I hate this time of year – I love Christmas but after the last present has been unwrapped, the last bit of Christmas dinner eaten or fried up I am done with it.
Because what comes after boxing day is just days of limbo waiting for the turning of the new year and I hate that part even more.
I like order, I like tidiness and I can’t do unpredictable or uncontrollable and those few days of ‘crimbo limbo’ just make me anxious, down and insular.
I have to force myself up and out, My Mum will be surprised to read that I actually don’t indulge too much in the alcohol or chocolates as I know if I start I wouldn’t stop and then come New Year I will be berating myself for the extra pounds put on.
During the lead up to Christmas I am busy, busy shopping, planning and ensuring that we all have an amazing Christmas one to remember, another memory for the box. When you have a child who, one day, you know you will face Christmas without you try and make the most of every moment. Capture every smile, every laughter, every present swap just so when they are gone you have something tangible to look at and hold. Memories – because one day that is all I will have.
This year however I had to take a step back from the camera, over the last year I have learnt alot about being present, being there in the moment instead of looking on from a view point years down the line and trying my hardest to capture it to box it up. So after a few token surprise face photos I put down the camera and I looked through my eyes instead of a lens and I saw firsthand the smiles, the laughter, the present swaps and as I saw each one with my own eyes I stored them deep in my heart. I buried the fear of a Christmas without him deep deep down and enjoyed the Christmas with him. (as well as with the rest of them obviously)
But then come these days, these days where they all blend into one, where you get fed up of turkey, cheese and crackers and the thought of another mince pie makes you wretch. The days where seasonally they are dark, cold and wet and all you want to do is stay indoors, in bed and hide away. Or maybe that really is just me? I know that in a couple of days time New Years Eve will hit and I will have to plaster a smile and pretend to celebrate another turn of the year and make plans for 2018.
I can no longer make plans – look too far ahead because the future scares the absolute shit out of me. There have been so many changes in the last year what can happen next year? Plus on top of all that I am turning 40 in 2018 and let’s face that alone is depressing.
But back to today, the kids argued all day, the weather was crap, all I saw on social media feeds were kids having fun sledging, building snowmen and pretty pictures of snow. We had rain! Awful heavy rain and it stayed dark most of the day. I stayed in bed for as long as I possibly could then when the guilt of doing nothing got to much I got up and had a shower. I then remembered that actually it’s ok to feel like this, maybe in some strange way it is normal, like some sort of Christmas comedown. My only way back up was to write off today accept the feelings and practice some self care and self love. So I put some music on, put a face mask on and then played mousetrap with the kids. They still fought like cat and dog (or should that be cat and mouse) but we managed to get through three games relatively unscathed, Then after more cheese, crackers and pate I retreated to bed accompanied by violet gin, my thoughts and this blog, whilst my amazing husband watched Harry Potter with the girls and Z went on his new game. Which incidentally I can hear blaring out of his room!
There have been days like today before and there will be days like today again. On this journey sometimes it feels like I stop under a very dark cloud and you know what that is ok. What is not ok is to make it home and to settle there.
Fearne Cotton, in her new book Happy, refers to the Pendulum therapeutic tool
‘We all feel scared of getting too happy, as its often sidelined by the fear of that moment ceasing to exist. Fall into good times feeling safe, but knowing of course that it will have a natural end. The same with the darker times. All this too shall pass. If, like me, ‘blue’ or ‘black’ is one of your go to states, let it come and pass naturally. Don’t get stuck in it for too long and dont feel desperate to block it out or numb it with other feelings. There’s room for it all.
Fearne Cotton (Happy)
Tomorrow is a new day….
2018 is a brand New Year full of empty pages ready to be written and if I let the dark cloud s
wallow me all that will happen is my hopes and dreams will be spat out and if we don’t have hope we have nothing.