Back in August or September we realized and accepted that this year’s holidays would not be what we would have liked. Without some drastic changes in the reality in which we were living, we knew we would spend Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years on our own, as we’ve spent the majority of 2020. It was disappointing, but not the worst possible thing.

The fall has been a challenge for all of us, adapting to teaching and learning virtually and without all of social interactions we clearly need. As a family of four we are immensely fortunate for many different reasons. We have plenty of space to be together or apart at home. We have outdoor areas to enjoy. We have, for nine months now, gotten along far better than anticipated. For all of that I am truly grateful.

The theater near my school. Onward is either ironic or a mantra I need to adopt.

And yet.

At the end of Christmas Day I broke. Completely. For three days now I’ve been broken.

Final revisions on my book manuscript are due in a few weeks and I keep opening and closing drafts. There are piles of stuff in our kitchen area left from reorganizing and cleaning cabinets and I look at them and walk away. When I sleep I have strange dreams that feel almost like hallucinations.

For three days I have been unable to do the basic things. I’ve had trouble even interacting with my family (who, I’m sure, feel lost just as I do about this).

A part of me is frustrated because I know how much worse this time could have been for me and for all of my family.  I know all the ways things are good for us.

And yet.

Writing this has been hard. Writing is a coping strategy for me. It is a way of processing and working through things. I don’t feel processed. I don’t feel less lost. How much longer that will be true, I do not know.

Writing this has been for me because writing, typically, helps me. It is also for anyone else who may be feeling this way.

One reply

  1. witchyrichy says:

    We missed the holidays last year because of my hip replacement so were looking forward to some quality time with family this year. Instead, we are hunkered down on the farm where, like you, we have it pretty good with fresh food and space for rambling.

    I had a blessed ten days with my family in the fall, but having to connect virtually with my 86-year-old parents on Christmas Day was heartbreaking.

    I have been meditating every day, trying to just sit with the feelings of loss and lostness that are the present moment. I cannot meditate them away any more than you can write them away, but acknowledging and exploring them in these ways is essential.

    Thanks, as always, for your courage to share.

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