It’s four days before Christmas, and I’m in full Scrooge mode. That is, if Samuel L. Jackson were playing Scrooge. My dialogue with myself in my head about this time of year would make a Sam Jackson character proud.
In years past, I’ve blogged about fighting Christmas depression because I couldn’t afford a big, splashy, keeping up with the Kardashians kind of Christmas for my kids. Last year, we were all blue because it was our first Christmas without my Mom.
This year, I still miss my Mom, but my mood is attributable to something else. It’s partly a rejection of crass holiday commercialism. I could afford to spend a lot this year, but I don’t want to. It seems pointless and wasteful to blow thousands of dollars on stuff just because I can. Even if I focus on buying things the kids ostensibly need, as opposed to want, it feels wasteful.
People have suggested focusing our energy on helping others, such as volunteering at a soup kitchen. The last time I mentioned that idea to the kids, the resistance was overwhelming.
So no. Not until they’re ready.
But it’s more than rejecting commercialism. The end of each year signals a new beginning, a time to re-assess and re-group. A time to set goals and make plans for the New Year.
This has me feeling overwhelmed.
2009 and 2010 were filled with unexpected changes. Some were good, like dating again, and having my ex-husband resume a relationship with his kids after a four-year absence. Some, like losing Mom in ’09, were obviously not so good.
But all of these changes, both expected and unexpected, are permanently life-altering. Everything requires adjustment. You’re going along one path and then BOOM! Life knocks you off course and upsets all your expectations.
Radical changes create new opportunities, but also require new rules. Change is exciting. It’s also daunting and scary — scarier, somehow, than my divorce nearly seven years ago.
So here I am, once again, trying to understand and figure out this next phase of my life. How to co-parent with my ex. What’s next for me, career-wise? What DO I want to be when I grow up? Relationship-wise — what do I really want? Everything is open to re-examination. Including whether to remain in New York or explore other possibilities, such as living abroad.
And one thing that will be continually redefined in the coming years, especially as my kids grow older, is the meaning of Christmas.