Giving thanks, and empathy

Here in the States, it will be Thanksgiving this Thursday. Which means family, friends, fun, food, and football … right? Well, no. Not for everyone.

Like many people around the globe, I definitely struggle with extra depression at the holidays. Don’t get me wrong; I love my life, and I’m actually quite pleased with where most bits of it are at the moment. But holidays are just so gosh darn hard.

It’s easy to see holiday commercials on TV and think that everyone else’s holidays must just be so darn chipper and happy and warm and lovy-dovy. (And expensive — can we talk about those Lexus December to Remember commercials?!)

Commercials can sometimes be easy enough to brush off as unrealistically cheery, but the curated snapshots from acquaintances on Facebook are, for me at least, the most damnable. Call it envy, call it self pity, call it what you like. But it is just so hard for me to remind myself that the people behind the cameras in those photos may be just as depressed as I am at Christmas, maybe just about different things.

Can I share something with you? I am both wickedly excited and super nervous for Thanksgiving this year. To give just the necessary highlights of a story that is too intricate and intimate to share fully, Dear Boyfriend is actually someone I used to be married to (well, the only someone!), and this Thanksgiving will be the first time I see his family since when we were still married.

*excuse me while I swallow a lump in my throat*

I absolutely don’t want this blog to be a place for going into any level of intimate details about our relationship, so I’ll stick with this for now. We love each other very much, we both know that being together is the right move, and we’re both nervous as hell for the inevitable re-acquaintances with each other’s families.

On top of that, literally every female in his family of child-bearing years is currently with child, leaving me as the only ring-less, baby-less oddball. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, it’s just that being around those things makes me feel a bit sad that I don’t have them, even if I logically know they are not right at the current time. (Of course, the flip side of that coin is that they may be jealous of my size 2 frame and ability to drink coffee and booze and freedom to stay out late since I don’t even have a pet goldfish to look after.)

(Side note: A few months back I picked up “Baby Proof”, by Emily Giffin, on a whim at the public library. It’s not really about what the title suggests, and I don’t want to give any spoilers, but it definitely helped me in my situation.)

Any who. I say all of this not only to get my Thanksgiving trepidations off my chest, but to offer up some holiday empathy to the Interwebz. I know I sure could use some empathy right now. Not in the “misery loves company” way (though that can certainly be a nice indulgence). But really just in the “You’re not alone in not having a picture perfect holiday” way.

So, hear ya go, Interwebz. Empathy and hugs from yours truly. Whatever it is you are scared or nervous or angry about this holiday season, just know that you’re not alone.

(And lest I forget my friends north of the border, happy belated Canadian Thanksgiving from October 12th. Maple syrup soaked hugs for you lot!)

 

Photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/23235074@N00/3201249862″>Rickel Park, yet again. [ HDR ]</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;

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8 comments

  1. I’m in the UK so we don’t have Thanksgiving here but I totally know where you are coming from with regards holiday season. Christmas is a tough time for me and it’s taken me a while to find a way to get through it positively. YOU ARE NOT ALONE!

    Don’t believe everything you see on Facebook – people only put on their the highlights/best bits of their life. It’s only part of their story.

    As for being the ‘baby-less oddball’ – I am childfree and forty (I should probably get that on a t-shirt!). I am childfree by choice. I am happy with my decision but I have had a lot of negativity from other people over the years.

    Whatever choices you make in your life – be true to yourself. Do what is right for you.

    Liked by 1 person

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