Holidays can be tough

my christmas tree
my christmas tree

Luckily, this year won’t be as tough as it has been in the past. When I was first on my own a few years ago, I was terrified at the thought of spending Christmas alone in my apartment. I didn’t think I could bear the sadness and the feelings of guilt that I had created that sadness for myself by deciding to end my marriage. So, I went to my sister and her family and I had a really good time with people who love me and whom I love very much in return.

When deciding whether to come visit me or my brother for Christmas, my mom said “I just don’t want you to be alone for the holidays. As long as you have someone to be with….” and this year I do. My best friend is Jewish and her husband and I both really love the Fast and Furious movies. So, we are going to have a Fast and Furious Paul Walker Memorial Marathon. (And yes, I have agreed to watch even number 3, Tokyo Drift, although I thought it was awful and can’t believe it gets credit for being part of the series. It’s the only one in which Paul Walker does not appear, fyi.)

The holidays can be tough though, if you let them be. I won’t deny that I have had some feelings of wistfulness or nostalgia overcome me over the past few days, knowing that I was down south last year at this time, spending 10 days with the man I loved and meeting his family. That has replaced the feeling of loneliness I used to have, thinking of my ex-husband and how much he loved Christmas. So, that’s a good thing.

As I said to a friend yesterday, when those feelings about last year arise in me, I acknowledge them, and realize they are there for a reason. And then, I think to myself whether it will make me feel good to give into them, or if I can choose to press on forward. I have found that pressing on forward is the best choice, at least for me.  I feel like by acknowledging them, I am not repressing them, but just recognizing them for what they are. Feelings. Feelings that I can choose to let bring me down or wallow in, or feelings to acknowledge how my life has changed.  Guess those anti-depressants are working, huh? 🙂

I don’t mean to be taking any of this lightly. I know it’s more than the medication at work. It’s the hard work I have done on myself that allows me to handle things now. So, some days when I feel like my dream of being on the west coast, training and writing, and helping to save more animals somehow, all while living in my tiny house/RV/shipping container (I’m open to whatever it turns out to be) seems really far away, I try to acknowledge those feelings of hopelessness or sadness and work through them. I remind myself I have focus now, and a great group of friends who I trust will still be there for me when I move. And, there are a couple people out there on the west coast that I will be physically closer to, and with whom the bonds of friendship will be even stronger, I suspect.

When I start to feel sad about what I don’t have, I try to remind myself what I do have. I don’t have as much money saved as I wanted to by this time of year, but I do have more in past years. And I now have a really comfy new-to-me big chair on which I can sit and look out the window, or at all of my furbabies and my christmas tree all lit up. I have freelance work to keep me busy over my days off, family to go to on Christmas Eve, and a warm, comfy roof over my head. It’s a lot more than others have.

Thank you for reading, and have a wonderful holiday (or just day off, if you don’t celebrate it.) In that case, a belated happy thanksigivika to you!

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5 thoughts on “Holidays can be tough

    • Oh Don, thank you so much! I’m already starting to feel much less stress as I simplify and get rid of more of my stuff. Merry Christmas to you, Don!

      • I left a comment on the tinyhouseswoon page for you but in case you don’t see those, just wanted to say how peaceful you and your family seem with your simpler life. And your kids are simply beautiful! They look extremely happy. Very glad for you, Don.

  • Your tree is beautiful! I didn’t put up a tree this year. We had a live tree last year that is now planted in a big field with lots of other trees. By looking at my house you’d never know it is Christmas. Funny, Christmas to me now is more about experiencing connection.

    Since my son moved with his dad I’ve had little desire to decorate. It used to make me feel sad but now I just notice where my values lie and feel fine. I’m happy to hear you’ve come to a good place about the holidays as well Terri.

    Merry Christmas sweetie! When you’re out here on the West Coast you will have a place at our dinner table (or where ever we happen to be) on Christmas Day. Time will pass quicker than you realize . . . xxoo

    • Guess what? It’s a fake! I used to have real trees every year, but I’ve realized it’s more economical to use a fake one (and this one I even got for free at a “Swap!”) I have to admit, this year, I was thinking to maybe not decorate. I got all of my decorations from my brother who stores them for me during the year, and found that again, I’m not using all of them. Before, I used to think that I had to use all of them, you know? I guess because growing up, my mom used to make us use all of the decorations we would haul up from the cellar to put on the tree. Even if it was way too much! I’m thinking I may donate some of the decorations I have now that I know I will never use again.

      I really look forward to that Christmas Day, Darris, believe me! Merry Xmas to you too!

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