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…well, as much as I can during Christmas time and all the end of year stuff. Every day gets a little better. Every day gets closer to January 6. Everything will be back to its routine then. Meanwhile, I hide as best I can. Head down at work…that’s been pretty easy because it’s a lot busier than it usually is according to those who have been with our team a few years. It just wasn’t quieting down! The week of the 16th was crazy! So many people were taking the last two weeks of December as vacation and so everything was getting crammed through the week prior.

Then this past week…it was perfect timing to just bury myself reading through tons of that documentation, with minimal of the usual meetings and constant emails pouring in. Nice. And to get to the gym…workout, go home, shower and relax with a light dinner. I have had my exercise routine in place since late July/early August, so it’s really becoming a good habit now. Working out 6 times a week seemed like the most daunting thing to me, but it’s now something I look forward to. That sacred hour after work…it’s all mine.

But I’ve felt like a fucking cliché this Christmas season. Dealing with the blues…maybe some days (or hours) better than others. I’ve been quiet. Not very chatty. Not very happy.  I thought I was doing OK with the loss of my Grandma (she passed away November 24), and my break up with J earlier in November. [I guess this really was a break up…when he offers to come by and finish some repair work but then never shows that’s pretty fucking lame.  And so out of character.  Weird.]

So maybe I really haven’t been OK.  Where’s that fine line between taking time to grieve and heal vs. wallowing?  I don’t know.  I thought I was doing alright but something tripped me up in December and I realized WOW.  My grandmother won’t be with us for Christmas.  Ever again.  And once again, I’m single.  Which sucks during the holidays, as much as I try to block out those expectations floating around.  Expectations I had for myself as well.

I don’t know if it’s J or maybe the idea of J.  Being in a relationship…one that was almost going on a year.  I was ready to introduce him to my parents and other friends beyond those he’d already met.  Meanwhile, he was ready to tell me he wasn’t in love with me.  Wow.  How far apart we were and we didn’t even know it.

I’ve confided in a few trusted friends and even a co-worker who is a real confidante. That’s not something I typically do – I don’t like sharing personal woes in great detail with co-workers – but it’s actually provided some comfort, and a trusted male opinion is gold.

The hardest days were Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Now those are in the rear view mirror, whew. I worked Christmas Eve and then went to my folks’ house for dinner. Mom always makes a big pot of cioppino which is delicious.  And we exchange presents and all.  It just felt very weird, stiff and forced.  And that’s how I was feeling too.  I tensed up walking into the house.  It was just the 3 of us.  And oh how I so wanted there to be a 4th.  With me.

Christmas dinner was at my aunt and uncle’s house.  They always throw amazing dinner parties and love to entertain.  My uncle is a fantastic chef.  OK, so the prime rib wasn’t ready until 9pm.  But it sure was delicious!  The highlight was meeting my cousin’s new twin boys (born in early September!).  They are fraternal and so cute!  But babies go to bed early so we didn’t have a lot of time to play.

Don’t get me wrong…I love my family.  I just felt like a weird leftover and it was horribly uncomfortable being in a house full of people with everyone coupled up but me.  What is WRONG with me?  I decided to just lie low and listen.  Listen more than chat.  If someone asked me a question I answered it really briefly and turned it around with a ‘How about you?’  That generally seems to work.

The amount of alcohol consumed that night blew me away.  Ever been the only one not drinking in a crowd of people who are?  Try it sometime…it’s pretty eye-opening.  I sat quiet at the table, just listening to the ramblings going on around me, focusing on slowly savoring my food.  Same stories pop up, same debates I hear around me.  It meant nothing. It all rang hollow. I didn’t enjoy it.  One of my cousins talked a lot about a house she and her boyfriend bought and how they are going through tons of renovations.  I said “it sounds great, and you’re doing it in partnership – that’s wonderful.”  I guess my words went right over her head and meant nothing.  Whatever.

Nobody noticed.  Nobody cared.  Nobody said hey, are you alright?  You’re being awfully quiet! You seem a little down.  What does THAT mean?  Sure makes me feel forgotten and misunderstood.

Later after dinner my folks left without even saying goodbye.  Weird…and I was a little worried about them driving home to be honest.  But the next day my Dad said how great an evening that was.  WERE WE EVEN AT THE SAME PARTY?

I’m just struggling to get through the rest of the holidays and on to a much better 2014. Every day past Christmas gets better!  And my new calendar is already up!