Swimming Against The Current
Christmas is now behind us. It’s in the rear view mirror until next year.
It was really just another day of the week for me. As I’ve aged, I find that I’ve adopted the ways of my granny. She didn’t like to celebrate holidays.
I understand it more as a senior myself. Maybe especially as a woman living alone.
A Life Of Service To Others:
My granny’s mother died when she was a child. She had to help raise her step brothers and sisters. Then she married and had 8 children of her own.
My grandmother, her second daughter, never really grew up mentally, so she was responsible for her until the day she died.
And she raised my mother too really, for my grandmother didn’t really have what it took to raise a child properly. Then when my mother abandoned me, she took me on as well.
I imagine she was very tired by then. She never had the time to figure out what she wanted. Who she wanted to be. She was too busy raising children.
Our Individual Need For Solitude:
“We need solitude, because when we’re alone, we’re free from obligations, we don’t need to put on a show, and we can hear our own thoughts.” ― Tamim Ansary
And I find that quite sad. Because I relish my alone time. And she never had that.
I wish so much that she’d had that time for herself. That gift. Time to just be.
So holidays were likely the least of her concerns. Think of how tired you’d be after raising and caring for all those children.
Making My Own Choices:
I guess, after raising my own and doing all the holiday stuff, I don’t really want to do it all now either. There was a time when I made all kinds of candy and cookies for Christmas. I made homemade ornaments for the Christmas tree.
And I hope my children feel that they had nice holidays. They have their own children now and have their own way of doing things. Make their own traditions.
“I let it go. It’s like swimming against the current. It exhausts you. After a while, whoever you are, you just have to let go, and the river brings you home.” – Joanne Harris
Taking Charge Of Your Life:
If you don’t take your time and make it your own, no one else is going to do it for you. You will just continue to rise to other’s expectations without taking your own desires into consideration.
With Christmas especially, it seems sad that people go into debt basically to buy all the presents they think is required of them. But then they have to pay it all off.
In stores, when I used to go into stores anyway, Christmas decor is often put up in the middle of the summer. And that just depresses me. I consider that jumping ahead in time.
And if there’s one thing I firmly believe in, it’s that we need to live in the here and now. Relish the moments, so to speak.
“Take charge of your life! The tides do not command the ship. The sailor does.”― Ogwo David Emenike
Savor The Moments:
That’s really all we have. The moments. So just enjoy today and make the most of it.
You don’t have to flow with the tide. You should do with your time what you truly want to.
Don’t be a prisoner to everyone else’s expectations. You will one day regret it.
I now have a teenage grandson I’m responsible for. Raising my kids was never this hard. Cudos to all people that raise their grandchildren. It is sooo difficult. My husband is 71 and I’m 69 and guess what we’re doing! MOVING out of the home we’ve been in for 21 years. Just in case something happens to us. He can’t b alone here. Everyone takes advantage of him. Rambling.,,,,,
I, too, have raised my son and now live alone – and love it! – I decorate, but not a tree. I feel this is my time – age 65 and in very good health – and feel so blessed to be able to enjoy these years to grow, learn and do what I want to do and be done worrying about everyone else 🙂
I agree with what you’re saying. Simple is peaceful and the true meaning of Christmas is revealed. I am guilty of overdoing it because growing up, ma family didn’t celebrate Christmas. Now that I have health issues, I will have to cut back. Do what makes you happy and peaceful. I love the beautiful photos of your little dog and your cat… the best company. I also like the quote by Joanne Harris. Wishing you Peace, Health and Love in the New Year. Take care! Love your blog!
My grandmother never had all her children living independently. Her home was a place you could return.
I love the holidays and go all out, and I was raised by women who did the same. I am so grateful for that experience and the love that I cultivated for the holidays because of it… I know what a blessing that has been. That being said… There’s no right or wrong way to celebrate or not celebrate, whatever brings peace in your heart is what I think it should be all about. I know the commercial world would tell you it should be something different, and that’s unfair and unrealistic to so many people. Wishing you peace, good health and joy in the new year.
Both of my parents were raised mostly by their grandparents. All of my grandparents divorced and married again so their homes lives were always changing. My parents were married over 60 years when my dad passed, my mom is 93. My life growing up was very different from theirs. A stable, strong family unit with me and my 2 siblings. We moved a lot but we always knew where home was… which wasn’t a place, but the 5 of us together.
Our great grand mothers and grandmothers did not know anything except home. We have more freedom than they ever did. Their life was caring for their husband and children. That is all they knew and were prepared to do.
My great grand mother had fourteen sixteen children and lived on a farm. Only three were girls.
My parents both spent some time living with their grandparents. For my mom, it was temporary but extended stays whenever her parents were fighting due to her dad’s drinking. For my dad, it was many years of living with his paternal grandparents after his mother died when he was six and his sister was four. This was back in the 1930s and 1940s. There are some people who have a lot of sadness to their lives at such a young age, as you well know. Christmas is a time, for me, to be prayerful about such things, and to be thankful that some dark times are in the past. And, while other bad things still are going on, I can pray that they will soon be in the past as well. I keep some Christmas lights on during this week to symbolize bringing some light into the darkness.
I was in the store the day before Christmas Eve and they already had Valentine Day candy out. You hear everyone say how fast time flies and here they are, rushing us into the next holiday. It’s so overwhelming. No one knows how to live one day at a time anymore.
There are a lot of expectations around the holidays, that’s for sure. I’ll admit I go all out, probably because my mom did the same, and I enjoy it all. However, as I get older, I crave simpler celebrations and I find myself letting the kids take the reins.
You make a lot of valid points, Brenda. We too spent that day much as all others. I did buy some of my husband’s favorite cookies plus 1 other treat for him…but ones I cannot eat due to my allergies. I COULD have baked something…but just was not energetic enough. We saw none of our offspring. (Of course, our emperor governor here forbids all gatherings). But likely we would not have seen them anyway. Our daughter locally and our daughter on the other side of the country keep tabs on us…but we gave up many holidays years ago. For a lot of reasons. I too was bothered by how stores would begin as early as September plastering all the halloween junk all over (to where the walkways were nearly closed down) and that goes on until into January at least, so for years I have stayed out of stores until January sometime, so much as I could. I love giving gifts to others, so it is not that. But somehow the special-ness of such days is lost I feel, with how a lot of it is done now. And yes, we are old now too…and somehow, quiet peaceful days are what we most desire.
It sounds like your Granny was a wonderful person who put others first! I’m sure she didn’t have time for self pitty! I’m sure she had a big influence on your life that shaped you into the person you are today!
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