In years past, I enjoyed holiday time shopping. I would scour the interwebs in advance and come up with plans of shit to purchase for myself, for famiry, for friends and whomever might actually warrant getting a gift for. And by the time Thanksgiving rolled up, I would go start going gangbusters on purchasing things from all the retailers that might or might not have had early, Thanksgiving day, or Brack Friday deals. By the time December rolled around, I was mostly done with my holiday shopping, save for those closest to me that I’d want to keep getting things for maybe.
Obviously, the big variable in those years past was the availability of time, and having the time to do research, think about other people, and to come up with plans, and seeing as how this year can mostly be summed up that as far as time goes, I just never fucking have any, and as a result, I look at holiday shopping and gift giving as something more a nuisance and an obligation, as much as it’s something that I’m feeling enthusiastic and eager to partake in.
Yes I understand how curmudgeon and shitty that sounds, but that’s where I’m at right now. Overwhelmed, overworked, exhausted and perpetually pushed past my limits, that I’m finding it incapable to enjoy things I’ve enjoyed in the past, much less any and most of the little things that might’ve lifted my spirits in the past.
Additionally, I’m not working now, as I opted to, and it turned out to be extremely essential, in taking my extended leave of absence from work beyond my normal paid paternity time, but that also means it’s 1.5 months of not getting paid, as my job is secure, but the paychecks stop. So I have financial concerns on top of everything else, and I’m wondering what wells in which I should be pulling the necessary funds to make sure my famiry and loved ones can actually have some gifts from me, because we’re all capitalists and all feel obligated to buy shit for one another.
As the Thanksgiving week rolled around, my email box was bombarded by e-blasts and messages from retailers that I ordinarily would want to browse through. Brack Friday prices now, extended, Cyber Monday, etc., etc., for an entire week. Of course I wanted to look through and peruse and hope to find some shit for myself or my loved ones, but with what fucking time? I don’t have any. By the time I have any time to do anything of the sort, that time is spent cleaning shit and resetting shit for another day of parenting, before I’m too gassed and tired to do anything else.
As the week progressed, and in what fleeting moments I might’ve had that I could have done something so frivolous, I was basically at the point where every commercial website I’d go to had countdowns at the tops of their page ticking down the amount of time left that such deals would be in place. And I hate working against clocks, much less visible ones, and then I’d remind myself, with what fucking money? And then ultimately just start closing browser tabs, and sink back into my general hole of angst.
Believe me, I don’t like admitting all this stuff as much as I am putting it in writing for it to be immortalized, but that’s where I’m at. It’s like, I only want to shop for my immediate household, and would like to be alleviated from the feeling of obligation to shop for anyone outside of it. Because that’s all my world really is these days, the people within my own walls, and I have no idea what anyone outside of it might want, or needing to exert thoughtfulness, because it’s just adding unnecessary stress and anxiety to me, and I really don’t need it.
Ultimately, I’m going to just start kicking down doors and demanding ideas for what to get people, because we’re still in a pandemic, I don’t speak or interact with people enough to have ideas of thoughtful observational gifts, and I kind of just want to be done with needing to feel like I have to shop for others.
Maybe, hopefully, in the future years, this’ll go back to being typical slaves to capitalism, where we’ll all be happy to throw our money around at shit nobody really needs, but at least we’ll be in better spirits.