Noticed on Facebook that my brother had put up his Christmas tree. Right after Remembrance Day? Seems a little early, don’t you think? Maybe not. Commercials on TV have a distinct Christmas theme. Some radio stations are playing Christmas music. So, I suppose, I need to get with it. As I sit in my office on a Friday afternoon, the snow is falling. Actually looks kind of neat. Would be even neater if we were half way through winter rather than the beginning. Mind you, that would be wishing away time, would it not? Speaking of wishing away time, I realize that I am getting older and that time seems to be flying by. I am most acutely aware of this when I use the microwave. I stand and watch the timer count down and am always reminded of how my life is counting down as well. It scares me. Makes me want to avoid the microwave. I seem to be dreading this winter. I particularly seem to dread this time of year. The days are getting shorter, weather is turning cold, and yes, Christmas drawth nigh. (confused spell check with that one) However, I need to refocus on relationship building. It’s the time of year that get-togethers are being planned. Time with family and friends.
I am preparing a couple of presentations for next weekend in Toronto. One of them is a humorous, but serious, look at relationships. Perhaps I should say humorous with a serious message. Particularly as it relates to stress. I am speaking to the Canadian Farmers with Disabilities. People who have serious injuries from accidents. Trying to adapt to life with a physical impairment. Wow. Talk about stress.
Stress has a tremendous impact on our relationships with our spouses. I have always found it interesting how stress affects men and women differently. In a recent Macleans article the statement was made that “study after study show that men deal with stress through escapism and women deal with it by talking”. It is also a known fact that men are less likely to seek help. Far too often, and I speak from experience, men immerse themselves in their work thinking that the harder they work the sooner the issues and the pain will disappear. Men tend to fall into periods of irritability, higher expectations for themselves and others, substance abuse, and in general, become “emotionally unavailable”. Women, on the other hand, are more inclined to talk. A much healthier way of dealing with stress. It becomes a challenge for husbands and wives or partners to be able to understand each other when they are faced with over whelming stress.
So it’s all about relationships. On the humorous side I want to touch on the whole idea of men being waffles and women being spaghetti. Some of you may have read the book. I haven’t. My wife did. Just the title got me thinking about the difference between men and women. I used this analogy when I performed the marriage ceremony for my son and daughter-in-law. (That still has a strange ring to it. Daughter-in-law. Hmmm. Talk about getting older) They are still married. They are proud. They outlasted the Kardashians. What a debacle that was, or so I am told. I try to avoid that kind of reality TV. But I digress. Back to men and women. Ever notice how men function by having only one thought at a time in their head. Just like a waffle. Compartmentalized. Women, on the other hand, are like spaghetti. A tangled web. Each thought is linked to a myriad of other thoughts. I could say more, but that might give it away. Think about it. It makes sense.
So the goal, this year, is to work on relationships. Make it a happy time of year. Enjoy the season. And always remember. By Christmas the days start getting longer. Make it a good one.