365 Happy Days – A smile a day – A Christmas Day Post

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Christmas 2014 – that means this is the 6th year without Luke, the 1st year without my Mum and the year my husband passed away too.  Bob and I were separated but goodness his loss has awoken a lot of emotions; we had 16 years together and although we both did things to damage our relationship we had some very good times.  He was only 58 years old, far too young to die, there were lots of things unsaid between us and of course things that will now never be said.

I’m not too sure where I’m going here, but a few words about relationships and how we so often treat each other.  It never ceases to amaze me how unhappy in each others company some couples can be.  And yes this is going to be one of my rants!  Why take your other half shopping if you know they don’t like it?  I know, I hope, what suits me, I don’t need someone to sit around looking bored to tell me what I should buy.  And as for food shopping?  If it isn’t working that both of you go?  Use the internet or again have one of you go, whatever it takes to keep things fresh and stop boredom creeping in.

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On deeper matters – A friend of mine who has been very unhappy for quite a while told me recently how they’d found someone outside of the relationship (B), but that they still loved the person at home (A).  Since Luke’s died I tend to be someone who feels I can say things others can’t; my response – You love A but you’re prepared to see B intimately?  Do you really love A or are you just comfortable with the routine of home?  We do the most awful things to each other at times, but we really should step back and look at why we’re doing what we’re doing.  That friend is planning on making big changes in 2015 to seek a different life.  You can bet that if one party isn’t happy the other is likely to feel the same.

We shouldn’t leave a partner for someone else, we should leave because things aren’t working and we’re unhappy.  I have a very different measure to most, I fully accept that, there is nothing to compare to the loss of a child.  But, I do know that there is more than one right person for all of us, the end of a relationship shouldn’t be the end of the world.

Back to my intention for today’s post – Christmas Day.  I spent the weekend in Paris with my whole immediate family,  apart from my stepson Peter, then came home to contemplate a Christmas Day alone.  Alex was having her 1st Christmas in her adopted country and Jake wanted to go to his girlfriend for dinner.  My own Mum never put pressure on any of us to do what was expected; I don’t ever want to restrict my own children for certain days.

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Nor do I want to be someone others feel obliged to invite for days such as today; although my lovely friends who did extend and offer were doing so for all the right reasons.  I thought I’d try to spend the day alone, see how I got on.  I confess to a few tears last night as something made Luke come into my mind, but, it was only a few.  I went to bed late isn, feeling pretty much OK.

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Little Shirley (The dog) seems to be unwell today so she woke Jake up at about 7:45, a long lie in wasn’t to be!  I did do my pretend to be asleep thing for a while though, and listened to Jake open up the rubbish on the whole that was in his ‘stocking’. Alex and Gautier had a ‘stocking’ apiece too!  Then the 2 of us made our way down to open our presents.  You can never be sure that your choice suits a 19 year old, but I can presume by the fact that Jake wore his track suit all day that he approved!

I was spoilt by Jake and several good friends; Alex sent me a key ring with one of our favourite little quotes –

“I love You To The Moon and Back”

A favourite book when she was little and words we exchange regularly.

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Jake went off to his girlfriend, but not until he’d been called out to an accident – goodness he was yellow!   As he was leaving my friend Sue, alone today, arrived to take said little dog for a walk.  She’s had a tough time of late and cried when she got here, I’m pleased to report she was smiling by the time she left!  We saw the most amazing mural on the side of a barber shop as we walked, it’s certainly part of my Happy Day –  I’ve set Sue a #100HappyDays challenge too!  Sue went home and I found myself alone from about 2 o’clock.

Do you know?  I’ve actually found the afternoon/early evening to be quite liberating!  I had a long soak in the bath after catching up with Alex on FaceTime, had a good read while I relaxed.  I’m not incredibly fussed by food but dinner then beckoned.  I cooked myself a very delicious filet steak, chucking various ingredients into a wok then adding the meat; I cheated on the veggies, thank you Sainsbury’s!  Once I had actually cooked the vegetables in the microwave, it didn’t work 1st time!  I sat down to what was a perfect amount of very tasty food, with a glass of White Zinfandel.

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I’d made a schoolgirl error of eating the cheesecake I’d bought for afters yesterday, so ate a few cherries instead, oh and some chocolate!  I’ve decided that my self imposed ban from 1st September to Xmas Day will be back from New Year’s Day! I can eat bucketfuls of the stuff far too easily!

My post dinner viewing was a recorded rugby match and at this moment I’m sitting watching a favourite of mine – Downton Abbey.  I can honestly say that I’ve really enjoyed my day; sometimes being around lots of people intent on enjoying all that Christmas Day stands for has been hard in recent years.  I’ve been very comfortable with the quiet, with the solitude.  I sometimes wonder if we’re pressurised into doing what’s expected of us, rather than what we feel comfortable with.  This is probably the 1st Christmas Day since Luke died that I haven’t shed tears – he’d be pleased by that!

I hope you’ve all had a wonderful day and have spent it how you really wanted to – if you’ve been unhappy?  Maybe 2015 is the year to think about making some changes.


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