Normally the holidays are a bit stressful from me. Usually my parents would be behind a rock and a hard place cash wise. I would have screaming nephews and nieces who need presents and my siblings are doing whatever they are doing. This doesn’t even include the hubby and I’s personal holiday celebrations. So stress during the holidays was normal (along with a huge cash hit).
Fast forward to this year and I found that it has been stressful last couple of weeks. My sleep pattern has shifted negatively (common during this time of year), and I know I have been raw emotionally in reacting to people. However it is different then previous years.
Today we went shopping for Thanksgiving for the first time after my parents passing. It’s funny I will go for a bit of time without thinking about them now, but the shopping for Thanksgiving specifically brings back the awkward holidays. Fortunately the drinking ended years ago, but there was always a need for us to spend about $100 extra to feed the rest of the family. I didn’t begrudge my parents, but the rest of the family was a little harder.
Combine this with the last minute requests from my mom was definitely always a stressful time in the holidays. Don’t take it as something I hated, I loved holidays with my parents, even if we constantly threatened we weren’t going to do it the next year. Last year we followed through on our threat and did something different. We had catered thanksgiving with just the hubby, myself and both parents and it was fantastic. Even dad said it was probably the best thanksgiving in a decade. Funny enough, it was also cheaper to cater it for four people than to provide just our portion of the overall homemade Thanksgiving dinner.
The hubby and I have always talked about what it would be like when the holidays were ours. It was always a far off thing, and even at the start of this year we assumed at least another four or five years before things happened. Well that wasn’t how it progressed at and with both parents gone in six months we went from full family to a hard off. We have no intention on meeting with siblings and extended family (the deaths of both parents, but especially dad really tore some holes in those relationships).
The idea of just staying home, enjoying the hubby’s food (and my baking of course) and just watching tv/playing video games was so entrancing. Especially during those years when we did both families and the nightmare of hubby’s parents then to my parents.
So we were wandering around Winco shopping and I was struck with a weird sense of anxiety mixed with sadness. For the first time in a month I had stepped into the grocery store and pulled out my phone automatically as if I was going to call my parents and ask them what they needed for thanksgiving. I caught myself and went back to wandering the aisles with the hubby.
We wandered through the place, picked up a whole lot of groceries for thanksgiving. I wasn’t necessarily sad, just more nostalgic that I wasn’t picking up stuff for our old trip to Bellingham. We got to the cash register and it was almost $100 cheaper than we normally expect for holidays.
So we came away from Winco and I feel a little bad. I miss my parents and I assume my anxiety will get worse before it gets better. But I am really looking forward to just spending time with the hubby as well.