• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies living kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education experiences global resources the cider press projects digital market permies.com all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Nicole Alderman
  • raven ranson
  • Jocelyn Campbell
  • paul wheaton
  • Devaka Cooray
stewards:
  • Burra Maluca
  • Miles Flansburg
  • Julia Winter
garden masters:
  • Dave Burton
  • Anne Miller
  • Greg Martin
gardeners:
  • Joylynn Hardesty
  • Mark Tudor
  • Pearl Sutton

Anyone else have trouble this time of year?  RSS feed

 
Posts: 199
Location: near Athens, GA
20
  • Likes 6
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Growing up on a farm, where multiple generations would gather for incredible feasts during the holidays maybe set an image in my mind of how thing should be...… huge table and side boards groaning under the phenomenal southern harvest... more domestic meats, game, fish, raw and cooked vegetables, casseroles, cakes, pies.... etc, etc... than you could count... my grandmother was the best cook in the county and everyone brought a dish.  Great aunts and uncles, 2nd, 3rd, etc cousins, great grandparents... neighbors...  lot of people somehow related, distantly... all showed up on my grandparents' farm to join in.  They are all gone now.  The farm is gone too.  I have a handful of older relatives, but my family reunions are all in the graveyards these days.  I had a rough time last Thanksgiving.... had a little too much wine and got a little sad.  This year, I decided to be stoic... drinking habits more disciplined.... just trying to get through it..... but holidays and Sundays are tough... when there isn't work to do and I'm alone.  Cooking for one is a fleeting pleasure.  I decided against a turkey, because one person can't eat it without getting very tired of it.  I though about a duck, but being used to wild duck, the "ducklings" in the grocery store seemed unnaturally huge!  I roasted a hen, made eggplant parm and a few other things.  Nights are long when you aren't drinking more than a glass or two of wine with supper.  There is nothing on TV.... and I do mean NOTHING.... how is it that we used to have more quality shows hen we only had 3 channels and PBS?  I decided to go to the coast to just walk around or fish, but hit a deer and wrecked my truck... dislocated my knee and tore an ACL.... I sent a few holiday wishes... family was vacationing in London.. "wish you were here".... a friend sent me a family holiday photo of the babies.... another said hi.  I'm just reading books on fungi, perennial vegetables, growing tropical plants in cooler climates... trying to stay somewhat busy... studying Latin... playing my instruments... I knew when I became self employed and chose a unconventional path, it wouldn't be as easy or as social....but sometimes it seems that "freedom's just another word for nothing left to loose and nothin ain't worth nothin but its free."  Oh well.  If you are in the same boat, keep your chin up.  My knee has cancelled hunting and trapping season.... but it will be time to plant peas and lettuces soon and the ramps will come up in April... maybe I can make the shad run... a shad roe omelet is one of those truly great things in life and something you can't buy in America anymore. Cold just seems to be colder these days and silence more empty.
 
pollinator
Posts: 1020
Location: Los Angeles, CA
161
books chicken food preservation forest garden hugelkultur urban
  • Likes 7
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hang in there WJ.

The holidays are hard for a lot of people.  Everywhere you turn (TV in particular)  there are reminders that this is supposed to be the season of family and warm interpersonal moments, only to find yourself sitting in a quiet house where you can hear your own thoughts rattling around in your head.  If you are at all lonely, that seems to be amplified by a factor of 10 at Christmas.  Years ago I worked in Africa, and i remember my first Christmas away from home. all by myself in a house while nobody seemed to give a rip that I was far, far from home.  That was horrible.  

Add to this that many people suffer from seasonal affect disorder.  The short days and long dark evenings, the cloudy cold weather, feeling cooped up (particularly with a bum knee like you've not got) . . . it all becomes a perfectly depressing cocktail.

You are wise to lay off the alcohol.  It's a depressant.  You don't need that to feed the blahs and the blues.  Move toward some sort of community.  Join the choir at the local church, as you'll have a bunch of rehearsals coming up for Christmas eve service.  That'll give you incentive to get out, wear a nice sweater, and exercise that leg a bit.  And, you know, sing Christmas carols.   If you're not a believer, that's OK.  Tell them that you are just a seeker and ask if it's OK to be a part of their community while you check things out.  Any good fellowship should invite you to join them.

