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Condition of the Month–December 2014

December 7, 2014

It’s time for the holidays! What’s on your Christmas list this year? For us, not much, really. Just, you know, fulfilling careers, new cars, family approval, and more than 24 hours in the day. Hopefully we Naughty Princesses have been nice enough to receive a bit of what we’ve wished for.

cinderslutChristmas! Eek! It’s the most wonderful time of the year, but this year I’ll be spending it abroad for the first time ever. First Christmas since birth not seeing my parents on Christmas morning to open gifts. First Christmas without a Starbucks red cup. Sigh. You get the picture.

But though it’s sad to be missing out on the festivities at home, I’m also really excited about hosting my first Christmas ever. My in-laws land here in the Sandbox in less than a week now, and we’ll be spending the next three weeks with them. Thus, I think my biggest Christmas wish this year is that this time would all go well and we’d manage to balance travel and new experiences with quality time and festive holiday traditions.

On actual Christmas we’ll all be camping in the desert in Jordan, which definitely WON’T be like Christmas jammies and stockings and all that. But I’m hoping it will be a memorable Christmas in a different way. After all, wasn’t the first Christmas spent by a young couple out in the desert, just a few hundred kilometers from where we’ll be?

My in-laws are bringing gifts, but honestly, there’s nothing I really need. The true gift is the fact that they are coming at all. That my sometimes hard-to-please mother-in-law is putting herself on a grueling, expensive flight to come to MY home for the holidays. It truly means a lot. But in 2.5 years of marriage, I’ve never hosted my husband’s parents, and they’ve never had the chance to see us in our “natural habitat.” That’s what makes this so exciting. I just hope I live up to their expectations (and my own) and can somehow create a Christmas to remember for all of us.

–Cinderslut

snowwhoreWhat’s on my Christmas list? So many things. I can think of a lot of things that I would love to have but that I can’t afford.

We need a new car. One that has airbags and 2 working headlights. We don’t have a TV right now. Our laptop is old and needs to be replaced. Our apartment is a crappy basement across from a giant noisy construction zone. But when I say all of those things I just feel like I’m complaining and sounding selfish. I feel guilty because, shouldn’t I just be able to count my blessings?

And then there are the more intangible things that I wish for as well. A new job. One that doesn’t make me crazy and maybe actually pays me a decent wage. More self-esteem and encouragement for my husband. Most of all I would love to get back the feeling and belief that I can do anything I want in life. I feel less and less like I have that choice every day. All the reports and studies I see are saying that companies won’t pay young people a wage that keeps up with inflation, and that we are being flooded with cheap jobs, but not decent ones. Oh for the idealistic views of my college days.

Now I feel like I’m being a huge Christmas downer. I actually love Christmas and I will still enjoy it regardless of my circumstances.

–Snow Whore

thesleepingbootyChristmas! Snow and lights and reunions and food! It’s hard not to adore this time of year, and now that I’m not living with my parents I’m really looking forward to spending as much time with them as I can over the holidays. I knew I’d miss living with them, but it’s definitely been just as hard as I expected. They’ve been my best friends for the last 2+ years, it is strange to suddenly have to treat them like parents again instead of roommates. But this is good for me, I know, and I know the real thing I’m stressed about is finding the right job.

Finding a career is at the very tip top of my Christmas list this year, and while I could also use ski pants, a nice winter hat, and brown boots, the only thing that I feel like I need a magic wish to get is a good job. I’m still so lost on what direction to go with my life and lately it feels like I’ve been looking to others to find out that career for me, hoping someone would just plop the answer in my lap. But when I think about it, I know that looking outside myself for approval or guidance is just getting me further from whatever it is I must know I want.

Today I’m supposed to apply to work with my friend (and housemate) as a billing specialist, a job that I’d learn a lot at but I’m not sure is really the direction I want to be going. I find myself dragging my feet as I fill out the application and I honestly don’t know if I should push myself and make it happen or if I should take a step back because I’m heading in the wrong direction. At Thanksgiving my uncle told me that I had to create my own job because applying for existing jobs is a thing of the past. My family friend thinks I should go back to school and get a masters in engineering and my parents are just as confused as I am, sending me mixed signals that I know I need to ignore but somehow always hit me right when I’m vulnerable.

All I want for Christmas is some clarity, and I think the only one who can give me this gift is me.

–Sleeping Booty

thelittlemerskankHonestly, I haven’t had the chance to think of Christmas much at all yet. This fall has been a challenging one for me. Between teaching a college class for the first time, having friends in crisis, and getting knocked out by sickness twice I have been barely able to keep abreast of deadlines, let alone do any work on my PhD dissertation. Christmas has been the last thing on my mind. However, I taught my last class for the term on Wednesday and then finished grading their last assignment on Friday, which means—finally—my schedule is looking a bit freer. Finally I can start thinking about Christmas… and, oh yeah, my PhD dissertation that really needs to move a bit over the vacation. So, yes, I would put that on my Christmas list: getting some research done. Honestly, this is not as glum as it may seem, as during this hectic term I have been kind of missing my doing my own research.

I do, however, really need to get started doing some Christmas shopping. This year (for the first time ever) I am not going home for Christmas. I am going back home in the spring for a conference anyway, so I decided it just didn’t make sense to go back for Christmas this year. Honestly, I am okay with this. I will miss being home for sure, but the idea of spending my first Christmas in Europe is also a bit exciting. The real problem is that if I am not going home for Christmas, I will need to ship my presents. As in, if I want them to arrive by Christmas I need to send them soon—next week at the latest. And what presents do I have? One present so far in total. Someone needs to get shopping.

So yes—my Christmas list isn’t too long this year. All I want is to find time to relax, buy presents, work on my dissertation, hang out with friends, and possibly write a blog post or two. Oh, and a little snow would be nice too!

–The Little Merskank

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