Fake it till you make it…and other myths.

We’re born alone, we live alone, we die alone.  Only through our love and friendship can we create the illusion for the moment that we’re not alone.  ~ Orson Welles                                                                                                                  This Christmas season is the fifth one I’m spending alone.  I would love to tell you that it’s getting easier.  It isn’t.  The permanence seems all the more real with each passing year.

Last year, after the holidays were over, I threatened commented that for my next Christmas I thought I should go away somewhere and do something totally different.  I was quite serious, but the look of horror and shock on the face of one of my older grandchildren made that a very short-lived proposal.  I won’t entertain that thought/plan again soon.  Too selfish, obviously.

I started this season with new resolve and lots of plans.  It’s only December 1, and I’m already stumbling all over the depression, the lack of purpose.  I try, oh how I try, to keep my eye on joy and peace and giving and sharing.  All those good things are elusive.  I’m doing something wrong.  But what?  I get up and go out and do all the generous things I know I’m supposed to do.  I drive home with tears streaking my face.  I get home and here I am.  The same sad soul who left here a few hours earlier.

Last night I decided I would find a good movie on TV and cheer myself up.  I found one that sounded okay.  It starred Susan Sarandon, a fabulous actor, and Robin Williams, a good actor and riotously funny, as a rule.  As expected, the acting was good.  Unexpectedly, Robin played a serious role, nothing funny about it.  I think the title of the movie was “Noel” but I’m not sure.  Don’t watch it if you’re trying to get happy.  Saddest thing I’ve seen in a long time.  I sat on the couch and went through a half box of Kleenex.  I should have turned it off but I got involved in the story and had to watch all of it.  The ending was only slightly up-beat.  So much for feeling better.

I don’t like to talk about being sad.  I don’t usually find any good in doing so.  Tonight, though, maybe I need to be brutally honest in order to round the corner and move toward the light.  I have a lunch date with friends tomorrow.  Tonight I’m getting some Christmas decorations out and trying to look forward to how beautiful my home will be once they’re all in place.  I’m also crocheting a scarf for a granddaughter.  Life keeps moving and so must I.  I’ll quote my mom again, “I can’t quit.  I have to keep trying.”  Thanks for that bit of wisdom, Mom.

Can anyone understand how it is to have lived in the White House and then, suddenly to be living alone as the President’s widow? ~ Jackie Kennedy  (My house wasn’t the White House nor my husband the President, but I feel your pain, Jackie.)


27 thoughts on “Fake it till you make it…and other myths.

  1. Pingback: Hallmark is on a roll. | Back On My Own

  2. Pat, I’m sorry to hear you so down. Its been a while.
    Seems this is the season for all singles to reminice on the past.
    But you know what …I liked Caroline’s comment. Maybe we should meet up virtually and have a drink on Christmas. Together, Alone! Seems you’ve got quite a few friends and supporters here. Anyway who says you have ot be alone? Isnt that what the kids and grandkids are for?

    Big hug from me. I know I’ve been gone, but I’m still here!


  3. I used to hate writing about or discussing my sadness. Now, I see it’s part of my redirecting myself toward somewhere else, no matter how slow my progress that direction may be. I wish I could say the same over coffee with you.


  4. I sense that you are feeling aloneness during the entire holiday season – Thanksgiving through New Years day. And why shouldn’t you? You have experienced some of the best times and then the beginning of THE worst time of your life during this season. It’s only normal to feel some sadness now. So don’t think that you are regressing. You are still the happy free-spirited being that you have become – with just a temporary pause. So give yourself permission to be selfish just for a season. The previous comments are all very good ideas and you should try them out. (Especially the spa, chocolate and wine.) :o) If you stay really busy, the time will go by in a snap. And don’t forget to call a friend or ask for company even when you are not up to “entertaining” them. We love you even when you are sad.


  5. Thank you, “talk to me”, for reading and for your thoughtful comment. Grandchildren make all the difference. I went to watch my 5-yr.-old in her dance recital this afternoon. She was absolutely joyful. How could I not be the same?

    I shall visit your blog shortly.


  6. Blessings on you. Aren’t grandchildren a great part of that blessing? I hope they help you through the season…if not…go for a change next year. What’s one year of trying something different?


  7. Thanks, C, for your support. I bought three kinds of chocolate in the past couple of days. 🙂 And I have been looking at new jammies. We’re thinking alike. I’m okay with that. Hope you are.

    Talk to you soon.


  8. Don’t be so hard on yourself. You are not doing something wrong. I cannot pretend to know just how you feel about facing another Christmas, but reading this post makes me think that I would feel exactly the same way. And I think I would make the same decision you made about going away for the holidays. Likely the family does not know how much it might mean for you to get away. It is all the more inspiring because I know that you are not staying home to be a martyr…you are staying home out of love for your family. And that’s really what it is all about.

    So go to the spa, buy some new Christmas jammies, try to find new music you never heard when D was around, get some new books and enjoy them all with a bit of chocolate and a bit of wine. Heck…have a LOT of chocolate and an LOT of wine! And know that the friends you know so well…and the blogger buddies you’ve never met in person…all of them love you and are there to support you.


      • I completely agree with NCmountainwoman here. Give yourself a break Pat, look after yourself, spoil yourself, go away if you need to. I’m sure the children and grand-children would eventually understand that it’s better to have a grand-ma returning happy and relaxed from a break, than one putting a brave face on a difficult season.
        Take care xxx


  9. This is the third Christmas I’ll be ‘getting through’ since my breakup. And again I’m not looking forward to it.

    The positives: I don’t have to buy many Christmas presents, I don’t have to cook on Christmas day as I’m going to friends, I can come home and watch what I want on TV, I can go to bed when I want.

    As to the negatives: I’m making a huge effort ‘not to go there’. It still seems totally wrong, alien and surreal, not how it’s supposed to be.

    The massage idea is a brilliant one, go for it, have the works, relax and enjoy.

    Maybe on Christmas morning we all need to ‘meet’ on the internet and raise a glass to our futures.

    Hugs and more hugs


    • Thanks, Caroline. I agree that it’s not good to pause for too long on the negatives. This time they just hijacked me. I wasn’t prepared. Are we ever? I thought I was far enough removed not to notice this year.

      I appreciate your thoughtful comments. Fortunately I will be kept pretty busy on Christmas Day but I will be thinking of you. Enjoy all the positives. There are many. I do recognize that.



  10. Holidays get to a lot of us in transitions and those of us that have had loss.
    This is my 2nd holiday season in my new non-marital role and it is harder than the first…so I understand.
    Wish I had great wisdom and words for you….
    Try to find the littls joys. If you find enough of them, they can cover the big sorrows.
    Peace to you


    • Thanks LFBA. That’s what I’m seeking these days–the little joys. And there are lots of them in my life. How could there not be with so many grandchildren to entertain me.

      Thanks for reading. And for taking the time to comment.


  11. I feel your pain. This is my first holiday season since ex & I split up, and since I have no kids and even my parents aren’t willing to make holiday demands on me, I’m not doing Christmas at all. I’ll light luminarias for the winter solstice, but that’s all the celebrating I have in me. I’m not sad, but I am on my own, and decided to do things my way for a change. [[Hugs]] to you.


  12. Family members may be disappointed, but if it’s difficult to spend the holiday alone, you might really want to consider doing something fun for yourself instead, like going to a spa – at least some kind of outing during that day or evening if not going away altogether. You should give yourself some love, too, and they will come to understand 🙂


    • Thanks, “life, etc.” I think if I went away i would pine for the children. A spa sounds great. Come to think of it, I’ve never had a massage. It’s about time I did that for myself. I think I might do that.


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