I wish I had a river
That I could skate away on...
I have all my good enough Christmas plans in place. I am saving wrapping presents for tomorrow, so it will seem Christmas Eve-y. My new couch arrived, and it is absolutely wonderful. Meg has bought the cinnamon buns we always have Christmas morning. I am working very hard to be upbeat when I talk to anyone, and I definitely don't want to be a downer here.
But through my dark glasses, it feels as if even those I know who also suffer Christmas depression, who rush around too much and superhuman their ways through the Holiday madness into exhaustion, are doing better than I am. Mostly, I am lonely, a complaint I have whined over all year long. I have even had well meaning people offer advice ranging from relax and enjoy your solitude to well, get your butt out there and meet new people, join a group, volunteer, DO something. None of these people have been living with chronic pain, facing, then recovering, from major surgery. I have no doubt that I will do something as soon as I am able, but still I'm sad and alone, during all these long, boring days leading up to Christmas.
I have only to think of anyone who is incarcerated, or mourning the death of a loved one, or sick, or homeless, or hungry, or caught in a war over which they have no control, and I feel ashamed. I know as well as most, and better than some, that this is the season for giving, not throwing a pity party. A time to celebrate the renewing of light, both at Solstice and Hanukkah, and soon a celebration of family and heritage at Kwanzaa. A time to meditate on the birth of a child to a virgin, an event which many think is part of a cycle reaching back to ancient times. A time to be thankful for the family and friends I do have.
And I am thankful, truly, and do meditate on the meaning of the season, and, in my own small way celebrate, by having a tree and giving gifts. I have simply been stuck at home for too many days, with no way to get out and get moving. When I can drive, I will take my shiny bluewalker with the seat (for when I am dizzy or tired) and go people watch while I walk from one end to the other of the Mohegan Sun Casino- I live between the Sun and Foxwoods, which is the biggest casino in the western hemisphere. What a weird thing to have in the middle of the woods only 5 miles away!
I need to walk, and casinos are better than malls, because I spend less. (My gambling limit is $20 three times a year, and I stick to it.) Meanwhile, between bouts of misery and sorrow, I am working to be busy here inside, despite the gray days New England has been blessed with lately. I read journals, play online games and solitaires and roam the Internet. I sit on my new couch for a different view of the living room (in which I have been living, day and night, since October 20th). I am even sending out a few Christmas cards, though it is lucky that Christmas really ends on Twelthnight, or Three Kings' Day. This gives me plenty of time!
I really do wish those who love the holidays, or value the religious aspects of their holidays, or are lucky enough to be busy with family and friends and are loving it, the very best joy of the season. And for those who are struggling, I hope you can make it through the season with some sense of hope for the future. I know from personal experience that human nature is strong and resilient, and enables us to endure and even grow and change.