Hang in there man.

 
Wj Carroll
Posts: 199
Location: near Athens, GA
20
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Appreciated - thanks.
 
Posts: 253
Location: 4b
40
  • Likes 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I'm sorry to hear you're struggling.  I've been there,  and as you know,  unpleasant doesn't begin to describe it. I can tell you what made me feel the best in a similar situation. I volunteered. Soup kitchens are good.   Another one we  have here is once a week,  some group or other makes a free meal for the homeless or whoever wants to eat.  It's held at the American legion. No matter what group it is,  they can always use help. I always do dishes.  I'm not much of a people person,  so doing dishes suits me.  I'm sort of alone,  but people are around to talk to, and feeding homeless people,  or especially elderly people, really feels like it makes a difference.  It's hard to leave at the end of the night not feeling better about yourself.  Being a Big Brother may be an option.  Helping other people seems to really help a person feel better about themself.

I wish you the best.
 
Wj Carroll
Posts: 199
Location: near Athens, GA
20
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Don't get me wrong y'all, I'm down but not out.  I know many, many people have things much worse.  I'm really very fortunate and blessed...  I go to church and I have been very active in charities, NGOs and ministries. I have a roof over my head and a little money in my pocket.   I'm working a contract job in a temporary place... have been moving around and displaced, doing this bit for quite a while - no connections to the community and no friends.   It just gets lonely.... nights, weekends, holidays.... But, it doesn't matter.... even if I had a wife, she could be a shrew and I'd be worse off!  ;-p    I really shouldn't have even posted this.  It is what it is.  Anyway, I just remembered this great old show, that is very much along these lines and always pleasurable.  
 
Trace Oswald
Posts: 253
Location: 4b
40
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Wj Carroll wrote:Don't get me wrong y'all, I'm down but not out.  I know many, many people have things much worse.  I'm really very fortunate and blessed...  I go to church and I have been very active in charities, NGOs and ministries. I have a roof over my head and a little money in my pocket.   I'm working a contract job in a temporary place... have been moving around and displaced, doing this bit for quite a while - no connections to the community and no friends.   It just gets lonely.... nights, weekends, holidays.... But, it doesn't matter.... even if I had a wife, she could be a shrew and I'd be worse off!  ;-p    I really shouldn't have even posted this.  It is what it is.  Anyway, I just remembered this great old show, that is very much along these lines and always pleasurable.  https://youtu.be/y76ucVyTekE



Knowing someone else is worse off than I am has never cheered me up.

Is a pet out of the question in your current situation? I find dogs are better company than most people 😊
 
Wj Carroll
Posts: 199
Location: near Athens, GA
20
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
My little border collie is my best friend.  He ate half my roasting hen!  He's been with me 12 years, night and day - sleeps on my bed and never leaves my side.
 
Posts: 405
Location: Middle Georgia
64
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
My family is all on the west coast, and I moved to the east coast 20 years ago. I have been alone through most all of the holidays since then.  It did bother me the first handful of years, but now it honestly doesn't bother me at all.

It can really help to plan something different for that day. As Trace suggested, if you want to be around people volunteer someplace. Instead of focusing on yourself, plan to make someone else's holiday a bit happier by volunteering at a soup kitchen, or maybe hooking up with a meals on wheels program or some other thing for lonely elders.

Watching TV is not a good idea since that just rubs in the whole holiday thing, watch movies/tv shows/documentaries on youtube or netflix instead. If you can find a good cable series that you enjoy you can binge watch it.

As far as cooking, I cook for one and have made two turkeys in the last couple of weeks (was on sale). Maybe I am selfish, but I find cooking for one very rewarding since I always happen to make my favorite dishes. Bought whole birds, bagged the wings/legs in the freezer for later, carved off the breast and roasted that in the oven then pressure cooked the lower part of the bird for the dogs (to supplement their kibble). If you divide it up it is very manageable and isn't a big hassle to prepare.

