My head

Seasonal sadness and my reality check

December 19, 2014

seasonal sadness

I haven’t been feeling Christmas this year, I’m suffering from seasonal sadness.

When I cast my mind back to just 12 months ago my life has changed immeasurably. I can’t say the end of my marriage has made my life better or worse because it many ways right now it is a bit of both.

Some bits are better, and other bits are worse. My life is just very, very different.

After me monopolising the family Christmas for a couple of years running it is my brother’s turn to have the family for Christmas in Victoria but I’m not going. I thought I should keep the kids close to their Dad for the first year apart, try to keep a semblance of normality and a hint of family togetherness because I’m hoping to maintain an essence of a family unit although we are no longer sharing a home.

I have many offers and options of fun things to do so before you imagine me sitting on the couch crying into a bottle of whiskey and passing out with a mouthful of christmas cake please know I will be doing something lovely with people who love me, but I will be splitting the day.

Morning with my children, and afternoon without the children.

It’s not bad, it’s just not how I imagined my life would be.

I refuse to be sad, although I’m welling up as I write, because it’s just another day, right? I am welling up a bit of late.

I’m unorganised, unenthusiastic and anxious this Christmas. I’m decidedly ‘meh’. I am the Grinch who can’t even be bothered to steal Christmas. I usually love Christmas. I make jams and cakes and I marinate and pickle things, but not this year…. this year I barely made a biscuit.

But then the unthinkable happened and I got a reality check of epic proportions.

A crazed madman, an horrific siege, deaths of innocents. Revolting newspaper magnates selling fear.

All day I kept thinking about those people. I went about my business but they were always in the back of my mind. Their fear…. did they get used to the fear and get bored? Hungry?

I thought about how if I lived in so many countries in the world – Sudan, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, to name a few –  that this would be normal, this atrocity going on across town that could befall any of my friends at any moment. Then I got scared.

Although we now know that this was just one madman acting alone, and he happened to also be a Muslim, I became fearful of Muslims.

Not at all because of their beliefs, or their choices, but because I live in quite a Muslim area, that is also close the Sutherland Shire where the horrible race riots were on that black bleak Australia Day in 2005.

I feared that my family being every day in shops where my smiling Islamic friends give my children bananas and sneak them lollies would have a retribution on me, just by association.

I selfishly feared for myself and my family. I also feared for my community.

I tried to take a Portrait 365 of a lady wearing a full face hijab, a niqab, the covering where only their eyes are visible. I’ve been hoping to catch a niqab the whole year and when I saw her I stopped the car, not thinking anything of it. I’ve stopped my car many times in the past year to photograph someone that has caught my eye.

It is only now even though I was very friendly and chatty, that I realise that she had probably watched the horror on the news and she was probably scared of me and my request to take her picture.

Imagine. Scared of me, just because of one crazy madman.

And then instead of Armegedon and senseless retribution #illridewithyou happened. People stood together regardless of the race and religion and in the face of tragedy Australia said we are one people. Everything will be ok.

I have no idea if everything really will be ok, and if we really will be safe from the craziness that seems to be taking over parts of the world but at least we can be safe from each other and face whatever comes as a unified front.

Anyway, my sadness is still there, and the reality check of life has actually compounded it a little bit. I am teary, and heavy….. but I decided to pick up my socks, and as I type this my house is full of the aroma of marmalade, because Christmas is still happening and life is often changed irreparably and my marmalade wasn’t going to make itself.


seasonal sadness


My thoughts and prayers go out to the families whose lives have been ripped apart at this time here in Australia, in Pakistan, and everywhere where there is craziness in the world.


