"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times... it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us."
It has already started, these schizo, crazy holidays. It is not because I am busy. As I have mentioned before, the busier everyone else is, the less busy I am through the holidays. No, the schizo part for me is how much I love them, and how much I can't handle them.
For example, I had so much fun on Thanksgiving. It was great! And then I had to get back in the car by myself.
There is no getting away from it. If I put decorations up, I wish with every fiber of my being that I was putting them up not just for me, but for my family. If I don't put decorations up, I wish with every fiber of my being that I had more reason to put them up. For the record, I will still put them up. The holidays may hurt, but I will celebrate them as much as possible.
When I am alone, the fact of being alone is intensified and magnified. When I am with people, I am even more aware of the fact that I am by myself.
Commercials are everywhere for those special gifts to buy those special people in your life. There are all sorts of fun activities that are advertised as fun things to do with the whole family.
People chatting about how busy they are reminds me of how not busy I am. (The reason that makes me sad is that I don't have more reason to be busy. I do like the part about how relaxing it can be.)
On the holiday itself even Mass itself can be a really hard place to be. Mass, which is normally my refuge, becomes a place that I can't wait to run away from. Looking out at the sea of families is not easy.
The holidays can magnify a person's joy, but they can also magnify the pain. I know I'm not the only one. I have already talked to so many people that are struggling with the holidays this year. Some because they are alone, some because they want children but haven't been able to have them yet, some because of divorce, some because of loss in the family earlier in the year, and so on.
I look forward to the season. This year, I have a cute little place that feels like home and that I can't wait to decorate. I have lots of people that are still wanting to hike and climb, and there are plenty of people to visit and see. I know the pain will come, too, but there's nothing I can do about it besides accept it when it comes, use it as a reminder to pray for everyone who struggles at this time of year, and beg God for yet another time that can this please be the last Christmas season that I have to be alone.*
Okay, enough of being a downer. My goal is not to be all depressing on the blog this year. That goal can start for Advent in a couple of hours.
*For the record, by the grace of God, I have never had to be actually alone on the actual holidays, other than alone in the crowd. But I think you know what I mean.