Lights. Cookies Baking. Sitting by the fireplace.

Many times when you think of the holidays, they may revolve around family, food or traditions.

What do I think of when I think of the holiday season?

This year, I am working hard, as not only do I run my own business, but I work part time  as a prep person for a private Amazon seller.

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Home Rental 

Paychecks were late coming in, so I am thinking about bills, making sure I got to the bank on time as well.

Many days, I wake up early and while not all the work is paid, I am working until late at night. A comment yesterday, a derogatory one, set me back on my heels wondering if I am making a difference at all.

As a single parent, I know I am not alone. I work three part time jobs to make ends meet. I am on call 24/7 and don’t get breaks for holidays. If I don’t work, we don’t have money. I am doing well, so we don’t get Christmas handouts, and we are fine with that.

This is a bit of a montage of what the realities of my holidays look like.

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My son playing basketball

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We watch a lot of basketball this time of year.

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My book pile that I may or may not have time to read.

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Does this look like a potluck? Nope. History Class. We were studying the Titanic and had a food related class.

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The sign was a gift from a grateful student at one of my part time jobs that I do as a teacher. I teach History and Science.

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CPR Class certification that I set up for my students. We had some brilliant teachers.

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Plug cover missing from a rental where I did move out, new lease signing, repairs and other things to get it ready for the next occupant.

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Ravioli Making Day! 40 dozen raviolis made!

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Aren’t they pretty?

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A new occupant for our home. We have wanted one for awhile, but it was not something we were able to do until now.

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A box, from one of the many boxes of items that came in and out of the house. This one had a ruptured bottle in it. It caused many issues for me, and Ulta doesn’t have the best customer service, I have learned.

Lights? Fireplace sittings? Decor?

No. Not for me. There are so many expectations of the holiday season. Cooking, cleaning, baking and the like. I am aiming for survival and doing ok at it. I am unpacking my life issues with this time of the year as well. I am seeking to volunteer where I can to make a difference in the lives of others.

People may make their comments, because my house is not perfect, my life doesn’t look like everyone else’s and I struggle to get everything done. But in the end, I am thankful and grateful for what we do have. I have work. I have a home. I have heat.

I have the ability to enjoy life with my boys and those are the things that really matter.

 

If you are someone that is facing life this holiday season alone, as I know many of you are, I am standing with you. I know life is hard. I know it is hard to see all the photos of the beauty of Christmas at times.

My reality framed in a different way could look totally different. I could make it sound romantic and amazing. In reality, my house ends up filled with packing material, cardboard and dirty dishes that I don’t have time to take care of. Yet, I am thankful. I am thankful that I am free from a life of oppression. I am free to get a cat. I am free to leave the dishes if I need to. Freedom doesn’t come at a low cost, there is always pain in it.

But in the end, that is what the meaning of this season is to me. It is about freedom and reclaiming what is lost.

 

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