In my 32 years of life, there’s only been one other year besides this year that I wasn’t really in the Christmas spirit. The week before Christmas in 1999, my sophomore year of high school, my great grandpa passed away. I was numb…but still sentimental. Grandpa McCaffrey’s passing was very sudden. He had a blood clot in an inoperable spot in his brain. For many years (quite possibly my whole life until that point) my parents bought us gifts and put Grandpa’s name on them.
That year, after he died, I was able to open my last present from him in the shape of a hands-free phone. If you’re around my age then you might know what I’m talking about.It was the phone pad with the numbers about the size of your palm with a cored that was attached to headset with one speaker and an adjustable mic (like what you see customer service people wear in ads). It was blue and awesome and I loved it!
For some reason this year I have been in a funk. I have been on my own for 14 years now. I’ve spent Christmas on a ship (CGC Aspen WLB-208…go ahead and Google it!), various barracks and rented apartments and houses. I did get to spend five years (split up) at home and the last four years I spent at home was different because my parents are now divorced.
Usually the second that I wake up the day after Thanksgiving, I am all about Christmas. I only listen to Christmas music, watch Christmas movies, decorate for Christmas, etc. This year, none of it. I didn’t listen to any Christmas music except for whatever happens to be on the radio when I’m in the car with my fiance. The only Christmas movie I watched was The Santa Claus and I fell asleep during Home Alone. I’ve been eyeballing my Peanuts Holiday collection and the classics (Rudolph, Frosty, Santa Claus is coming to town) but never actually put them in the DVD player.
I refused to decorate the tree. We bought a real tree but I told my fiance that he wanted the real tree so this year he gets to clean up after it, water it, and decorate it. He put a single string of lights on the tree, my light up angel at the top and the garland that I have for the banisters was wrapped around the tree. The stockings were never hung up and none of the ornaments made it on the tree. My nativity set is still in the box and never made it to the window.
When my mom was here visiting in July, we made these tables for the living room. I wanted a couple of tables so I could buy some lamps because the only light we have is a three bulb chandelier above the stairs and a lamp with a dark lamp shade. Anyway, when we were attaching the base to the wood, I was telling her how cool it would look during Christmas to put bunches of lights below the table top. Never did that either.
I can’t hit the nail on the head but I’m just not in the mood this year. Christmas could have come and gone without gifts, without going anywhere, and I wouldn’t have missed it at all. We only have a week left in 2016. As I look back, I had a fairly decent year. I started school and am almost done with my degree but I run out of my GI Bill in March and will have no source of income again. I have been without a steady good source of income for the better part of 2 years. It’s been hard. It’s been rough. I’m getting married and I still have a ton of debt that I haven’t been able to pay down at all. I don’t know what I’m going to do. I have a ton of goals but I have zero motivation to actually truly push towards achieving those goals.
This is really just for me to vent. I know that there are a lot of people who are ready for this year to be over for various reasons but for me, I just want a year that truly brings me joy, happiness, and no suffering. It’s been years since I haven’t been on edge. I have no financial security of my own and I am not okay with that. Again, I am 32 fucking years old currently with about $600 in my checking account, I can’t count my savings account (because the money in there is paying for my final quarter of school so I can’t touch it), and over $6000 in credit card debt. Come April the only income I will have is the $256 disability check from the VA on the 1st of the month and I’ll be working at the school again and that will be about $300 every two weeks so maybe another $600 a month. Nothing compared to what I’ve been getting the last year which was $1300 – $2300 a month (depending on when classes start or end during the month and if I went for a full 30 days in a month).