I love this time of the year, I have to admit it. There's something about the freshness of winter, the holiday lights, the ground covered in snow... well - it's just nice. It makes me feel warm inside, even when the temperature is getting scarily low.
Admittedly I haven't put up our own Christmas Lights or our little tree. I hope to do so in the next few days, but I just have been a bit too busy with work these days to get around to it. To be fair, I did hang most of my parent's outdoor Christmas lights over Thanksgiving - so it's not like I haven't put any time in.
I like to think of myself as a "determined optimist" - which means I've made a personal decision to be optimistic, no matter what. It's not exactly an easy thing to do, but it's how I've survived. It was a decision I made many years ago...
...right around the holidays in fact.
There was a year where Christmas didn't feel like Christmas in my early twenties. Yes, we can get over the fact that neither myself nor my immediate family are Christians - but we still do (what is effectively a secular) Christmas. It's always made me feel happy inside and excited, right up until the year it didn't.
I was in a darker place at the time. I was depressed (with a little "d" to be clear) and frankly wallowing a bit. It was then that I decided I didn't want to feel like that anymore, and decided that dwelling in it wasn't going to make any of the bad things in my life any lick better. I went back to a simple mantra that I had come up with years prior, but had not wholly embraced: You cannot change what has happened, you can only move forward from where you are now.
With that I felt lighter. I stopped carrying a lot of my emotional baggage, and started moving forward.
Ever since then, no matter what was happening in my life, Christmas felt like Christmas again. So I choose to embrace the holiday spirit. Cynicism and Negativity has a weight to me that I don't want to carry. Hell, I ended up dropping quite a few people from my life because I couldn't stomach being around them anymore.
Jaded, negative wallowers be damned, I've embraced optimism - and frankly, you should too. Trust me, life is a lot more fun when you do.
Too true, and if I could add one other thing.. For the love of the gods if you've got problems TALK ABOUT THEM.
I've been dreading holidays for years due to some self-generated angst about my extended family. This Thanksgiving though, I had a good chat with my brother over burgers and unloaded my frustration and found he understood my position completely. Being able to talk about it has helped me quite a bit, I'm still not quite excited for Christmas but I'm not openly dreading it or trying to come up with fake excuses to skip out like in years past.