This Christmas I decided to stay “home” and complete my comprehensive exams that I have been putting off for over a year. I finished coursework in May 2008 and *should* have been working on the preparation and all that over the summer and finished up comps last school year, but other things got in the way.
So, this year, I am finishing up comprehensive exams over Christmas. They’re not fun, but I am learning a lot. It doesn’t all make sense yet and the thoughts are a bit jumbled (as any thoughts on non-static notions might be), but I’m getting through it and it’s just as easy as walking through quicksand. Ok, maybe it’s not that bad. But staying calm is just as important.
The point, however, is that for the first time – ever – I’m going to be alone on Christmas Eve. Was it a choice? Absolutely. Does it still suck? You betcha! =)
There is a tree in this great big, empty, house. And it has lights and ornaments on it. I even plan to wear my traditional new Christmas pajamas tonight that my mom was kind enough to give me in advance of Christmas. (So this year they’re washed already!) I would like to be baking cookies, rearranging ornaments that have personalized meaning to make the tree look more balanced, sharing a meal with people who are family, and then going to bed knowing that in the morning, more than the sun will be up and about.
It’s but one year, but this one year has really made me realize just how important and critical it has been to not be alone on a major holiday such as Christmas – even if I don’t celebrate it in its “full” religious sense. This holiday has a lot of meaning which boils down to family and togetherness.
Instead of celebrating with family, I’ll do something else that is a present in itself… move ahead in the mystical process of doctoral study. I more than half expect to rewrite some of the exams. However, I am relieved to know that at the end of the three week process, they will be mainly done and I can move onto the next phase in this process. It’s a sacrifice of one holiday – a mere day or two – and I believe it will be worth it. Or at least I’ll keep telling myself that.
So, if you’re alone – you’re not alone in being alone. And if you’re with someone and celebrate this Christmas holiday, enjoy the moments you have and if you think of it, rearrange one of those ornaments on the tree.