Tonight I am sad. Here I have been exasperated by Christmas and now that it is over, I dread this day off. If it were an ordinary day, there would be no problem, but it is Christmas. I should be spending it with loved ones and participating in rituals.
I got off work at 4 today. We close early for Christmas Eve. I do not go home for Christmas. My family lives just far enough away that I think it irrational and foolish to spend hundreds of dollars driving and or flying for hours in potentially dangerous weather only to turn around immediately and come back so that I can work the next day. The first 6 or 9 years that I did not go home didn't really bother me too much; I had boyfriends or borrowed families to entertain me. But the older I get, the more it saddens me and being saddened makes me depressed.
I have had a series of reliable but inflexible retail jobs. As one of the "flexible" workers, I mean it when I say I will always work; I fear asking for holidays off because it is usually frowned upon.
So I don't go home for Christmas. It's not really an option. And when I finally get the break I wanted from the Christmas bustle, I am filled with anxiety and dread. Why don't I change my life so that I can visit my family more? Why don't I make a family here? Why doesn't anyone love me? Will my meal I am preparing for tomorrow to take to my friend's house be tasty? Who will take care of my cat if I die? Why can't I remember to take those sweaters to the dry cleaners? The next 42 hours seem long. I cannot wait to get back to work. Work. Safe, predictably crazy work. A place where I know my place and little accomplishments feed me.