I Survived Christmas and New Year’s Eve!

The past four holiday seasons have been difficult, to say the least. I’ve cried during all of them, and spent the days leading up to each wishing I could just stay in bed and ignore the world. This year? This year was different.

I embraced the fact that it’s OK to not feel OK at this time of year. There’s a lot of pressure out there to make the holidays perfect and happy and sparkly, but it’s actually really hard to make that happen, especially when you’re really missing your loved ones. Instead of forcing myself to make five different batches of cookies, we made two traditional ones and that was it. I allowed myself to feel kind of blah if I needed to, and I also embraced the moments of being really excited about everything.

When I walked into my sister-in-law’s house on Christmas Eve, she immediately placed a glass of her “signature Christmas drink” in my hand and made sure it stayed full all night. (Turns out it was just rum and triple sec with pineapple juice, but it was enough to keep me giggly.). Seeing my nieces and nephew open their presents made me smile and laugh and look forward to one day watching my own children tear open gifts from Santa.

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My dad has started a relationship with a woman he’s known for years, and although I haven’t met her yet and I have a lot of feelings about this development, it makes me calm and happy to see him calm and happy. This has relieved a tremendous amount of stress from my life.

We spent New Year’s Eve with hubby’s parents, and my brother-in-law and his wife. We drank mimosas and played some heart-stopping games of Jenga and then watched the ball drop. My mother-in-law stuffed rice and lentils into our pockets so that we’ll all be wealthy this year, and my father-in-law made a touching speech about family and going after your dreams.

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I’m proud to report that not only did I survive the holidays, I actually enjoyed them for the first time since 2009.

This year, I’m focusing on writing and reading every day. I’m going to start my day earlier so that I can work out in the morning and spend the evenings blogging, working on my book, and reading some of the five new novels I got for Christmas. I’m going to be more patient with others, be more positive, and make healthier decisions for myself. Just because I’m having a bad morning at work doesn’t mean I can eat six cookies and a Kit Kat at lunchtime (true story). I want to travel somewhere we’ve never been before, even if it’s only a day trip or a weekend getaway. Mostly, I want to get back to the person I was before all the loss. I want to find that happy, fun, and carefree girl that I know is lurking somewhere just below all the bitterness and anger.

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9 thoughts on “I Survived Christmas and New Year’s Eve!

    • I seriously never thought the day would come when I would be able to say I enjoyed anything about Christmas. When my mom died, I pretty much vowed to be miserable during the holidays forever because I missed her so much that it physically hurt. Like I said, it’s taken four holiday seasons to get to this point, and it could all spiral downhill tomorrow, but for now I’m feeling OK. I still thought of her every second, and I can’t lie that I didn’t get teary-eyed at all, but I didn’t have any meltdowns or need to be talked down from any ledges this time around.

      • That’s a feeling I’m all-too familiar with. Ultimately it helps to remember that the people who are no longer with us would want nothing more than for you to be happy and to enjoy yourself during the festive season.

        They might keep an eye on you from the other side and woul certainly want to see you dancing, laughing and loving heartily. The best way to honor them is to make memories and enjoy life to the fullest.

      • Sure it’s easier said than done. I believe in authenticity. I have a certain mild disdain for any type of holiday because I don’t like to be told when I have to be happy. I act happy when I feel happy, I don’t like to perform and put up an act. Might not make me everybody’s darling, but some people like a genuine man. 😉

        Doesn’t mean you have to be a party pooper, but it does mean to accept your feelings and never feeling guilty for those sad moments. They are perfectly alright – your right to grieve and remember in your own way is not bound to any schedule and no one has the right to impose such a schedule on you.

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