A different sort of holiday
This year I spent the holidays in San Francisco by myself. While not the first Christmas I spent away from my family, it is the first Christmas I spent not working and with a 4-day break on my hands. While my family encouraged me to go back home for the break, I've been to the airport 7 or 8 times these past few months traveling for fellowship interviews and was just home for Thanksgiving, so opted for a staycation instead. Both of my roommates are gone for the holiday break so I had the house to myself for a whole two weeks. While I know for some people a staycation sounds like a perfect way to spend their holiday break, honestly, I was terrified of being alone.
I'm an extreme extrovert so I'm not one to need a ton of alone time or time to recharge or relax. I'm at my happiest when I am with other people doing things. I was afraid I would have no plans for Christmas Day or New Year's since all of my friends would be working or with their families in the area. Thankfully one of my best friends J from home came to visit me and his sister who lives nearby, so we were able to spend Christmas day and New Year's together. I'm also thankful to my close family friends who had me over for Christmas Eve hotpot at their house and dropped off dumplings for me at the hospital while I was working New Year's Eve!
Now that I'm on the other side of the break, I did spend this time to recharge and get in touch with activities I enjoy, like reading, running, and cooking. The first week I hosted a holiday potluck for my work friends and later I cooked Korean food for the first time for J and his sister. I ran three times a week and kept up with BBG workouts, canceling out some of the damage I did overindulging over the holidays. I caught up on a few Netflix shows and finished "Broadchurch" and "Dark." And I read a few books that gave me some new insight and taught me new things.
However, the common theme was that most of my best memories were still made with my friends and close family friends this holiday, even though I was away from my own family. While making time for yourself and self-care are important, it's also important to not deny your true nature.
I don't think I am one of those people who relishes alone time and I'm not going to try to become one. I am comfortable with who I am and contrary to popular belief this time of year, don't need to work on "loving myself" because I already do! For me, my happiness comes from relationships with others so I look forward to always cultivating those. So did I enjoy my time alone? It was ok--I got through it. But as break is nearing its end, I'm looking forward to spending the last few days out and about, making plans with friends, going back to work and having my roommates back in the house!
Here are some snippets of my holiday season this year:
Roommate Holiday Dinner
JJ's pumpkin pie (shot on her new iPhone X)
Chrissy's ricotta stuffed chicken
Holiday fun at work
Holiday fun at work
Fun at work with our ICU team at the hospital wide Christmas party
I won the Ugly sweater contest!
Also got an operation themed sleeping bag in White elephant which was promptly stolen
R3 Holiday Family Portrait
Potluck with homemade spaghetti and meatballs...and store bought other stuff
Christmas Eve brunch at Cassava
Despite all of my visits to Lands End, I've never been down to the sutro baths until now
My gay bestie J! Who rarely agrees to be in a pic with me
Christmas Eve dinner
Christmas Day feast by Chef J -- Taiwanese pork sauce with rice
Taiwanese basil friend chicken
Homemade budae jjigae (not by me)
But homemade soondubu jjigae (by me)
Korean feast by J and I :)