Yes, the “Holiday Season” is difficult for me. It has been for almost forty-plus years. In that time I have tried many different approaches to managing the time of the year between November 1 and January 3. I’ve tried sun-lamps, vacations, visiting my husband’s family, going nowhere, shunning parties, and straight up hiding. As you might guess this time of the year is pretty dark for me.
Because of that I search for the good in a holiday. Strangely in the darkest part of winter with Solstice, Yule, Kwanza, Christmas, Chanakya I actually find it easier to manage. The emphasis is on bringing light to the world. That is something I can celebrate.
Thanksgiving, not so much. This holiday carries a good share of the family dysfunction that marks most of this season. However, I can’t find an aspect of it that helps me relate to it in a positive way. Because of that November has become a month of dread.
Every year culminated with this slow wind-up to Thanksgiving, the heat of the proverbial water increasing until a rolling boil was reached at Christmas. “The Holidays” were a mania of seeming.
When I discovered NaNoWriMo I found a way to pass the days of November which allowed me to avoid the slow escalation of expectations. Being able to lose myself in my writing helps me focus on something that is very tangible. Ink on a page. Work.
All the expectation, and the anxiety, the roles we played becomes fodder for stories. I can take that pain and turn it inside out and into something useful, healthy, beautiful. NaNoWriMo helps me navigate my most difficult time of the year.
Things are changing, slowly.
I’m beginning to look forward to November. For me it is the start of ‘hygge season’, time to curl up to listen to the wind, and to allow my imagination to wander across a page. Send up some warmed cider and a turkey sandwich and I’ll get along just fine.