I’m over Christmas. I am so over Christmas. I’ve been having a really bizarre philosophical argument with myself about it these last few weeks, and I still can’t decide which side of the fence I’m on. While I’m technically catholic in so far as I was baptised, I have no religious belief and am completely non practicing, so that side of things doesn’t come into it at all. But I’m not sure what Christmas actually means to me any more. I want it to be about my family – Christmas Day is just the four of us, we may or may not get dressed, and we just completely chill out, no jobs, no agenda, just us. But when I think of it ahead of time, I think of crazy shops, panic buying, kids getting totally worked up and massive financial stress. In the run up to it this year, we worked really hard to get the kids to see the less materialistic side of it – we were emphasising how the most important aspect of it is getting to slow down, and spending time with family. And that part I like, I really, really do. There’s something so special about everywhere being closed, and people allowing themselves to take a step back. But it’s only for one day. By Christmas day evening (does that make sense?) the promo mails about January sales were arriving. That sickens me. I think the essence of Christmas, or at least what I want it to be, gets lost in all of that.
I don’t know if I have a really bad attitude, or if it’s part of my aversion to enforced celebrations in general. I tend to run away from any occasion where there is an expectation of happiness and enjoyment, because almost invariably I get myself all anxious worked up and it doesn’t pan out. New year’s eve is an excellent case in point, we don’t celebrate valentine’s, and I absolutely detest my birthday. Other people’s birthdays are different, those I like. But my own? Nope. Does that make me really dull? Or really miserable?
Increasingly over the last few years, and particularly over the last few months since finishing with Therapist, I’ve come to realise how much I appreciate the quiet life, and even more, how much I need it. The pace of our lives, and I’m talking about society in general here more so than mine specifically, sends me into a tailspin. I can only cope with crowds for very limited periods of time. I need open space around me, I need time alone, I need quiet. But I’m not sure that what I need is congruent with what I can actually have. Maybe that’s what’s been bothering me so much the last few weeks – the weight of expectation, the flurry of visiting – at times it overwhelms me and the effort of functioning and maintaining normality (I use that word in the loosest possible sense) leaves me absolutely exhausted. I worry about that, because when I’m tired, my ability to cope goes out the window, and I can see it in myself the last few days. I’m on a much shorter fuse, I’ve been missing Therapist more and as the prospect of getting back to work gets closer, I can feel panic setting in. I don’t know if I’m ready, but I don’t know what else I can do to get ready. I’m back with occ health next week, the decision is out of my hands either way.
I think what it boils down to is that I feel quite out of control right now. The major event that is Christmas has been dictating our lives for the last few weeks, and I’ve had enough. I want my house back. I want my sane, gorgeous, not overwrought kids back. I need normality, or at least what passes for normality in this house, to help me figure out where I’m at. I realise I’m rambling and this post is hopping all over the place, but that’s very much what’s going on in my head right now. I haven’t had much time to write, to think things through, and all these half formed thoughts have been vying with each other for attention for weeks with no outlet.
Yup. I’m very much over Christmas.