One Christmas, several years ago, my sister gave me a wooden block with these words on it. Actually, it looks exactly like the above image, I just was lucky to find it online instead of taking my own picture.
The box is sitting on the left hand corner of my TV stand, and on the right sits:
(you can see it says WTF right?)
Those two little signs are a perfect description of my life every damn holiday season. It’s tedious, even to me, and I can’t imagine what my friends, family and readers think. Eye rolls all around I am guessing.
When my sister first gave that to me I felt it was a completely hostile act : How Dare She demand that I be jolly! or happy, or anything but my usual miserable holiday hating self. (I’m pretty sure I was still drinking then…just saying’).
But as the years have passed I have cottoned to it (that’s Southern, right?) and when I moved house 3 1/2 years ago it was one of the few things I brought with me.
Today I will be jolly. Today I WILL be jolly! TODAY! I will be jolly. Today I will be JOLLY! I’m not sure there is a correct emphasis on the words. And WTF…well, no emphasis needed there. That speaks for itself, clearly.
You know, I just accept it more and more each year, the loss of Tom, of the joy of the season, the idea that I will never really enjoy the holidays again. It really has become something I gird myself for and plough through…Halloween throughout January 21. Dark days and yet, as the years go by I am willing to be surprised by exactly how dark, or, even more light these dark days can be.
It’s particularly weird this year, coming on the heels of the loss of my beloved yoga studio and community. The last few years I have had that place of refuge. It’s easier this year to maybe NOT go to a class because…whatever excuse I can make up. That doesn’t serve me though, so part of being jolly is, I guess, going anyway. Doing the things I’m “not really feeling”. Last year I did not host my little natal family’s Xmas Eve brunch, a tradition for years. I wasn’t feeling it and had the thought “what would happen if I just did nothing this year?”
Nothing happened. I mean, I did nothing. And it wasn’t great. So I am already on to host this year again. I’ll buy a ham and the pre-requisite mint flavored M&M’s. I’ll bring out the Xmas china that somehow ended up in my possession and we’ll eat and laugh and catch up. The kid probably won’t be there; I’m assuming he’ll be chef-ing Xmas Eve. But who knows. Something will happen, I will have made the effort, all’s right with the world.
I actually thought about some sort of post a day scenario. A couple years ago I posted a Xmas song a day. That was fun. But as I am just venturing back into blogging land I don’t want to get too carried away, for lawd’s sake. (Southern again, right?)
I have a couple posts planned about some new, fun things I have going and we all know how close it is to WORD OF THE YEAR time!
But you know, I have to throw it out there, once again, that I am blue.And I do it for myself but also for others who I know are hurting too. People die, we miss them. And we miss them for a LONG time, and that’s ok too. Sometimes death alters our universe and, you guessed it, that’s ok too. It is what it is….WTF right?
But along with the WTF, side by side, is the reminder of the choice that I have to be jolly…..or happy, or pleasant, whatever else but dumb-founded and in despair. I have found this to be an actual choice at times. I have looked at a certain situation and chosen happy. And I couldn’t do that even 5 years ago. Things change. Grief changes.
I’m alive. It will not always be so.
TODAY, I will be jolly.
TOMORROW? Why, I’ll jest think about that tomorrah! (Right Scarlett?)
One day at a time here. Every year, one day at a time.
(And ps..no rhyme or reason to Southern speak, other than, for some reason I keep hearing things around me with a southern accent. Seriously. It’s weird)