Navigating The Holidays

Holiday time can be a chaotically joyful thing.  In the midst of the twinkling lights and festivities life is still happening.  For many this hasn’t been a banner year and it may come as a surprise to some that not everyone looks forward to the holidays.  Yet we cloak ourselves in cheer and dig deep searching for meaning and deep wells of joy and comfort to spread to others. 

It has been long rumored that mental conditions spike around the holidays.  Many wonderful sources from the web to books and talk shows give tips on how to navigate the holidays without slipping into sadness and depression.  Perhaps the best advice is to hold on to the things that make the holidays special for you.  It doesn’t have to be an item of monetary value.  In fact, memories can transport us back to the most special moments of our lives.  It could be the time you spent with family and friends or maybe you’re  looking forward to helping and serving others, which is guaranteed to lift the spirit.    

Whether to a loved one or perfect stranger, take care to speak kindly for you never know what burdens they shoulder or what blessings they bring.  I once read a memorable quote by poet and author Dr. Maya Angelou worth remembering during the holidays and everyday.  They are words of unforgettable truth:

“People will forget what you said,  people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.

While sifting thorough old emails, I came across this list of lessons said to be written by a woman who had turned 90 years old and wanted to share the wisdom she’d acquired over the years.  In truth, the author was turning 50 and this was an update to an earlier list of published lessons.  Something about this list by Regina Brett seems perfect to consider as we turn to a new page and a make the bold leap into a brand new year.  Here goes:

1. Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good.

2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.

3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.

4. Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.

5. Pay off your credit cards every month.

6. You don’t have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.

7. Cry with someone. It’s more healing than crying alone.

8. It’s OK to get angry with God. He can take it.

9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.

10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.

11. Make peace with your past so it won’t screw up the present.

12. It’s OK to let your children see you cry.

13. Don’t compare your life to others’. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn’t be in it.

15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don’t worry; God never blinks.

16. Life is too short for long pity parties. Get busy living, or get busy dying.

17. You can get through anything if you stay put in today.

18. A writer writes. If you want to be a writer, write.

19. It’s never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.

20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don’t take no for an answer.

21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don’t save it for a special occasion. Today is special.

22. Overprepare, then go with the flow.

23. Be eccentric now. Don’t wait for old age to wear purple.

24. The most important sex organ is the brain.

25. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.

26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words: “In five years, will this matter?”

27. Always choose life.

28. Forgive everyone everything.

29. What other people think of you is none of your business.

30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.

31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

32. Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.

33. Believe in miracles.

34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn’t do.

35. Whatever doesn’t kill you really does make you stronger.

36. Growing old beats the alternative – dying young.

37. Your children get only one childhood. Make it memorable.

38. Read the Psalms. They cover every human emotion.

39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.

40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d grab ours back.

41. Don’t audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.

42. Get rid of anything that isn’t useful, beautiful or joyful.

43. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.

44. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.

45. The best is yet to come.

46. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.

47. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.

48. If you don’t ask, you don’t get.

49. Yield.

50. Life isn’t tied with a bow, but it’s still a gift.

Happy Holidays!

Reindeer Dreams

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