Christmas in Bratislava

Up until Christmas, I had been feeling miserable. A combination of pandemic fatigue, being too far away from any place that felt like home and constant exposure to the news left me feeling depressed and detached from the immediate world around me. In short, very little of what I was doing was bringing me any joy.

When I began to question this change in me, and what I should do next to restore the balance, that little voice in me kept repeating ‘chase delight’.

The truth is, I didn’t always feel miserable – there were moments when I felt a sense of joy like when I spoke to mom on the phone, being creative, teaching or spending time with my husband. But these were also the moments that were easiest to sacrifice when I found myself to be busy with things that proved to be not as important in the end. I don’t want to continue living this way.

The solution then for me is to centre my life around what sparks delight and to balance everything else against it or let it go. This is how I’m going to spend the new year and see where that leads. Some difficult decisions will have to be made but without risk, there is no magic.

Fast forward two weeks and I’m sitting, drinking coffee with my mother in our family home in Bratislava. On the table are a plate of homemade Christmas cookies – hazelnut crescents and shortbread stars that are slowly disappearing one by one.

No Christmas tree. No commercially bought presents.

This year’s Christmas was all about re-connecting and establishing new traditions and letting go of the old. We baked and cooked and ate and hiked and in the evening we sat around the kitchen table sharing stories.

Oh, how I had missed this.

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