We had a gathering of friends at our house today. It was something that Jon an I have rarely done together.
I’m feeling different about the holidays this year. Better than I have in years. As if I’m finally free of the expectations, demands and guilt that for so long have come with the season for me.
So Jon and I are sorting out just what this time of year means to us and how we want to experience it.
With all the pressures of the past subsiding I can see that, for me, this time of year is really about the darkness and cold. The short and cold days making me to want to retreat indoors and withdraw into myself.
This year, I’m seeing this a perfectly natural. And instead of trying to fight it, I’m embracing it. Even looking forward to that feeling of melancholy that always settles on me this time of year.
One of the reason’s Jon and I moved to Cambridge was to find community. Todays gathering was a recognition of that community we have found here.
We wanted to surround ourselves with our friends and create a space that was welcoming and warm. Where conversation could draw people closer together.
I did get unusually domestic about it, as Jon wrote, in a very funny piece, on his blog this morning. And it was surprising enjoyable, to plan and cook for the day. But there’s also a part of me that doesn’t believe that the people I see as friends really want to come to our home and spend time with us.
What I experienced today is that when a gathering of people comes from the heart, and not some kind of obligation, it feels really good. And the people we want to be with, want to be with us too.
Last year, I wanted to pretend the holidays didn’t exist. I wanted to ignore Christmas and everything leading up to the day. But this year, I feel like I’m figuring out what I want from the season. What it means to me and how Jon and I can create our own holiday.
And today, gathering with friends at our home, was a part of that.