Somewhere, probably over some freakin’ rainbow, is the Christmas of my dreams. You know the one with little kids making snow angels in the front yard, a new Lexus in the driveway with a ginormous bow on it and gingerbread houses that don’t collapse.
However, I live in south Florida so the snow angel thing is out. I would rather have a Prius than a Lexus and unless you make a gingerbread house with gorilla glue, it’s going to collapse. Get over it.
Problem is, I can’t get over it. Actually, the problem is the sentence before this one. I think “I can’t get over it,” when in fact, I don’t allow myself to “get over it.” Every year it’s the same thing: I invite a mythical family, with mythical snow in the front yard and mythical gingerbread houses into my head.
I sit on my pity pot and watch them have their mythical Christmas. I get jealous, mad, jealous, sad, jealous, angry, jealous, depressed. I do this to myself. I allow this brain chemistry to happen because I allow myself to have stupid, unrealistic expectations.
And what are expectations?
They are premeditated disappointments. I am the one who premeditates this mythical Christmas. Of course, the folks at Lexus and DeBeers don’t help with their annoyingly unrealistic commercials.
But I have the power to control my thoughts – to a point – and if I don’t control my thoughts, they get out of hand. The rumination begins, my thoughts begin to race and my depression kicks in. Then it’s game over. Down goes Frazier.
Last year I tried to pretend that it wasn’t Christmas, which was stupid because IT REALLY WAS CHRISTMAS. Denying reality isn’t healthy for me. I once denied that a leaky pipe was really leaking a lot and ended up with a $700 water bill.
The holidays are here whether I acknowledge them or not. And like a diabetic facing a mountain of decorated sugar cookies, I need discipline. I need to reign in those mythical “happy, happy, happy” thoughts when they begin. If I don’t, the chemistry of my brain changes. Those little neurotransmitters don’t work properly.
I need to take my meds, control my thoughts, eat foods that aren’t going to make me bounce off the walls and crash into a pit of remorse and put my fingers in my ears when I hear that annoyingly cheerful Feliz Navidad song. Get the endorphins flowing with some exercise. Get enough sleep and for God’s sake, don’t drink alcohol – it’s a depressant, you know.
And now, I think I will go to the beach and make snow angels in the sand. How’s that for a little holiday cheer, Mr. 10-below zero?
Sad dog in Santa hat available from Shutterstock.