I don’t know about you but I personally cannot wait until the holiday season is over. Well, actually, until winter is over, but winter holidays will be over much sooner so I figure the relief of holiday-related stress being behind me is much closer at hand so I’ll go with that for now. Call me a hater or a downer but to me winter holidays are all about stress and a big chunk of extra expenses and work on top of regular life demands and just generally give me an ulcer. This year the universe made things even merrier and brighter by sending my poor dad Covid just in time to rule out family Christmas and a long-anticipated visit from my sister. Plus, my heart hurts because of the state of my relationship with a very close loved one…essentially I just want to go to sleep now and wake up mid-January.
Lest you think I’m a total scrooge or just a negative bitch, I will say that in spite of the boulder of holiday-induced stress that’s currently weighing me down, I am being mindful to count my blessings as this year winds to a close. Even though this year was, in many ways, very hard and painful, it also was filled with so many lovely moments and things to be grateful for. My depression and anxiety were pretty debilitating throughout much of the year, but the progress compared to where I was, mental health-wise last year feels like night and day in spite of this year’s hard times. I feel like my mind mostly works again–something I feared might never be the case after the “mental health incident” in 2020 that I’ve written about before. I’ve struggled this year with my identity and the isolation and loneliness that’s come with either being unemployed or self-employed in a time when the world is still reeling from COVID lockdown and figuring out what normal even means anymore. Even social media–that alleged panacea for loneliness and lack of in-person social interaction seems to become less and less “social” with each passing year, and even people less jaded about big social than I are feeling the need to step back from Twitter and Facebook in light of the daily mounting evidence that maybe these beloved “fun” platforms aren’t as awesome as people once believed. (I won’t even go down that path for now but if you don’t know about my long-standing love/hate relationship with social media and the ever-mounting evidence of the actual evil social media platforms have perpetuated, I’m making a mental note to myself to finally write that post, complete with links to documentaries, books, articles and the billion bookmarked articles and other resources that I’ve been collecting for like four years now.)
ANYWAY, back to the gratitude thing that I mentioned before lapsing negative again–besides the return of optimism I’ve experienced this year (and you thought I was only negative! I’m quite the closet optimist if you must know), the fact that I’ve been fortunate enough to end the year with more than enough client work to keep me busy, a heap of new WordPress design knowledge that I didn’t have a year ago, thanks in no small part to my obsession with finally getting this site to look the way I originally envisioned, some new friends and the chance to reconnect with old friends and a new hobby that this blog inspired, I have to say that this year has been pretty great on the whole.
The hobby that I mentioned is designing all the things and I have to say that I never would have predicted becoming a craft person but this year has proven me to be exactly that–a person who has multiple planners, who not only knows what washi tape is but now find it practically an indispensable item in daily life, who now owns a whole suite of actual *things* I’ve designed from mugs to tote bags to jewelry to even dog collars…I could keep going but I’ll digress. I mention this not just because if you’ve known me for 50+ years you know I have never been one for crafts or DIY but somehow have now randomly become obsessed with making stuff, but also because I’m super excited to have incorporated my new obsession into this site with the new Freebies & Printables section! Each month I plan to design a new desktop wallpaper to add to the two already available in the library right now, plus other either digital downloads or printables. Who knows–at the rate I’m going, by this time next year I may well have a whole product line added to the mix–or at the very least a gallery of all the products I’ve created for myself–the most recent of which is custom wrapping paper.
Anyway, I have to say that just in the course of writing this post I somehow thawed out my holiday-hating heart a little bit and am almost tempted to change the title to something less bah-humbug. But let’s not get crazy or anything. Here’s hoping that you find some moments of wonderful, either private and quiet or big and fancy with all the trimmings, these last days of 2022.