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Green Room - Break Week - Day 4

When I got divorced, Christmas was horrible.

Being alone in general sucked, but the holidays were the among the toughest times in the year.

So, for the first couple years I did something special for myself.

Something that most people were cool about - but people who didn't have anything to do with it, other than see my posts - got riled up about.

I would put aside a little bit of money during the last couple months of the year and around the holidays, I would give that money to my Mom, along with a long list of things that I wanted. The list would be longer than could be purchased with that money. As it happened, I ended up with plans on Christmas Eve, so my Mom came over and put them under the tree.

It amused my Mom to "be playing Santa" and I had something to look forward to when I woke up on Christmas morning.

It didn't harm anyone and it amused the people directly involved.

Oh, but there were opinions about it - anywhere from "you shouldn't be spending money on yourself" to "you're an adult - suck it up!"

People always have an opinion to offer, when it doesn't impact their own lives. When it does - they often have excuses on why *their* decision to do things *isn't the same* as the people they were complaining about.

I'm not posting this to have people weigh in on if it was a good thing or not. It was. For those first couple years, that made a huge difference. The reason this came to mind is that I know there are people out there reading this who DON'T have family during this Christmas, or even ones who do, but are still feeling completely alone.

I know this because I've been there.

I'm lucky that I'm not there right now. Believe me, a few different decisions at crucial points a few years ago, and I would have been. I'm aware enough to know that.

So here's something I want you to know - DO WHATEVER YOU NEED TO DO to get you through the holidays. *As long as it doesn't negatively impact someone else directly involved*. (have to put that in there, just in case. :D)

Don't let the "Well *I* wouldn't do that..." chorus make you as unhappy as they are. Find that bit of happiness and wonder - embrace it as long and hard as you need it. (But also be aware enough to know when you no longer do, especially if it ends up being more of a crutch. You'll know when it's time).

I would wish you "joy and happiness" during this holiday season - but instead I will wish you fear and torment knowing that this break will come to an end and you will be plunged into the fray once again!!

***

Here are your Free Topics: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/818372.html
And here is a cut-and-paste of the t-shirt and Gift Shop information: http://teespring.com/LJIdol (only needs one more shirt sold to make goal!)
and the second run: http://teespring.com/LJIdol3 of a white lettering variant.

Or check out our Gift Shop: http://astore.amazon.com/li0cd-20

Comments

( 46 comments — Leave a comment )
rayaso
Dec. 22nd, 2014 02:46 pm (UTC)
First!
xo_kizzy_xo
Dec. 22nd, 2014 02:56 pm (UTC)
You are -- AGAIN!
(no subject) - rayaso - Dec. 22nd, 2014 03:24 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - alycewilson - Dec. 22nd, 2014 03:22 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - rayaso - Dec. 22nd, 2014 03:27 pm (UTC) - Expand
xo_kizzy_xo
Dec. 22nd, 2014 03:02 pm (UTC)
Eh, I'm really not in the holiday spirit this year. Working retail has a lot to do with it (a friend of mine likes to say "You can take that holiday spirit and shove it" coming off a 12-hour day).

I think being mostly housebound last month has a lot to do with it. Ditto the housemate situation. Both my parents' anniversaries were this past week and I'm feeling it quite keenly this year.

I think next year we need to adopt a kid or something.
alycewilson
Dec. 22nd, 2014 03:21 pm (UTC)
Furry kid or human kid?
(no subject) - roina_arwen - Dec. 22nd, 2014 03:36 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - alycewilson - Dec. 22nd, 2014 03:43 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - roina_arwen - Dec. 22nd, 2014 04:11 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - alycewilson - Dec. 22nd, 2014 04:26 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - adoptedwriter - Dec. 23rd, 2014 05:30 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - xo_kizzy_xo - Dec. 22nd, 2014 06:09 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - alycewilson - Dec. 26th, 2014 04:13 pm (UTC) - Expand
kandigurl
Dec. 22nd, 2014 03:07 pm (UTC)
People and their opinions, man! They're probably all foreigners anyway.

<3
alycewilson
Dec. 22nd, 2014 03:19 pm (UTC)
A bunch of good people here, and I'm grateful to know all of you, especially Gary. I'm still a little hurt by discovering, while writing out my Christmas card list and seeking updated address for people, that someone with whom I'd had a falling out earlier in the year -- a disagreement I thought was resolved, as she had since then sent a birthday gift to KFP and met us for lunch -- still hadn't friended me back on Facebook (after earlier defriending me). Of course, she's an older generation, so maybe it just slipped her mind.

In other news, our holiday week started off inauspiciously, as KFP woke up with a fever and then threw up repeatedly. Looks like the cold I thought was mild enough that I could still send him to school (and to a piano lesson) had morphed into something a little worse. The good news is that, while he threw up the first dose of kid's pain reliever/fever reducer, a later dose took effect. His temperature has gone down two degrees, to just above normal. He's also up out of bed and reading his "Cars: Tractor Tipping" book to himself while we watch the "Sesame Street" Christmas special in his room.

I actually like working from up here: it reminds me of the early days when I was just home from the hospital with him, typing from the bed as he nursed or napped.
adoptedwriter
Dec. 23rd, 2014 05:32 am (UTC)
That barf bug is insidious here in Ohio! Look out! AW
(no subject) - alycewilson - Dec. 26th, 2014 04:10 pm (UTC) - Expand
eeyore_grrl
Dec. 22nd, 2014 03:44 pm (UTC)
One year, in college, I stayed at school until after Christmas. On Christmas Eve and day I had volunteer shifts on a crisis line. I was alone. I chose not to go home that year, but being 19 or 20 and alone on Christmas can be, well, lonely. So I went out and bought a stocking and filled it. I then opened it on Christmas morning. It gave me enough of Christmas to make it through the holiday.

