Blah Blah Christmas
Don't get me wrong, I generally speaking love Christmas, my interpretation of it, anyway. I have a tree with a couple decades of ornaments made by loved ones. It's a hodgepodge of not so subtle sexual innuendo, crafts of different levels of surrealism, and--as we've gotten older--stuff from various progeny. (Which means the more explicitly nsfw content gets shelved until the kids leave...)
It's everything I love about Christmas--everything is a bit imperfect and spontaneous. This last year, I didn't know whether to expect 2 or 20 people, and I wasn't even sure I'd get it together to have a proper spread in place by the time said guests arrived. And the spread is key. Those parties you go to where you're hungry after? Not on my watch.
So yeah, there's usually good food, random drink (this year, we had mastic from Turkey--surprisingly delicious and happily non-lethal!), and a sweet cross-section of my communities. (I always feel for the cis-guys I know, as they're generally outnumbered by about 20:1 but I figure if you're my friend, you can hang with a room full of queers.)
This year, I'm both a little sick (bleah) and completely overwhelmed with work. Add to that the rain--which we need, and I'm thankful for--and my generally small slump from SADD has been multiplied to Seattle-level crevasses. (There's a reason why the bay is as far north as I'll live.)
This is also the third Christmas I've spent on my own, possibly in my entire life. It's been an interesting mix--reveling in real deep community and warmth, really getting into my independence, and also exploring the flip side of that independence--feeling alone and unmoored from the traditional bonds that tie people together.
Somehow, I think I needed this time, that there's something in me that can't truly be open and compassionate about experiences until I've lived them. Which sounds awful, like I'm lacking in empathy. But that's not exactly it. My empathy isn't lacking. It's more that I'm finding that living certain feelings and learning to be able to sit with them. Reminding myself that it's all--whether good or bad--ephemeral, and using that knowledge to breathe and enjoy or learn from the moment.
Hm, this isn't all that well thought out, much less well-written.
But there's something in this that is shifting stuff inside of me. A quiet seismic shift. Breathing through anxiety. Not necessarily getting any better at any of it, but just getting through it with a little more containment. And seeing a little more outside of myself with different eyes/filters than I had before. Using Christmas to look inward and plant seeds, rather than looking outward and letting myself get distracted. Feels completely ordinary and enormous at the same time.