Late to the Party

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Linus: “Life is difficult, isn’t it, Charlie Brown?”

Charlie Brown: “Yes, it is. But I’ve developed a new philosophy. I only dread one day at a time.”

I admit, I am a little late to the Charlie Brown party. When I was young I never paid him any attention. But now I love him.

I’m sure I’ve mentioned this before, but I basically hate the holidays. Last year my friend died on or about Christmas day, I knew she wasn’t a picture of health, but I had no reason to think she would die. I didn’t get to say good-bye. Rather I had to call the police to do a “welfare check.” The next car to arrive was the coroner’s. My gift to her was returned to me by her brother and it sits in my office hallway still wrapped.

We moved out of that neighborhood. Her house was sold. One day I drove through the old hood, and her house was leveled. In an instant her house was gone, just like she was. Also last year, a high school senior who played soccer with my son committed suicide early Christmas morning. When I was in college my friend hung himself the night before Christmas. The Christmas before my Dad died, I was too sick to make it to the celebration. It was his last Christmas.

I’ll stop, because it’s too sad.

The holidays are brutal for many people. We have been lead to believe that Thanksgiving through New Year’s is some sort of never ending party; full of good cheer, and laughter and love. Everyone is in love, presents flowing and good times rolling , smiles abound, no worries, no real problems. We are bombarded with images and ideas that are unachievable for nearly everyone. Yet we still ooh and ah at these images.

When we don’t experience that euphoric holiday scene, we feel sad and we think somehow we are lesser people, we feel a sense of hopelessness. I don’t like it, I don’t think it’s right.

I don’t believe fighting over cheap sh*t from China has anything to do with the Christmas spirit. Nor does spending more money than you have because you are “expected” to be somewhere far away, or you’re “expected” to get everyone in your family a gift.

(btw : One of my New Year’s resolution this year is to stop swearing….)

My hope for this year’s holiday season is to get through it without becoming emotionally battered. The other night at Thanksgiving dinner, I was told (to my face) that a 3000 square foot house isn’t really too big for a single person, two people at the table agreed. Hence the can of emotional whoop-ass was opened and directed straight towards me.

Anyway, I know and I realize, I have to make it the best I can. I am grateful for so many things, and many more people. I have to be grateful that I am even allowed to live in my Mother’s house until we find a place. I’ll make it through, but I will be wounded and scarred. I know it, because it’s already started. It’s no wonder I dislike the whole season so much.

I have decided I will be donating chickens to needy families and put the donation the family names as a gift. Step one accomplished, make something good out of a crappy situation.

“………… I only dread one day at a time.” That’s pure gold Charles Schulz. Thank you.

Tip: Find a way to balance your mind and wear a Kevlar vest.

Inspiration:” Never apologize for showing feeling. When you do so, you apologize for the truth.” ~Benjamin Disraeli

One-day one-thing: Smile and know this isn’t forever.

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