‘Tis the Season—by Jamie Levine

Bah humbug! I’m tired. And cranky. I’ve had a migraine for almost an entire week…and now I’m coming down with a cold. During this season last year, I was finishing up finals and getting ready for a month-long break. But yesterday, I simply took a midterm that was worth 50 percent of my grade, and passed out by 9pm—knowing that today I have a school project to work on that won’t be complete until mid-January. And I have another project ahead of me that requires meeting with some classmates next week, when everyone else is focused on the holidays. My grad school program is on eight-week cycles, and I get no break. Deep down, I certainly don’t regret enrolling in this program because it’s the best one designed for a single mom, but right now, I am feeling a little sorry for myself. I’d love a vacation.

That said, I’m fortunate that I don’t need to pay for child care next week when my daughter is on her school break; while I won’t have a vacation, per say, I will be home to entertain Jayda and take her on play dates. I’ll simply do what I often do—and finish my work at night when my daughter is asleep. My life can be tiring and stressful—as most mothers’ lives are—but at least it’s flexible, time-wise. And even though I’m all “tipped out”—having spent more money than I have to spend on all of Jayda’s wonderful caretakers—her teachers, babysitters, and sports instructors—at least I have a well-cared for daughter, which is more important than anything. The holidays can be stressful for everyone—not just me—but they should also be about spreading joy and experiencing happiness. So at times like this, I need to remember that, and focus on my glass being half-full, rather than half-empty.

That said, happy holidays, everyone! And here’s to getting rid of my holiday humbugs (and this darn cold!)