Hello Readers!

I feel like lately I do all the talking. I wanted to tell you all that I’m honored to have you all reading my words, and I hope that you enjoy what I write. No, I’m not perfect. God I’m so screwed up sometimes, and sometimes what comes out of my mouth or things I type on this screen comes out all kinds of wrong! But it comes from the heart, my heart! And I write it mostly so that I can get it out of my head and so that it can be shared and not kept to myself.

I have 33 followers! I’m thrilled! When I started writing a blog I thought “There’s no fucking way anyone will read this garbage” so thanks! I don’t know how you ended up here. Maybe you made a wrong turn and thought “Hey this girl seems like she has her shit together”… if so, you are oh so wrong. However, I do have a knack for writing what I feel. I’m the queen of over sharing with my feelings! I’m the queen of insightful writing that comes from a lot of pain and suffering, a lot of hard lessons learned and a lot of time sitting around with my own thoughts wondering why I’m so weird and everyone else seems so normal!

I’m not everyone else, but that’s why you’re reading this. It’s not some boring garbage like normal bloggers would write. I mean, come on, who sits around and is so impressed by 33 followers?! I DO! I love it!

So to those of you who are following me and reading what I write, thanks!

To those of you only following this because I wrote one post you liked and I haven’t lived up to what you thought it would be, I’ll try harder.

And to those of you who are only following because you enjoy seeing me in pain or upset, yeah you’ll have to keep waiting a bit more.

I hope you enjoy what I write, and if not, you’re not emailing me or commenting, so I have no idea. (That makes it YOUR problem and not mine!)

If you like it, please comment or contact me. I’d love to hear from you!

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What it feels like to live alone and childless during the holidays

Living alone (unmarried and dating or just plain single) really sucks around the holidays. For me it means spending time alone on one of my favorite days of the year.

When I was a child Christmas was the most magical time of the year. I’d wait longingly every year for the holiday to come and I was always ready! I was ready right after Thanksgiving if not sooner. And every year I always got what I wanted, even when it wasn’t even on my list! Now that I’m an adult, Christmas means something different.

Christmas means buying gifts. For everyone. For my horseback riding instructor, for my hair dresser, for my postal worker, for my boss and my direct reports. I always forget someone. I always feel guilty. I always spend way more than I should and I always go broke at some point during the season. It sucks.

No, I can’t go to coffee with you because I broke the bank buying you this gift. Oh? You didn’t get me anything? That’s ok. I’m doing my part to feel like a good friend. No, I understand that you need to prioritize your kids at Christmas. No big deal. I don’t need a gift anyway. #fml

Christmas means eating way too much. There’s Christmas goodies everywhere and staying away from them is HARD! I love baking. I love making my special Oreo truffles. I love making ten kinds of Christmas goodies. But who will taste-test these when I live alone?? Sad day, it has to be me. Ten pounds later I’m sorry I ever started baking.

Christmas means being alone for much of the holiday. Without having multiple holidays to attend and no kids around it means that I will spend at least at least either Christmas Eve or Christmas Day alone. This year it’s both. Hooray.

Do you know how much it sucks to spend Christmas alone? Do you realize how terrible it is to wake up on Christmas day and instead of an excited child and family members I wake to nothing? No screaming children waking me up at 5 am. No dogs barking. No meowing cats. Nothing. It’s just a normal day because I have nowhere to go, nothing to do, no one to parent or tend to. I have literally no reason to get out of bed. So most of the time I don’t, and most of the time I spend most of the morning crying. Getting up only reminds me that I have no good reason to be out of my bed anyway.

It’s December 18th. Do you know where my Christmas tree is? In the closet. Do you know where my Elf on a Shelf is? Not on a shelf, in the box next to the tree. No stockings are hung by the chimney with care. There’s no hopes of Saint Nicholas around here. Nope. Why bother? No one comes over here. There’s no one to surprise with a thoughtful gift. There’s no mistletoe and there’s no holly or ivy. And there’s no Christmas songs.

When I had step-kids Christmas meant something because I was doing it for them. I was decorating for them. I was baking cookies with them. I was making paper snowflakes and garland with them. I was drawing pictures to mail to relatives with them. I was staying up late on Christmas eve to eat the cookies and put out the presents in their stockings. I spent hours buying and wrapping gifts I couldn’t even claim were from me. I was helping them make the memories I had from when I was a child. But when I got divorced I no longer had any kids, so the reasons to do any of this faded.

The thing is, if I had never gotten married I wouldn’t even know what I was really missing. I wouldn’t understand that wonder on kids faces. I wouldn’t understand what it’s like to play the magical elf for a fat man who doesn’t exist. I wouldn’t miss it. Only I do because I have experienced it first hand.

So here I am at thirty-something childless and hurting because I want my Christmas to be magical too! I want to have what all my friends already have and don’t even appreciate! They actually COMPLAIN about it all and it hurts more than you would believe!

I can hear them all now:

“OMG I just *know* my kids are going to wake up at 5 am on Christmas morning!”

“I’m spending so much money on gifts for my kids that I’m going broke.”

“We’re so busy going to both my husband’s/wife’s/partner’s/lover’s and my Christmas celebrations!”

“My kids are acting so crazy now that it’s getting close to Christmas!”

“I just know my parents will get the kids noisy toys for Christmas and I’ll have to listen to them all day.”

“I forgot to move the stupid elf and now my kid doesn’t think it’s real.”

“I wish I got to sleep in on Christmas day.”

