So, that's that done for another year.
I hope you all had a fabulous time. I'd love to post that I did, really I would. However, in the spirit of truth in reporting I have to say it was 50/50 between really, really sucking the big one and being fabulous. I'm such a creature of extremes. Like, really.
Pre-Christmas stress (especially of the financial kind) got the better of me this year, and so I largely opted out. Non participatory. I sent some gifts across for my two nephews but agreed with my two sisters, one of whom just bought a house recently, that we wouldn't bother with gifts this year. I struggled with the Christmas spirit, in part because I knew that I'd likely be the recipient of gifts from friends, friends who wouldn't receive one in return. Kind of dreading disappointing others is not a great way to enter into the spirit of the season.
So, it wasn't fine 'in theory' but it was all going to be theoretically, well, manageable and ok. Except, it kind of wasn't. I got strung out, I felt sad and disappointed, crabby, pressured and frustrated. I had social plans for Christmas day lunch. However a combination of my mood on the morning, screwing up the food I was to take, a mess up with the transport plans that I thought meant I'd be catching 2 trains across the city with a full picnic basket on my own, and then breaking a shoe as I was about to leave the house, sent me into a shitstorm emotional spiral. So I elected not to go. Then I got a phone call from the train station saying that without my knowing it the transport arrangements had reverted back to their original plan and "where was I?". Where I was was sitting at home on the edge of not just tears, but reasonableness as well.
I didn't go. What I did do was have a cry, pull my shit together, deal with my anger and frustration, collect my thoughts, ring back and apologise for my melt-down on the phone, go for a walk and get some perspective. It sorted itself out. I made it sort itself out.
In the evening I co-opted Mikey (the lovely ex) and we went to Christmas dinner at my friends Meaghan and Jamie's house, with many of the greater extended clan. It turned out to be a wonderful night, a perfect antidote to how I felt in the morning. I still felt a bit odd and fragile, and weird about being given gifts by friends I had nothing for, but in a much better mind set. Food and drink were consumed, babies were held, kids played with, cats patted and old friends caught up with. It was a good night.
Yesterday, I spent a wonderful day with Morgan and a bunch of my friends from Flickr at the home of Kt and her family. A long afternoon into evening of food and drink, playing "cross country croquet", chatting to friends and people I just met, and playing with various and sundry kids put some of the Christmas cheer back into Christmas.
So. It was a strange one this year. I've had negative times in my life, but rarely do I want to shout and cry, and have a good old fashioned melt-down like I did on Christmas morning. I'm normally set to a slow simmer. On the upside, I pulled myself out of it fairly well. With the help of friends that have known me for a long time and take me as I am, and that I care very deeply for. Even though none of them knew what had been on the agenda earlier in the day. The rest of the day, and the following day, were much better.
High highs and one very low low. I can see where I went wrong. Where I planned poorly, took too much negativity on board, let difficult circumstances get to me, and placed stress of expectation and regret on myself. I'm not beating myself up, just being honest and learning from the experience.