If you like animals and don't have a dog then consider adopting a nice older (mellow) dog that needs a home. Giving a dog that has had a rough time the comfort of a warm house and good meals is very rewarding for both of you and will make Christmas much happier.  Even makes things like cooking for one more enjoyable when you have a canine buddy waiting to lick the beaters, or clean the bowls.
 
Wj Carroll
Posts: 199
Location: near Athens, GA
20
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Oh my… I should really mention my remarkably bizarre knack for getting into trouble whenever I try to help someone!  In full disclosure... in the past I have worked both as a youth minister and with a UN group on human trafficking.  So, I've pretty much run the gamut from just helping out and being a mentor to seeing actually the most horrific and violent aspects of human nature.  Not much should surprise me and I should see trouble coming... but for instance...  the last homeless guy I helped told me he was "The Angel Gabriel", began following me around... like stalking me.... and the last hitchhiker I gave a lift to was actually on his way to kill someone.. he had a gun and was going to make me an accessory to murder...  I spotted a bar, convinced him that he needed a drink to steady his nerves, went to the bathroom and called the cops!!!  I really try to do my part... but this is a long term tend.... all my life, really, really dangerous, nutty people have been attracted to me... I don't know if I look kind or like an easy mark, or if it is just some kind of fate that they cross my path.
 
Lucrecia Anderson
Posts: 405
Location: Middle Georgia
64
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Oh another thing that helps is playing music that you really like (probably stuff from your youth -- no xmas carols!). Also watching a comedy or stand up comedian that you really enjoy (they are all on youtube). Laughter fires off feel good neurotransmitters and can effect your mood for the rest of the day. Maybe even jot down various ideas so when you feel down you will have a list to remind yourself.
 
pollinator
Posts: 179
Location: PNW
28
books food preservation homestead cooking tiny house trees urban
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Yes, being with the wrong person for the holidays is worse than being alone but that doesn't mean being alone is easy.  

And I empathize on the big family thing.  I have a large family of origin and SO many good memories around it.  It is easy to get maudlin thinking about how it was as a kid or even a couple years ago when my mom was alive and we would have so much fun baking and quilting together.

I actually still love this time of year and Christmas specifically even though I'm agnostic.  Carols, tree, lights, giving gifts, food, etc.  Lots of great traditions. But now most of my family lives far away so spending it with them isn't an option.  My solution is throwing myself into all the things I love about it (see above) in the days leading up to it and then on the day of, I pretend it is like any other day (when I don't have to go to work) and work outside on my various projects or watch Netflix or read a book, sleep in, make yummy (but not "Christmas" food - I make those on the other days) etc.  

Maybe next year will find me with a sweetie or with family but if not, this plan works for me.  If you were in the PNW I would suggest we get together for dinner and invite anyone else from here who wants to come.  Could be fun.  :)  Hope yours is better than you currently expect.
 
Posts: 12
chicken hugelkultur pig
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Sonja Draven wrote:Yes, being with the wrong person for the holidays is worse than being alone but that doesn't mean being alone is easy.  

And I empathize on the big family thing.  I have a large family of origin and SO many good memories around it.  It is easy to get maudlin thinking about how it was as a kid or even a couple years ago when my mom was alive and we would have so much fun baking and quilting together.

I actually still love this time of year and Christmas specifically even though I'm agnostic.  Carols, tree, lights, giving gifts, food, etc.  Lots of great traditions. But now most of my family lives far away so spending it with them isn't an option.  My solution is throwing myself into all the things I love about it (see above) in the days leading up to it and then on the day of, I pretend it is like any other day (when I don't have to go to work) and work outside on my various projects or watch Netflix or read a book, sleep in, make yummy (but not "Christmas" food - I make those on the other days) etc.  

Maybe next year will find me with a sweetie or with family but if not, this plan works for me.  If you were in the PNW I would suggest we get together for dinner and invite anyone else from here who wants to come.  Could be fun.  :)  Hope yours is better than you currently expect.



