Well. We got there. Christmas 2015 ticked off. Survived.
I used to quite enjoy Christmas. I guess we were pretty spoiled. We had a large and happy extended family who celebrated at my in-laws. They still lived in the main homestead on our farm, so we didn’t have to travel far. We had a good income, we were financially fairly comfortable, and I could buy a few gifts without too much budgetary restraint and we were both self-employed and not beholden to anyone else. With change came a new job for me, I now work for someone else, and have done since he sold our farm and effectively made me unemployed. This year, my boss bought new accounting software on her accountant’s insistence. We have been battling away trying to make it work for four months, and it has basically created another 0.7-0.9 admin position, which we cannot afford, when the whole point was to save about $5K on accountancy fees. She made the call to go back to our old software about a week ago (the old system was simpler, but very effective) and I have been doing long days transferring balances into spreadsheets to import back into the old, as well as dealing with our traditionally busiest period leading into Christmas. It has been frantic, to say the least. My boss let me know how relieved she was, and how incredibly grateful she has been for my extra hours worked to get things sorted. (Almost!)
I struggle a little with Christmas now. My happy, contented and passionate life is now a bit of a memory. I don’t feel truly passionate about….well, anything really now. I have tried to cultivate passions. But I kind of now accept that it may never happen. The deep love I felt for Roger may have been it. In any case, it isn’t something you can cultivate. I feel good about plenty of things, but not PASSIONATE.
Anyway, the point of this meandering post is that we had a pleasant Christmas. Our eldest daughter drove up from the capital and our son was home by 3pm from his summer job. We had our main meal in the evening. It was nice. But it isn’t really special anymore. Earlier in the day, Rog and I had a quiet conversation. I noticed I was a bit sharp with him in the morning about something trivial, and he bit back in kind. That is not how we are, and I later went to him and held him, apologising. We both agreed that we needed to regroup about that kind of behaviour. I also spoke quietly about my battle with this time of the year. Leanne’s birthday is Christmas Eve, and as an old “friend” I always think of her.
The year he dragged us away from his family, 2008, I decided we needed to create new traditions. So, I bought a beautiful artificial tree (I am a real tree kinda girl) and travelled down to decorate the lake house, inviting my father and brother and his family down there, planning to have a gorgeous Christmas in a new location, with my family, instead of his, who had rejected us all. The thing is, in hindsight, this was in the thick of the most intense period of their affair. I had no idea. But I do remember him being completely disconnected from us all. He seemed distracted, and I put it down to missing his family and his general dislike of Christmas. However, I was a bit resentful that he didn’t play the game, didn’t get into the spirit of trying to build something new together, for our family. I noticed he was a bit fidgety, always needing to go outside, or go on a mission to collect something. Truth was, he was busy trying to get a mobile signal to constantly text her – for her birthday, and then the next day, for Christmas. He was getting updates about what her son got for Christmas, and took no notice of what our much older kids were doing, and enjoying. He shakes his head in disbelief, and cannot recall that time in any detail – unlike me, I remember it well.
My brother and his family rang to say they had turned back home at about lunchtime, so it was just my depressed and depressing Dad, and us. That was fine by me, I cooked and prepped food for 40! I hadn’t adjusted to the much smaller gathering. But I enjoyed myself nonetheless. Christmas since then has been tough, as I recall Roger’s complete disinterest in us, his ruining of Christmas memories in so many ways, but mostly how he robbed time from our family to text a stupid and selfish bitch, and how I now associate Christmas with that, no matter how hard I try to put it all behind me.
This afternoon, my mother’s bestie messaged me to let me know he was thinking of me. He has recently found out that my relationship is over, and was concerned for me. He adores Rog, too. Mum was a real Christmas girl, and this was my fifteenth without her. I let him know that Christmas was quiet and relaxing. He made tears fall down my cheeks with how he said I was my mum’s girl, and to call in any time “if I feel like getting lost.” I love him to bits. He lives about an hour away.
I guess, the point of this rambling post is just to write it out, the sadness I feel about loss. Still. But also that I am coping better, life is going on, but the gloss has definitely never returned.
I hope you all managed Christmas well. I enjoyed the two eldest’s company, and video chatted with my youngest who is in Marseille with her host family. I didn’t eat too much, but feel like I have! Must get more focused on my exercise from this week, the past few weeks have been so busy, it has gone on the back burner, and I feel very tubby!
I hope one day I will feel peace and joy again, like I did for the first 41 years 🙂