Easter Blues

What I did last Sunday:
-Woke up at approximately 7:30am
-Made myself a cup of coffee
-School work until approximately 10:00am
-Made myself a second cup of coffee, two eggs (over-medium), and two pieces of toast
-Did laundry
-Cleaned
-Went grocery shopping
-Finished homework

What I did this Sunday:
-Woke up at approximately 7:30am
-Made myself a cup of coffee
-School work until approximately 10:00am
-Made myself a second cup of coffee, two eggs (over-medium), and two pieces of toast
-Did laundry
-Cleaned
-Went grocery shopping
-Finished homework

Needless to say, I like having a routine.

Why should the routine have changed today? Well, today is Easter! So Happy Easter to all. Regardless of having a routine, I have noticed that my Easters have changed a bit in the past twentysomething years.

Easter Twentysomething Years Ago
“Michael! Michael! The Easter Bunny came! Come see!” I jumped out of bed, little toes in little slippers, running down the staircase taking two steps at a time. “Look, Michael!” My waxy wicker Easter basket, spray painted sky blue, was filled with candies, chocolates, and toys. Green plastic grass spilled over the sides of the basket. I raced to the kitchen, shocked every single year that the Easter Bunny left a note, ate the carrots, and left only the nubs with dad-shaped teeth marks at the end. It was a holiday that didn’t really mean anything to me, not religiously anyway. But it meant springtime. It meant family and good food. It meant love around the table. 

Easter 2015
-Woke up at approximately 7:30am
-Made myself a cup of coffee
-School work….
Do I need to continue? No, I think you get the picture.

Needless to say, things have changed a bit from twentysomething years ago.

First things first, I’m no longer four years old, and I don’t believe in the magic of the Easter Bunny. But even just a few years ago, I believed in the magic of life. The reciprocity of giving magic to others who needed it most. But now, I feel like Tim Allen in the second Santa Claus movie right before all his magic drained out. I feel tired. And not just in a I need more sleep kind of way. Tired in a my mind and body is exhausted kind of way. I guess grad school will do that to you, right?

I also miss everyone, and that’s especially challenging around holidays. My family lives five hours away and most of my close friends don’t live around me. And those that do, they have their own families and their own Easter dinners and their own plans.

Last night, I called my dad in a moment of distress. “I’m lonely and I’m having an awful night.” Words like that don’t usually exit my mouth. In my head? Sometimes. But they usually stay there. Because what can my dad do from five hours away? Also, I tell myself that since I’m a grown man, I’m not allowed to be lonely anymore. Which I now realize is silly. “What am I supposed to do?” I asked him. “I miss holidays when I was around the family.” His advice? “Well, son, it’s time for you to find a partner and make your own family!”

OKAY DAD THANK YOU FOR MAKING ME FEEL SO MUCH BETTER. It’s not like partners grow on trees, you know!!

So this year, I was left with no family around the table, no partner to make my own family with, and no homemade Easter Ham. I did the best I could, though. I bought a mini ham, cooked up some salt potatoes, and microwaved some canned carrots with a little bit of brown sugar on top…not like my mom’s at all (but at least I tried). Later, when I was grocery shopping, my cart acted as a magnet and was drawn towards the section full of Easter candy. And just for the hell of it, I bought three Russell Stover chocolate eggs: caramel, coconut, and marshmallow. And I’m going to eat every single one of those chocolate eggs and not feel bad about it. Because if that’s going to be my one and only Easter indulgence for this year, then so be it.

I’m worried that my twentysomething perception of the world is going to be forever ingrained in my head. “When will it change? When will it be different?” I asked my mom this morning. “When you have your own kids,” she responded. And even though that is in the far future, I sure hope she’s right. Because right now, I’m seeing everything through cloudy gray lenses. The world didn’t stop today for Easter like it did so many years ago. Nothing about my routine changed. Nothing in the world was different. The grocery store was still open, people were still rushing through the aisles and honking impatiently on the road…it’s not special anymore. This year, I didn’t even dye Easter eggs, a tradition that I’ve done every single year since as far back as I can remember, even if it meant sitting alone with a dozen of eggs to myself in my college dorm room.

Maybe this is just a part of growing up. Or maybe this is only temporarily. I think I’m going to go talk to Russell Stover and see what he thinks…

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