what was i thinking? that’s what i want to know now. if i am truly honest with myself and truly know myself i am sure at some point during that time back 7 years ago i probably thought it was a bad idea. but then again i went along with it. and now part of me is left with the regret of it because now its all changed and this time of year has changed for me, it feels like a bit has been taken away from me. the glittering lights, the feasts, the magic, the wonder, and bliss of this time of year has been slightly taken.
i decorated just a little bit last year for christmas, i got out a few things and put them around the house. but i was new here freshly divorced and living with two complete strangers. it didn’t feel like home and it didn’t feel like the holidays. i worked as much as i could and when i wasn’t at work i tried not to be here. i wanted christmas to mean something to me and it did a bit. but there was no big holiday celebration with family, none of the traditions that i grew up with or had grown accustomed to. i missed it, every holiday that came rolling in i missed all of the gatherings and each time i wondered what they were all doing, playing, the happenings going on in the family.
i didn’t cry as much as you would think i would during thanksgiving and christmas and new years last year. i got that all out during the spring and summer holidays. by thanksgiving i was partially numb to it and worked none stop for a whole week. i didn’t have time to really think or cry, but to keep moving, by the anniversary time i had almost forgotten about that date, getting to it i stressed but upon the day i had forgotten momentarily from working and keeping myself mindlessly busy. i kept myself away from anything that would be a trigger for me. christmas eve i tried for some normalcy and hosted a small dinner for my mom, her boyfriend, and roommate. christmas day i worked and stole a ski run, exchanged gifts with my best friend and spent the rest of the day with her and her family that evening. i sat in her mom’s living room admiring her christmas tree and decorated fireplace and thanking god that i had made it. that it had been easier than i thought it would be, that i didn’t lose it.
i went home that night and cried, knowing how much had changed and how it wasn’t going to go back but wanting it so much to. praying that if i was better that i would be granted with my one and only wish to have my old life back or to at least have the feeling of complete loneliness to be lifted from me. my prayer and wish to have my old life back obviously didn’t happen for me, but the loneliness has thankfully receded and though the holidays aren’t the same for me there is still some glimmer of hope for me. i realize as i get older that the holidays are constantly changing with family traditions it’s just all about embracing them.
but there is something about bringing out all of my christmas decorations that i hesitate just a bit. i want to, i really do. i want to decorate this place from head to toe in christmas cheer hoping it will all seep into me again. but i know that when i do all those memories in each of those tubes and boxes will flood out as well, each of those decorations were bought for the wedding and we kept them thinking about what a beautiful reminder it would be for us each december to bring out our christmas decorations and be reminded of our wedding. how perfect our decorations would go with handmade decorations and ordainments our children would make through the years, what a story it would all make.
i know really what i should do with all of it, what i knew i should have done last year. i should just start all over and take all those boxes to the d.i or to a family who doesn’t have anything to decorate their home with. who might not mind the old memories to create their own with. what is it about things that we hold on so dearly to, even though we know its just stuff and its only the emotions we attach it with that make it valuable to not to us.
nobody tells you about this part about divorce, the lingering feelings or the feelings that disappear eventually, how the holidays are after, how everyday is after. how even after not having feelings for your ex you still have feelings for the family and miss them terribly. how you think about them randomly and it lasts for days and you wonder how everyone is and how it just makes holidays just a little harder because you know you won’t be sitting around the table talking and discussing, eating and playing games, laughing with them, hearing all the same stories, jokes, or songs.
but it does get better, easier with each passing holiday. you learn to create new memories, your own traditions, and you share it with those who are meaningful to you. it’s just different and still all so new, so maybe i might have made one little mistake in picking and agreeing to a date but i know i would never change it. i also know that eventually that date on the calendar won’t matter as much and the holidays will feel like the holidays to me again, slowly but it will return and they will change just as i change each year.