Happy Holidays

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When I was very young, I remember assuming that ‘happy holidays’ was the shorter way of saying, ‘merry Christmas and a happy new year!’ Once I was old enough to attend school, this seemed even more obvious, since we got a break for both Christmas and New Year’s.

Then I started learning about other holidays that fall around the same time: Yule, Hanukkah, Festivus, Bodhi Day, Yalda, Saturnalia, Pancha Ganapati, Dies Natalis Solis Invicti, Kwanzaa, Hogmanay…to name a few. There are a lot of Saint’s Days, too. And, well, have a look for yourself: Wikipedia has a nice list of winter festivals.

When I brought this up, I was told, “Well, it was the middle of winter. What else were people supposed to do with themselves?” Throw in an annual, observable solar event and holidays clustering around that time seem inevitable. Today’s celebrations are a grab bag of customs and traditions from all over, many long divorced from their original purpose. People have a long history of bumping into each other, observing what the new group does on their holy days, and saying, “Hey, that thing you do is pretty awesome. We’re…just gonna borrow that, ok?” Or people intermarry and bring their old traditions and build new ones. Add a few hundred years and there are new reasons (or no reasons) why anyone’s doing anything.

I’m utterly mystified by this kind of behavior. Being inclusive, by definition, isn’t leaving anyone out. It seems like a very fragile faith that is threatened by merely acknowledging that there are other holidays, other faiths, and those people with those differing beliefs may be interacting with you.

Personally, I’ve never been Christian. I’ve never been to a church, I’ve never been a part of any of it. And I never felt alienated until the War on Christmas became A Thing. Until there were lines drawn and there could be hostility or a political statement in ostensibly good wishes. Through most of my life, hearing ‘merry Christmas’ was just that. Now it’s taken on very exclusive connotations, and when I hear it, there’s a place inside of me that thinks, “You don’t really mean me. You are deliberately and with hostile intent leaving me out of your well wishes. And you don’t even know it.”

But you know what I say?

“You, too.”

I’m not so sure there’s a war, and I’m definitely not going to engage in any skirmishes or battles.

And if I ever do say, “Happy holidays,” that’s really all I mean.

And I hope they are.

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By Way of Introduction

I am…6066e370277262899f6d152a74132869

I am a feminist.

I am a fat girl.

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with either of those.

I am a geek girl.

I am a steampunk.

I’m a horror fanatic and I’m slowly becoming a connoisseur of weird fiction.

If you want to get super specific, I’m a panromantic demisexual.

For the sake of brevity (and to save a long explanation), I usually just say I’m a lesbian. It’s perfectly accurate, too.

I was raised nominally pagan, and I’m now more of a humanist.

I’m a resident of a state where none of that, individually, is welcome. All of it together? Yeah…I’m hoping to move.

I am a home owner. I can tell a lot about someone who first sees my home by whether they say, “I love your gothic house,” “I love your steampunk house,” or “You’re really weird, aren’t you?”

I am a gun owner. They primarily live in the closet and come out for brief trips to the range with my father. I think he has some vision of me being able to defend myself if someone breaks in, but odds are they’d be right there in the closet the whole time.

I wish I was an artist, and I’ve come to express a lot of my creativity through cooking and baking.

I’m an author and a creator of worlds and cities. I’ve never been published, I probably never will be, and I’m at peace with that.

I’m a cat guardian.

401014_10150572018422616_1047121004_nSymphony and Remy may be judging me.

I’m also a dog guardian.

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Rhapsody is caught here mid-pout.

154807_471997297615_2818958_nDrusilla had just suffered through her first ever bath. At fifteen years old, she found it a bit bewildering. She’s now seventeen and bathtime still isn’t her favorite, but she deals.

I am hyper-organized in some respects–my library is organized by fiction and non-fiction, subject, and alphabetized by author. My spice rack is also alphabetized. It makes me happy and creates an anchor of order in every room in the house.

I am still learning a lot about self-care and about home care.

Contrary to some opinions, I am human, not an alien sent to earth to study its inhabitants. Those are probably better at blending.

I am still learning a lot about being a person.

I am still learning a lot about myself, too.

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I Called in Sick to Work Today

In truth, I’m tired. I hurt. My throat is sore and I’ve been developing a cough.

Mostly, though, I just couldn’t face doing this today:

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I’m starting to get scared.

I’m lucky enough to have a job with paid leave, and don’t think for a moment that I’m ever ungrateful. But the leave is running low, and if something comes up–if I get really, truly ill–I’m going to be in trouble. There have to be consequences coming for missing so much time, and I have no safety cushion.

There’s enough money to last until the next paycheck, which is a very good thing, but which also means the moment there isn’t a next paycheck, I’m instantly in trouble. I’m single, I live alone. There’s no one to catch me if I, as an adult, fail to pay the bills and find myself in a cascade that’ll quickly lead to no home.

So tomorrow I have to wake up, I have to get up, and I have to go to work. And I have to make sure that no one else knows how hard it is to do just that.

The worst part is, I don’t even really want to be in bed. I hate every day that slides by in exhaustion and pain and helpless doubt. I want to write. I want to offer what I’ve written to the world. Instead, there’s a part of me that insists I have nothing of worth to offer. Writing about it makes it sound like I should be aware enough to shake it off and forge ahead, but it keeps winning.

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*Or in my case, think about all the things you want to accomplish but never will because you have nothing of worth to offer to the world, and even the things you’ve done that you are proud of are really transparently terrible, and if you could find someone honest to evaluate it, they’d tell you, but people are just too nice. And you know how much it would crush you to find out how awful everything you’ve ever done really is, so maybe you’ll just stay right here and never even create it to begin with.

Today, I called in sick to work, and it won.

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