This year, the holidays bring with them a tremendous sense of sadness and overwhelm. I find myself completely repelled by anything associated with the holidays. Christmas music, lights, decorations, and trees everywhere I go. All of it stirs up feelings of anger, irritation, frustration and sadness. I can’t quite put my finger on the ‘why’, either. It seems to be a number of things.
The energy of people and the world this time of year is incredibly chaotic. The only shopping I’ve done, and will be able to do this year, is grocery shopping. Even that can get really crazy.
I was just in a Fred Meyer this past weekend with my son and everyone around me was completely oblivious to not only me and my son but to everyone else in the store. They stood in the middle of the isle during a busy time and read a label or stared at the shelves trying to make a decision while their carts sat directly in the middle of the walkway. The place where I needed to go to move down the isle and get other things. Every time I said ‘Excuse me’ in the politest tone I could muster (with a smile of course) they seemed annoyed that I needed them to move their cart so that I could get out of their way and do my thing.
Memories of past holidays are heavy on my thoughts this year, as well. December 13th marks the 13th anniversary of my Dad’s passing. While he wasn’t my biological Father, he was one of the most important Father figures in my life and I still miss him. He taught me how to work on cars and so many other things about life and love. When he passed he was a long haul truck driver trainer. He and his trainee were in Arizona when he started one of his coughing fits and had a massive heart attack in the sleeper of the truck.
I remember my phone ringing in the middle of the night. My phone didn’t ring that often and considering it was the middle of the night, I knew something had to be wrong. Mom was on the other end and all I could hear was her sobbing.
The family was notified and arrangements were made. One of the arrangements was a viewing before cremation. The date of the viewing happened to fall on my birthday, December 18th. Needless to say, that was incredibly difficult for me to deal with.
Other memories of the holidays include family drunkenness and fights, the stress of having enough, or not enough, money to purchase a gift for everyone, and lots of travel to make sure and see everyone I possibly could. Plus, the fact that my birthday is seven days before Christmas doesn’t help matters any.
I am doing what I can to keep my spirits up through the month. Lots of doggie time with the dogs at the Oregon Humane Society where I am a volunteer dog walker and lots of doggie time with the dogs of some of my friends as I pet and house sit through the month. Dogs always help lift my spirits. They love you all year long and could really care less that it’s Christmas. I’m also getting in some good friend time and spending a lot of time reading.
I think next year I’ll rent a cabin on Mt. Hood for the entire month of December and disappear for the month.