That is where my brother and sister moved and lived, first my sister, many years ago,  then my brother just a handful of years ago.  So I have not seen her very much, a few times.  Where at in PNW do you live?
IMG_20171211_102134.jpg
[Thumbnail for IMG_20171211_102134.jpg]
 
pollinator
Posts: 135
Location: South of Capricorn
23
food preservation homestead rabbit
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Trace Oswald wrote:Soup kitchens are good.   Another one we  have here is once a week,  some group or other makes a free meal for the homeless or whoever wants to eat.  It's held at the American legion. No matter what group it is,  they can always use help.


I`ve done this, at thanksgiving and other times, and it just made me feel good, not even in some sort of "look how bad it could be" sense, but just to help someone.
When I was really, really down in the hole and work was the only thing that was keeping me together and the weekends were just too much to deal with, I found my local habitat for humanity chapter and I learned how to build things. I was happy to do the dog work nobody else wanted, and it kept my mind off things.
Maybe it is more just being part of something when you`re feeling especially isolated.

The cold, dark and holidays together are a lot to handle, particularly when you`re missing people who are gone. It was one of the reasons that I decided to move (an option that's not realistic for most people, I know). I hope you can find something that will make this time of year a little less hard.

Edited to add: the oddball magnet, bless your heart. My mother, me, and my daughter all have it too. We attract the (mostly harmless) nutters, anywhere we go. Had to teach my kid to not make eye contact/always wear sunglasses, because there is definitely something that makes people want to come up to us and spill their life stories as soon as you look at them. Not sure what they think we can do about it.
 
pollinator
Posts: 161
Location: Virginia
34
books chicken cooking
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
If being around people is difficult, animal shelters can be an option. Often volunteers are headed out of town and they can use the help. Just dont come back home with all the critters.

Although WJ, if you truly have a bizarre knack for trouble, you may get bitten, peed on, etc😉
 
Posts: 19
2
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Marco Banks wrote:Hang in there WJ.

The holidays are hard for a lot of people.  Everywhere you turn (TV in particular)  there are reminders that this is supposed to be the season of family and warm interpersonal moments, only to find yourself sitting in a quiet house where you can hear your own thoughts rattling around in your head.  If you are at all lonely, that seems to be amplified by a factor of 10 at Christmas.  Years ago I worked in Africa, and i remember my first Christmas away from home. all by myself in a house while nobody seemed to give a rip that I was far, far from home.  That was horrible.  

Add to this that many people suffer from seasonal affect disorder.  The short days and long dark evenings, the cloudy cold weather, feeling cooped up (particularly with a bum knee like you've not got) . . . it all becomes a perfectly depressing cocktail.

You are wise to lay off the alcohol.  It's a depressant.  You don't need that to feed the blahs and the blues.  Move toward some sort of community.  Join the choir at the local church, as you'll have a bunch of rehearsals coming up for Christmas eve service.  That'll give you incentive to get out, wear a nice sweater, and exercise that leg a bit.  And, you know, sing Christmas carols.   If you're not a believer, that's OK.  Tell them that you are just a seeker and ask if it's OK to be a part of their community while you check things out.  Any good fellowship should invite you to join them.

Hang in there man.



A big +1 to that.  I'm deeply troubled this time of year. I've got family, I'm pretty well-adjusted emotionally.  My problem is that after the time change, I get horribly absent-minded.  It took years to figure it out.  The doc finally pegged it:  Hypothyroidism.
I'm on a big dose of Levothyroxine every day, and it goes a long way to keeping me alert.  Without it, I'd sleep all day and live in a half-awake daze when I wasn't asleep.

I saw a documentary about living in Antarctica a while back. I think it was on NETFLIX.  THey've known for a century that folks that over-winter get weird.  They call it Polar T3 Syndrome.  That's kind of what I've got and maybe some folks here do to.  Cold saps your thyroid hormones which your body uses to keep you warm.  A deficit of thyroid hormones makes you all kinds of strange. For me, it's just really absent minded.  Others fall into horrible depressions, or drink to excess, or all kinds of other stuff.   I come back from Deer Camp every year cold and stiff and I spend the next month and a half trying to stay awake and be something other than a slug.  My family puts up with me, but it turns me into the absolute worst humbug when it comes to Christmas and New Years.  I start popping out of it around 15 January.

