Ep 154 Holidays Have Seasons, Too

December 25, 2023

Good morning from Milan, Italy, and Merry Christmas to those of you who celebrate Christmas. It is Christmas Eve here in Milan. The Vigile di Natale is a very important celebration in Italy, one of the most important days of the year. I decided to come to Italy because I got an amazingly loving invitation from my friends, the Manes family. Alas I am at home alone not well and the right thing to do was to cancel, which I did. Anyway, I have embraced my situation and being alone but one of the things I find interesting about it is that before I even came to Italy for the holidays, I was having anticipatory anxiety about feeling lonely. Yes, I have friends and loved ones here, but I have been out of the country for many, many years and this is a time of year , when people are busy, they have plans, they have their family commitments. Once I got here, I pretty much got past that feeling. I am very comfortable where I’m staying and I’ve been enjoying the city and then – bam – I got sick and the concern I was having about feeling lonely and isolated came to be.

Anyway, I don’t think I’m different than most other people. Once I go down the road of feeling a little sorry for myself, I don’t like the way that feels , and I pull myself out of it.  What’s coming up for me today, one of the things I’m reflecting on, is the fact that the holidays also have their seasons in our lives. There are holidays when we feel elated. Maybe something’s going to happen. Our kids are coming home or  we have something particularly special planned. Then there are those holidays when we feel lonely, sometimes lonely even within our own family units. There are times when we have too much travel, or someone coming home for the holidays either can’t make it or has a travel snafu. There are times when we have too much responsibility for an aging parent. I remember when I was with my partner, Dan. For many consecutive years, it was just the two of us and his father. We were the people to take care of him on the holiday because his caregiver was with her family, and we were really tied down. And yes it felt like a burden, quite frankly.

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