This year has been rough. Just about everyone I know has suffered from loss, illness, or injury, and I’m not even going to get into world events. I’m also not going to preach about how we should all reach out and help or do some other good Samaritan activity. Instead, just be there. Be a part of your community, your family, your relationships. While I have always believed that those of us who can give a little something more during this time of year (and the rest of the year too) should do so, I also know that for many of us, just showing up and being present is all we’ve got. While we’re at it, let’s be there for ourselves as well. The Holidays don’t need to be full of activity to be *perfect*. Do you have ten minutes? Take five of those minutes and call a friend or a family member and tell them you love them. Take the other five minutes to breathe.
“I walked inside Macy’s and faced the pathetic spectacle of a department store full of shoppers, none of whom were shopping for themselves. Without the instant gratification of a self-aimed purchase, everyone walked around in the tactical stupor of the financially obligated.” – Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn
I say all of this because while most people are talking about giving and doing and and and…they forget what the Holidays are about. I’ve been doing everything I can to avoid going anywhere this week. People are grumpy, and tempers are flaring in the stores, in the parking lots, and on the roads. Even store employees have attitudes, and it’s not hard to imagine why. I went to pick up the mail yesterday, and the mail woman was so shocked and happy when I wished her a Merry Christmas that I wondered how much time of her day is spent being largely ignored and unacknowledged unless someone wants something from her or something has gone wrong.
So, forget about trying to rush around to do all the extraneous stuff that we’re all “supposed” to do this time of year, at least for ten minutes. Just be there; for yourself, and for your loved ones. If you think you can’t take that time, then tell everyone you’re going to church, or temple, or, if you’re Buddhist like me, to meditate. No one can argue with you about participating in religious or spiritual activities, especially not during the Holidays. We are all connected and have been since the first of us walked the earth, and this time of year has been special for various reasons to most civilizations down through the ages. So take ten, or more if you can spare it, and remember.
“But Christmas he never forgot. It was the one remnant of his religion that never left him, for he sensed behind it a great, shimmering history that went back and back through the millennia to dark forests where fires blazed and pagans danced.” – The Witching Hour by Anne Rice