“Thanksgiving was nothing more than a pilgrim-created obstacle in the way of Christmas; a dead bird in the street that forced a brief detour.”
― Augusten Burroughs, You Better Not Cry: Stories for Christmas
I like being awake when the rest of the world is not. It’s one of the few times during the day where I don’t feel some crazy sense of urgency to get somewhere, to do something, to accomplish something before the day is done. I’d like to get better at getting up early, but that also means I have to give up my beloved late-night routine. I’m realizing that I love both for the same reasons–the feeling of being the Only One Awake, the calm of not having to answer to anyone… The benefit to switching this routine to the morning hours is that I’m able to more easily transition into a functioning adult after getting up early vs. staying up hella late.
Things continue to be busy, though the pace for this week is far less break-neck than it’s been, which is a nice respite from the oncoming holiday rush… I have to admit though, I am super stoked for Christmas this year. I guess I’m always super stoked for Christmas, but this year I’ve kind of skipped over my usual excitement for Thanksgiving and have just poured all my efforts into prepping for December 25th.
Admittedly, I’m not looking forward to Thanksgiving this year. At all. There’s just been so much back and forth around it this year and after a couple of disappointing ones in a row, I’m just feeling “meh” about it in general. The celebration has just changed so much since my mom got sick, it’s kind of hard to get really excited for it anymore. There were a few years where I was still into it, where I was able to enjoy it because I was able to feel ownership for it–that it was my holiday to help organize and prepare with my brother and dad, but that dynamic has also changed as our celebration has grown and expanded, and now I just feel it’s better to let the whirlwind of people now involved tell me what needs to be done and what time to be there. At this point, I’m just hoping that the build up of my quiet dread has set my expectations for the day so low that I’ll be pleasantly surprised when I get through the day without wanting to slit my wrists.
Merry, merry. Happy, happy–eh?
But, once all that is over, it’s officially full-swing Christmas, baby! Christmas music nonstop on the radio! Light displays everywhere! Jingle Bells and hot chocolate and kids super stoked for Santa! I know it sounds super cheesy, but I just love the magic of this time of year–the collective efforts towards happiness–towards making other people happy. Sure, there’s a lot of stress, but there’s also a lot of good deed doing and hopefulness and palpable positivity that my blackened soul falls to pieces and I become a total softie.
And I know this holiday season will be especially difficult–this will be the first time going the holidays alone–but I’m trying to remain positive. I mean, that’s what the Christmas spirit is all about, right? Pushing through the tough stuff and taking the time to appreciate the good things in life… Maybe that’s the attitude I need to adopt for Thanksgiving this year, too. Because, truth be told, even for all the shit things that have been going down, all the really painful and difficult moments of 2013, there is still much to be grateful for–the wonderful support network in my life, and the opportunities they have presented me for personal growth and new experiences. I’m thankful for the strength they’ve provided, and for the personal strength that I’ve found within myself. I know how cheesy that sounds, but after walking around for 6 months feeling like a human car wreck, it’s an accomplishment worth noting. I still don’t have my shit totally figured out, but I’m not scared about it anymore–I’m not scared of being alone anymore, and I’m confident that I will make the right decisions for my own life. I accept that I will never have “it” figured out completely, but I’m OK with that. There’s a lot of peace of mind that comes with accepting that you’ll never fully have peace of mind, you know?
So, here’s to the holidays. Here’s to the things we have to be thankful for, and to the things we’d rather not deal with–may those make us stronger, better people in the long run.
Hope all is well with you, dear friend.