Before I forget–Susan’s been asking me in the comments about the Bee’s leg, and I keep forgetting to answer her–but all is basically well–she got the boot off in mid-December. She has some minor pain every once in a while, but it seems to have healed well. So thanks for all the good wishes!
I spent my first kid-free holiday this week, as landisdad took them to visit his mom for the weekend through New Year’s Day. By the time I realized he was planning to be gone that long, it was too late to make any significant plans to go away or do something fun myself—so I told myself I’d spend the weekend packing, maybe see a couple of movies that I hadn’t seen yet.
I didn’t take any time off from work the week of Christmas, other than the actual holidays, because I’m planning to take a week off later this month when I move. But it was a pretty slow week, as almost everyone I work with was off. I had the kids with me the Wednesday and Thursday of last week, but landisdad came and picked them up after dinner on Thursday night so they could get on the road on Friday morning.
I started to get really depressed on Friday about the fact that I was going to spend New Year’s Eve alone.
I don’t know why.
I don’t particularly care about New Year’s Eve—it’s never been a holiday of any particular significance or special event-ism in my life. Landisdad and I haven’t done anything more than sit on the couch, drink champagne, and watch the ball drop for 14 years or so. Even last year, when we were living apart, I went to be with him and the kids that night.
On Friday night, I went to dinner with a friend and tried not to be too miserable.
On Saturday, I was doing some errands and generally moping around, when a thought occurred to me. And that thought was this:
I own my loneliness.
It seems stupid, but it suddenly made me feel better.
I own my loneliness, because it stems from the choices I’ve made—and I don’t regret those choices. It doesn’t mean I won’t — or shouldn’t — feel lonely. But it does mean I could make different choices (which would invariably have other side effects — side effects that, for the most part, I’ve already considered and rejected). And it does mean that I can choose to do something about it.
On Sunday night, I’d been invited to a party with a bunch of people I know, through my job, but only from the internet. I’d sort of vaguely said that I would go, only kind of half-intending to. I went to the movies in the afternoon, and then I drove to the place where the party was being held. I sat in my car, in the parking lot, and talked myself into going inside.
What’s the worst that could happen? You won’t have fun, so you’ll leave.
Even after I got out of my car and was walking into the place (scanning the parking lot to make sure there was at least one other leftist bumper sticker in the place), I was muttering in my head, “you are a smart, attractive woman with an interesting job. People will want to talk to you.”
And you know what? I was right.
I made only one New Year’s Resolution this year—those of you who are my Facebook friends will already know what that is. But I’ve made another, sort of more basic resolution in the past year that I feel really good about. I’ve resolved to accept the possibilities that the universe throws my way, and to face them with optimism instead of defensiveness. It seems to be working, so far.