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  • Reply Carolyn @ Champagne Cartel December 19, 2014 at 8:17 am

    Thank you for summarising so beautifully what a lot of people are feeling – me included. Only difference is I haven’t got any marmalade to show for it. But this morning I did pick myself up and go for a run – my first real run in weeks – and it felt good. It’s always a strange feeling – life going on, after horrible things have befallen people who are just like us. But it does, and it’s our choice how we tackle that, of course. I hope your Christmas is full of cheer and laughter, with moments of quiet reflection and wine. Much love, lady. xxx

    • Reply Danielle December 20, 2014 at 2:11 pm

      It is all just a little bit crazy bonkers this old life. But I’m bloody pleased people like you help make sense of it. X

  • Reply Kelly Exeter December 19, 2014 at 8:46 am

    Much love gorgeous. I wish I had something much more profound to say! But this week (this year?) has left me fighting off the sads too … but for different reasons to you xx

    • Reply Danielle December 20, 2014 at 2:09 pm

      Sending love is most certainly enough. May we both have a cracking 2015 full of joy, love and success!

  • Reply Amanda @ Cooker and a Looker December 19, 2014 at 9:46 am

    I’m feeling it too mate. Love to you and your brood this Christmas. xx

    • Reply Danielle December 20, 2014 at 2:12 pm

      And to you and yours, sweet Amanda x

  • Reply John & Val December 19, 2014 at 3:11 pm

    Hey there ‘Big D’
    I so wish I could send a big hug through the mail to tell you that it will be OK. We may not be the “OP’s” any more but we’re always here to listen, and you’ll always be part of our family and in our hearts. Stay strong, as only you can. Love and laughter to you and yours this Chrissy. Now have that scotch and give us a grin!! We love you.

    • Reply Danielle December 20, 2014 at 2:15 pm

      Big love to you both and all of your kids and grand babies. I may not get to catch up with guys any longer but I always smile when I think of you xxx big love.

  • Reply Alicia Manning December 19, 2014 at 3:36 pm

    Hi Danielle,
    You sound like a truly wonderful mother, I wish you nothing but happiness this xmas, dont see the afternoon as missing out on your kids, see it as an opportunity to have “you” time, have a bubble bath, visit a friend or just get drunk lay on the lounge room floor and blare the 80’s and sing till your hearts content, whatever you do have the best time.
    I love reading your posts and quite often get a giggle out of them, keep them coming


    • Reply Danielle December 20, 2014 at 2:17 pm

      What a gorgeous message. Thanks for taking the time to drop me a line, Alicia. So thrilled you get a smile from my blog. We could all use some more smiles! Xxx

  • Reply Nicole- Champagne and Chips December 19, 2014 at 4:43 pm

    Wonderful. Perfect and wonderful. You got it all there in one little blog post.

    I sort of know how you feel. My relationship of 10 years ended just before Christmas (a few years ago now) but to retain some normality we still went to a family thing on Christmas day. That was when I realised my mother hadn’t told my brother my relationship was over. I guess it was my job to tell him but I was just all a bit numb. We received a bunch of couply gifts. Ergh. We actually had a fight about who was keeping which chocolates when we got home (yep, in the same house for a few weeks which was ergh too). Hilarious with the softening of time.

    The horror of this week puts all kind of things into perspective doesn’t it? I was feeling a bit down that I won’t really get a break and can’t get back up to Brissy and my family but then a crazy man held up a chocolate shop and I realised how lucky I am to have a family.

    Enjoy your morning with your kids and party away your afternoon without them. Have a good one. I have adored ‘getting to know you’ in the last few months. You are a good egg. x

  • Reply Danielle December 20, 2014 at 2:19 pm

    You’re a good egg yourself, love. Have an awesome Christmas whatever you get up to. Peace xxx

  • Reply Vicki @ Knocked Up and Abroad December 20, 2014 at 3:31 pm

    The siege and then yesterday, with the murders in Cairns – it’s all just a bit much. My heart is sad this lead up to Christmas but it sure does make me want to treasure my cherubs. For this reason, I can understand the underlying sadness that comes with having to share your lovelies and the first time is undoubtedly expected to be the hardest. Don’t beat yourself up. It’s a huge adjustment and you’re allowed to be as glum as you need to be. I’m sure there are little pockets of joy just waiting for you when the day arrives x

  • Reply Everything is ok, it's just christmas December 24, 2015 at 5:48 pm

    […] read back over my pre-Christmas blog post from last year just now to check in with where I was this time last […]

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