Happy Holidays — Now Stop Stressing Me

Copyrighted by Lorna Tedder. Originally published in Third Degree of Freedom .


I’m doing my best to have a stress-free holiday season, but people just won’t hear of it.

Yes, I’ve been terribly stressed, but it all has to do with work deadlines, not the holidays. (Holidays? There are holidays?) The re-roofing process (which now looks great and is awaiting final inspection) has meant no lights on the house this year—a disappointment, but I’m not fretting. And since my rose garden was obliterated, it also means no rose bushes in the alcove to be decorated in specifically colored Christmas lights for viewing from the dining table. I’ve already accepted that I’ll have no roses this season.

Because of my work schedule, my Christmas tree went up two weeks later than usual and still isn’t entirely decorated but it’s festive and peaceful in the house.

My shopping is done, except for one prezzie. And all of it done in a quick Internet tour, a few gifts picked up throughout the year, and a stop at The Rock Shop for some crystal obelisks. No major mailings this year, but a couple of cards to friends I’d lost touch with and would sincerely love to hear from again.

My big gift to the girls is a trip to Disney—just a nice long weekend of playing, something we all need and are enjoying very much. Of course, we have the laptop and cell phones, so we didn’t exactly leave everything behind.

But for as much as I’ve been trying to keep the month stress-free, some people are just determined to make it hard, both on themselves and on me. I’ve been blowing off people left and right who tell me what I “need” to be doing.

Flying By Night novel

And then comes a note that tells me how disappointed a family friend is because he hasn’t received an email, text message, or phone call from me this month yet. After all, Christmas is hard on him because he’s divorced and this time of year reminds him of everything he lost and the family he’ll probably never have.

Somehow, it’s made into my responsibility to cheer him up? Nothing has stopped him from emailing, texting, or calling me, but now it’s my fault he’s lonely?

I, too, will be alone for most of Christmas Day, but I’ll spend my time writing or doing something creative, maybe even painting the bathroom if that appeals to me. I’ll call and chat with various old friends and check with other long-distance pals by email. And I’ll be okay, more okay with it than most of my friends and family who’ll worry the living daylights out of me to hang with them because they don’t want me to be alone on Christmas.

Who knows? This may be my last Christmas alone, anyway. I might as well spend it resting up for the year to come!


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