I'll Have a Blue Christmas Without You......(Has an Entirely Different Meaning This Year)
Two years ago, I wrote a blog post about having a Blue Christmas and it actually got a good bit of recognition and response. My main reference in the post was losing my father, who had passed in 2015 three days before Christmas. Looking back, it was a tough time, but this year just seems to be on an entirely different level. How much loss we have sustained.....as a community, as a country, in our world. It's hard to find the words to even describe it actually. So I guess I'll do my best to try!
I'm sure Christmas looks different this year for every single person, every single family. We've all been dealing loss and isolation this year due to Covid. When I look back on previous years, there was a level of excitement that just isn't here this year. I mean...yes, I'm excited. But not on the level I used to be. I mean as I sit here typing this, I still haven't wrapped gifts yet. (I will for sure get them done before Christmas yes...I'm not that last minute. But good excuse...we just had a baby on Thanksgiving day, so we are tired....and yes this is a run on sentence 😂). But where is that drive? Where is that excitement? Side note...my goal here is to be real about the struggle, but not necessarily to be discouraging. Keep reading towards the bottom because I'm getting to the encouragement.
So other than not being prepared with gift wrapping, what about all the rest? Oh yeah! Let's get back to it. So this year has been pretty tough right? I mean with Covid, shutdowns, being surrounded by lots of death and destruction. (If you aren't from Southwest Louisiana, we got destroyed by two major hurricanes only a month apart, and our city looks like a bomb went off...still currently). We wake up every day and try to push forward, but then get hit with the reality that things aren't how they used to be. It's like those little moments that you forget whats happening and then get slapped in the face like the 3 stooges...over and over and over...but this time, it's real and not that funny. It's the opposite of funny. It's hard. SO HARD.
I have been right there along side of everyone, trying to process the feelings and thoughts as they come. Some days are better than others, but some days.....I'm just tired and exhausted. On top of Covid happening, here's some other stuff I've dealt with this year:
Spending my 30th birthday in quarantine because I was exposed to someone who had the virus. Thankfully, at that time, it was negative.
Not being able to see my grandmother in the nursing home because of the lockdown since January of 2020, so yeah...it's been almost a year now...but wait
Losing my grandmother not even 2 weeks after Hurricane Laura, which basically destroyed our city
Dealing with insurance companies that don't want to cover damages
Dealing with contractors who are schetchy, and good ones who are so busy and overbooked its hard to get scheduled.
Getting COVID and being on the verge of going to the hospital
My wife being pregnant for 10 months entirely during quarantine and having stress and anxiety of her getting COVID
Having an office I couldn't use for many months, but then losing my office that I had just worked so hard to get and set up to Hurricane Laura, that basically demolished the whole building.
I could keep going, but I think I'll just stop here
SO. MUCH. LOSS.
On top of this, this week I've been struggling with the fact that with both of my grandparents gone now, there will be no semblance of how things used to be. The property where I live was destroyed by Hurricane Laura, and so many memories are outside in a pile that is about 25 feet high by 50-100 feet wide. Yes...they are just trees. But, they made the landscape. They are attached to memories growing up here. IT'S JUST HARD.
And while I know it's been a tough year for me, I know it's been a tough year for everyone!
So what's the point? Is this just one of those sappy, sad blog posts? NO! Like any story, you have to get through describing the struggle to get to the outcome. But, it's important to note, we are still in the struggle. Many of us. It's hard! But that's why it's important to talk about your feelings/thoughts with others. Write them down in a blog post. Just be real, be you! Stop comparing yourself to all your social media friends and know that your thoughts, your feelings, your struggles are just as important as anyone else's. My point here is perspective. Of all the things listed above, how can I have a better perspective? Choice! I have to choose to see things in a different way. But it's not an easy choice, and one you have to continually choose over and over. So I'm going to go through that list again trying to have a different perspective:
I was able to have a 30th birthday, even if it wasn't the one I wanted or hoped for. I was surrounded by my family who loves me and cares for me
This one is hard, because nothing was in my control here. I have to remind myself that there is literally nothing I could do about it
Another hard one...because my grandparents raised me as their own. They were basically my parents. It's a loss that's hard to describe with words. It's so difficult because he dementia was so bad, she should constantly ask where my grandfather and great grandfather (who passed in 2000) was and when they were coming to get her). I know that she is no longer hurting and dealing with the trauma of waking up daily wondering where they all are. Because thats what it is. She did not remember they had passed. To her, it's like she was reliving it every day)
I see so many people struggling with this one, and its been almost 4 months now I think. But things will get fixed. We will rebuild. We will overcome. We have to choose every day to keep pressing on.
This one is the same as above. Have to make the choice to keep pressing on and realize that these contractors are working as best as they can to help. They are people too.
I'm so thankful that I did not die honestly. I know that sounds extreme, but struggling to breathe scared me some. I'm also thankful I have an outdoor music room that I lived in and did not give the virus to my family.
My wife gave birth to a very healthy baby boy. We made decisions that kept us all safe and that was the result. He is a wonderful baby!
I miss my office so much, but I have to admit, I know something better will come eventually. This is where we are. I am thankful for technology that allows us to continue to connect on some level, and for clients to still get the help they need. While I do prefer in person sessions, video sessions are a viable alternative for now and at least people are able to see their therapists.
So, none of these where "over the top" positive. But, it was somewhat more. It's choosing to see things in a different way. We must choose to keep pressing on and trying the best we can every day. Please know that you are not alone....we are all having a tough time. It just looks different. I think the best thing is having someone in your corner to help sort this stuff out. It doesn't hurt to have someone in your corner.
My hope with this post is that you can see that we all have struggles...no matter who we are. It's just about how we choose to work though them that matters most.
In loving memory of my grandmother, who loved Elvis and inspired the title for both this blog and my blog two years ago.