Bittersweet Holiday Blues

Vintage circa 1950s oil on canvas painting from a yard sale
This is not an easy time of year for many people, and it will be a bittersweet time for me.  It will be my first holiday divorced. It was finalized this summer after sixteen years of marriage. 

But what's sweet? My ex-husband and I are on amicable terms. In fact he comes to visit "the kids" (our joint custody guinea pigs) on the weekends. He continues to be very supportive of my writing.

I have a lot to be grateful for, including the fact that I was able to stay in my home with the help of a terrific housemate. I will enjoy all of the vintage decorations I've spent over a decade collecting and cherishing.

This year will be lean financially so I plan to send packages of baked-with-love goodies as gifts this year. I won't be holding back on my cooking and celebrating, and my joy will be genuine.

You know what else I won't be doing? I won't be overeating, because it never fixes anything. I won't be feeding myself lines like: "Well, it's the holidays, so knock it off with the goody two-shoes number and let yourself go!" I won't try to "fix" the sad portions by burying them under too many helpings of cookies. I've learned over the years that being good to myself is the best balm of all. Being mean to myself, and overeating is just that, lost its allure.

If you're feeling blue this holiday season please be kind to yourself, and that means treating yourself well and not to more than is enough for you. If you're on a tight budget, can you make gifts this year instead of going into debt? You can still eat beautiful food even if it isn't prime. Cook and bake, even if you've never done it before. There's something magical and empowering about creating something from scratch.

I'll be posting holiday recipes to inspire you--and me!


  1. It's my first holiday since my husband and I separated after 15 years - it's been hard. Thank you for the reminder.

    1. Oh no. I'm sorry to hear that, neca.

  2. Oh, Averyl, I'm sorry!! I've been divorced so I know how hard it is. When I read the title in my email I had a dread feeling. But thank you for sharing this with us. I'm sure it wasn't easy.God bless you! You are a strong and a good woman. You will be fine and we all support you. :)

    1. Aw, reading this made me teary. That's so sweet. Thank you, Aileen.

  3. I can't wait to see the recipes, Averyl! Glad you and your hubby are still pet parents together. :)


  4. I'm so sorry, Averyl! Being single, I've had my share of lonely holidays. I'm sure you will come though this transition in important good ways that you can't even imagine now.

    That's a wonderful, thoughtful painting. I wonder what the artist was processing to paint that emotional work. I tend to write poetry during emotional times. I have a folder titled, "Present shock - future growth." :-)

    1. Thank you, Dr. J, for your continued inspiration and upbeat outlook.

      I love the painting. It's quite large-- 42" tall. It was only $7! It really grabbed me when I saw it and had to have it.

      That's a great title for your folder!

    2. Thank you for sharing Averyl. Your not alone. I promise, the sad and tough moments don't last. Lean on a friend or family a bit, from time to time. Like Aileen above said, we all support you. You are a strong and positive person! Let's see where 2016 takes us all.

      I love your picture. I would hang it in my home. That gaze is dramatic, calm and thoughtful. Interesting how the eyes can lock onto her face.

      Looking forward to the recipes. After avoiding my kitchen for months, (work, school, sleep :-)), it's time to enjoy the art of cooking again.

    3. I'll take your word, Donna. I'm loving the support from readers like you!

      As for the painting, she really is mesmerizing. I wonder what she was thinking and feeling when she posed for her portrait. Or maybe was she purely fictional?

      Your kitchen misses you. : )


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