I was just about to publish yet another post complaining about my ex. Bla bla bla selfish bastard....bla bla bla doesn't want to see his own kids.... bla bla bla communicates like a doorstop...bla bla bla...
But no, I thought. Sod that for a game of soldiers. It is December, and that means two things. 1 - it'll be Christmas shortly. And 2 - even more shortly, it will be my birthday.
When I was growing up, birthdays were magical times to me; one day in an entire year which is yours for breakfast in bed, slobbing and slobbering, eating, drinking, seeing friends if you like or not if you prefer, and unwrapping presents which, although not particularly expensive, have been carefully thought about and are always a wonderful surprise.
My husband was shit at this. His piece de resistance was buying me a singing ice cream scoop for my 30th birthday. It had broken in transit, and didn't even sing.
I really should have divorced him then.
At Christmas time, when the kids were little, I would insist on travelling up and down the country to see my relatives. I loved it. I loved all of my family, particularly my Granny, who would always sit with me and play the piano and sing. I even loved the travelling, particularly at night and off the motorway, when we could peer into people's windows and watch their Christmas family tableaux, laugh at inflatable snowmen on garage roofs and stop in awe at houses lit up from floor to roof with thousands of multicoloured, flashing bulbs.
I have to admit being less enthused in visiting my husband's parents, who I found difficult to talk to. I felt mean for allowing myself to be like this and would spend the entire visit in a tussle with myself, telling myself to be a better person. Until it was time to go home, and the relief would suddenly make me into a nicer, more generous person again.
And the whole present thing reared it's ugly head again. I would try hard to come up with an imaginative present that my husband would actually find useful; he used to either buy something inappropriate, or something I'd specifically asked for - or just told me to buy it myself.
I know I sound selfish, spoilt. And I probably am, a bit. But it wasn't the physical lack of present that I missed - it was the lack of thought that he'd spent on me. Every year I would drop hints - eternity rings, flowers, leather boots - and every year I would get a pair of gloves, a bath bomb, a bottle of perfume I'd never heard of.
So my point is this. Now I am, in effect, alone, then my expectations are zero. Which means that Christmas is a very happy time indeed. The kids and I will see family. We'll watch an awful lot of crap TV with the log fire blazing. We'll go on walks. The boyf might pop round. An awful lot of food will be consumed.
And this year we will have a cat to keep us company. She is coming from the local rescue centre and we love her already.
I cannot wait. Merry Christmas everyone.