Every December I travel “home for the holidays” and this year I’m feeling like Scrooge.
I’ve missed other family events, been absent for other holidays, but in my entire life, I have always been present at Christmas.
This year I just don’t feel like going.
Instead of focusing on the positive — as I normally do — I keep thinking of the five nights I’ll be sleeping on a couch, living out of a suitcase and making time to visit with all my relatives, wasting hours circling parking lots and garages for a space, the annual arguments, all the effort.
All the effort.
Then I’ll have two days to myself to do laundry and clean before going back to work.
On Saturday I realized how desperate I was. I woke up thinking maybe, just maybe, the east coast would get hit with a freak blizzard and I’d have an excuse for not traveling. It was about 60 outside and sunny… but I had a smidgen of hope.
But today’s temperature hit a high of 70 — very unusual for December — and the extended forecast pretty much melted away any prospect of Mother Nature stepping in to provide me with an excuse for missing the family activities.
On the one hand, I don’t want to miss my dad’s birthday and am dying to hug my niece. On the other hand, if I don’t make the trip every six months, I’d never see my family. The last time any of them traveled south to see me was before 9-11.
I’m such a coward.
What does it say about me that I’d rather use my vacation time to travel to the yucatan of Mexico or Buenos Aires than spend time with family?