Nevertheless, this is still a good Yule.
Just a few days ago marked the one year anniversary of my getting to come back home to Colorado, which is something that I'm still massively giddy about. After having been homesick for so long while languishing in Oklahoma, I'm still adoring the fact that I'm back in my beautiful home state and I still often gaze off to the west to admire the mountains. I just can't get enough of those mountains!
And the snow! It's come in a little late, but I've been as giddy as a schoolgirl over the snow -- which has most of my friends glaring at me as I squeal over the evil white stuff. Lulz!!!!
Even though Samhain is the Celtic New Year, I'm still used to Christmastime heralding the coming New Year and as such, it still provokes the want for introspection. This has definitely not been an easy year. As much happiness as I've had with getting to be back in Colorado, there's still been plenty of unhappiness to work through.
We started out living in a motel for the first couple of weeks, which was definitely not easy. Especially when all we started out with was what we could stuff into the car and, believe me, that made for a very long drive. After those first couple of weeks, we ran into a money snag where some so-called friends were concerned. They'd bought some items from us but they hadn't been able to pay everything up front. Still, considering the day we had to leave, we had no choice but to trust them in hopes that they'd not screw us over which, unfortunately, they did. Some family of mine helped us out for a week and then offered to let us move in with them for the time being.
Unfortunately, that fell through about a month later when we had a huge falling out and it was back to living in a motel. Thus followed several frustrating days of house-hunting but we found a great apartment that we moved into about 10 days after the incident with my family.
However, as great an improvement as that was, the whole incident set me back pretty badly on my college courses and I ended up being forced to withdraw from the Spring Semester. I ended up doing really well in the Summer Semester, but things pretty much bombed out in the Fall due to having to spend more time searching for a job and working said job. However, even that job, a fast food job, did not work out because around a month after I started, the company started drastically cutting hours. Fast food work isn't much to live off of as it is; I was barely making it even off of full-time hours (and believe me, I was volunteering to work all over the place even more than my scheduled hours). But getting cut down to 24 hours a week and less was just impossible. This forced me to look for a job elsewhere (and I found one) but it still isn't enough to manage the finances by itself, so Druid got out to get a job. Unfortunately, his hasn't panned out either so he's also looking for another job.
Other areas that have been difficult have been areas dealing with depression as well as spirituality. As I've stated before, my level of practice is still in the Beginner range and I've not really had the resources to progress further. Plus, it is my desire to achieve Priestesshood, but I've not been able to find a coven that I can learn with. So, there's the fact that I'm going to have to try to get to those levels on my own for the time being and learn to discipline myself to do so. In the meantime, because learning how to raise my children in the Craft is especially important to me, we've found a local Kids Circle (as earlier mentioned) that we can take the kiddos to when the Sabbats come around and it is wonderful! But still, it doesn't fully take the place of having a family group to belong to.
But I also know that there's still things I can do with my kids and my family as our own little group, so believe me, no one needs to tell me that if I wait until I can find a group, I'm losing out on time that we can do things on our own. And that is something I definitely want to work on.
As for depression, that's something I've struggled with most of my life but I didn't really know it until I was about 19 or 20 when my mother pointed it out to me. Most times I do just fine. I don't take medication, though there are times I really wish I could afford the damn pills. I can't afford counseling or therapy. As much as I try, there are still times where I end up going down a spiral and earlier this past summer I had my worst spiral in years. It was something that reminded me that depression isn't just something spawned by bad circumstances. At the time this spiral happened, things were fine. It was like having a month-long PMS trip, so I know it had to do with my hormones going all blitzed.
After I'd managed to get over the worst of it, I did a full moon ritual and asked for Brighid's help. I asked Her to help me to heal from a lot of things that I recognized I'd been holding onto. Even if those things don't cause a depression spiral, they can sure as hell make it worse. Ever since I reached out to Brighid, I have been feeling Her so much in my life since then.
No, things aren't perfect and there are still days I don't handle stressful things the best, but She's helped me so much to work through and let go of those things as well as to recognize and be more aware of the good things around me. She's helped me to remember to be thankful for all the good and to focus on that more than the not-so-good.
All-in-all, I think the lesson for me this year was learning to be thankful and to let go of the bitterness that I've been carrying around for I don't know how many years. There's just been so much bad junk that's happened over the past several years that has been hard for me to get over. I think that my getting to come back home to Colorado put me in a better frame to finally begin to work through this bad junk and finally let it go. It's much easier to do when you're in a more healthy environment rather than being stuck in a place that feels like a black hole. I don't mean that in any offense to anyone who lives in Oklahoma or is from there and actually likes it there. But for me, that place was a black hole and I had more misery there than good.
Thank you, Goddess and God, that I've gotten to be home! Thank you for continually bringing us through the hard times and thank you that, even though we can't really afford to have Christmas this year, thank you for the fact that we're still getting to have Christmas in our awesome apartment! It's definitely a step-up from spending Christmas at a motel.
So what has this year been for you? What lessons have you faced and learned? What are you thankful for? What's better this year for you than last year?
Happy Yule, everyone and a Blessed Solstice!