It’s Christmas Day. I’m on my own. And that’s ok. In fact it’s better than that. I’m very happy. Because it’s what I wanted, and I’m not really on my own.
When I told people I’d decided to spend the day on my own they reacted in a variety of ways, but the consistent element was the generosity and kindness I encountered. I had so many offers of joining people for Christmas Day I could’ve ended up eating my body weight in sprouts (which sounds amazing, I love sprouts!). For a while I thought about trying to visit all these people, but given the logistical challenges I decided against it. I’ve also learnt how good people really are, and the fact they all made the offer meant so much. I also received cards with very personal messages and a wonderful letter from my brother, which even writing about now brings tears to my eyes. Although these words cost nothing the sentiments they represent are priceless. I now realise these are acts of love, a concept which is too often misunderstood (I’ve learnt a lot about this from reading bell hooks).
Over the last year I’ve been thinking more and more about the importance of memories. So this morning I spent time looking at the things around my flat, and listening to music that means something to me, remembering the special people I have met during my life. Some of these in the last year or so, others going back throughout my life, some came and left my life over a short space of time, others are long suffering! This was a lovely way to spend the morning and made me realise it’s not the stuff or thing that matters but the people connected to these. I’ve also realised social media, much maligned for humble bragging or vacuous content, comes into its own this time of year. Seeing posts and pictures of people I care about, and the personal messages of love they are sharing, with their friends and family, has really made me feel happy. On top of that I got texts and calls from several people. Knowing that people are thinking of you makes such a difference.
I feel I should finish by adding that I’m not religious so I can’t really understand the significance it has to people in that respect. But perhaps the importance of feeling love for people, common to different religions, is something I now understand much better. If you are reading this and I know you personally, there’s a good chance I’ve been thinking about you today, so as far as I’m concerned you’ve been with me. Thank you, I love you.