Christmas, 2013.

Another Christmas has come and gone and I think I’m doing okay.photo  It’s been seven years since D asked for a divorce.  This is the sixth Christmas I’ve spent as a woman alone.  Someone commented recently on my blogger friend’s post that there’s a great deal of difference between being alone and being lonely.  I’m a bit of an expert on the topic because I’ve been both.

I’m happy to report that this year, except for a couple of brief hours on Christmas Eve afternoon, I was merely alone, not lonely.  The lonely times are becoming shorter and shorter as I learn that being alone can be a blessing if I choose to make it so.

I think it’s all about acceptance of what is.  My mantra has become “It is what it is.”  I can often shrug off troubles by photo-4repeating this simple truism a time or two.  I admit it doesn’t work all the time but it helps.  I’ve learned to do when I start to feel lonely.

Paul Newman once said that he was able to deal with his son’s death only by doing for others.  His words gave me fresh perspective about how I was living my life.  I’ve become more conscious of others, especially around Christmas. I’ve finally figured out that it doesn’t have to be complicated. It can be as simple as making toffee for friends and family.  (See photo above.)  Or taking a few seconds to text or email a friend who’s having a hard time.  Or a phone call. For me it’s taking a moment to think beyond myself and my concerns.

That’s easier said than done when you’re in the middle of the pain of rejection.photo-2 You can’t figure out who you are, let alone what you should or want to do.  I cried for months. I’m glad that’s over. I’m ever so slowly learning to trust other people again.  But I step cautiously.

As usual this post has taken a different direction than I expected.  Sometimes I think my fingers divorce my brain.  Or maybe my fingers tell my brain what to think.  I’m not sure what happens.

I started out expecting to tell you Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Happy Chanukah, Happy Kwanza and Happy New Year.  The photo below shows Santa riding past my house on the Pineville fire engine.  You can see his arm.  The rest of him is blocked by a weird-looking little green elf.  Only in the American South.  Made my day.photo-3

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16 thoughts on “Christmas, 2013.

  1. I’m sorry I’m so late. I’m glad that your Christmas seemed a little easier, if not festive. I know that for many people it is a period to be endured and ‘go through’. There is no easy answer to it, but I am at least pleased you feel more acclimatised to things. You always seem such a special and intuitive person that, frankly, I can never work out how you are still alone, but that’s just me being rude and a bit caring.

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  2. I can very much identify with your words. I know that my default position is to withdraw into myself. Hence my lack of writing, but I am actively striving not to withdraw. I make a point of engaging with people and keeping myself busy. Lets just say I’ve been doing a lot of cooking! My freezer is full. Mind you I haven’t got so desperate that I’ve turned to doing the ironing 🙂 so I guess life isn’t so bad after all. Hee hee! Lovely to read your words.

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    • I’m sorry that you need to identify with these words. I think you and I are extroverted enough not to withdraw too much but sometimes it’s what I need in order to regroup and get a better perspective. My goal is to write more. And I don’t think it matters so much what I write. I wish I would go the cooking route for a while so I would have a stash of prepared foods. Not much chance I’ll do it though. Take care, Sweet Jacqueline. I think of you often.

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  3. I’m so sorry I didn’t read this sooner…I miss you and will try to be better about visiting. Christmas is a challenging time for everyone. 12 Step has helped me more than I can say taking it one day at a time…and if that’s too much, an hour then.

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    • Thank you, Susannah. In addition to being an outstanding writer, you’re a nice person. I’ve been very slack about writing and reading blogs. My goal is to improve on both. I agree about 12 Step. I learned so much from AlAnon. It still helps to keep me grounded. Sometimes it’s a few minutes at a time, isn’t it?

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  4. It is good to know you’re doing well. I have walked the “lonely road” with so many divorced friends over the years and I’ve certainly come to realize that it takes time to grow into your new reality. And I think having a more mindful generosity to others at this time of year is a sure sign of growth and moving in the right direction. I hope this coming year is even better than anticipated. ox Debra

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  5. Good to hear from you again, Pat. I believe you can learn to appreciate the gift of solitude and you seem to be on the right path. May 2014 bring you everything you really need, and fill you with contentment. Blessings 🙂

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  6. Thanks for posting this…I have friends who are in the same situation as you are. I’ve not walked in those shoes and hope I never will…life is weird. For those friends who are…they have made wonderful lives for themselves; all of them seem so strong. On the other hand, they’ve suffered much pain as I believe you have. Paul Newman was correct in what he said (I love him)…

    Love the pic of Santa/Elf on the fire-truck; and I hope/pray you have a wonderful 2014…full of happiness and positive things…you deserve much!

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    • Thanks, Vasca. I too hope you never walk in those shoes. I tend to look at the positive after I’ve suffered enough and I think this experience has made me look at myself and learn to love me. I’ve heard it said that we can’t love others until we love ourselves. I’ve come a long way. I’m grateful for that.

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