On Friday, I signed a purchase and sales agreement for a house. It is a very nice place, in good shape, about 1000 square feet, and only about 2 miles from where I work. Closing is not until early January, so I won't have to worry about moving stuff right over the holidays (though I will have to be packing, of course, and looking for some new but cheap furniture). Overall, I am happy about my decision. It does of course mean a large debt and less money in the bank, but I have calculated that I can handle it. I'm not a big spender in any case, and I don't have many expenses beyond the basics of housing, food, utilities, etc. (though a good internet connection is almost a basic necessity to me!). I've even gotten into the practice of keeping the heat lower and taking less showers to use less water, though I'm not sure if these will really have much of an effect.
My whole immediate family will be together for Christmas this year - me and my father, both my brothers, and my sister-in-law and niece. Both of my brothers are living in Europe - the one with a family in Dresden, Germany, the other one going to school for a Ph.D. in Oxford, England, UK - so they will be making long trips. I am looking forward to this. The Christmas season has usually been one of my favorite times of year because I am lucky enough to have a family that gets along so well that our gatherings have a lot of the atmosphere of meetings of old, close friends, only even more so. The older I get, the more I have realized how lucky and privileged I have been to have this kind of relationship, and I sometimes feel ashamed of taking it for granted too often.
I continue to wrestle with the Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, sometimes with a lot of success, sometimes with no success. In spite of the generally good condition of my "outside" life lately, my internal mental and emotional state has been veering between a combination of great happiness, confidence, and determination, and a combination of anxiety, self-hatred, depression, and negative thoughts and behaviors toward others and myself. In the course of my internal struggles, I am making the disturbing discovery that I am very ready to ignore the interests and needs of other people in my struggle to defeat or at least contain many of my negative emotions. I have long suspected that my OCD and the internal struggles that go with it have made me very self-centered in some respects, but recently this has become more serious and blatant than ever before. On the other hand, I am not even sure if I am doing any actual harm at all - my anxieties include an obsessive fear that I am causing harm to others without fully realizing it, so I tend to not trust my own perceptions.