I realise I haven’t been looking forward to Christmas this year.
I’ve been miserable.
Humbug, writ large.
Cards have been arriving in the post, people I work with giving them…
A little party at one trust, carols, thanks, all that…
I ducked the second, Christmassy, half of that one.
And now I know why.
It’s time to be happy, to meet people at parties, over dinner, in the street, and be happy.
To tell people what you’ve been up to, how the family are, ask about theirs…
And that means remembering…names, facts, events…which takes time.
Then the words to explain those events and feelings…
It takes effort.
On Saturday night this crystallised.
I can’t keep up any more. Not at all. I can’t get into conversations.
By the time I’ve thought of a word or idea they’ve all cut in, and my thought is, well, lost.
It’s a really slow process of, what, decline? deterioration? brain rot? …and I’ve written about this before.
Yes, I was feeling off my game anyway, tired and vaguely ill, and wishing I were at home…
I was with two very good friends and four whom I had not met before.
The usual rules of conversation are that you listen then speak, and in my case slowly, searching for the right phrase. The people I usually mix with know me now, but they also are kind and perceptive and give me a bit of extra time when I need it. And in normal situations I rarely do need it.
But these were just jumping in before others had finished, not listening, just shouting on about what they wanted us to know.
And I just switched off, closed down, wilted. Because I knew I didn’t have a cat’s chance of keeping up.
This must be true for thousands of others. At this time everyone’s so happy and joyful and jumping with enthusiasm to be happy and joyful and jumping in and up and down…
We’ve not got a chance really. We just have to sit back and watch, and think and reflect…
Not always positively.
It’s like when you’re the only one not drinking booze at a party. Those jokes and quips are funny to them but dull to you. You see through them.
And the house is filled with activity, stuff(ocation), people…mostly loved ones…noise, drinks, conversations, cooking, getting things synchronised…
Well I’ll be walking the dog, sitting in a quiet room, listening, watching Netflix, or something else this year, cos I’m not sure I can do it all this time.
Spare a thought for us.
You’ll be excited, and noisy, and joyful, and boozy. You’ll be the players.
We’ll be in the spectator seats, watching. Trying to be cheerful, smiling when someone looks our way, saying yes, that’s lovely, a few times, and thinking it never used to be like this did it?
And we’ll know that’s gone for ever, and we’ll try to make the best of it, wondering what next year will be like.
Spare a thought. Just be kind and sensitive and give us time and space.