The end of the year.

The end of the year is nearly upon us.  We’ve got the Christmas festivities to get through which hopefully will be good this year.  Son-of-Furtheron will be winging his way back home (hang on this isn’t his home any more… :-$), well you know, on Saturday and we’ll be a complete family again.  I had half wondered if he’d have gone with his girlfriend to her parents in Wales this year but he is going to go there for New Year but will spend Christmas with us which is all nice.  I’ve finished all the Christmas shopping and wrapping up.  All done and ready.  The tree has been glittering and flashing for over a week now so much so it no longer has the novelty appeal when it first went up and each post delivery normally brings a card from someone I wonder how long ago we actually last met.  Yesterday I got one from a very old school friend who I really should make an effort to meet some day soon.  This time next week on Christmas Eve we’ll be watching The Muppet Christmas Carol (a long running tradition of mine), cooking the turkey and still leaving out a mince pie and drink for Father Christmas.  Our local Rotary club come round each year with a decorated float pulled by a car with Father Christmas in it with Christmas Songs blaring out collecting for their charity.  This happened last night on a really dismal wet and windy night for them but my daughter still rushed out to see it… she may be officially an adult but still a kid at Christmas.

In the words of John Lennon “So this is Christmas.  And what have you done? Another year over. A new one just begun”.

It has been quite a year in many ways.  A brief summary

  • Went part time at work
  • Started my counselling course
  • Son away in the Arctic
  • Son formally moved out
  • Daughter became an adult
  • Daughter moving towards university
  • Another year sober

Within that lot is a heck of a lot of stuff – feelings, emotions, concerns, fears, worries, hopes, expectations etc.

I’m still not fully ok about the part time working.  I’m not happy still at work and feel much of it is futile and convoluted etc. and just really struggle to put in a significant amount of energy to it.  It all seems so utterly pointless for too much of the time.  Money is a concern – we’re ok, the wolf is a long way from the garden path let alone the door at the moment, but frankly sooner or later we’ll realise that the money-for-rainy-day has all gone.  But hey, I’m doing ok with it today.  I do like being home more, I now do the weekly grocery shopping and I sometimes prepare the evening meal, do the hoovering etc. and can do other jobs about the house.  I like being able to be more of a part of the running home rather than the husband who goes out early morning and comes home in the mid evening and does little to run the house other than provide a bank balance.

The course has been more challenging in many ways than I expected.  I expected to grow as a person but some of the reflection and introspection that it has required has brought up much more than I expected and in areas I wasn’t necessarily expecting too.  Also the actual practical application of the theory I’ve found a challenge at times – I believe a lot of this is 30 years engrained in corporate environments and I’ve therefore a default methodology which is of the pattern; Open Question, Summary followed by closed questions to confirm facts etc.   This isn’t a good pattern for trying to help people to expose their feelings the closed questions keep it on the surface too much.  I’ll have to work harder to break that behaviour and adopt the new.  I have to admit I’m also back on the fence a bit as to whether this is the right move for me… that seems a bit odd given the statements above about my feelings of the current job but I’m not sure I’m up the task I suppose.

Finding myself in a 3 person household with 2 women is different.  I know my son was away for large chunks of the year over the last 5 years at uni but now he has moved out completely it has changed the dynamic in the family and home.  Not bad but it is different and I feel that I’m only just getting to grips with that.

The worst bit of 2013 has been the loses.  Too many people I know have passed away this year and it isn’t over yet.  Someone I knew reasonably well as a teenager and has remained an acquaintance over the years (she still works occasionally with my wife) her husband who I first met when I was about 14 is currently lying in a hospital bed where he has been for the last couple of months after a major heart attack.  He hasn’t come out of the coma at all and now is very unwell with other complications and it sounds like only a matter of days before he passes away.  Another one.  Maybe passing 50 this starts to happen to everyone but too many of these people are my generation – I’m burying friends not parents now and that enhances my feeling of needing to achieve, or at least do something more worthwhile, with my life.

I thought I’d publish all these thoughts this week so I can clear the decks with them and move on to a happy Christmas.

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About furtheron

Music and guitar obsessive who is a recovering alcoholic to boot
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7 Responses to The end of the year.

  1. sherryd32148 says:

    Lots of good stuff here!

    You home will always be “home” to your son. There’s just something about coming home to your parents house. Well, at least until he has a family of his own.

    My boys are also “adults” but insist on certain Christmas traditions that I was afraid they were long past. I’m going to soak it up as much as possible.

    I had to learn to use open ended questions when I started teaching adults. You’ll get the hang of it and before you know it, you’ll be using it on the family too!

    I had to chuckle when you quoted Lennon. At first I thought, “Oh isn’t that sweet! He’s in England and he knows the Beatles too.” Then the genius in me realized that the Beatles were ENGLISH!

    Happy Christmas to you and yours Graham.

    Sherry

  2. Elsie says:

    Gosh, I can relate with so much of this, Graham. Especially with your son moving out. Mine did too. My oldest is away at college and I still have a year before he’s officially out of the house but our household dynamics have changed too. It’s strange what the absence of one child can do to the household.

    I wonder if your doubts about your new career path is rooted in a bit of fear of the unknown? For me, that’s where my fears usually stem.

  3. Great post. I think your new path is meant to be challenging, so it seems to me you’re doing well.

    I should watch the Muppet Christmas Carol again. I love Kermit!

  4. Suburbia says:

    Wonderful post. What a year too.

    Happy Christmas to you and yours…

  5. daisyfae says:

    a very good idea to get it out now, before the holiday, so it’s not rattling around in your head as loudly and you can enjoy the moments.

    like you, i’ve been surprised at how challenging the adjustment to “fully empty nest” has been. it’s ‘for real’ now, with the daughter living in Turkey for the 3rd year, and my son now in the Army, will never again live with me. this is the course we followed, and we should expect no less from our own children… but it’s…. weird.

    here’s to good things for you and your clan through Christmas, and into the new year!

  6. C says:

    Have a very happy Christmas and a fulfilling and positive New Year – you deserve it!

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