My advice to anyone who's having Holiday problems:  go get your Thyroid checked-- simple blood test.  If you're low on your T3 and T4 hormones, you may need medications.  Lord knows that little pill in the morning has turned my life back around.





 
Wj Carroll
Posts: 199
Location: near Athens, GA
20
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Tereza Okava wrote:We attract the (mostly harmless) nutters, anywhere we go. Had to teach my kid to not make eye contact/always wear sunglasses, because there is definitely something that makes people want to come up to us and spill their life stories as soon as you look at them. Not sure what they think we can do about it.



I'll put on my sunglasses "and see what they ain't looking at", LOL!
 
Wj Carroll
Posts: 199
Location: near Athens, GA
20
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

William Allendorf wrote:

Marco Banks wrote:Hang in there WJ.

The holidays are hard for a lot of people.  Everywhere you turn (TV in particular)  there are reminders that this is supposed to be the season of family and warm interpersonal moments, only to find yourself sitting in a quiet house where you can hear your own thoughts rattling around in your head.  If you are at all lonely, that seems to be amplified by a factor of 10 at Christmas.  Years ago I worked in Africa, and i remember my first Christmas away from home. all by myself in a house while nobody seemed to give a rip that I was far, far from home.  That was horrible.  

Add to this that many people suffer from seasonal affect disorder.  The short days and long dark evenings, the cloudy cold weather, feeling cooped up (particularly with a bum knee like you've not got) . . . it all becomes a perfectly depressing cocktail.

You are wise to lay off the alcohol.  It's a depressant.  You don't need that to feed the blahs and the blues.  Move toward some sort of community.  Join the choir at the local church, as you'll have a bunch of rehearsals coming up for Christmas eve service.  That'll give you incentive to get out, wear a nice sweater, and exercise that leg a bit.  And, you know, sing Christmas carols.   If you're not a believer, that's OK.  Tell them that you are just a seeker and ask if it's OK to be a part of their community while you check things out.  Any good fellowship should invite you to join them.

Hang in there man.



A big +1 to that.  I'm deeply troubled this time of year. I've got family, I'm pretty well-adjusted emotionally.  My problem is that after the time change, I get horribly absent-minded.  It took years to figure it out.  The doc finally pegged it:  Hypothyroidism.
I'm on a big dose of Levothyroxine every day, and it goes a long way to keeping me alert.  Without it, I'd sleep all day and live in a half-awake daze when I wasn't asleep.

I saw a documentary about living in Antarctica a while back. I think it was on NETFLIX.  THey've known for a century that folks that over-winter get weird.  They call it Polar T3 Syndrome.  That's kind of what I've got and maybe some folks here do to.  Cold saps your thyroid hormones which your body uses to keep you warm.  A deficit of thyroid hormones makes you all kinds of strange. For me, it's just really absent minded.  Others fall into horrible depressions, or drink to excess, or all kinds of other stuff.   I come back from Deer Camp every year cold and stiff and I spend the next month and a half trying to stay awake and be something other than a slug.  My family puts up with me, but it turns me into the absolute worst humbug when it comes to Christmas and New Years.  I start popping out of it around 15 January.

My advice to anyone who's having Holiday problems:  go get your Thyroid checked-- simple blood test.  If you're low on your T3 and T4 hormones, you may need medications.  Lord knows that little pill in the morning has turned my life back around.







That is very good advice!  I used to get seasonal depression symptoms... maybe still do just a bit.  I use various herbs like St John's Wort, Syrian rue, 5 HTP (not an herb), and sometimes cook with a little saffron and such to boost serotonin.  
 
I have a knack for fixing things like this ... um ... sorry ... here is a concilitory tiny ad:
One million tiny ads for $25
https://permies.com/t/94684/million-tiny-ads
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!