The holiday season is incredibly draining. I'm trying desperately to appear more upbeat after having heard from my daughter how hard it is for her to cope with my tears and depression. It isn't, after all, as if I don't have plenty of alone time where I can fall apart all I want.
I want/need to gather/make Christmas gifts for family and friends, and just can't seem to get my act together. By this time of year, Greg and I always had at the very minimum a list completed for all but one or two people, most of the items purchased or made, and had plans to deal with the rest. This year I've got a few items for the kids which I purchased over the last few months, but I can't even tell you what I got or where I put it (except for a pen-sized fishing rod I got for Garrett).
I can't enjoy Christmas this year. Usually it is a stressful but pleasant time, now it is just stressful and painful. Every time I turn around there is something that reminds me of our loss. I was given 3 huge tubs of Christmas decorations, and I can't even begin to consider decorating. First of all, it is just me and the cats and they don't care. Secondly, Christmas is about sharing with family, and I really don't have anyone local to be spending time with. (Yes, I have given up on both children, they've clearly got their own lives, and I can't blame them for wanting to avoid my depression). Travel to visit friends isn't really much of an option between work, and my desperate desire to avoid church related activities at Christmas. I've also never been comfortable visiting other people - or rather spending the night at other people's houses, even if they are family. Sometimes it is necessary, and I can do it, but I tend to dread it. It was ok doing so with Greg, because having him was almost as comfortable as being at home. On my own, it is less so. I know I could invite myself to visit most of my friends over the holiday, but I'm just not good at being a social person, and I'm especially afraid that this year I am likely to pull down the mood of any gathering.
I need to make a list of everyone I want to get gifts for. I need to then go through and see who on that list I can make/bake things for and who needs gifts purchased. I have purchased a couple of gift cards as gifts (from companies that have made no noises about going out of business in the next month). I haven't figured out anything really personal for most of my relatives, which bugs me to no end.
I've been asked to make a list of things I want, too. Unfortunately, what I want most isn't available. I also find it very hard to ask for things, and a little uncomfortable when people go overboard providing things that I've said I am looking for (*looks pointedly northward toward a very dear person who goes way way way overboard*). Of course, if I want family members to provide me with wish lists, I know I have to do the same in return. Time to go to Amazon and create one, I guess. Most of what I want is little stuff, at least, with the occasional over-the-top item which I don't need but would really like to have.
I'm tired of working, and would dearly love a day off. The one I had earlier this week when I was sick didn't count at all. Somehow even though we've hired someone to cover Saturdays, I've ended up working every Saturday but one. At least the weekend before Christmas I won't be working.... but will be traveling to visit family, which will be good but is always emotionally draining. I refuse to spend my entire time there weeping in a corner, but it takes an extra lot of energy to keep from doing that. It seems to be how I want to cope these days. Or not cope, I guess.
Must get up and get ready for work. I also desperately need to find time/energy to buy some things for the house to make it more weather-tight. We're spending a huge amount on heating, and I'm keeping the temperature much lower than is comfortable as is. I do have a programmable thermostat to install, but I really don't want to do that when I am alone in the house, just in case.
It seems Faeryn didn't come home last night, didn't call, didn't text. I'm sure she did the sensible thing and stayed somewhere safe after having something alcoholic to drink, just wish she'd let me know, as I have asked.
Next thing on the agenda is to clean up the living room and kitchen to make it a) presentable in case people stop by (ha, ha) and b) in a decent condition for cooking/baking. I don't cook much anymore, just heat up a can of something, or pop a frozen meal in the micro-wave, but for actually holiday baking I really need a thoroughly clean kitchen. Of course, by the time I get home from work today, the odds of that happening are slim to none. Then comes getting the hallroom bathroom cleaned because I doubt it is going to get done otherwise.
Ok, said I'd only post if I had something positive to include. I've whinged, now I need something positive.
The birds are keeping the cats greatly amused and are enjoying the new suet cakes I found for them that include *shudder* mealworms. I counted at least 8 different kinds of birds in the 2-3 minutes that I was looking out at them with Snuggles.