Photo Creative Commons: fincayra0204
It starts right before Thanksgiving and feels like the slow creep of cement hands grabbing at the back of my heels. No matter how fast I run into holiday activity, the rough and hardened grip finds my ankles and slows me down. It pulls at my knees and constricts my belly. It wraps around my heart, traipses up to my shoulders with long-lanky hooks to weigh me down. My face becomes obliterated in its darkness, my eyes turn leaky, and I have to remind myself to breathe.
There are some years when the holiday season sucks the life out of me.
This is threatening to be one of those holidays. Understandably so because it is the first holiday season of single-hood in six long years. This is a year of a new-normal for me.
I tried to put my Christmas tree up this weekend… the tree that was at the ex’s house because I didn’t have enough space in my tiny apartment to store it… but it made me tired, so I stared at my tree in the corner willing the twinkle lights to twinkle. They never did.
I attempted to watch the Macy’s parade this weekend… but I couldn’t get through all of the “He went to Jared!” engagement ring ads. I turned off the TV and stared at the blank screen instead.
I focused on filling the formerly-occupied-space-on-the-couch-next-to-me with dates or friends or pugs, thinking that will dull the ache, but it just served to emphasize what is missing.
So I grit my teeth, put my head down, and push through the holidays with a grunt rather than a cheer. I acknowledge that the anniversary dates of last year are apparently still coming and I resolve to face them as they come. I resign myself to the life-I-didn’t-think-I’d-be-leading at 44 years of age and hope for a better holiday season next year.