As some observant types have noticed I've not been my usual relaxed self of late. I'll be honest I've been a miserable, angry little sod. Not at all fun to be around and there are a million and three different reasons. Some justified and if I talked about them you'd say, "you're actually holding up really well". Others are petty and small and if it wasn't a case of all things at once I wouldn't even notice them.
First off, some thank yous to those who offered kind words and offers of comfort, shoulders and ears. I may yet take you up on those offers, be afraid. I do appreciate it and I don't express that enough.
And now into some of the reasons for status messages like "P*s*ed Off!" and "Just bloody sick of the lot of it.". Well one reason actually I won't go into them all. Worst of all, it's going to sound like one of those second kind of problems, the petty ones, and it really isn't. I suppose, like most things, a problem is always larger and more impressive when you're close to it. However I know I'm not alone in this so I expect to strike a chord with some.
You see dear reader one of the things that has been bothering me so much at this time of year is this time of year. I'm not a Christmas person. I don't like the so called festive season and I find nothing more depressing than someone telling me I should be merry. They can rarely offer a good reason why, an increasing amount don't even relate Christmas to a Christian celebration, not necessarily a bad thing. However my innate dislike of organised religion is not the main reason I don't like this time of year. It isn't even the short days (insomnia makes for some very long nights all year round) or the weather (though I do occasionally miss a proper snow filled winter from my youth rather than a wet overcast one from today, anyone still not convinced by climate change?) or the thousands of other reasons that statisticians and psychologists give for the suicide rates always spiking at this most wonderful time of the year.
I don't like birthdays either and try to celebrate mine on as low a key as possible. This is connected, trust me. You see my birthday is quite near Christmas, very near in fact and like many people with birthdays next to old pagan holidays I was put off both Christmas and birthdays as a very young child by one short simple phrase, said to me at least once a formative year after formative year by some well meaning relative or another,
"This is your combined Christmas and birthday present"
Why do people think they can get away with this to a child? They wouldn't consider it for someone with a birthday in June. The usual excuse given for the evil "This is your combined Christmas and birthday present" is It's a big one so... here's your combined Christmas and birthday present, I'm not a parent but as a former child I beg you all, get the 2 smaller presents. Always in that order as well, combined Christmas, then Birthday present. I promise you to a small child their birthday is more important than Christmas. It's personal. It's their day. It should be all about them. Not some Christian festival borrowed from the Pagans and stolen by the corporations.
There are other reasons I don't enjoy this time of year too numerous to mention here but one more is connected to my deep emotional scars and the present thing so I'll make a quick note of it. I hate the idea of being obligated to buy presents for people. This is not how generosity is meant to work. I prefer, if I'm out and about and see a little something one of my friends will love, I'll get it for them. If I have something I don't use that I know someone needs I'll make it a gift. If you've never done this, try it sometime in the new year. get someone a present out of the blue. It doesn't have to be large or extravagant, just personal and for no other reason than you thought they'd like it. The look on their face is worth it, gratitude mixed with true surprise, not the Christmas present surprise of "oh look, you got me the thing I was dropping hints for". That look is very addictive. If your lucky it also comes with hugs.