You may not be surprised to read that Christmas was a little hard, mostly Christmas Eve, when I spent most of the day alone. I spent much of the day remembering. I thought about our (newish) tradition of going out to dinner Christmas Eve, just the two of us, ending the evening snuggled on the couch, watching a movie and drinking a cocktail. I wondered where and how he was spending the evening. The Christmas Eves before that (during my first marriage) were spent with family, sometimes attending church services, but always ending with opening presents at my in-laws’ house, taking hours to open all the presents the kids received. Even the year we were separated, I joined them for this tradition. I remembered Christmases in Panama, when Christmas Eve meant visiting family and eating arroz con pollo, surrounded by cousins, aunts, uncles, and family friends. I treasure each of these traditions and memories.
So being alone this Christmas Eve was a little hard. My daughter worked that day and had plans with her boyfriend for dinner (to which I was invited to join, but declined). My son was also working until late. I picked him up at the end of his shift and he stayed with me that night and we watched a movie together until it was time for bed. Christmas Day was much better. Spending it with the kids, just hanging out, watching movies, playing games, eating cookies, was perfect.
The three of us made wish lists this year to help give everyone an idea of what to get each other for Christmas. Funny thing happened with these lists. My daughter and I each had a hard-cover, coffee table type of book on our lists, and that’s what we picked out for each other. My son and I each had a fragrance gift pack on our lists, and that’s what we picked out for each other.
Today I’m spending it by myself again, but without the pressure of memories associated with the day, it’s much easier being alone. I’m not saying that I’m having more hard days than easy days, or that I still spend a lot of time crying alone, but it’s definitely a day-by-day, one step forward, two back, three forward, kind of experience. I just finished watching Taylor Swift’s documentary about the making of her album folklore. I think I may have shared a song or two from this album or its follow-up evermore in other posts. There has never been a collection of music that spoke to me so clearly and eloquently as these two albums, particularly folklore. From the first time I heard the opening of “the 1” to the “exile” duet, I have cried and wondered how someone else could be feeling exactly the same way I was.
I titled this post “this is me trying” because that’s one of the songs in folklore and it seemed to fit. It fits because all of my posts since May of 2020 are examples of me trying.
Trying to understand, trying to grow,
trying to remember and forget, trying to let go.
I will write again before this year is over, and I hope that it will be a positive, hopeful, and optimistic post, instead of one that looks back with regret and anger. No promises, but I really will try.