Sunday, December 15, 2013

Being Single this Christmas

Apparently you have to be about.....this age to be considered an expert on being single.  I don't know whether people just give up on you by this point or what, but it's super fun.  Until it's not. 

People in their 20's ask me questions with the tiniest hint of "I don't want to grow up and be like you" look in their eyes.  People much older than me seem intrigued by my life as if I'm what they wanted to be but couldn't possibly have imagined. 

I actually like being single.  I don't kneel by my bed at night and ask God to bring me the right person.  Mostly I ask him to move annoying people away from me.  I was never the person to cut out magazines of the perfect wedding.  I love children, but don't really want the responsibility of raising one to be a good human being.  Have enough trouble doing that myself! 

But, around the holidays I do get a little sad so I'm beginning my series on singleness with a post about how to cope.

1.  If you don't want to do it - don't.

Personally, I hate attending couples anything alone.  If it says bring a guest and I can get out of it, I'm probably not going to go.  My friends have a fit every single time I don't attend something, but I really don't care.  Sure, it makes me a little jealous when they get dressed up and leave (as a couple) and I'm on the couch in my pajama pants.  But, my general rule is, if it's going to make me feel more alone to go somewhere, I'll stay home.

2.  Practice good self care

Nothing makes me crazier than people who don't know how I feel telling me how to feel.  I know what makes me feel bad and I know what things I can do to help myself feel better.  So, during the holidays I try to get extra sleep.  I buy some new novels.  I maintain good spiritual disciplines.  And I spend time with people who love me just for who I am.  This past week I knitted a birthday gift, filled stockings for my dogs, and spent a whole day watching movies.  Because I wanted to.  And I can.  See?  Fun to be single.

3.  Remember this is temporary

The pictures on Facebook of perfect family gatherings, happiness everywhere, and people who look like they are surrounded by all the love in the world - will pass.  After everyone kisses at midnight on New Year's Eve - January comes and people go back to hating each other.  Just kidding.  But, after the holiday season comes real life.  I find I fit in better there.  Most people do.

4.  Maintain good boundaries

Tis not the season for working for all your coworkers who have kids.  Or cleaning up after the baking fun because you don't have anyone to go home to.  It's perfectly fine if you're going home just because you want to.  You don't have to help just because you have nothing better to do. 

5.  Enjoy the season

It's such a marvelous time to snuggle in close to the Christ child in the manger and listen for his heartbeat.  Tune in to what this season is saying to your heart and to your soul.  Our God is with us.  That means whether it seems like it or feels like it - we're not alone.  Go to parties with other people who aren't attached.  Buy yourself a Christmas present.  Go to church and soak up the music and readings of the season even if you have to sit alone. 

It's a season of hope.  Not that you'll find the perfect mate and all your problems will disappear.  The hope of eternity.  Of Heaven coming to earth one glorious night.  His love is unconditional and more genuine than any human being is capable of offering.  If you feel like the person outside the window of a Christmas party moving the curtain and looking at all the people surrounded by happiness, try not to feel left out.  If you can't join in the fun, go home, put on your comfiest pjs and drink some holiday wine. 

Cheers!  The holidays don't last forever.