This is the hardest month. It has been the hardest month for me for a long, long, long time; the reasons have changed and grown and changed and grown again. Slowly but surely, from bad times to better, I believe I have gotten better at coping – and enjoying – first Christmas, and now the entire work-up to that day and what I used to consider its ugly finale, New Year’s Eve. Like an awful lot of people, I get through December and early January and breathe a thousand sighs of immense relief. Like a lot of single people, I dread the scrutiny and impolite queries of others this month in particular. I am 56 years old, and I am relatively new in town. There never was and never is any licence for judgemental snooping, and those of you who poke around where you don’t belong really, really need to stop. It isn’t friendly, it isn’t christmassy. And I haven’t snapped yet, but that doesn’t mean I won’t.
Now: Yule. I enjoy the aroma of pine and the joy of little kids. I like special Christmas foods. I sing along to some of the carols on the radio. I will probably send cards, and a few gifts. I buy myself gifts, and I give to those in much greater need.
And everything else can leave me alone.
Everyone can leave me alone.
Leave me alone, please.
It is not your fault I feel this way. It’s how I manage. There is absolutely nothing you may or can fix.
I am writing because I am frazzled, and I am frazzled because I am feeling pressure to be and do things that make me very unhappy. I forgot to lock my car overnight last week, and today I tried to open my apartment door with my car key. I am falling asleep at odd times, probably because my nights are presenting me with the scariest, illogical and plain old mean nightmares, after which I do not want to lie down again. And to tell you the truth, the #MeToo movement has been great in a lot of ways and an absolute misery at the same time.
I am the one who is having the problem with extra hypersensitivity this year. I am the one who is slouching, crouching, sneaking out the back in the middle of the celebration planning meeting. I am just not into it this go-round.
If I say so – if I admit this – I hope you will forgive me my own impoliteness.
The anxiety that overcomes me causes me to feel shame, and I am writing here to admit it and to stop it. I have roughly planned my month. I may wake up tomorrow and feel the need to make some changes, and I may not. I think life is good. May you find yourself feeling the same.
I wish you a lovely holiday season.
I wish you a very happy new year.