I hesitate to say this, for it sounds as if we had a bad Christmas. We did not.
We spent this one like those in the past, and that is okay. Our tradition is to spend Christmas Eve with Duane’s family, and then do as we please on Christmas Day. It was lovely. This year was a big family Christmas with 16 people there, more than double what we normally have. And then Duane and i had a really lovely quiet day together. We came home on Christmas, and sang Christmas Carols the last hour of the drive.
So, why would i title this post in such a manner?
Because i would like to spend at least part of our holiday with people with whom i feel a connection. I don’t have much of a connection with most of the people at our Christmas Eve. Some of them i had not seen in over a year. I don’t know what has happened for them in this past year, their hopes, their joys, their sorrows, their ills. They don’t know (and don’t care?) what has happened for us. Two hours on Christmas Eve is not the time to catch up! So there really isn’t much connection, even though we shared a meal and some of us exchanged gifts.
I don’t seem to connect well with people. I try, but often it feels as if i’m some clumsy, huge plug – like a dryer plug – and i don’t fit the standard sockets that work with most other people. I’m sure that much of this is my own fault and i don’t work hard enough to find cords that will help me adjust to make the connection. It IS hard for me, sometimes it feels as though people are speaking a foreign language.
I think part of the problem, too, is our culture has changed so much. I do appreciate online connections. Without them i would feel even less plugged in than i do now. But online connections sometimes are a pseudo-connection. I deeply desire to physically be with a person for a time. In our current culture that isn’t easy. People are so very involved with other things these days. I’m limited as well by distance and i’m not able to drive very much any more. I have reached out. Sometimes people reach back, but more often they are too busy. I can’t make other people be willing to spend time with me, instead i have to find people who want to connect, who want someone to spend time with them, to listen to their lives and to care.
For the past several years i have been searching for someone – an individual or a family -with whom to connect – to mentor, to just be there for someone without family or only a small family, but who want someone in their life who cares. I had someone like that when i was a teen. I loved spending time with her and her family, helping in the kitchen, decorating for Christmas, just hanging out there and knowing i was accepted. It shouldn’t be so hard to find, and yet it is.
Someone recently sent me this story about a young woman who desperately wanted a family, even tho she has “aged out” of the foster-care system. Woman Tries to Rent a Family Via Craigslist I am wanting to be that family for someone. I am having a difficult time making the connections. (The reasons we can’t foster or adopt are too complicated to cover here.)
But i’m ready to being the advertising, though i’m afraid. I’m afraid i still won’t make any connections. I’m afraid no one will be interested. I’m afraid i’ll only find people wanting to take advantage of someone who is lonely and looking for other lonely people. I’m afraid it will be another dead end and next year will be just like this one.