Since I have a brief respite prior to starting my doctoral program, I’ve decided to update the blog a bit. Perhaps I had been a bit hasty in my decision to pull the plug on a venture that had been going better than I ever would’ve imagined. After all, I’ve always loved writing. It’s been a passion of mine for years. I know that when things begin getting crazy next month, I’ll need to rely on the things that bring me joy to get through those difficult days. With that said, perhaps the father shall ponder further after all.
Which brings me to my next point…
I’ve Got Those Holiday Blues…
Why does the holiday season tend to bring out the worst in us, on both a personal and national level? ‘Tis the season for negativity, am I right? Just take a moment to look through your Facebook and Twitter feeds. You’ll see an abundance of posts complaining about things that aren’t worth the aggravation and grievances related to things we cannot change. While I can’t say that I’m necessarily the most positive person on social media, I have been making a conscious effort to lead by example when it comes to spreading good vibes.
I think the desire for a “perfect” holiday season is the leading cause of frustration for many of us. Thanks to the in-your-face, around-the-clock bombardment of holiday films, television shows, and songs that are inescapable this time of year, we’ve created an image of a holiday season that, in all honesty, isn’t within the grasps of reality. We then attempt to achieve that level of family unity and communal togetherness only to be disappointment when it fails to meet our otherworldly expectations.
As a parent, this disappointment is intensely magnified because we naturally strive to create the perfect childhood memories for our little ones. With each Christmas/holiday, we hope to create a moment that will become a part of them; a moment that they’ll someday share with their future rugrats. We need to realize that it’s simply our presence and happiness that make the holidays special for our kids.
So how can we beat back the of feelings of December Despair? I’ve got a few suggestions…
Defeat December Dejection
- Meditation and Mindfulness – Taking time to quietly meditate can certainly help alleviate stress. The breathing exercises can help keep your heart rate in check and assist in achieving a sense of renewal. Mindfulness activities will allow you to always “be in the moment.” It’ll be such a relief to finally be able to push away the troubles of the past or the lingering fears of the future.
- “Let It Go” – We often worry about things that are beyond our control. Little things will figuratively trip us up on a daily basis, but we can choose to move forward without those events ruining our day. Did a driver cut you off in the Natick Mall parking lot? Did that overzealous mom take 3 Fingerlings off the shelf when the sign clearly states, “LIMIT ONE PER CUSTOMER”? Such occurrences can be frustrating, but don’t let them ruin your day. Take a deep breath, realize that we cannot curtail the obnoxious behavior of others, and move on.
- Take Time for Yourself – Don’t get me wrong here. The holidays are a time for family togetherness. Sometimes, however, we all need a break. If you’re stressed beyond belief, ask yourself one question. Will it do anyone any good to stay around family while you’re oozing melancholy as if you’re a member of Dashboard Confessional? I didn’t think so.
- Don’t Procrastinate – “There’s never enough time!” It’s our go-to complaint when things get crazy. However, there is enough time. We just have to carve out a schedule and stick to it. If you need to swing by Bed, Bath, and Beyond after putting the kids to bed, then make sure you get there. DVR that episode of Big Bang Theory and head to the store.
Thank you all for continuing to read and enjoy The Pondering Father blog. It’s such an honor and a pleasure to write for all of you. I sincerely hope that you and your family have a wonderful holiday season. I know this time of year can be tough for many of us, but know you’re not alone. Lean on your friends and family if you’re feeling down. Know that support is just a phone call away. When it comes to this roller-coaster we call life…we’re all in it together!
Merry Christmas! Happy Hanukkah! Happy Kwanzaa!
Until next time…