It’s Christmas in tinylife land: I wonder how you are? Perhaps you’re a Christmas person, perhaps you aren’t.
I don’t mean a ‘Christmas person,’ as in someone who enjoys Christmas and all its trimmings, I mean that I’ve been trying to remind myself that not everyone on this little planet actually celebrates either the coming of Jesus or the turning of the year from shorter and shorter days to longer and longer ones (especially if you’re in a different hemisphere!).
I wondered how I could write something that didn’t assume Christmas was central to you, a kind of inclusive good wish.
however, and wherever you are – I wish you a twinkle. Not from that specific stable-based star, just a glimmer from everywhere. A twinkle to light your path, and lift your spirits.
tinylife will be back in January.
You do not need permission –
if you feel you need permission, you have mine:
to write expensive Christmas cards and buy stamps
to not write any Christmas cards
to get drunk every day over the festive period
to not drink at all
to eat yourself silly
to take it easy and eat fruit every day.
To change your mind.
To spend your time with family and friends
to spend time with your family of choice
to cry when children sing ‘Away in a Manger’
to think it’s lame when children sing ‘Away in a Manger.’
To wake up at 5am to write
to wake at 5am and watch crap TV
to be silent
to have a magical Christmas
to have a rotten season
to look after yourself because you are precious:
know that you are.
Christmas anxiety. A wash of feelings, pulling and pushing in opposite directions. I’m a sociable person, I love my friends. Now it’s December and I’m all ‘hopefully we can catch up before Christmas?’
I invite, or accept invitations, with joy, and then approach the days themselves with dread. Will I spend hours on my return, mulling over a throwaway comment I made, seeking malevolence in words that were not meant to hurt? Deliberately sabotaging my own friendships, and my own fragile resilience?
So last year, I stopped saying ‘let’s meet up before Christmas’ and started saying ‘have a lovely Christmas! See you next year.’
To anyone reading this who feels anxious around Christmas, I just want to say: you don’t have to see anyone, if you don’t feel like it. Look after yourself, OK? And I’ll see you next year.
Here is an update on how I am feeling.
I am nearly two weeks into taking my daily pill. I have some paid freelance work today, and I’m driving to the meeting where I’m expected to take a minute of the proceedings.
My usual thoughts at a time like this are as follows:
‘I won’t be able to keep up with my shorthand.’
‘I won’t be able to read my shorthand back.’
‘I won’t be able to follow what is going on.’
‘I won’t make my deadline for the draft.’
‘Someone will tell me I am not dressed smartly enough for this job.’
And my personal favourite: ‘Am I heading to the right venue at the correct time?’
I am driving to the meeting.
I am thinking – ‘I’ve got this.’
It was a good call to go to the GP.