Before you begin reading this post: I’d like to offer a disclaimer before I share this, not to be a jerk… but seriously: This is WHOLE HEARTEDLY not a pity party. This is not a cry for help. This is not a passive-aggressive request for people to fuss over me. Let’s be 100% clear about that.
If you fuss over me because of this post, it will not help the situation and since we’re friends, it really just makes it worse. If you cannot reading this without feeling the need to take action, needing to hug me when you see me, or sending a pity heart emoji, I welcome you back to this page for recipe fun on Monday (or Tuesday or whenever I post next.)
Ok, now that we’ve agreed this is a super safe space, let’s talk about what it actually is: Me talking about something that I feel during the holiday season, and something that I’m guessing others do too.
The Seasonal Single Sads
By now, we’ve met (either in person or virtually.) I’m comfortable telling you: I am a fabulous single woman. I have amazing friends, a great family, and a prosperous professional life. I’m a leader, a mentor, and love helping others become the best versions of themselves! I have a beautiful home and live exactly where I’d like to live (possibly) forever. There is very little I want for on a daily basis. In this world we live in today, I recognize I am beyond lucky.
I am, however, extremely single. Most days, being single is no big deal. Being single means that I can jet set off to LA to see my favorite artist sing without having to make arrangements with anyone else. I can eat sugar snap peas for dinner if I want to and wear the same outfit all weekend long without anyone judging me. I can create a pile of shoes two feet tall near my door (only picking them up when the cleaning lady is coming by so that she can clean around them.) I have freedom and am the queen of my kingdom (or is it queen-dom?)
While I have a huge personality amongst those that know me well, I’m also a bit of an introvert. I need “me time,” and I’m selfish about it. It’s my #1 method of self-care and I consider it sacred. I can easily take a day to refuel and not speak with another human until I feel myself again. I can spend the day at a spa with no one wondering where the heck I was. I can do whatever the hell I want most days.
It is very rare that I consider anything different than the lifestyle I lead. I mean, this has worked for me for about 40 years. I barely know any different, and I’m beyond content.
And then, the holidays come around.
You know… the HOLIDAYS. Land of special gift giving, sweet romantic gestures, and holiday party plus-ones. UGH. The holidays arrive with their own personal plus ones: the seasonal single sads.
Again, this is not a pity party. When you’re single though, no one is planning something special for you. There is nothing perfectly wrapped under the tree that you’ll be shaking and imagining what’s inside. There’s no one greeting you when you come home from shopping for gifts for friends and family and wanting to hear all about it. There’s no one to hold your hand through that workplace holiday party, and there’s no one waiting to kiss you under the mistletoe.
It’s can very quickly become Hard Candy Christmas. If you’re not familiar with this Christmas song, it’s one of my favorites. I particularly enjoy the Kelly Clarkson cover from her 1st Miracle on Broadway show.
Christmas carols aside, it just is what it is, and I’m thankful it’s only about a six week timeframe that I really even think about how trying it is to be single. Six weeks is, of course, inclusive of the first two weeks of January, containing the ultimate holiday events – – New Year’s Eve and yes, my birthday. Two of the hardest landmarks tied to the S3.
We’re only a few days into the holiday and I already feel it coming on. That loneliness. That silence. That end of day, all alone feeling. Cue the hallmark movies – – maybe there’s a meet-cute about to happen when some packages get switched up between me and a cute new neighbor. Nah, probably not going to happen. Cue the social media feed – – the endless posting of idealic holiday perfection makes me want to have a Cheez-Its party and swim in a pool of rosé. And the downward spiral just continues to snowball from there… (pun certainly intended.)
As for this season we are in, I’m trying to take care of myself, to get out and about to celebrate with friends, and to stop making excuses and get back to the gym/back to my mat/move something.
Creating a Flurry of Activity: My friend Donna often talks about creating a “flurry of activity” (PS… it’s her birthday today! HBD, Donna!) When you have stuff going on, places to go, people to see, things to do, it gives you less time to think about the sads and more time to snap out of it. I’m working on that… I’d also like to do more knitting. It’s winter. I need wooly things, and knitting is pretty meditative and lovely. Adding knitting to the to-do list. Although, knitting does seem like a super single activity… hmm… still doing it!
Random Acts of Kindness: I completely support the theory of “the joy being in the giving” and I try to give in unexpected and thoughtful ways throughout the season. Maybe it’s a card to say thank you for being awesome, or leaving an anonymous surprise on someone’s desk. I don’t need to know you know something came from me to make it special. The JOY is in the giving, and in some weird way, I feel like a joy fairy or something. It’s fun! Amongst us friends, I truly believe there’s always people having their own version of the sads out there. You might not even know it’s happening. That’s why just being KIND is so important. Everywhere you go, to everyone, just be kind.
I don’t think I’ve ever employed a strategy to get through the holidays, but the above is a great start. I have an alternative plan in the works for 2019 that I’ll tell you more about later…
Being sad for a few weeks out of the year doesn’t make me broken; it makes me human. I’d sure like to shave a few weeks off this nonsense this year though, so I’m trying something new.
Do you get the Seasonal Single Sads?