Hey it’s the holidays and that means merriment and good will for all and 157 W channel movies with wholesome fixable mistakes that no one can relate to but are a lot more fun than trying to solve our own problems. Some lucky couple always gets a kiss at the end of your 90 minutes of programming and about 4 hours of commercial breaks.
But for so many of us merriment comes with stress.
Because there is suddenly another full time job to add to your insanely busy full time job.
Because there are family members appearing like lost children at your doorstep needing to be fed and accommodated.
Because you really need some joy and the pressure to feel it is killing you.
Because you have had a tumultuous holiday past with painful childhood memories, or a loved one you lost too soon, or a divorce that took some of the twinkle out of your sparkle.
It’s just not the same picking up Janey for Santa at your place then whisking her off to dinner with THEM, bless their hearts.
Because Covid and managing Covid and fights about how to.
Or because ALL OF THE ABOVE at once.
Joy to the world, I have a crushing to do list, is that the choirs of angels or everyone Kung Fu fighting, I am so happy why am I crying?
If this sounds like your personal carol and soundtrack to your holiday season, I get you Friend.
And what if you have a new special someone in your life? That should be your Hallmark moment right?
Except that now you are combining TWO people and all of their people and their histories and traditions and heart aches and hurty places and planning and meeting and entertaining and did I mention all of that HAVING FUN DOGGONIT.
I mean it’s a lot. It can be A LOT.
Who buys what for whom?
How much do we spend?
What if we love to be spendy – does that makes us privileged arseholes or insensitive?
What do we get our new special someone? Paper or gold. No wait that’s for anniversaries.
How do we manage the in-laws or the potential in-laws to be (if everyone plays their cards right)? Is it getting hot in here?
How much wine is too much wine? Or more philosophically, if a bottle of wine is drunk in the forest but nobody is there to see it, does my screaming make a sound?
Before you answer that let me swing in from the chandelier with some simple home remedies that don’t require heavily spiking the punch, or punching the next super obnoxious relative or innocent department store greeter in the smacker.
- Take frequent five minute feeling breaks. It’s okay if you don’t feel quite like yourself. It’s okay if you are jubilant. It’s okay if you are sad. It’s okay if you are white knuckling through it, or buying your tissue wholesale. Whatever you are feeling this moment, lonely or panicked or lost or crazed, it’s okay that you feel this way. It doesn’t mean anything about you. It doesn’t mean that all is lost, or failing, or your fault or a million scary thoughts and ideas that want to sneak in when you are having a moment and wreak havoc and make you feel worse. Take five minutes to just validate whatever it is you are feeling, and let yourself feel it.
- Give yourself some emotional space. Yes to feel, but also from everyone who needs things or from your home if it’s feeling lonely or busy or crazy. Take a drive to Starbucks, sit on a park bench. Walk around the block. Find some nature. Run an errand. Lock the door and sip a tea. Get a massage.
- Reach out (touch faith). Tell someone you care. Talk to someone you might not have time for. Check on a friend. Ask for support. Ask someone to listen. Ask for a hug. Connect in an emotional way. Start a conversation with someone out of the blue. Practice 30 seconds of emotional bravery. Connecting is an act of faith and good medicine.
- Let it go. I shall now break into the Frozen theme song. How important is it to you? If it’s a five out of ten or less, let it go. Unsubscribe to half of what you think you must do or accomplish; and half of what frustrates you. Let go of fifty percent of your grievances, your expectations, and your judgments against yourself or others. Write it down on a piece of paper and burn it or put it in a “God box” which can be a non denominational higher power box. Hand it over, share your problems because a problem with higher help is no longer self sustaining and repeating and eating up your space for rest, or joy, or laughter. Practice compassion with yourself. Forgive an emotional debt, not because hurt is okay but so that you can both be free to heal, show up better, learn or find newer healthier people who can meet your needs.
- Laugh like a big belly. Watch something that makes you laugh until you cry. Share the meme. Practice seeing the humour wherever and whenever you can. Fake laugh. Crazy laugh. Laugh inappropriately. Laugh like it’s burning thousands of calories and making room for cheeses and crackers and champagne and eggnog and cookies, ha ha ha ho ho ho!
- Small gifts. No I don’t mean curtail your spending or take back the life sized teddy bear, or suddenly get practical at the most impractical time of year. But giving makes us feel expansive. T’is our natural state to share when we are joyful and abundant. Small acts of giving pull us back into that state. They make us feel good will and well being. It’s often the small gifts, of time, or support, or that pretty thing you saw in the store, or that super cool little gadget to make life easier, or the card with the nice words that are the miracles. They lift us up, above all of the chaos and the clutter and hurt. Our hearts grow three sizes, fairies get their wings, kittens get fluffier and our twinkle gets sparklier.
And last but never least, please remember how gosh darn much I love you. Do you hear that? If you are reading this, I LOVE YOU MAN. I have a place in my heart and my mind and my soul that has your name tattooed on it. You matter so incredibly much to me. And even on your down days or your too busy to think about it days, I am thinking about it for you. I am forgiving it for you. I am strategizing it for you. I am wishing and planning up a storm of better living and happier hearting just for you. Because I know you deserve it. I see way down down in there, and before you get squirmy let me tell you it’s not a scary as you think. In fact it’s rather beautiful. Sniffle.
This holiday I have twinkle in my sparkle and an Abra in my Cadabra that I am saving for that moment when you need it most. Let’s outsmart the garbage and feel the feels and do it better together babies.
To the races!
P.S. 2021 I am bringing on the love. I’ll be featured in a podcast all about better loving, from healing your broken heart to intentional dating to creating a relationship that thrives, and I’ll be launching a sister site for all of you relationship and love enthusiasts, with all kinds of insights and offerings. Stay tuned!
P.P.S. One of the kindest things you can do for me is to share my writing. If you enjoyed today’s Monday Musing and know someone else who would please forward it to a friend.
P.P.P.S. You can also follow me on Instagram, for real time updates, funnies and photos!