so here we are, christmas eve 2011 and the silly seaon is upon us. i finished up at work on thursday with some things left undone because i spent the whole last day putting in the paperwork for the promotion they’ve offered me but i then have to apply for. universities, full of smart people. as compensation, they’re going to backdate it so i should get some bonus dollars in the new year as well. i am still thinking about the other things i should have done before i left, but i’m going to stop doing that soon. i dont need to feel bad about my year. a major project started, conducted and report written, plus 6 journal articles either published or accepted. the last one in particular was in a very high impact journal that i’ve been trying to get into for 2 years. my boss was so happy he gave me a hug and ran to tell the vice chancellor about it. bless.
but today, i am home alone, well except for the three mutts. i have house cleaning to do, a pork loin to roast (apologies to my jewish grandmother who is now rolling in her grave), some laps to swim, Forbydelsen II to watch, and a gorgeous lace stole to knit:
after a few hiccups with the bottom border i managed to turn the short row corners and pick up the right amount of stitches to now be ready to start the main chart. lifelines and highlighting tape are at the ready.
i am, however, a bit sad today. trent is out for the day and night but will be here tomorrow and we will take the dogs up to the state forest to try and avoid thinking about the fact that we are both without family at this most family-oriented time of year. im a bit antsy, because ive been reading people on twitter and facebook etc complain about their families or how hard christmas is if you dont have kids, and i just dont get it. i dont buy into the whole ‘christmas is for kids’ thing. yes there is a lot of joy in giving them presents and seeing them open them, as im sure toy companies around the world agree, but the meaningless giving of STUFF for no good reason seems to breed a sense of entitlement and consumption for its own sake. and thats not what christmas is meant to be about anyway. so i dont feel sad that i dont have kids at this time of year anymore than i do any other time of year.
but i do get upset when people whinge about family at this time of year. i know what its like. i have terrible memories of family christmases when i was young. the stress and tension and meanness. there was no love or caring or sharing there. so i dont inflict that upon myself as an adult. i have that choice. but still im sad that i have parents out there somewhere who dont care whether im alive or dead. im sad that my sister and i spent such a long time not talking that we arent in the habit of making our own christmas together (we plan to change that next year). and i wouldnt be human if i didnt feel bittersweet about spending my xmas day with my best friend who was my ‘husband’ for 14 years but now isnt, considering i also ended my new ‘relationship’ last week (dont ask!). so i’d pretty well cut off my right arm for a traditional ‘family’.
but despite all that, im really incredibly happy. what a fantastic year it’s been. so much change and growth and learning, lots of it good for a change. i’ve made a kind of attempt to bring some christmas cheer, including my strange multicultural mantlepiece:
complete with glowing santa won at the work christmas lunch. there are cards from loved ones, a few small presents (that may include a goat, a pig or a wellness circle), and then there are my favourite christmas foods in the kitchen:
yesterday trent and i made a baked cheesecake together, which was a double rainbow because we didnt argue and it didnt sink in the middle.
i have lots of plans to spend time with excellent friends in the next couple of weeks, with a whole lot of knitting to look forward to, and i am not going back to work until january 18.
but mostly, i am alive and well. i dont live in some war torn, famine, flood or disease ridden part of the world. i have money to spend on gifts and food. i have clean water to swim in. i have a car to get me places. i do not live in fear.
it really is silly to be sad or angry or complaining at this time of year. it makes a lot more sense to give to others with less and think about what we do have.
hoping yours is full of love.