Remember how I mentioned last week that my mood was not how I would like it to be? In talking to other people I realize there are many out there that find this time of year to be stressful, discouraging, depressing and lonely. Why is that? Every where we go we are bombarded by subtle and not so subtle messages about this joyous and festive season we are approaching. Christmas parties have begun. Christmas shopping is well under way. Christmas music is being played everywhere and all the time. Christmas gatherings are being planned. Shopping lists are being put together. Some people are planning and booking holidays. Sounds like fun, right? It probably should be, but for some reason it is not for many of us.
I have come to the conclusion that I need to change my focus this Christmas season. I recall when I was still farming that this time of year brought with it all kinds of pressures that left me feeling anxious, discouraged and lonely. December brings with it the shortest day of the year. Often it can be the coldest time of year. Having farm year end the same as the calendar year left me dealing with farm financial issues when I should be focusing on the festive time of year. I often felt inadequate as I saw others spend lavish money on gifts and holidays. Having livestock meant that there was no break from the daily grind of farm work. And so it went. Now, I find, that this time of year can still bring with it many of the same feelings I always had, leaving me just not feeling right.
“I wonder if gratefulness is the bridge from sorrow to joy, spanning the
chasm of our anxious striving. Freed from the burden of unbridled
desires, we can enjoy what we have, celebrate what we've attained, and
appreciate the familiar. For if we can't be happy now, we'll likely not be
Seems to me that the author of that quote is on to something. Gratefulness. How novel. For years I have ruminated about all things that I was not and could not be thankful for. This time of year seemed to bring that out even more. I know that I have many things to be grateful for. Now it is time to focus in on those things, remembering that much of the negative “stuff” in our lives is completely out of our control. May you all have the strength and courage to let go of the old and embrace the new. May this time of year bring joy and peace never before experienced. Make it a good one.