Fugue State

I learned a lot in medical school.

I learned that sleep is not really a necessity.

I learned that sometimes you think you know what you’re doing – but really – you don’t.

I learned that you can get by on very little food when you are stressed to the max because you have so much to do.

Hmm…sounds like motherhood.

But really, one of the disorders I learned about in school was something called Fugue State.

According to the most reliable source of information – Wikipedia – “Formerly called, Dissociative Fugue – The state is usually short-lived amnesia (hours to days), but can last months or longer. Dissociative fugue usually involves unplanned travel or wandering, and is sometimes accompanied by the establishment of a new identity.”

Now that Christmas is over – officially for us anyways – I know that some have more parties and gatherings planned – I kind of feel I’ve been in fugue state.

This morning, the hubs and I were already putting up our Christmas decorations and putting up the tree. Not that we didn’t love having the festive-ness surround us, but our little house was bursting at the seems with the many gifts we received from family and friends. We need to free up the space to make room for the new stuff.

As we safely tucked in the last Nutcracker, my husband and I started to chat about how fast this year has gone. We both got a little emotional as we watched Iz run around, “helping” us clean, play with her new toys, and provide us with a soundtrack of beautiful music that consisted of just her sweet voice accompanied with the occasional crash and bang of her toddlerhood.

It’s so fast.

Wasn’t it just last year we were talking about how excited we would be THIS Christmas because Iz would be so fun?

Now – THIS Christmas is over. And she delivered. The excitement in her eyes as she saw the tree light up every night, the squeals of delight at her new playhouse, her crazy dance where she kind of just runs in place and flaps her arms – almost like she can’t contain the joy she feels so that’s her outward expression of the joy seeping out of her little body…

It was priceless.

And I kind of feel like I missed some of it.

I was so busy with the wrapping of the gifts, the preparing of the food, the getting ready for the gatherings – you know – the routine we all have to do as parents to get through the seasons.

But really – I sometimes feel like I’m in this constant state of being half here. Here – being focused on my kid or my marriage or my now. I’m always thinking of what needs to be done, what didn’t get done, what should have been done. Or surfing another website to find something to make my life easier. Or updating a status or a blog to brag about what my kid did, join my network of overworked and over-stressed moms as we commiserate over something, or just find an escape in the lives of others on T.V. I kind of wander and travel through my day and suddenly it’s time for bed.

It’s like fugue state. How did I suddenly get here?

I’m so guilty of not being in the present.

But, maybe that’s why we have these special holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas. If we do it right, we stop and enjoy the present with family. Relish in the things we have today and stop needing a better yesterday or praying for a better tomorrow…because we have the moment. This moment. The now.

I will never forget Iz’s face as she tore into her first gift this holiday. We had just finished dinner after Christmas Eve service. She was rubbing her eyes because sleep was calling her…and Santa was on his way. But, we wanted her to open one gift. She sat down, unsure of what to do – so we coaxed her and tore a small bit of paper – and soon she understood. She ripped into the packaging and saw the familiar red, the orange nose, and googly eyes. She looked up at me and Craig, smile from ear to ear, and squealed “ELMO!”

Perfect. Priceless.

And the next morning as she saw her playhouse Santa left for her, and her curious expression turn to one of excitement and joy.

Perfect. Priceless.

And her dancing with my nieces and nephews to Christmas carols, her singing her own version, “helping” unwrap everyone’s gifts.

Perfect. Priceless.

I am so thankful – even if was just for a day – that I stopped and enjoyed the now – and wasn’t wandering aimlessly from task to task. It was the best gift I could have ever gotten this Christmas.