So, I hear ya.
roina_arwen
Dec. 22nd, 2014 03:44 pm (UTC)
Hello from San Antonio, TX. I will probably do a Free Topic entry but I will have to either type the damn thing on my iPhone or borrow Minikin's mom's computer because our hotel room got burgled and our laptops, hubby's iPad, cameras, my Kindle, and the Christmas gifts we brought with us for our friends got stolen. Lots of fodder for an entry right there. We are fine and were not in the (ground floor) hotel room at the time.

Note to travelers: if you get a ground floor hotel room, close the drapes immediately to prevent people from seeing in. We rushed in to drop off stuff then headed out to meet friends for dinner and didn't think about it. By the time we got back 2-1/2 hours later the deed had been done (they broke the outside window to get in).
alycewilson
Dec. 22nd, 2014 03:55 pm (UTC)
OMG that's horrible! Glad you're OK.
(no subject) - roina_arwen - Dec. 23rd, 2014 02:22 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - alycewilson - Dec. 23rd, 2014 02:30 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - roina_arwen - Dec. 23rd, 2014 03:47 am (UTC) - Expand
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(no subject) - roina_arwen - Dec. 30th, 2014 07:54 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jexia - Dec. 22nd, 2014 07:12 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - roina_arwen - Dec. 23rd, 2014 02:23 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - ryl - Dec. 22nd, 2014 09:01 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - roina_arwen - Dec. 23rd, 2014 02:24 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - tsuki_no_bara - Dec. 23rd, 2014 03:15 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - roina_arwen - Dec. 23rd, 2014 03:45 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - adoptedwriter - Dec. 23rd, 2014 05:33 am (UTC) - Expand
bleodswean
Dec. 22nd, 2014 05:09 pm (UTC)
Oh, G. This is an amazing essay and just an absolutely beautiful-hurty self-revelation. Thank you for sharing it with us. And *hugs*

It's put me in a Christmas mood.

Some of the most true-to-the-spirit Christmases I experienced were those spent at the Salvation Army dinners, broken homeless men (mostly Vietnam Vets back then) and us hardcore street kids being waited on by the staff of do-gooders.
ryl
Dec. 22nd, 2014 09:04 pm (UTC)
One of my co-workers was aghast at the idea that I got myself a Christmas present. I told her that I had been very good this year and deserved to treat myself, but she didn't get it. If I told her I also get myself a birthday present, she'd probably collapse from my audacity.

I didn't even get me anything that fancy. This was a practical Christmas: I got me an APC backup battery for my computer.
clauderainsrm
Dec. 22nd, 2014 09:07 pm (UTC)
It's always interesting to see what people are going to be "aghast" about. Especially if it involves doing something *for yourself*.

For some reason it breaks a lot of people's brains.
(no subject) - xo_kizzy_xo - Dec. 23rd, 2014 12:35 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - roina_arwen - Dec. 23rd, 2014 02:26 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - dmousey - Dec. 23rd, 2014 05:43 am (UTC) - Expand
reckless_blues
Dec. 22nd, 2014 10:28 pm (UTC)
I bought a present for my brother, don't have any other loved ones to bother with. I was happy because I had been wanting to buy it for him for a dog's age, it's just they only produce it in limited runs (it's a music box from a game, it's a small indie game so they don't make a lot of them, only when there might be enough demand). (This game, actually. He came into my room crying his eyes out after he had finished it and told me I had to play it - then I finished it a few hours later and *I* was crying my eyes out and that night was just a goddamned mess - it's the only time I've seen my brother cry in his adult life.)

I used to get really depressed over the holidays, but now that I'm older I don't really care about Christmas/New Year's. My friend also sent me some stuff which was really nice of her. She included a chocolate orange which I had never seen before in real life.
roina_arwen
Dec. 23rd, 2014 02:28 am (UTC)
My hubby loves those chocolate oranges - it's fun to give them a whack before eating, to break apart the sections!
(no subject) - reckless_blues - Dec. 23rd, 2014 04:04 am (UTC) - Expand
adoptedwriter
Dec. 23rd, 2014 05:27 am (UTC)
Gary, wishing you a Holiday time of peace and all that makes you happy! AW
dmousey
Dec. 23rd, 2014 05:54 am (UTC)
I've learned to be happy with whatever little family I have. Like Gary I had a few challenging ones, divorced, single mother, 2 children and one is autistic, but no extra money (and no mother) to buy myself anything! I think it's lovely, the little tradition you and your mom came up with!

I hope you have a fantabulous Holiday doing whatever makes it so! :)
eternal_ot
Dec. 24th, 2014 02:40 pm (UTC)
Did any one tell you - "You do write well"
People always have an opinion to offer, when it doesn't impact their own lives. When it does - they often have excuses on why *their* decision to do things *isn't the same* as the people they were complaining about.
True that. And reading all this just made me order a cheese burst pizza, all for myself without any guilt..;) (Oh! there's always new year resolution to cover that up..:P ) Have Fun Everyone!


similiesslip
Dec. 27th, 2014 11:23 pm (UTC)
This post meant a lot to me. My divorce is almost final and I'm home alone today.

Thanks for writing this, Gary!
( 46 comments — Leave a comment )

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