• Dr Julia Hodgson (@drjuliaparents)

Mixed feelings over the holidays

originally posted dec 24 2020 on social media

Today, we did a group zoom with family to simulate our annual Christmas present opening. They are all together while my partner and I decided we weren't comfortable with travel/gathering. We all made the choices that were right for each of us, and it still feels lousy. We want to be with everyone. We want to keep our traditions. AND we decided not to for good reasons (this year it's covid, but I think this idea is true in any number of circumstances). This can all be true at the same time.

Technology has given opportunities to compensate a little for all we have lost this holiday season (and really, all year). I am grateful that we have that available to us. AND I am still feeling very sad.

I think we (me and my partner) are feeling a pressure to make everything... I don't know, perfect? Like we're not apart from everyone we love? Like everything is okay?

So, we got off that zoom call and felt, well, lousy. Our kids were happy, which was good. But we were just acutely aware that everyone else was together and we weren't there. It hurts, no matter how many calls you have. And we don't know when we will feel safe to see them again. Certainly not in as big a group as we normally have, but even on a smaller scale.

What happened next, however, was that we felt bad that we felt bad. We wanted to fix it and couldn't. We wanted to feel happy and fulfilled and that just wasn't a reasonable expectation. But being upset with ourselves for our feelings was just NOT a helpful thing.

Here's a moment for some compassion for ourselves, friends. We are all navigating something difficult and new and scary. We can feel good about our decisions and still feel bad. We can want to be together and decide to be apart. We can be sad at what we're missing and find joy in different places and feel sad and happy and angry and grateful and jealous. And ALL THOSE FEELINGS ARE COMPLETELY OKAY.

Keep you bodies and hearts safe. We will get through this.



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