Bingo! Dr. Bob just gave me a brand new onion to start peeling…
Holiday Stress for the most part has turned into a media event. Great fodder for stories during those sluggish news days at this time of year.
Charles Dickens can take some of the credit, too. Essentially, this special Christmas stress was and is all created to make you spend more money. More money than you have, often. All that spending won’t change the stress you feel inside at this time of year. Or buy you lasting happiness. If such a state even exists and I have my doubts.
All it will do is create hell when the bills start to arrive in January. And then there are all those pressure-cooker traditions and expectations, part of the stress story that are always a little unrealistic.
From now on, I’m breaking with tradition…
Instead, I figure, I’m going to change my attitude. No expectations. No pressures. No traditions. Every year is a new beginning and turkey with all the trimmings is a meal I can make any time of the year. We live on chicken. There isn’t that much difference. Why not change the menu, so to speak. Start breaking traditions, a bit. Or varying them.
New strategies for old situations…
I have a few strategies to cope with my hearing loss at most social gatherings ~ yes, I have a serious inherited hearing loss ~ and especially with my family, who aren’t interested in anything I have to say anyway, I feel.
I won’t be able to hear any better until my new hearing aids arrive in the New Year some time, so now I’m travelling with my trusty little old Olympus FE-120 and my iPhone with all its varied and diverse photography apps. If I cannot converse, I’ll take lots of pictures. (A picture is worth more than anything that can issue from my mouth.)
No one cares about what I have to say, anyway. I’m the family’s resident nut case and always will be, thanks to those blasted old records that continue playing, no matter what I do. I feel.
Most annual family gatherings anywhere at any time have their intrinsic stresses ~ if you want to know the truth.
Perhaps because everyone knows they should be thrilled right down to their nickers about being there…
When they probably would rather be on another planet. There is no there there, to quote Dorothy Parker, one of my icons and an inveterate Manhattanite about Los Angeles…
At ours, it’s impossible for me to converse, I feel.
Because no one really gives a twig about anything I have to say, I feel.
Somehow, I make myself into a blithering idiot at large parties where everyone is talking at the same time. It sounds like constant noise to me. Whatever comes out of my mouth is either a complete non sequitur or utter gibberish.
If ever I politely ask someone to repeat themselves, they invariably say, “Oh, it doesn’t matter, never mind.”
That just makes me feel terrific.
So, I mute my hearing aids, do a little lipreading and now, I just snap away on my cameras to avoid feeling inadequate, as I always do when I’m around my family who love to play these haunting old records, I feel.
It’s all in my head. I’m the only one who hears those records because of all the automatic assumptions I make. That’s what Dr. Bob says and keeps on saying.
And I am doomed. I feel…
Thankfully, the quiet begins when the food is served. But that’s another story.
So, henceforth, I’m going to be sensitive to my feelings, not my thoughts. To hell with what I think.
Ask a lot of questions. Don’t say a word about myself. Just point my camera and say, “Cheese.”
But stay away from the stuff. It’s too rich for my blood.
Hugs for the Holidays, gang.
And think of it this way. Most of the time, besides the parties, you can do whatever your heart desires. Sleep. See movies. Read. And give, give, give.
I’m making apple/cranberry sauce and cookies for everyone I know. My own recipes. It’s so much fun to give what you make with your own little hands.
Now, Riley is aching for a walk. Marty is taking a nap and I need some exercise.
I just wanted to wish you all a safe, peaceful, restful and relaxing holiday. (Contrary to urban mythology, Dr. Bob assures me that suicide rates go down at this time of year. He’s closing down beds on the In-patient Ward he runs because traffic is low. Depression does not reign during the holidays ~ it’s more prevalent in the Spring and Fall. (Sometimes it best not to believe everything you read or hear or see in the press. On bad news days, they make up the news. Trust me, I know. I worked on a daily newspaper for 30 years.)
Be kind to yourself as well as to those you love…
Remember, you are extraordinary. Special. Unique. Different. Delightful. None of us is the same, but we’re all equal. We’re human beings. Let us be human and humane with each other. Let us be kind to each other and ourselves. And respectful of ourselves and others. Yes.
Plan a “be-good-to-me-day” because you deserve it. It’s healthy. You need it. We all need it.
And we’ll speak soon. Happiness is relative. Find yours and enjoy the moment. Don’t worry about the past. You cannot change it. Don’t fret about the future. You cannot control it. Who can? Try to stay in the present, the “Now,” and the future will take care of itself.
I love you all. You are my family. You don’t play old records. You are constantly teaching me your extraordinary life-lessons.
Be well. Find what works well for you and work that wellness for yourself. You may find it feels good.
If all else fails, go for a walk…
It’s beautiful out there with all the lights twinkling, especially after the sun goes down. You will feel great. I do.
Or tune into NORAD and see where Santa, Rudolph and the gang are flying right now. Yes, I confess, there’s a tiny part of me that thrills a bit about the old guy and his annual global trek in the winter sky.
Anyway… I hope you are warm and cozy and safe. And loved. If not, perhaps you can lend a hand somewhere. That’s sure to make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Promise. I guarantee it.
And one last thing before I sign off with my special holiday hugs ~ try not to be perfect. Perfection is for the supernatural. Mother Nature. And even she makes a few bloopers. (I mean, were hot flashes really necessary during menopause, Mother Nature? Truly? Anyway, everyone makes mistakes. Absolutely everyone. Even the ethereal types. The spirits.
Hugs and lots of laughs, this season. I wish you fun and laughter.