Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Lessons


A time of reflection in the last few days, away from the whizz and bang.

(1) More than you would think really despise this season.

(2) More than you would think absolutely adore it.

And it has nothing to do with family or friends or being alone or not.

Now that I am older I censor myself more, do you find that? Less revealing to those younger than me. More revealing to those my age or older. I tamp myself down when talking with family, conscious of being boring with same old, same old or forced cheeriness. I would observe this phenomenon in elders as I got older myself. A contrived jolliness, less revealing, more dismissive of aches, pains, heartbreaks. Even though the heartbreaks hurt worse as I age and they get swallowed down. For fear of...more. It must be just fierce to be old and all one's peers gone. No one to talk to. Fear of being abandoned by those younger as too much of a downer? Perhaps. So one would have to remain secretive, unrevealed. A friend is doing this now. She is 84 and doesn't speak the truth like she used to. No more worries, no more cares, grins and chuckles all the time. Or maybe this is the nirvana I so desperately seek? When I turn 80 all days will be cloudless and giggles? I'm not talking dementia, though now that you mention it....

I'm still formulating these thoughts. I wrote, a lot, over these last few days. Good stuff I think. I read an entire book in 24 hours too. A lazy, decadent thing to do. I watched a few movies I'd seen before but good movies, like books, never lose their allure. They offer something new each time.

I ran away once too. But not for long. I play what ifs? when I do this. What if I vanished completely, just drove and drove. What if I went to the most expensive hotel in town and pretended I was somebody I was not. What if I got a blonde wig and dark glasses and just walked around jewellery stores. Back in the day a friend and I would do this, pretend we were people from out of town. And howl for days at the sheer entertainment value of it and the gullibility of people. Innocent masquerades. No fraudulent intent at all.

An old boyfriend would never grocery shop. He'd take your full one if your back was turned and check out. Saved him the time and trouble and only got stuck once with a box of tampons that he thoughtfully put in his washroom for people like me giving the illusion he was a considerate, caring, sensitive man. Everybody won in his life except the poor shopper who lost.

Did you win or lose this holiday season? I hope you won.

A friend woke up on Boxing Day with every room in her house trashed by grandchildren and their drunken minders. She wept as she emailed me. Her grandmother suicided on the railway tracks on Christmas Day and she totally understands.

And yes, I won too. I kept a very low profile and did the limbo beneath. All was calm. All was bright.

Calmy brights to all my blogland buddies.





26 comments:

  1. Unfortunately....I lost. Great Christmas Eve.....bad...bad...bad Christmas Day.....Alcoholics you know can do that!!! Anyway love stopping by here....I really do LOVE how you write.

    glad I found you out here

    Jo

    ReplyDelete
  2. MGS:
    I am so sorry that your Christmas Day was a downer. I used to make it a downer for everyone when I drank. To drown. Always myself.
    27 Holiday Seasons now without the demon. There is hope.
    Thanks for your lovely words.
    XO
    WWW

    ReplyDelete
  3. I remember my mother and aunts spoiling holidays and visits with their drinking. I always felt guilty as if I were the one who had driven them to it.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hattie:
    I am so glad your current holiday celebrations are happier!
    XO
    WWW

    ReplyDelete
  5. very, very quiet Christmas in my neck of the woods, and I liked it. I will be 50 this year but still can relate to what you wrote. I love your insights !

    ReplyDelete
  6. I think I have gotten more outspoken as I have gotten older because I have more definite opinions and I refuse to put a false smile on my face. When I am home in the Netherlands, that does mean that I am more solitary as a result but then I do like my own company. Holidays force false cheer on us and we feel we have to be jolly and part of a happy group, although there are more single people now more then ever who don't belong to one. There will be a change of attitude socially because of this. xox

    ReplyDelete
  7. I had a lovely quiet time this year, no driving and time to think my own thoughts, eat when and what I wanted. The day was actually very short.

    May the year ahead hold many wonderful surprises for you, WWW

    ReplyDelete
  8. I learn so much from you.
    I need to share less
    So weary of hearing older family members share of their thoughts.
    I am doing the same lately and need to put tape on my mouth.
    A quiet Christmas with 2 children and families and 2 families far far away.
    I cook, clean too much.
    So nice for weeks of ahead
    of quiet time, reading, walking
    maybe a nice lunch and just time
    to be me.
    Thank you for this post :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. CC12:
    Us bloggers are reflective my nature. Innies I would think with occasional outie explosions!
    Lovely to be in the woods. There is unrecognized (for most) healing in trees.
    XO
    WWW

    ReplyDelete
  10. Irene:
    I believe this too Irene, the majority of people are now living on their own though some opt for community which works for them.
    I am lucky in that I don't have to put on a front (mostly).
    XPO
    WWW

    ReplyDelete
  11. GM:
    Mine too!! I had my moments of remembrance and gratitude but it was all rather lovely.
    XO
    WWW

    ReplyDelete
  12. I have a beloved son, who has a difficult life, home with us for the holidays, so that made it wonderful for me, knowing he would not be alone but surrounded by love. As I get older I feel safer than I used to just being me, without too much pretense. Son brought me "A Quaker Book of Wisdom," which I am loving as I have always been drawn to the Quaker way of thinking. Christmas for me is about books---memories of the week after Christmas, curled up by the fire, lost in the books you got as gifts!
    Agree with you about the healing power of trees!
    Glad you had a good time with good writing and reading!

