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I spent Christmas by myself this year.

There are several places that I could have joined in with the festivities, yet I chose to not accept any invitation. My son lives several states away and travelling is difficult for me (medical issues that I’d rather not deal with kept me from making the 5 hour train trip). It was his dear wife’s turn for them to be with her family.

I’ve had Christmas holidays with a wonderful friend, but she is no longer driving and I have a driving phobia after a serious accident years ago. Oh, the ‘excuses’ and ‘rationalisations’ go on and on. Suffice to say that for the most part, I was feeling melancholy this year. Spending time alone with my thoughts had seemed like a good idea. Unfortunately, my own head was not the best place to be today. In hindsight, it is as if I wanted to feel miserable for some unknown, yet rather masochistic reason. And, miserable I felt…

I ate a turkey sandwich and took a nap. I spoke with my son, his in-laws and two close friends. I gave my cat a neat toy, Facebooked and texted a few people. Then I sobbed.

At nearly 60, I don’t have a true direction in my life and due to financial difficulties, I haven’t a plan for 2015. Where will I live? Will I have friends or family that care about me?

You see, this is a whine fest of sorts. Here I am feeling sorry for myself when others are so innocently stricken with a myriad of struggles. Shame on me. Have you heard the saying, “you are your own worst enemy?”

Watching as Pope Francis celebrated in Rome the Mass of Christ’s birth I heard, “God is light and in him there is no darkness at all. Yet on the part of the people, there are times of both light and darkness, fidelity and infidelity, obedience and rebellion, times of being a pilgrim people, and times of being a people adrift,”

That incredible man said words that put all my self-imposed woes in perspective. There is darkness and there is light and I am blessedly capable of choosing light. I live in a free society and believe that Christ walks beside me. Oh my, I am appalled that I actually felt so much malaise while using my own free will. Again, I shall write, “shame on me.”

Lessons learned. I will try my best to not spend a Christmas alone again. I will feel elated at the birth of our Savior. I will be grateful for my attributes, my family and friends and a chance to be joyful.

“I’ve learned from experience that the greater part of our happiness or misery depends on our disposition and not on our circumstances.”
― Martha Washington


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