Tag Archives: Holidays

It’s all about the Pattern…

"The praying mantis galaxy" Wiki Commons

I’m having a difficult time working today.

I don’t have workdays and weekends or holidays and vacations, and yet I find myself falling into those patterns anyway.

On Friday my friends started posting on Facebook about their upcoming three day weekend. Last night, without thinking much about it I stayed up until 1:00 am, and then when the alarm went off this morning I dozed in bed for several hours dreaming. The dreams were amusing and this is only the second time I’ve slept 6 hours straight in the last several months, but it was curious.

When I got up I puttered… it is beautiful out and though I have promised to give my mornings to writing I want to go out and take a walk in the gorgeous weather.

I don’t feel like today is a workday.

This is a trend I’ve been aware of for awhile. Christmas to New Year’s was a killer. Just like my friends with day jobs I was not fully engaged. Several people took that time off and in the end I did too. Not quite 100% but I was not working hard; just keeping the wheels on the bus.

Thinking about it, these are patterns that are drilled into us at a very early age. School days, weekends, holidays, and vacations are milestones along the year. They define the pattern of our lives.

How many of us miss Summer Vacation? And during those months keep stricter hours? Or come in early to have more time after work for friends, family, and fun?

It is funny, but try as I might I still feel it. When I had a day job I felt the lack of Summer and the sense of renewal in the Fall. Remember Fall? When everything was new and everything seemed possible?

Now that I am unemployed and am working my own schedule I find it hard not to be distracted by a pretty Friday or a Monday when the kids are out of school. The pattern is so ingrained I barely recognize it. Last night, if someone asked me why I was up late doing laundry, picking up the office and watching Stargate SG-1 till the early hours of the morning, I don’t think I would have associated it with today being a holiday.

But this morning I knew.

I have lived this pattern the last 35 years and it is as much a part of me as my name. The cycle of the seasons, the parade of holidays, and the associated behaviors are simply there. I don’t think about it, who does?

So today, I’ll keep the wheels on the bus and do what I always do on holidays. Read a little more than usual, organize parts of the house, and enjoy the sunshine.

~ Tess


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I’m Grumpy.



That really is the only word for it. Grumpy.

And the sad thing is that I can’t seem to shake the bad mood off. There are lots of things in my life I could blame this on – but then I would be committing a personal foul since I do believe that we are responsible for our own happiness.

Twenty years ago I would have raged at the world – picked a fight with a friend for lover – and felt better after the catharsis. Never knowing what had caused the mood or thought much about it afterwards.

Age does bring wisdom.  

I’ve now discovered that raging at the world because the universe is not organized the way I want it does nothing helpful. Looking at it, through it, filtering it, and finally understanding it. That is real power. But right now I just want to rage against it.

This wasn’t how this holiday season was supposed to go.

I wasn’t supposed to be alone. I was supposed to have someone to buffer me from the changes in my family life. It wasn’t supposed to be this much of a struggle. Somewhere there was a bright spot – and it made everything else seem a little more possible.

Life doesn’t go as planned and I am tired of being the odd man out. I didn’t realize how tired until Sunday morning.

It was the party Saturday night that did me in, I think.

The fun of explaining why I was alone, again. Watching people with lives, family and plans make merry in a season that I have disliked more year after year. It has been years….three or four… since I put up a Christmas tree. Even longer since I’ve enjoyed it all – it was mostly out of habit. Habit is strong but my dislike of this season became stronger.   

I haven’t finished my holiday shopping. I’ve been dreading it, putting it off the way I used to put off homework projects as a kid. Hoping for some magical reprieve or that the homework would do itself.

But the shopping won’t do itself, and Christmas is at the end of this week and I need to face the fact that I’m alone again. Funny, a few months ago I was completely content with my solitude. But it wasn’t the holidays then.

If someone had told me I was going to grow up and dislike this time of year – I would have laughed at them. There was no way. I loved the music, the decorations, and the celebration of life just as winter was beginning. I even love the darkness – the long nights spent curled up with friends, loved ones, or the cat and a good book.

Now I can’t wait for the light – for the year to turn and the days to extend.

I’m not usually bitter. In fact I don’t think that anyone would describe me as such. This is just a moment. And like all moments it will pass, blurring and merging into the next.

It may be that this verbal bleeding will help heal.

~ Tess Anderson

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