It’s Christmas Eve. Josh is at the pub, Alice is in bed watching a film, Katie’s in her room doing the same and Annie is at Tom’s until 2pm tomorrow. The mince pie and carrot didn’t get put out and I didn’t get to tuck Annie into bed and try and calm her excitement down for her to sleep. It is the most un-christmassy Christmas Eve I have ever had. A Christmas eve without kids is not really a Christmas eve. It’s just odd and a great reminder of how much my life has changed over the past year, mostly for the better apart from this, and while the deeper reason for Annie’s absence is positive on one hand, on the other, it’s the high price I’m now paying. Still, tomorrow I’ll have all my children together for dinner and opening of presents, even though it will happen eight hours later than usual.
The one thing I am very aware of, being alone tonight is that it is my choices and decisions alone that have led to this. Had I stayed with Phil, we’d have been married by now and be sharing our first Christmas together. Had I made more of an effort to date other men I could have had a different man in my life tonight and if I hadn’t been so adamant about Tom not coming in our house and sharing Christmas with us, he’d have been joining us tonight and yet despite the emptiness I feel tonight and the longing to spend Christmas with someone special, as well as the kids, I know deep in my heart that my choices have been the right ones, even though nights like this make it very difficult to feel that way.
I also know that tonight has given me a new, stronger determination. I have two goals for 2015. The first is to lose the weight I have gained over the last five years and get myself a body I am proud of and confident in and the second goal is to find love. Tonight is just reinforcing this to me more and more. Health, diet, dating and love so that next year, even if the kids are doing their own thing, I won’t have to be doing my thing alone. It’s time for love in my life. Four and a half years on, it’s time to go out there and find it. I hope I’m writing something very different for next Christmas Eve.