The holiday season is officially upon us. I've had five months, almost six, to prepare for it; that is, as much as it is possible to prepare for any of these "firsts." And I've discovered some things I'm learning.
I'm learning that going from feeling good and singing along to the radio one minute, to crying when the next song plays the next minute, does not mean that I am going crazy. I'm learning that it is okay to feel really lonely and alone like I did on Wednesday night in anticipation of the holiday.
I faithfully did the 30 days of gratitude exercise on Facebook. I learned that I have MORE than 30 things and people to be thankful for. And living in gratitude feels really, really good. I'm planning to make it a habit.
I'm learning that I really do have a lot in common with football players. It seems like when I'm scared of the next stage, I just plow through it, head first for the "goal line" with hopes of getting there faster so I can check it off my mental "list."
For instance, I'd barely been home today before I put up the outside wreaths and the tree inside. I wondered why I felt motivated to do it today. Was I trying to prove something? No. I decided that this is still my home and my refuge, and so I did it just for me. That is a brand new concept for me. I'm learning to think about what I want.
I opened the trunk that contained most of our special things, such as our stockings and our collection of Santa figures that we've accumulated over the years, but that seemed too painful. So I closed it. Maybe they won't come out this year...or ever again. That's okay. I'm learning to be gentle with myself.
I'm learning not to look too far ahead. I stopped myself from thinking that I'd never cook a Thanksgiving dinner again, or other such holiday traditions. Maybe I will and maybe I won't. It's okay.
I've had some wise advice. One from my friend Sherri who assured me a few months ago that life wouldn't be terrible, it would just be different. Very true words that I continue to learn from. The other was that I never have to try to "get over it" , but that I can know that I will one day get used to it. That offers me much peace of mind.
More lessons on the journey.