There are always seems to be a misunderstanding because I write articles or talk about my work– that I’ve conquered it, so I can talk about it. Nothing could be further from the truth! Like everybody else out there, I’m just struggling to figure it out too.
Life is always changing, and we can change with it – learn new skills – or kick and scream and resist. The problem with resisting and avoiding and fighting is… that is takes more energy to do that than to surrender to whatever it is you need to learn or forgive who has hurt you or let you down. What I have learned to do is to resist less and surrender more.
But I do find that the hardest thing about holidays is when you don’t feel like celebrating… then, what do you do?
You breathe, you focus, you get out of bed and get dressed, you exercise, and you put one foot in front of the other every day… and here is the kicker….. even when and especially when… you do not feel like it!
How do you do that? You just do it. It won’t feel good at first. You will feel like a big faker. You will want to stop and go home and curl up in bed. You will feel sorry for yourself and want to cry. But you do it anyway.
And why… why go through all that effort when you don’t feel like it, your adrenal gland is shot (as a stepmom said to me this week), and nothing is the way you want it?????
Because life is short and very, very, very precious, that is why.
Ask my childhood friend, Holly, who died many years ago at 26 with two small boys. Ask anyone who struggles with a chronic disease. Ask anyone who has spent a lot of time over the years being worried and angry – all the wasted time – and realizes now that it was a waste. Ask the people who survived Sandy or Katrina but lost friends, loved ones, and every worldly possession they owned. Ask anyone in the military who is far away on the other side of the world and who prays every night for the chance to see their mom or dad or daughter or son… one more time.
I don’t know about you but when I stop and take the world view above, I stop feeling sorry for myself. I still struggle but I am determined to move forward. And here’s the magic secret of what happens when you do fake it anyway…. it gets better. Maybe not today, but tomorrow or the next day.
This holiday season is the only one you will ever have for 2012. It won’t ever come back again. You can’t replay it or DVR it.
So don’t waste it. Forget the Norman Rockwell family, and just enjoy the little moments as much you can. Be proud of yourself for valuing what is important. And know that the deliberate steps you take, even and especially when you don’t feel like it, will take you so much farther than the thousands you take on days when you are “happy”.
It’s kind of like taking all your unhappy stuff, your worried stuff and your anger, and putting it in a box. Maybe you take it out everyday and give yourself 10 minutes to look at it. But then you put it back in the box in your head. And you focus on all that you have, and that you have yet to do and enjoy and who to love for that day. You take in the lights, and the ornaments, and the children, and the toys. You go to church and sing Christmas song and celebrate the birth of the Savior, or you spend many nights celebrating Hanukkah.
For you see, that is what the holiday season is about. It is what true joy is. It is what everyone who has lived a good life knows – today is the gift. Every day is a “don’t waste it”, just-for-you, precious gift.