In years past, somewhere after Labor day when someone would bring up drawing names or plans for the holidays I would immediately feel a tight knot in my stomach that would send me into depression, only to be exacerbated by the first time I heard "White Christmas" that used to make me cry with sadness. It could have been the stress of how to impress people and all that is tied with it and I was especially not looking forward to it last year going through the turmoil of a separation. I had commented to the babe that I wasn't a big fan of the holidays and I'm sure it probably raised red flags for him but somehow it ended up being a pleasant experience.
This Christmas things were much better. I did have the initial angst but things are different, I realized that I have a lot of control of my attitude and how I would handle situations this time around. I really enjoyed my family's party, went to a few other friend's parties and dinners through the month and even got an official invite to the X's family dinner on Christmas Eve, but I told the kids I wouldn't go. I seriously didn't want to put anyone in the situation of having to deal with anxiety and family drama; been there, done that! Instead I focused my efforts on the kids and I was able to join the babe again at his church's midnight candlelight service on Christmas Eve which in my mind is the best way to reflect and feel the spirit of the season.
What a difference a year makes! I did spend a lot of time alone but I also found things to keep busy like learning to bake (well more like learning to clean the oven over and over again after some of my failed attempts!) I was able to listen and sing along to Christmas carols (I still find a couple of them sad!) but the babe and I spent more time together this year (some with his own family) and creating some of what we hope to be ongoing traditions for us. Just like last year, he managed to come up with some amazing presents and somewhere between fighting the tears and an incredible amount of gratitude I managed to tell him how great it is to feel that I matter to someone.
So big thumbs up for this holiday season, I know that in spite of my happy post there are plenty out there who struggle with the holidays and I sincerely hope that if that was the situation, at least someone reached out or if nothing else you reached out to others to make even a slight difference in a life and help make the season better all around. I've been there and I know how bad and lonely it can feel even while being in the middle of a celebration or a crowd and if nothing else, hope that there can and always be good times ahead!!