I am deeply disturbed at the lack of coverage on this issue. It seems that at this time of year, especially when people are experiencing difficulty, friends and family seem to not realize that what is going on when people get snappy or unhappy it is due to Holiday Depression. There is pressure to get and make that perfect dinner–get gifts for Christmas, make the shopping on Nov 25th of this year, etc…Imagine what it could for me having wrecked my car recently, going into debt with 3 birthdays coming up during this time–Eric’s (my oldest is also on Nov 25th (my birthday also), Brian’s is Dec 17th and Kevin’s is Nov 29th…
The running joke is that I am freaking broke from Oct.-Jan!
I am not depressed, though. Far from it. I am grateful that I have a family who is always there for me and for an employer that totally rocks! Yes, I took a pay cut when I quit the Texas Dept. of Criminal Justice in 2010, and have no regrets. The pay cut was well worth it. I am concerned for someone I know who seems to be sad this time of year and going through so much. I am also concerned for a family that lost two loved ones in a fire last night.
Look, I’m not here to preach, but if you are worried about finances, the first thing you should do is simply NOT spend money on items for others that you can barely afford, if at all. This marketing ploy drives me nuts every year. You will find that many relatives and friends love home-made candy and gifts as opposed to the cheap crap that we get into our stores now. My sister makes us fudge and other candies and we LOVE IT! Nothing can beat that!
Although I don’t have as much since I took that pay cut, I have more than most. I have my family, my dog, a blog I read faithfully that always inspires me to keep my head out of my backside and keep remembering that doors always open where others close. Sometimes we end up in a place where we are not happy at the moment, but we have to be there for a reason. We have to follow our intuition and simply go to where we may fear to tread from time to time. When we reach that destination we so felt a strong need to go to, sometimes things do not go as planned. We don’t get that job or the place we want right away–but we must learn to be still and silent. We must wait.
The latter part of that is the hardest part of all. It is especially hard when in that stillness we hear the echoes of loved ones telling us things that were so important to them, but seem lost in the time since their passing. We try to apply this to ourselves, but it is not something that can be forced as much as it can be allowed to enter us and embrace us. I can remember the last conversation I had with my father and grandfather one day before their passing. Each call ended with “I love you.” This means so much more to me than people know. Even today I can hear them say those words to me when I am feeling like a broken china doll, and it calms my spirit.
I remember going to the ocean in Monterrey, California after my grandfather died. I felt a release and a comfort there as I said my good-bye to him while allowing the waters of the Pacific Ocean to lap over my feet and feeling the breeze blow through my hair. It was then I felt that “embrace” (as I call it) and knew that this was meant to be and that he was no longer suffering. There is a song Carly Simon wrote and sang after losing her mother that seems to sum up a lot of what I feel right now, and I think it will help those who have lost someone close to them also. It is called “Like a River”…Watch the video here:
I was raised as a Baptist. I don’t go to church, but I do know it says in the bible that when we die, we become as angels. If that is so, then that explains this…Maybe our loved ones never truly leave us. Whether we call this simply “the Universe”, “God“, “Ronald McDonald” or whatever, something seems to be embracing us and trying to gently tell us that all will be alright–if we be still, listen and wait–and then trust that this entity will take care of us if we simply trust in it just enough to know that it is not out there to hurt us or make bad things happen–but to help us endure the stuff that comes at us from all directions and drives us mad from time to time.
Sometimes those angels sent to help us are not in our memories and such, but in those around us that we would least likely expect. Sometimes it helps me just to get out and visit new places and meet new people that I interview. At other times, like when the sun comes up, I will be on my mountain, allowing whatever meets me there to embrace me and calm my spirit to get through the day once again. However, lately my angels have come in the form of those whose blogs I read that remind me that life is not something to be taken for granted.
I have also learned to embrace the child I once was, let her go and forgive those who hurt me. Those who know me know what I am referring to, and it was a long, hard process–and to those who saw it and felt helpless, don’t worry. I am fine. I am a new person and once I was able to throw off the baggage, I was fine. I would not trade one second of my life for anyone else’s because I have learned to embrace things as they are and be happy. As I said, I have much to be thankful for, and will continue to keep those who are feeling so down in my thoughts because I KNOW without a doubt things will turn around for them.
This Holiday Season, no matter what is going around us, even if all we have is a fried chicken from Wal~Mart, instant potatoes, canned green beans and some type of sweet to eat–we should be thankful that we are there together to enjoy each other for another day–another moment. Sometimes all people have to give one another is the loving hug each morning and those 3 words called “I love you”–but to receive these one more time is greater than any gift in the universe if you stop and think about it.
Money buys turkey, presents, and a lot of other stuff–but it never guarantees love and happiness. Perhaps that is what confuses me so. I never really could understand how people can allow themselves to fall into the trap of defining themselves by what they have instead of their inner gifts that the universe gave them–the ability to make someone laugh even if they are having a rough day, a sense of humor to carry them through the rough times (like we have had in Texas with these wildfires all damned year!), It is funny that those who have the least are the ones who are always ready to give the most, too.
Now go give someone a hug and tell them you love them–even if it’s your dog or cat! Then dry your eyes and look around you. It is never as bad as you think it is. Tomorrow is always a new day and it will get better…Take care and have a great week! 😉