We just met our next-door-neighbours at a holiday get-together organized by our building managers. Turns out the couple are from Texas and studying at one of our universities with dreams of being dentists. We've invited them, and they've accepted, to join us for Christmas dinner bringing our numbers up to seven. Not a large group, but respectable. Me, my two kids, two of their friends and our neighbours. Our invitees are all here without family.
Even with our growing group, it's been difficult to get into the Christmas spirit this year. The break-up; the move; the damp, grey, mild weather. My age. (Doesn't fifty sound almost frightening?) Entering menopause. Even quitting the job has had an impact on my mood. Sure, it was my choice to leave but it's made fiscal restraint take on a whole new meaning. It's the first year that I have not been able to afford whatever I've wanted to buy. Yes, the kids are getting what they wanted. They asked for very little so that was easy to do. But I haven't bought the extra things I usually do.
I realize that mine is an emotional reaction rather than an intellectual one. The kids will enjoy their gifts; we have friends to spend the day with; we will have a wonderful meal.
In my finer moments, I recognize and feel great about my shucking off. My great shedding of all things negative. My bravery to forge a life that works for me. I realize and can even muster some sympathy for my ex who must jump into another relationship, not as a negation of what we had, but because he is unable to build a life on his own.
I even welcome the loss of things as a precursor to welcoming good things. Life might take away, but afterward, what she gives is always better.
I've finished the first draft of my manuscript, received great feedback on it and my grant submission. I'm getting together with friends for martinis and dinner this evening.
So why am I so blue?
Agh, it's just a phase, right? Transition? My mood will crawl out of the cellar soon. Yes, I know it will.