Tis the season

Christmas can be a tough time of year. If you are lonely, depressed or bereaved, or if life is a struggle for a myriad of reasons, this relentlessly festive and compulsorily cheery season can be about as welcome as a reindeer in your eye.
My Dad’s birthday is the 23rd of December, and this first birthday and Christmas without him have been unexpectedly painful. Relieved though I am that he is no longer suffering, his absence now hurts more than I anticipated. It triggers all the other losses in my life and has left me with an inclination to hide in the bush being morose and unsociable – which is not my usual style, to put it mildly.
It would be easy to wallow in my grief and unresolved anger, and to focus on all the ways in which my life is really ^%$#@!ing me off right now, so I have decided it is time for a Christmas Thankful Thing. Being an atheist the religious significance of this time of year leaves me feeling more than a touch scroogey. I don’t like all the social pressure around Christmas, and I object to compulsory gift-giving – I’d much rather give people the perfect gift whenever I find it than feel compelled to find something exactly right on a particular day of the year – but what I do appreciate about Christmas is the trigger to tell people what they mean to me.
I don’t want to cruise through life taking people for granted. I tend to the effusive side, yet I don’t always tell people how important they are. So here goes.
To my incredible husband, Andrew, who is always there keeping me going, making me laugh, and picking up the pieces: I am the luckiest woman in the world. I love you.
To my amazing teaching mentor, Cal, who never failed to say the right thing when I was on the brink of screaming catastrophe, always responding to my deranged emails and texts: I don’t know how I would have survived my first two years in teaching without you. Thank you.
To my desk-mate Cath: I am so grateful for your love, support, your thorough devotion to Purple, and your willingness to wield the frying pan of perspective. You keep me in one piece (if slightly bruised).
To all my fantastic work colleagues: You rock. Your kindness, community, support and incredibly nerdy humour has kept me going throughout the last two years. I am so lucky to be a part of this school.
To my astonishing and fabulous students: I walk out of every class feeling uplifted by your enthusiasm, your energy, and your incredible abilities. Each and every one of you is a joy and a privilege to work with.
To Elaine: You’ve been in the country less than a year and you immediately became an integral part of our community. Your kindness, compassion and generosity have been a beacon of hope in a bleak year.
To Tim: For ever present understanding and empathy, for dinners, walks, train rides, yoga, and never forgetting the compulsory coffee and cake.
To Davids 1 & 2: It’s funny how I had to stop working with you in order to start working with you and get to know you properly. It’s been a great delight working with you both.
To my fabulous yoga teacher, Roman: I never fail to walk out of a yoga class taller, straighter and smiling. I don’t know if you are aware of the glow of happiness that spreads outward from you – it’s like a cloud of bliss that follows wherever you go. You are amazing.
To Peter and Ana: for your unfailing love and support. We are so blessed to have you in our lives.
To Joe: for always engaging with what I write, and frequently showing me a different perspective.
To my gorgeous girls: I am so proud of you. I love you both with every fibre of my being.
There are those I have not mentioned, for various reasons, but they are nonetheless important and valued in our lives.
To every one who has loved and supported us over the last year – thank you. You are totally awesome.

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2 thoughts on “Tis the season

  1. Joe

    Oh! (blush)
    You’re welcome, and it’s always been a pleasure to engage in our discussions.

    My Dad is here with us today, but has not been able to engage with the festivities. I’m not sure he’s actually recognised the gifts that have been given.

    In our family (specifically, my parents descendants and partners) for the most part when we get together at Christmas we try to ensure we give gifts to the youngsters, but between each other for the most part there are only gifts “if they happened to stand out”. It works pretty well.

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