There is an explanation for my excitement about the scheduling of the Home Alone movies around December. I’m uncertain what that reasoning is, but by the end of this article we may stumble upon something.
There are so many degrees of stress and concern about where to spend the holidays, and it increases as you grow older, with your family spreading out into many groups of relatives, your children forming their own alliances with in-laws, and so many other convolutions.
I am orphaned with one son. That is the extent of my family. Then I have an adoptive daughter and one grandson by her, living abroad. I’ve got five sisters, we having survived our two brothers Romany and Raphael; 27 nieces and nephews; and a host of great- and great-great-nieces and nephews, so I’m surrounded by loads of relatives.
Surrounded is not to be taken literally, because if you’ve followed my writing you’ll know that I admit to being a tough member and I’ve grown used to the idea of being avoided by some people for varied reasons, but mostly because they have no idea how to treat with my oscillations and outspokenness.
Last Christmas evening, three sisters—Jemma, Judy, Jenny—their husbands, children, grandchildren, some in-laws and my sister-friend Debbie Parris showed up at my home. It was a wonderful surprise.
Thankfully, someone forewarned me of their arrival and I was able to wrap up cleaning both refrigerators and looking decent before their arrival.
That was a beauty of a lime because they walked with music and we sang carols, soca parang, blues, et al. The added touch was the extemporising of the last verse of every song, which was based on the subject of getting me a husband in 2012. Jenny, in particular, really enjoyed herself, producing some hilarious endings!
It’s December and I am still without that companion they so wished on me. But a long time ago I adjusted my sentiments to suit my situation. Having not received my abiding love just yet, I’m a wonderful source of ideas for avoiding loneliness during the holidays.
It did not start off as intentional. For years I’d be so saddened because there was no special one in my life, and then it all changed. So far, I’ve had over 30 Christmases without a spouse or intimate love.
So here are some ways to engage yourself.
Embrace quiet: There are days when I go for hours without a sound in the house. The calming of the spirit is essential to your future well-being. Use your alone time to meditate and plan. I write poetry and I paint.
Call others: I never understand people who get snappy when others do not call them. If you are interested in people, call them and let them know. That should have nothing to do with whether or not they call you.
Throw a party: It’s a good way to avoid loneliness because the planning and preparation take up most of your time and attention.
Then there’s entertaining, cleaning, regrouping, and before you know it, it’s January 6 and the whole thing is over.
A friend reminded me that I had a really bad attitude about Christmas and for years I kept a “twelfth day of Christmas good-riddance-to-the-festivities” party. It was funny and memorable.
Travel: Go somewhere if you can afford to do so. It might be too late for long-distance travel plans, but you can still have a Christmas staycation or hop over to one of the islands and give yourself an opportunity for a novel experience.
Encircle relatives: If your tolerance is high, you should encircle those among you who are regarded as unhappy relatives.
Their complaining could take your mind off your own situation.
Whatever you do though, do not add to your loneliness relatives with a penchant for gossip and negativity.
They are oft times also boastful, prideful, loud and abrasive; and that’s all they bring.
Avoid them at all costs. Love them from a distance and draw strict lines when they cross your path. I’d forgive an offending relative in the season’s goodwill, but I intend to avoid toxicity and so should you.
Love solitude: I love my own company and I give me some of the best advice because I know me better than anyone else.
There are freedoms in living alone that you cannot enjoy otherwise. Be happy in your space.
For this Christmas-birthday, my “angel” jokingly said he’d come to Moruga to mark my milestone.
I told him it would be one that’d be right up there with 16, and 21, memorable for life.
For now though, living in the irony of Home Alone until I have my mate to share these holidays, much like my 84-year-old aunt who’s still expecting to marry, I’ll enjoy aloneness without getting lonely.