Sunday, December 14

a confusing time of year

The complaints are flying off people’s tongues, that they have social events weekends in a row, that parking is nonexistent and roads are clogged, that swarms of humans are inhabiting the shops, and that there is so-much-to-do. In the same breath a person will curse Christmas busyness, and invite you to a break up party.

It’s a confusing time. I’m not against break up parties necessarily, I just feel the irony.

We are all miserable yet we all perpetuate the madness.  Everything that is done at this time of year is technically voluntary, although this doesn’t feel like the case when tradition is at play. We moan under the strain of our rat race society, but how it will it change when we go along with it year after year?

I have developed categories in my mind, so that I can decipher where to spend my limited health. In the first categories are things like showering, eating, house cleaning, joyful activity and close friendship. In the later categories are things I rarely have the health for, like hospitality, social events, baking, cleaning the car, making the bed.

Christmas hype is in my last category, Category 4. I am actually happy for the ones who enjoy every event and shopping trip, but I don’t know many of them. Mostly I hear from the ones who don’t enjoy it, but do it all the same. I try to do some of it, and struggle with it, and end up feeling like the Grinch.

I am not a true Grinch. I love going back to the story of Jesus birth, feasting with my family, and the traditions, carols, trees, lights. I just don’t like drowning, and watching other people drown on this leaky boat that we made.

If well people are flailing, then unwell people are drowning. If we don’t usually have the strength for social events on top of our normal week, then we are suffering when we attend, or feeling the pain that is not fitting in when we decline. If we stay far from the mall’s florescent lights and chemical intensity usually, then the sheer number of gifts to buy is overwhelming. If we can’t stand for long in the heat without fainting, we certainly can’t sing carols.

Life is a challenge usually + expectations increase = human being in need of a desert island. This is me.

Like most things in life, it’s not as simple as saying ‘no’ to every event, ditching the Christmas shopping and not taking the car. It’s a balance of trying to nurture my weary body but keep in step with the people I live with. In Alexander Technique, there is an insightful concept called ‘End Gaining.’ The idea is that we aim for an end result, and we will do it at any cost. We do damage on our way there. I think that is our society in a nutshell. And in the aptly named Silly Season, we fulfil every tradition and end of year party requirement, and we straggle towards the first day of the New Year, utterly spent and probably no happier than if we’d lived gently, on a smaller scale.

Happy Christmas.

No, I really mean it. :-) And I’m trying to navigate it such that mine is happy too.


1 comment:

  1. I hope you did manage this time with joy and some energy. Thank you for expressing exactly how it feels for me too!