No you don’t… you absolutely don’t. Because without those cherub faces you would die. Your heart would break every single holiday that came after and you would die a little bit every time someone complained about their child like it wasn’t the most precious gift in the whole entire world. The mere mention of a baby would make your uterus cramp with longing. Your arms would ache to hold your partner while you watched the kids open presents while screaming the whole time. You would not care. You would look at magazine ads featuring families and you would well up with tears. You would long to see mistletoe and have the chance to kiss someone you care about under it. Thinking of spending Christmas alone would make you sob because once you have experienced the magic of Christmas through the eyes of a child, you can never go back.

Fortunately, most people don’t experience this. There’s not too many people who have children one year and the next year they are gone. Aren’t I just the luckiest one to have experienced this twice with two different sets of kids?!….Nope. Not really, it really sucks. It sucks more and more each year because each year brings that stinging confirmation that I may never have a family. I may never have children. I may spend the rest of my life waking up on Christmas morning to nothing but the tears falling on my pillow.

The worst part is that I’m expected to never talk about this. I’m expected to suck it up and be happy for everyone out there complaining about their kids and their bills and telling me how lucky I am to be single. Asking me when I’m going to get married and have kids of my own. Do you have any freaking clue how lucky you are? Do you know what I would give to have kids of my own? I’d like to have kids of my own like YESTERDAY! Sadly most of my friends have never and will never know this cruel pain, so they don’t want to hear about it either. This only complicates things. No wonder the suicide rate more than doubles around the holidays!

But once again I will suck it up, and I will spend Christmas alone. I will make myself breakfast and wrap myself up a gift to open on Christmas morning and I will try not to think about how I feel so sad, so empty and so alone on one of my favorite days of the year, on what should be one of the happiest days of the year.

So when those of you with children are opening your gifts at 5 am on Christmas morning, I’ll be drying my tears on my pillow. Stop for a second and think about how lucky you are to have so much to be truly thankful for this holiday season.

Merry Christmas from me… just from me.

tree

Living in the Moment

In the past few weeks there have been so many incidents which have made me thankful that I am able to live in the moment.

I went to a concert. I sat there and experienced the concert through my own eyes. I didn’t filter the concert through a camera or phone. I didn’t post it to Facebook or tweet it, I didn’t need to send a snap chat to my friends about how awesome the concert was. I didn’t need the photographs or video to keep that memory in my head. In fact, because I was trying to keep it by memory alone, it made me even more in tune with everything going on in that moment. The way I felt, the heat of the evening, the warmth of Matt’s arm touching mine gently, the sound of the music, the words, the poetry of all of it. So wonderful. I remember each and every moment of it despite the fact that I have nothing posted on social media, no photos, no videos. I lived in the moment and so I will never forget those moments. Those moments when I thought to myself “I’m getting so old that I’m the person sitting at the concert instead of down in the madness of the crowd losing my hearing (because I’m old enough to treasure my hearing despite how good the band is).” The moment when I looked beside me and saw a smile on Matt’s face. The moment a memory about a song came back and I could remember the very first time I heard the song. Because I wasn’t filtering my life through a cell phone then either.

I always try to live in the moment and enjoy each and every thing that happens to me whether it’s a good thing or a bad thing. It’s been raining a lot here. The rivers are flooding, and people are starting to get scared. But not me. I’m thankful for the rain and tonight I spent about 20 minutes just standing in it and getting soaked because frankly, I didn’t think I’d ever make it to today. There were so many times in my past when I thought “This is it, I am not going to be able to make it to 30.” Life is freaking TOUGH, and it takes a warrior to make it through sometimes. There were moments where I definitely looked at the situation at hand and thought “I can’t do this anymore. I give up. I don’t want to wake up tomorrow.” But inevitably I did wake up, and I was grateful for that. No, I haven’t always had wonderful and perfect moments, but they are my moments, and no one can ever take them away from me.

Tonight I learned just how precious each moment of life is. I learned that one of my former students has died after his long battle with lung cancer. I had this kid in my class when he was 1, and now he was nearly 12, just wanting what every other nearly 12 year old kid wants. He wanted to play Xbox and be a kid, but instead he had cancer by some weird fluke. This was one spunky little mischief maker and I loved that little snot so much when I was caring for him and I’d often wondered afterwards what happened to him. And the most inspirational part of it all is that I read a blog from his mom, and instead of being angry, sad or frustrated with losing her child, she had nothing but love, gratitude and peace in her words… because she had also lived in the moment, and she had enjoyed and valued each and every breath her son had taken, especially since his diagnosis. And in the end she was able to end her time with him with a truly beautiful moment. Maybe not exactly as she had imagine it would be to part ways with him, but she ended their time together with love and with gratitude that she had lived every moment she could with her child.

Butterfly

I know that not every day will be perfect, but I also know that it’s a waste to live life being sad about what could or should happen in life. I know that wasting time complaining about life not being fair is spitting in the face of all the glorious gifts I’ve been given. So instead of writing about how unfair it was to lose a nearly 12 year old boy from this world, I want to express how grateful I am for each and every shining moment I was able to be in that boy’s life. His smile could light up a room. Boy was he adorable as a toddler, and he was a handsome young man as well. I know that his mom taught him all the wonderful things in life that she could, and I am so grateful to be a part of something so wonderful. I lived every moment I spent with that little boy, and no one can ever take those moments away from me. They were precious moments.

And for his sake, I will continue to live in each and every moment I have because life should not be lived through a lens, but remembered as a series of moments, each more precious than the last.