‘Tis the season where you pretend you’re having a great time and spend loads of cash on gifts for people you don’t even like. Your face hurts from the fake smiling and you’re trying your best not to rip someone’s hair out. So this year, I’m not doing any of that. I have declined the invitation to all of the work Christmas do’s, enforced a strict ‘no-present’ policy, and will probably spend most of Christmas Day in bed!
It’s coming to the end of a hard year, and as I go through my tweets, I see that everyone is miserable. Moaning about the weather, or not having any outfits to wear, or just about life in general. In fact, a recent study by Focus magazine found that depression peaks around December and January, as it coincides with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD.) It seems that as the year comes to an end, it takes all of our positive energies with it. It also puts pressure on us to make changes for next year, meaning we question situations we have faced in the year, and the quality of our relationships.
I personally find December one of the more ‘eye-opening’ times of the year, as friends start spending more time with their partners and family. In fact, I declined my invitation to the work Christmas dinner as everyone was bringing a ‘plus 1.’ Now I’ve had the pleasure of being the only singleton at a Christmas do before, and I particularly remember the reaction I got when explaining that I was single. Anyone would think I had just told them I had a terminal disease or something.
“OMG, how come? I may know some people I can introduce you to. I’m so shocked someone like you is single. Awww, you’ll find someone soon.”
I spent the whole evening repeating this scenario with different couples, and answering the same questions with “I’m happy being single; I don’t want to be introduced to your male friends as I’m having the time of my life, focusing on ME!” (Cue their looks of astonishment, confusion and embarrassment!)
Anyway, this is why I’m not going to any Christmas work do’s this year and I have chosen to end this year just as I started it – by myself! I feel this year has been a journey, albeit a tough one, but it’s been the year where I have learnt to love myself and who I am. I adore my own company, and would rather spend my time on me, rather than with people who don’t appreciate or deserve my presence.
One of the main lessons I have learnt this year is that it’s ok to say no. Your time is a valuable thing – don’t waste it on people that don’t matter and don’t be afraid to spend it by yourself. You can walk away from situations that drain you, without even having to give a reason if you don’t want to! By doing so, you’ll be able to tell which people really want you around and which ones are just trying to make up numbers.
So this Christmas, don’t feel coerced to do what you think you’re supposed to do. Take control of your time and follow your instincts. You’ll be surprised at how much you learn.