Wonderful surprises

Was your Christmas impacted by COVID-19 restrictions? Did you manage to have a good day?

I was reminded about #gratitude by this rather confronting post in my Facebook feed:

On a happier note, I was also reminded yesterday that people are – on balance – awesome. My faith in humanity has been a bit rattled by nasty behaviour this year – COVID has not made everyone kinder. But I keep telling myself that those who treat others badly do it because they have unhappy lives.

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day offered proof that I am loved. (Though I still managed to do a bit of overthinking and doubting of myself.)

It also turned out that the thought of being alone for Christmas was much less traumatic than the actuality of it. I woke on Christmas morning and the day didn’t feel particularly cruel or empty. It felt much like any other day: busy.

I’d better start with Christmas Eve. I went to my sister’s house for dinner, which reinforced that she and I should really write a book about non-toxic divorces.

Her ex-husband came over with his wife and four-year-old son and we had such a nice time, opening gifts and chatting and gazing adoringly at the excited small child opening his gifts.

I went home and had a chitter chat over Messenger with my sister in law, who asked if I’d received a delivery. I hadn’t.

I went to bed and woke up about 1.30am with a bit of a headache from drinking sparkling wine in my sister’s hot spa and took some Panadol, then checked my phone messages and saw this:

Blimey, that’s a late delivery! I was only wearing Bonds undies, but couldn’t be bothered finding a robe and snuck out with my boobs swinging in the wind to retrieve it. Hopefully I didn’t scare anyone.

The flowers were from my ex’s family, letting me know they were thinking of me. I was very touched.

On Christmas morning I took the dogs for a walk, then drove to Bondi to catch up with my friend Claudia and her family. It was cold and grey, but I needed a swim. While everyone else went to get coffee, I jumped in the surf. It was glorious – warmer in than out. I walked out of the water with a huge smile on my face and a stranger walking beside me commented on how wonderful it was. We were both transformed by our dips.

The lifesavers were taking photos of people posing beside a Christmas tree on the beach, so we gathered for a commemorative snap.

I went home for a hot shower, then my friend Wendy took me to lunch at a local Italian restaurant. She and her husband and her two adult children go there every year, but her daughter couldn’t be there and they had a spare seat at the table. We each ordered an Aperol Spritz, ate delicious Italian food, did a quiz torn out of a newspaper and laughed and talked for a few hours. I paid for my meal, but my sweet friend slipped the money back under my front door later in the afternoon and said it was her treat.

I only have a photo of the Aperol Spritz. Well, there’s a lone shot of me at the table, but I look like one of those “before” Weight Watchers pics.

I went home and changed my skirt after seeing it, then popped around to visit a few of my local walking buddies and raise a glass. The day ended in my sister’s spa with a glass of Arras and a dozen Pacific oysters.

Along the way there were phone calls from both the kids and a chat with DD – in my self absorption about being a Christmas orphan I’d forgotten that he didn’t get to see his partner or kids either.

I miss him very much. I’ve woken this morning feeling sad that we’re both on holidays over the coming week but banned from seeing each other.

I must keep remembering I’m not in a muddy trench in Gallipoli.

PS The main pic is DD and I in 2015 – we look so young despite him wearing a dishevelled Santa beard! I look forward to spending a happy belated Christmas with him at some point.

Song of the day: Wet Wet Wet “Love is all around”

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