The phone has been ringing a lot today. I’m a life coach and I know this will happen. I took the day off to bake and make chocolate covered orange peels and reflect. But people I know are sad. Some are desperate. They call to tell me life is not what it is supposed to be. Some are angry at their lot in life, some are unspeakably sad. I cannot
fix those lives, but I listen and nod. I do not respond with a story from my life. I do not offer advice. I do not tell them I know how they feel. They have enough trouble dealing with their own life. And I don’t know how they feel, not really.
There is a lot of fear around that Christmas tree. A lot of disappointment in those presents. A lot of inadequacy in the stockings. You didn’t get what you wanted. It wasn’t under the tree, it’s not in your life. Your relatives make mean remarks, and you wish you were alone. Or you are alone and wish you had a loud noisy family to keep you company.
Christmas is not merry for all. For those of you for whom it is merry, you probably aren’t reading blogs on Christmas Day. For those of you who are sad or alone, gather here and know someone in cyberspace is listening to your loneliness. I am sitting with you in silence, making a space on the bench for you. I don’t have an answer, a good solution to your problem, a way to cheer you up. But for right this minute, I will sit with you and keep you company in your silence.
–Quinn McDonald remembers what her mother said in anger, but turned out to be true: “You’d better learn to love being alone, you’ll spend the unhappiest hours of your life there.”