Searching for joy instead of sorrow…

Something I am struggling with is the arrival of holidays.

Holidays have always been a big deal to me, and until about a week or two ago, they still were.  It’s hard to even grasp that excitement I had again now.  I thought enough time had passed and enough tears had been shed that Thanksgiving and Christmas could be what they were meant to be: times of hope and joy.

How do I celebrate the joy of Christmas when my heart feels so vacant of it?  Where do I go to regain that joy?  Will I ever feel like “me” again?

These sentiments are extra hard on me because I am a firm believer in finding the humour in everything, in finding the bright spot in a dark situation, to being joyful even when things aren’t–saying, “Glory to God for all things!” like the saints on their deathbeds.

I was warned by a friend to not have “nostalgic” feelings about Christmas–as we are wont to do in the US, after all.  The period before Christmas in for fasting in the Orthodox tradition, and fasting is to prepare for joyful feasting–not a rose-tinted memory of how grand childhood was.  Strangely, it isn’t nostalgia I feel; it’s the absence of joy.

I don’t necessarily miss the dreams I had for my child for this year.  I experienced the death of those dreams a year ago, not knowing if my son would even live in my womb long enough to see Christmas last year.  He did, and I was thankful.

So what is wrong with me now?  I am hoping my family doesn’t ask us to come over for the holidays.  Maybe they will just forget us.  This once, that would be fine.  I’d kind of rather stay in bed, drink some tea, and perform some pointless (in the grand scheme of things!) operations in my accounting homework.

I kind of miss the days during my maternity leave that I spent mostly in bed, reading, pumping milk to donate, resting, writing, thinking.  I’m 20 pounds heavier now than then (it’s depressing that I can gain so much weight post-pregnancy eating close to nothing), and feel about that much more miserable, too.  It’s not a place I like to be.  It’s just a place I am.

If I could shut off “sad, fearful, unmotivated,” and turn back on “joyful, determined, and thankful,” I would do it right this second.


Also, did I mention I have a job interview tomorrow?  It really sucks, because I really want this job and as it’s looking, there’s no way in a million years I’m going to get it.  Or at least in the next two or three.  Maybe I’ll luck out and the other candidate will back out or tell them she doesn’t really want the position; she was coerced to apply.  But I doubt it.  Preparing for this interview has been brutal; I keep imagining the interviewers hounding me on personal questions or not taking me seriously.  I feel like I got the interview because two of us applied, and two of us have to be interviewed.  For statistics.

Can I just stay in bed instead?

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2 thoughts on “Searching for joy instead of sorrow…

  1. Wishing you good luck at the interview and hoping that it will be a good life/learning/networking opportunity, even if nothing else.

  2. I had that same feeling around last christmas- I was just so thankful my baby stayed alive through the holidays! it is amazing that those were the things we wished for, right?

    I feel the same way- I am not joyful this holiday season. Last thanksgiving I thought I’d have a baby with me for the next holiday and here I am empty handed. when we got the poor diagnosis for Mabel, holidays suddenly became unimportant. I didnt care for celebrating christmas then, and I still dont now, though thanksgiving will be the even harder holiday for me. you are not alone in your feelings.

    good luck today on the interview! would love to know how it goes- regardless of outcome!

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