The theme for Wicked Wednesday this week is Christmas! And the prompt for Sex Bloggers for Mental Health letting go.
This year, I’m spending Christmas on my own for the first time ever, which is not for any sinister reason. When I realised that this was going to be the case I was a bit upset. But this lasted for about 10 minutes as I realised that this would not actually be a bad thing. There’s going to be no pressure for me to cook particular types of food that other people prefer. I can do what I want all day. I can sit and read if I want to. I can go out for a walk when I want to, and if I decide to watch TV, I can watch what I like. I’m sure many people would think I’m fortunate and they could be at home on their own instead of being forced to spend the day with relatives.
I’ve never really been a big fan of Christmas. This has been for various reasons, mainly to do with family. I don’t come from a close and loving family where we all see each other regularly and share happy and loving times. Being forced into a situation that wouldn’t usually happen like cramming several family members into a small space for an extended period is, in my experience, a recipe for disaster. Tensions always run high at Christmas and when alcohol is involved this generally means even more of a highly charged environment. I learned quite a few years ago that spending time with family at Christmas is not something that suits me and I now realise that putting my own self-care and mental health first is the priority. This year, I did have the option to visit family, but I chose to decline the offer. I don’t drive so this would’ve meant travelling by train on Christmas Eve on more than likely overcrowded trains and then not being able to leave again until the 27th meaning a stay of three days, and as I have learned previously it’s far too long to spend with people that you don’t usually see that often. It probably would be different if I lived locally to them and after a few hours they could go home or I could go home but that isn’t the case and it’s never likely to be again.
I took the decision earlier this year to stop drinking alcohol pretty much on a permanent basis. There is no sinister reason for this other than I’ve found that as I’ve got older it just doesn’t agree with me. One glass of wine can make me feel very ill on the following day, so I’ve decided it’s just not worth it. I tend to get a lot of headaches anyway so mixing alcohol with this is just not a good idea. So, there’s not likely to be any alcohol involved for me on Christmas Day. I do intend to cook a nice meal and I’m going to have rib of beef, which I intend to cook very pink, and I’m also going to make some Dauphinoise potatoes which is one of my favourite dishes. I’ve never made these before, but I’m a pretty good cook so hopefully they won’t cause any problems.
One of the things about Christmas that I’ve never really liked is the feeling of lethargy and feeling lazy and ‘hemmed in’. I’ve realised over the years that I do actually like a routine but routine seems to go out of the window completely at Christmas for a couple of weeks. I work from home and I’m self-employed, so I do have a general routine that I follow, but even this seems to have gone. I finished a project last week, and I don’t anticipate having another to start until the new year, so when I knew I was going to be on my own over the Christmas period I made a long list of jobs and tasks related to my business to start on Monday morning. On Monday I eagerly went to my list to start it, but I found I had no concentration, and I stared at my computer screen for what seemed like hours without doing much. Then, out of the blue, came the tears and I realised that I was actually more bothered than I thought about spending the Christmas period on my own which really surprised me. Monday night bought an unexpected upset which was then on my mind on Tuesday, Christmas Eve, and again the knowledge that I was going to be alone over Christmas caused me a lot of tears and upset. I’m very surprised about this as I really didn’t think that this would be the case as I was looking forward to it. I’m still a bit confused by my reactions over Monday and Tuesday, and I think it’s partly due to the mindset that over the Christmas period we do not have to work and we have to switch off and relax and enjoy Christmas and celebrate with family and friends. The fact that I am on my own and not doing that makes feel like an oddity, but I know that I’m not the only person spending Christmas on their own, and it’s likely to happen again in the future. I think there is a general feeling that we have to spend Christmas with other people and that we have to enjoy it crammed into someone else’s living room being forced to be jolly when we don’t really want to be and having to watch rubbish on the television when most of us would probably rather be at home either on our own or with those we want to be with.
I’ve always wanted to go away for Christmas and by away I mean somewhere hot and sunny where preferably they don’t celebrate Christmas or if it is celebrated it’s kept pretty low key. This has never happened but I still live in hope that this may well happen one day. I also like the thought of being in a cottage or a log cabin with someone special for a week over Christmas. Maybe this will happen one day.
Merry Christmas anyway!
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