Countdown to 60

Aging on my terms - Daily musings in 500 words or so

Moody blues

I know I should be writing today’s post, and I even knew what I wanted to write, but I’m distracted. Partly emotionally, and partly because of working on travel arrangements for next month.

I’m not sure if it’s just me, or if you experience the same thing. This time of year can be a little difficult for me. Maybe it’s the shorter days, or the upcoming holidays that affect my mood. But today I’m not my usual chipper self.

My husband experiences the same thing, which probably doesn’t help. Having two of us being overly sensitive with low energy is not a good thing. It’s not because of the time change, like it is for some. I know there are people who don’t like it, but I do.

I like that it’s light earlier and don’t mind that it gets dark at 5pm. We get up early and sometimes head out on our bikes before dawn. It’s nice to be outside to catch the first morning light, and that was harder to do at 7am when we needed to be getting ready for the day.

I love to get up early to catch the first morning rays

I’m starting to think it’s the upcoming holidays that get me moody. Huh, I just remembered that I get sick every year right after Christmas too. Maybe I don’t really like Christmas? (I think my friend Sarah may have a mini-heart attack reading this!)

When I was little, I loved Christmas. But I didn’t have to do any of the work involved with it back then either. As a young mother, I went overboard making everything just right and baking and cooking and creating handcrafted this and that’s. Which was probably why I would get sick as soon as the holiday was over.

One year my husband and I hosted his entire family and mine for Christmas. Everyone spent the night in a 12-bedroom house we had access to, and it was a lot of fun.

We had my husband's entire family and mine for Christmas 2012

And a lot of work.

I think we both got sick that year, and we’ve been a little more low-key since then. Moving to Southern California has been an adjustment too. It doesn’t seem right to have a Christmas tree up when it’s 72 degrees outside.

Last year I changed my Christmas theme to be a little more relevant to living in an apartment in a beach town in So Cal. And I was thankful for the warm weather as we filled the house to the brim with our kids and their kids. We will be doing that again this year too.

I changed my Christmas theme to be more beach like since I live in Santa Barbara

   A very beach Christmas

The perfect beach Christmas

Sea shells and Santa

Okay just writing this, I’m starting to get excited about Christmas. So maybe it isn’t that I don’t like Christmas as much as I don’t have the desire to go overboard with it any longer. It can be a lot of work.

Speaking of which, I better get back to making our travel arrangements. There are three of us and a dog heading to Maryland and coming back we will have my granddaughters and their cat too. Shouldn’t be too much trouble, right?

Hopefully I figure out why I get the blues around this time of year and can do something to change it. But if not, I know January is right around the corner.

7 Comments

  1. I definitely don’t go over board for Christmas. I’m with my husband and his 3 boys here at our house. The boys don’t notice decorations. I put up a tree and decorate the mantle with stockings. Anything else is just extra that I decided to do. We make a nice meal but no pressure on timing. If I don’t get a present I don’t care. I make sure the boys have presents. I think Christmas is over commercialized. It’s more about family time. Even though 2 of the kids (14 and 21) will play video games sun up to sun down.

    • Loretta Sayers
      Loretta Sayers

      2017-11-07 at 16:51

      I agree 100% about Christmas. We have finally decided to just do gifts for my granddaughters. I like the idea of the low key dinner too Cindy. Enjoy that snow!

  2. I’ve gotten tired of being the only one in the household who does the actual decorating/planning/preparing, etc. At 12 and 16, I think my kids are old enough to start participating if they want it to be sparkly and magical. As the oldest child and with my mom gone the traditions seem to have fallen to me. I usually Scrooge out until the last minute.

    PLUS, I refuse to “do” anything Christmas until after my birthday, which is on the 9th. 😉

    • Loretta Sayers
      Loretta Sayers

      2017-11-08 at 19:30

      I don’t decorate until about a week before Christmas too. And then it’s all gone before my son’s birthday on the 30th.

      First and foremost…celebrate your Birthday!!!

  3. I live by myself, well almost—I do have my essential single-woman accessory—my cat—by my side; however, she’s not much of a conversationalist. (Although she is quite decorative.)

    By nature, I’m a bit of a loner (not a group person) and somewhat quirky to boot (INFP – Meyer-Briggs type) so being by myself isn’t the worst thing in the world. But still, it can get lonely, especially after leaving my full-time media writing job last year and launching out on my own. My two daughters are grown, and I do see my older one fairly often (she leaves closeby) which is good, but still it’s not a substitute for having that “special someone” in your life.

    So the biggest challenge for me as an INFP is forcing myself to be with people other than just one on one, now and then. I can’t seem to escape the idea that joining a group would be an emotionally healthy thing to do, especially after seeing my dementia-ridden father (he passed away last year) grow worse, which I think would not have happened so quickly if he had been a group person. But he wasn’t—like me, he was a loner.

    The problem is, every time I get into a group I end up wanting to leave it. It was especially challenging when I went to Uganda with a group of mostly women, most of whom were the task-oriented types who seem to thrive on bossing people around—especially me, for some unknown reason. I must have had a “kick me” sign on my back. 😉

    Man, I can’t tell you how much I hate being around bossy women. All I wanted to do was what I was assigned to do, which was to take photos and collect stories—not to be told what to do, and how to do it—or as was sometimes the case—what not to do, by “the collective.”

    It’s those kinds of experiences that make me retreat even further into myself, which of course is not healthy and will do not well by me in the long run.

    Holidays, of course, can be fraught with social anxiety for the obvious reasons, not the least of which is having to spend time with certain toxic family members you’d rather not hang around. But sometimes you have no choice, so it’s imperative, I think, to keep posititve, walk in love “as far as it’s possible for you to do so” and determine not to let feelings of doubt, despair and negativity rule the day!

    One more thing while I’m on a roll and that’s the whole social media thing, specifically Facebook. What’s challenging is all these women my age who post photos of their grandchildren ad nauseam on Facebook. Every image of their grandchild with food on their face, a distorted grimace, an amusing posture, or a “cute utterance” seems like a clarion call that warrants a post. Really? I would hope that even when I have grandchildren, that would not be me. It’s overkill and no one but them and their immediate family actually cares. Worse, it just rubs it into to those of us boomers who have children that still have not married. (Which is a crying shame in my case as I would make a super-fun grandmother. I always feel like my authentic self around children.)

    So, needless to say, I’m avoiding Facebook for that reason and because of all the political rants that are fueled by so much hostility that it’s mind-boggling. Enough already!

    That’s my two cents worth anyway.

  4. The stress of the holidays is REAL. I don’t get into Christmas at all, because we barely have the funds for it from year to year. Thankfully, my daughter isn’t materialistic, although it will be hard to top the year we got her pets and a TV for her room.

    But I stress hard core over the holidays…and mine started last month.

    • Loretta Sayers
      Loretta Sayers

      2017-11-12 at 07:58

      I agree. It’s just different for all of us. I grew up poor and never thought twice about lots of gifts for Christmas…sometimes we just got oranges and sweatshirts! It was still fun.

      Try not to stress over gift giving…I know, easy to say. When my sons were little I had no money. We all decided to make something for each person. Was one of our best Christmas’.

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