Let’s Talk About The Holidays

“Soon it will be Christmas day”

The holiday season is meant to be a time of joy and happiness. One that is shared with family and friends. People are just happier in general.

Or are they?

I noticed something quite interesting but it turns out that perhaps it was only obvious to me once you go through a tough time close to the holiday season. In a way, someone chose to purposely shoulder me when I was walking with my work mates from an excellent lunch outing. I was stunned. At 6 feet and 100+ kilos, it’s not like my wide frame is easy to mask. Heck, I’ve often had people say, “let’s meet at Nige” as I sometimes was the tallest in our group. (Admittedly, I would duck and bob all over the place in a crowded location just for my own giggles. However Marco Pollo isn’t fun when you’re playing it solo….but that’s another story). So I wondered whatever could posses someone to be so mean?

When I look back, Christmas was always a time of cheer and one where people came together and shared in the joy. But have you ever considered people going through a hard time? Physically, emotionally, mentally or even spiritually? They often ostracise themselves from the group and because of this, it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy where they see the world as a bad place and then find that it’s coming true. Perhaps then, that negativity then spirals out into lashing out at other people. Sometimes even strangers.

I found it quite interesting as I’ve never experienced such a thing before. Not at all in Melbourne. But now that I have the only way to overcome it is with love. Not love in some woo woo kinda wat but something rather more practical. Let’s start with some concrete steps.

1. Focus on the positive and be grateful.

This might be harder than it looks. When the world is going to shit and everything around you is crumbling, it’s hard to be positive. Let alone be grateful. But what I found was, when I focused on the things that went wrong, those were the items that got magnified in my mind. It’s easy to see the smallest thing blowing up out of proportion or thinking that there is something else at play when it could just be a small misunderstanding. But you know what? When you think about how much worse it could actually be, you have a real appreciation of how life is. Maybe that’s the other thing too. Take away the emotion, take away the drama and see the things for what it is. Yes, you missed out on that promotion or your partner left you or someone you loved you died.

Then you reexamine the situation and realise, the promotion wasn’t the one you would really help.

The partner leaving you actually lifted a massive burden off your shoulders and you learned more about your limits and what you will and won’t put up with in a relationship. And when it comes to the crunch, it’s better to be alone than in a one sided relationship no matter which way it might swing.

And even though the person you loved may have passed away, their memories and hopes and dreams for you don’t. I doubt that they wanted you to keep thinking about them and put your life on hold. The world, goes on. And even the big things become glints in people’s minds.

No, what you need to do is pick yourself up and keep on walking.

2. Focus on others.

I’ve already mentioned that I volunteered. But what I haven’t mentioned is how much it inspires me. Yes, I’ve had to deal with a whole lot of things: from a car crash to some drunken person the next morning thinking they’ve dropped their wallet down a well. And in all those cases, I’m grateful that I am able to help. And as much as it’s self centered, I’m grateful that it’s not me. But the number of times, I’ve been able to steady my nerves because of the constant training we do or when a child comes up to say thank you, it’s just simply priceless.

3. Do things you love.

I know, that if I throw on my favourite CD or watch my favourite movie (or all the awesome parts that I look forward to and repeat word for word) will instantly put me in a good mood. Sometimes I call some of my close friends just to chew the fat with them. Other times I’ve  even picked up my games and started playing the less involved ones. Heck. Even a cold shower will snap you out of it quicker than anytjing else.

4. Exercise 

Whilst I like to pick up and put down heavy things, a slew of things have happened that meant I couldn’t keep up with my gym routine. Does that mean I stop? Hell no! As long as there is sunlight, I get out there and go for a walk. 20 minutes. That’s it. That’s all it takes for the endorphins to kick in. And instead of focusing on all the things I didn’t have a chance of doing, I focus on wjat I have done. And on my immediate surroundings. I try to listen to the different birds singing or different sounds in the environment and focus on how far or near they are. And before you know it, you’re lost on a walking path and just having a good time.

5. Write

I believe that the art of writing is slowly dying. There’s nothing better and more freeing than just writing and I don’t mean typing. Actual writing. There’s something freeing in hearing the pen scratching the paper and the freedom that it brings. You just write. No thoughts. No pauses. Just write. And sometimes, you might not even be able to keep up. Words come flying to your mind and your hands just can’t keep up with those thoughts. So write. Let it all out and let it out freely. There’s nothing more rewarding than writing.

I was curious as to why it happened. What would ever possess someone to shoulder someone else. If anything, I actually felt pity. And before I realised, my moment to do something had passed. Instead I chose to smile. I went about and said something nice to the people I worked with when I got into the office. A sincere appreciation and not the light on one either. The way their face lit up was priceless. And there in lies the way of making this world a better place.

Our time on here is short. If you can make someone else smile or happy then do it. Do it without expecting anything in return. And the smile you give, might just be the only smile that the other person receives all day.

And for that I am grateful to all of you my dear readers. Thank you. I am grateful for you.

I will be taking a 2 week break to rest and recover from the big year. If you want to stay in touch, please use the sign up and you’ll be updated as soon as a new post is published.

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