    ReplyDelete
  13. OWJ:
    I just responded to your personal email and did what you requested :)
    I like to see the back of the season now, Like to look ahead, look forward, that was my father's cure for life. Have something to look forward to all the time.
    Many forwards to you.
    XO
    WWW

    ReplyDelete
  14. Molly:
    "I have a beloved son" - how absolutely wonderful are those words. I am sure he knows it too, I am sure you are his beloved mother.
    There's no lovelier word is there?
    Enjoy your downtime. Your books. Your beloveds.
    XO
    WWW

    ReplyDelete
  15. I'm with Irene. Tell it like it is and if other people aren't happy, than we can go our separate ways. Better that than constantly pretending to be someone we're not.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I mostly do Nick but hold back with younger family members. I think most parents do as they age.

    I find the ones who complain the most at the ones abandoned in the Old People's Warehouses.

    XO
    WWW

    ReplyDelete
  17. Weather turned very nastily wintry and prevented our usual trip to the wildlife refuge & drive up Mount Scott. Drat!!! So Christmas Day was spent in much the same way as every other day (but colder) - which was fine by us, though not a clear "win".
    :-)

    Calmly brights or, perhaps, brightly calms back atcha WWW!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Brightly calms accepted, tx T!

    Too bad about your trip, I was out and about today and took some fab pics, no snow here yet. We get all sorts of bad press here for snow but ne'er a flake to be found. It's coming on Friday!!

    XO
    WWW

    ReplyDelete
  19. You are blessed. You can switch off whenever you want and go low key. I am not allowed to, but frankly, I love it. I had a grand Christmas day with great company and good food, some of it I had cooked.

    Calmy brights to you too friend.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Christmas, I'm tired of it. And I've been through only 49 of them. We'll be taking down the decorations today or tomorrow, and that's not soon enough for me.

    You wrote, "Now that I am older I censor myself more, do you find that?" No, I was very secretive when younger, and I shed more and more layers of privacy as I get older. But I'm no fool -- my blogs remain anonymous, and my real Facebook network includes only family and close friends.

    Peace

    ReplyDelete
  21. The research actually shows that, as a rule, people get grumpier with age rather than cheerier. Especially men.

    A friend of mine just called to vent, but not in a woe-is-me sort of way. He just wanted to talk about something that had happened. He mentioned that he had turned down an invitation from a friend to go to a game and dinner, because he didn't feel like dealing with that friend's negativity. And I get that, because there is a fine line. Honestly admitting that things aren't perfect is one thing, but constantly complaining is intolerable to me.

    As for Christmas, I dont think of it in terms of winning or losing. There are good and bad things about it, and I'm trying to stay conscious of the good.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Ramana:
    Maybe this is one of the reasons I ran away to Newfoundland (apart from the sea and the people and the vistas and the creativity.....)
    ?

    Who knows?

    I'm glad you had lovelies.

    Thanks my friend.

    XO
    WWW

    ReplyDelete
  23. SPG:

    Another kindred spirit!

    Yes at your age I was completely open book and still am but not with the young 'uns.

    One reason my blog is anonymous is the freedom to write of anything including my village.

    Thanks for visiting, I will call back to you!

    XO
    WWW

    ReplyDelete
  24. SAW:

    Interesting that about grumpier with age, I hadn't heard it.

    Winning and losing was a little tongue in cheek.

    We can only have victory over self and its darker manifestations, IMHO.

    XO
    WWW

    ReplyDelete
  25. Hi,

    I found your blog quite by chance (well, I was looking for NL blogs) and am enjoying reading it.

    I lived in St John's for nine years, moving back to England in April of this year when my marriage to a Canadian lady ended.

    I foolishly thought I wouldn't miss Newfoundland but it gets under a person's skin and sometimes I miss it terribly.

    I could have stayed. I could have lived somewhere else on my own but the memories were too painful I guess.

    Thank you for your lovely blog and the sentiments you express. The place is lovely, the people the most generous and wonderful there are.

    Happy New Year to you, and all those gentle souls who crossed my path during those memorable nine years.

    Paul Russell

    ReplyDelete

Some of you are having trouble, I've removed captcha and verification so we'll see how that goes. My apologies. Blogger is putting up far too many roadblocks. Thanks for the emails alerting me.
wisewebwomanatgmail.com