It’s finally over. The chaos, the stress, the panic and the spending of the holiday season ends at the close of the day today. I am not disappointed. This holiday season especially, I encountered many who were struggling with the time of year as they reflected on their lives. The end of year mirror is not a kind one for most. It shows where we are and who we are, not where we wanted to be or who we wanted to have become.
Christmas and New Years bring expectation. In our minds, we expect things to go a certain way, people to act in a certain manner, family to do what we expect, food to present and taste a certain way and most importantly, we expect to FEEL a certain way. When even ONE piece is out of place, well, we are blinded to even the most positive moments.
Each year, we approach the holiday season expecting. Sometimes our expectations are met, sometimes they are exceeded, but most often, they fall short. Our lives are not picture-perfect Christmas cards. Our families are not from the best-selling made-for-tv movie and our romantic interests are not “Prince Charming” or “Cinderella” and may not exist or be present at all.
This is not a bleak, depressing blog post. This post is also NOT what you might expect. It is our expectations that lead to our downfall. It is the expectation that disappoints, not a person, place or event. Expectation alters reality.
Think for a moment about your favourite way to relax on your own. How do you enjoy your alone time? Does it involve a fire, a glass of wine, a great movie perhaps? Is it a bubble bath, a long walk, a hot cup of coffee under a fuzzy blanket with your pet? How is it that on New Year’s Eve, when you find yourself alone, those things suddenly don’t bring you joy and comfort? The components are all the same. You have all of the tools you need to be content and even happy, yet, because it is “THAT NIGHT”, you are not able to see reality. You expect THAT NIGHT to be different. You expect to suddenly be happy for a different reason. You expect that you no longer need the tools that always make you happy, because magically, you just will be. The magic of the season will suddenly alter reality and your entire world for that moment in time will change. You will be a different person. You will be happy with other things other than those that have made you happy all along. THAT NIGHT is a myth.
THAT NIGHT is only just a night. THAT NIGHT has been given far too much importance. In perspective, it is ONE night out of 365 nights of the year. There are 364 nights that do not bring the stress and expectation of THAT NIGHT, so why not treat it as such? It is NOT a significant part of the year, and so it follows, it is NOT a significant part of your life. If you are fortunate enough to have reason to celebrate, by all means, do so… as you should any other opportunity that presents itself! Any reason to celebrate is a good one. If your reality is THAT NIGHT is no different than any other, then, do something that brings you comfort and peace. Treat THAT NIGHT for what it is… another opportunity to celebrate YOU, to be grateful for your life and all of the good things that you have found among the other 364 nights.
THAT NIGHT is over for another year, but there will be another one, next year, same time. You have 364 nights ahead of you until then to celebrate. Celebrate with joy and without expectation. Celebrate every opportunity you are able and when THAT NIGHT comes again, remember it is only a small part of the celebration of life. It is one night. THAT NIGHT will never be as dark as it once was.
Until next time, my friends, use some uncommon sense and don’t wait for THAT NIGHT to celebrate YOU!