Home Alone for the Holidays—and That’s Okay

By Josie Brown

You won’t be with family. You don’t have a guy at your side. Still, there is no need for any humbuggery this holiday season. In fact,  you have a lot to celebrate. SMW has started a list of things you can be thankful for. Whether you’re feeling naughty or nice, be sure to check it twice…

1. Your independence.

We all have regrets. Sometimes those regrets come with blame: Toward our parents, for whom we carry their legacies of action, inaction, and fear. Toward past loves, whose heartbreaking acts affect how we view ourselves, and affect how we feel about the others who reach out to love us.

For whatever reason, today you have no obligation to be with anyone else. You are unencumbered of the whims of others. So relish your solitude.  Do only what you want today, even if that’s just to stay in bed and eat chocolate.  Enjoy!

2. Your health.

Just over 7 percent of all adults have heard the words, “I’m sorry, but you have cancer…” by their doctors. That means 93 percent of us haven’t yet experienced that devastating event. And, God willing, the majority of us never will. You may not like your hair, or the slant of your nose, or the fact that you have to wear glasses. But hey, none of those physical issues are life-threatening. So, yeah, count your blessings…

3. Your generosity.

Channel surf until you find one of the many showing of Jimmy Stewart’s movie, It’s a Wonderful Life. Sure, you’ve seen it before; numerous times in fact. And, yes, like George Bailey, many of us wonder if we’ve wasted our lives, second-guess our choices, and bemoan the travails Fate has thrust upon us. Why that particular movie resonates with so many of us is because it makes us realize that, in fact, our lives are interconnected with everyone with whom we’ve come into contact. That we can—and do—affect those around us, or even people we may not know, or who live halfway around the world.

Still have doubts? Then walk down to your nearest soup kitchen. Tie an apron around your waist then get behind the counter and help out. Or, come Monday, sign up as a Big Sister, or to train as a Suicide Help Line operator . By changing your life, you also change the lives of others.

4. Your appreciation of others.

Today, pick up the phone. Call everyone who has ever meant anything to you, or done you a good turn, or has shown you some random act of kindness. Or loved you.  It’s your turn to say thank you, and to express your appreciation for the role they played in your life at that moment in time. Yes, they remember you, too. And no, they won’t be embarrassed that you’re call is so heartfelt and sappy.

5. This alone time, in which you can re-evaluate where you’ve been, and where you’re going in the new year.

This day of solitude is, truly, a gift. Use it to plan your new beginning. No matter what has happened in the past, only your opinion counts from here on out.  Those things you feel must change start with some action, however small, from you.  This time next year not all of the items on your to-do list will be done, but many of them will be accomplished.

And, next year, you’ll give thanks for that.


Josie Brown, SMW’s relationship editor, is the author of two snarky Hollywood novels: Impossibly Tongue-Tied, and True Hollywood Lies. Along with her husband, Martin, she is the author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Finding Mr. Right [September 2009]