One of my favorite things about decided to live my own life and do things my own way is the fact that you get to literally make the rules of your home.
For us, this means that the 1st of November is the beginning of the Yule season. I am aware Yule does not technically begin until December 21st. I don’t care. For me, Yule season starts today. I put up the tree (this year got delayed due to some circumstances but should be up within the week!). I decorate with twinkle lights. I bust out my slippers and my crochet projects and we start Harry Potter marathons. My favorite season of the whole year. We feast and we mourn and we vote and we hope and personally, I try not to have a breakdown the first week of December trying to panic buy everything still on my list despite the fact that my bank account is alarmingly empty.
Which is why this year, 95% of my Yule shopping is done already. There is a secret santa I have yet to get, and Eilan’s gift doesn’t release for another two weeks, but other than that – done. I’m not trying to brag, or lecture. I’m just letting you know I am pretty damn desperate to avoid that particular yearly occurence.
It is also important to note that we do Yule differently than any other family I know of. Eilan in particular sees no merit in the waiting until Christmas day scheme. He is getting his present the day I get my hands on it and come Christmas day he remembers. The kids get presents throughout the season, every other week or so, until they get their last, and usually most wanted, present on Christmas day. This leads to ample playtime for each new thing, plenty of time to clear out of their old toys with for each addition, and a bliss filled season rather than a season of pining for a single moment that is often not as amazing as the movies make it.
Today being the first day of Yule, the kids got their first Yule present. A tent swing. Totally a thing, get your own on amazon. And if you live somewhere that has 9 months of summer and 3 months of “not summer” in which you can actually stand being outoors, get it. We spent hours out there today. It was glorious.
All of this to be said, today I got a surprise Yule present. Today, when I woke up, sitting in my inbox like the miracle it is was an apology from a friend who wanted to mend. My first, and best present all at once. I am still a little in awe.
The dissolution of our friendship almost a year ago was extremely painful. I cried. I hurt. I cried a little more. I also learned about sitting with pain, moving through it, not needing to understand in order to respect, and never taking the wonderful people in your life for granted. I learned the extremely difficult lesson of just letting go.
And also took a deep look in the mirror and realized, painfully, that I was largely responsible for the issues that had arisen between us. And that before anything could be fixed, I had to work on me. Sadly, that was not the day I put down the bottle. I mean, I went a good like 4 months without it, but it wasn’t until last month that I actually reached out to a sober friend and asked for help. That I said I could never, ever have a drink and just have one. It was something I could do once, but not now. And am not only aware of it myself, but am open about it. Nowhere to hide.
I had no intention of fixing that relationship. I firmly believe that people have every right to leave your life and that when they are firm, to be respectful is to allow them their space. So I was completely taken by surprise when that beautiful e-mail arrived, and humbled with an apology I could completely understand. Instead of doing the logical thing, and waiting for my emotions to regain a sense of calm, I immediately reciprocated with my own apology and open arms.
And was then promptly spammed with baby pictures which, due to my high regard for my friend, will not qualify has “better” than having our friendship back, but a solid tie is as much as I’m willing to compromise.
I’m not sure how to end this one. Perhaps it is simply to say that sometimes magic really does work when you make it for yourself. And that moving through hurt and pain and change can make room for what you thought you lost forever. And that babies are stupidly, absurdly cute and I feel personally attacked by it. Keep them gummy smiles coming kids. My ovaries are not glowing bright enough.