional again. Having everyone else chime in makes it all easier, knowing so many of us are in the same boat.

  160. The outdoor photo looks like a wizard. The ice is his hair and beard with a brown cap on top and there are some little twigs that look like his arms are raised a bit. His legs are out of focus.

  161. There is a new book out by Madeleine Dore called “I didn’t do the thing today”. Don’t have the book yet but I’m loving the title so hard I think I’ll use it as my email auto reply.

  162. My Christmas tree is still up too! Taylor Swift says in one of her songs you can keep it up til February, so I ran with it. Hope you feel better. Sending virtual hugs.

  163. Wow, Jenny! You have a way of making me and my depression feel Seen. I have been behind in everything in my life and then upset with myself for being behind. Thank you for always inspiring me and reminding me it’s all ok.

  164. I have 4 Christmas trees in my living room that have been there since 2020. These days I’ll take all the cheer I can get.

  165. I’ve had gallbladder surgery this week and feel guilty I’m not out doing chores I don’t do anyway…

  166. Jenny, I don’t know if it affordable for you or if you would want to do this, but you might consider hiring a personal care attendant (PCA) to assist you with traveling. There are people with non-mobility related disabilities that find PCA’s necessary when traveling.

    I wish Victor a speedy recovery and I wish you lots of excellent mental health days!

  167. My Christmas tree is still up, too. I’ve had a bad case of feeling invisible for a few months and I need the tree, lights, and decorations. Turning off all lights but the tree makes me feel more grounded.

  168. At the risk of plantsplaining,(😎) you can plant some Carolina snail seed vines under the dead landscape. Birds like it and you’ll have some greenery at least on top of the dead limbs. Caution though, as it spreads (see: birds comment previously) and once established you might have difficulty removing.

  169. We still have our tree up too, I told Bob he was in charge of decorating the tree this year because I wasn’t up to it mentally. He got the tree up, (it has it’s own lights) but he couldn’t decorate either. So it’s a plain tree this year but he put lots of twinkle lights out in our backyard and we actually have them up year round in the house everywhere. In the bedroom and living room on the stairs and the mantle, plus two pretend trees that are covered with lights. But our Christmas tree is staying up, we may never take it down, who knows. We like it this way.

  170. We live in a fairly ‘ritzy/expensive’ (we live in one of the smallest houses) part of town and the other night coming home I was amazed at how many of the houses still have their Christmas lights up and ON! Is it a thing this year? Are we leaving them up and on to support those sick with COVID or the make the world feel happier? Did I miss something? I don’t do lights on my house, I put up fake wreathes and garlands. But still, what gives? Other thought is none of those people put up their own lights (like I said, that kind of neighborhood, except for us) so maybe the light-putter-uppers are too busy to get to everyone, or sick or…I could not think of a third reason. And I still have the garland in the dining room up from 2 years ago, I think it is permanently attached to the curtain rods now. lol

  171. When I still had my Christmas tree up at this point in the year, I just made it an Easter tree and hung creme eggs from it, Later on, it became a Halloween tree with spiders and ghosts. And then in December it became a Christmas tree again.

  172. I am boosted got very mild Omicron case never with fever but was testing positive still on day 6, 10, 11, okay 13, okay I’ll wait… it was day… 16 or 17? It happened. I really didn’t think it would. There is hope. I was in isolation just 10 days and we risked it after but hadn’t had symptoms in forever. Also yes the tree is still up and OMG I’m so very behind

  173. LOL, some of us are farther behind than you are. We moved two years and four months ago. I still haven’t unpacked about a third of our stuff. Someday, someday,…

  174. I like to think of myself mostly fully funtional person and I am always way behind on something and the thought of leaving the count ALONE gives me cold sweats. If you didn’t write so openly about your struggles and you were just to do/done lists on paper you would come off quite the successful adult. You write whole ass books, you raise a whole ass human, you care for several whole ass animals, you have a whole ass bookstore, you have a whole ass blog and kept it running FOREVER. Thats a lot even for people with properly adjusted brains. And without a whole ass pandemic.
    You are doing great in my book.

  175. And that is why – empathy
    not to mention grace and love and kindness
    because no matter how we see things from the inside
    they look different from another perspective
    empathy allows us to see other perspectives than our own
    and this reminds us when we see the shiny, beautiful from the outside… there’s someone on the inside whose view could be much less shiny and beautiful
    and they could probably really use some grace, love, and kindness

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