The First Holiday without a loved one

As you may no from my post on ambiguous loss, this past fall my family has been separated and we have in a sense lost my brother. This was our first holiday season without him. It has not been easy. In fact it has been incredibly hard. There was no fighting over who would light the candles or vigorous bets on which candle could last the longest. We didn’t watch his favorite Christmas movies, yes the Santa Clause is cheesy but this is the first year it did not graze our screens. My sister and I weren’t woken at 6 and then 7 and then 8 which is when we can actually come up to enjoy presents and stockings. Passing around presents went faster than it ever has. It is quiet. I don’t know if I like it. I suppose the only way to get through the holidays is to miss them and know that you miss them and not pretend that things are the same. We tried that for a while and my mom cried through Elf. Needless to say it didn’t go well. So for Christmas my mom framed one of his pictures and I gave my parents a framed photo of the whole family at my sister’s first Christmas (she is the youngest). It is so hard to know how sad you are supposed to be especially on a holiday where in all reality it should feel joyous.

Hanukkah was mostly easy because I was at school for all but the last night and could celebrate with my friends there and did not have to think about my family not being together, as I was states away and couldn’t be with them anyways. This has been harder because it is clearer that someone is not here, that there is a part missing. Hopefully it gets easier as the years go on or at least as we start to move away from this crappy year.

If you have any tips to make it feel any better please let me know.

What ever you are doing today celebrating or not, have a safe and happy time.

Final Finals

You know I had to. If I pass all my classes I will be done with college. This is my last 2 weeks of cramming and no sleep and over-caffeinating and crying in the shows because it’s the only free time. I still have classes right now so it is not technically finals week but… I have papers due for everyone of my classes before finals week. One of my classes will be completely done by next Monday.

Things I hate about finals week:

  • Everything is due at the same time, I have 3 finals due on the 14th! I mean why?!
  • No one is free for things like coffee breaks or getting lunch which extra sucks this year because I’m leaving
  • There is no time for sleep when you need it the most
  • Because everyone is stressing out there is an overwhelming feeling of stress and failure

How I don’t die during finals week:

  • I don’t (hahhah)
  • Taking naps, especially if you are staying up til 2 am, taking an hour nap at 4 pm is totally fine and will give you a boost for the back half of the day
  • Try to keep to a normal sleep schedule wake up at the same time go to bed at the same time, it will feel less like you are over extending yourself even though you are only getting 5 hours of sleep.
  • Self-care is so important because you phyically feel less like dying
    • Shower so you do not feel as gross
    • Eat 3x a day to keep up strength even if you some of them are only snacks and desserts
    • Drink as much water as you do caffeine, once again try not to die.
    • Take breaks to talk to a fellow human being that is not doing the same finals as you and will not just talk about work (this is important

Good luck getting through the next weeks to me and everyone else.

Happy Finals!

Monthly Recommendations: Books I am thankful for

November (yes I know I am a little late)’s recommendation topic is books I am thankful for. There are lots of ways that one can be thankful for a book: made me the reader I am, connected to a happy memory, got you through a hard time, etc.

  • Harry Potter by JK Rowling: I think this is an obvious one for most people. It sparked my love of magic and obsessive love of Harry Potter. This is also the book my dad brought home when we adopted my baby brother.
  • The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare: So this is a series that came to me at the right point in time. I was going through such a hard time and it made me feel there was where people like me and who cared about me. I read this series with my friend who became my best friend.
  • She’s Come Undone by Wally Lamb: Once again a book that showed me that you can be fine no matter what else is happening. This is also the book I was reading when a real professional author, of this book, told me to keep writing and that I had talent. So grateful for both.
  • The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner: This was a book that I read with my 2 best friends in high school and we made a hilarious book report with it (it was on a pumpkin). I really just had such a great time reading it and it made me much less afraid of classical literature.
  • Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo: I read this book my freshman year of college and it just got me out of reading slump and my stress of school and it was such just a bright fun read.
  • Red Rising by Pierce Brown: This is the first book series I read with my boyfriend and we still talk about it all the time and it’s so much at the root of our friendship.