Here we are friends…it’s the holidays! As I pondered the appropriate theme for this week, I wondered: should I discuss how to eat healthy during the holidays? Perhaps discuss the “New Year, New You” concept? Let’s be honest, we both know that as you’re reading this, there is a 90% chance that a sugar-coated Santa cookie is less than an arm’s length away and, frankly, I want to roll my eyes when I hear the phrase “A New Year, a New You.” How about we wait until January before I harp?
They say that the holidays are the happiest time of the year. If that is true, then why do so many people, from Nov 25th – Dec 30th, feel more lonely, sad and irritated than any other time of the year? I have to admit, 2012 has been a rough year, as I am single for the first time in 7 years and, as such, am running a slight bah-humbug fever. I caught myself cringing at the sound of Mariah Carey’s Christmas tunes. I almost went “Tawanda” on some poor man for accidentally turning into my rightfully-earned parking spot at the mall (reference: Fried Green Tomatoes). And, to top it all off, last week I told my little cousin that Santa was broke and could only deliver presents to children with green eyes…like mine. I was only joking, but I was still being quite the jerk. This is totally out of character for me. In fact, I was the 10 year old kid that loved Thanksgiving because that was the earliest my parents would allow me to put up Christmas lights. I’ve been in a funk, distant and sad – and it is my loneliness that has been the cause of my “two sizes too small” Grinch heart.
For us single folks, the holidays represent all things past, present, and future… just like the classic children’s book. We are reminded of relationships lost, we mourn the sadness of being single and most of all, we are faced with the fears of another year of being alone. Perhaps you’re not single, but are still struggling with loss or the grief of an unsatisfying job, unaccomplished goals, or whatever the case maybe. We are all in the same sleigh!
If I haven’t already caused you to turn to a stiff eggnog and “O Holy Night (of Sadness)” hang tight – the wise man is just around the corner. Loneliness is not always a bad thing! Only one person can fill the void you feel in your heart – and that person is YOU. When alone, we are faced with our fears and our “organic” self. We question our abilities, our beliefs, and our independence to care for ourselves. We are forced into reflection and a greater understanding of our self, which can be scary. We realize that we are not perfect and will always have faults, but that is okay, because that is who we are. Don’t fear having to face the unknowns of the future solo because, unless your next partner is Ms. Cleo, I doubt they will have all the answers either. So what to do? Embrace your independence and use this time wisely. Can you really be alone when so many other people feel the EXACT same way this time of the year? Put that heart to use and do something for someone else. A simple hug, smile, or an hour of your time can make someone else feel acknowledged and less lonely.
I’ve asked God to send someone to fill that void in my heart a million times this month. So, I would like to say thank you to the elderly female stranger that came to my table while I sat by myself, to simply tell me “Enjoy the silence of being by yourself but make sure you share with others what you learned in silence.” My prayers were answered! Delivered by a stranger in the night, I learned that I need ME more than I need someone else and that I need to share the love that exists within and happiness will follow. Is it true that your heart will grow a little more just by making someone else’s feel better? I don’t know, but I’m certainly willing to give it a try. And, as they say, the heart is the most important muscle in the body. Go work it out!
Bah HumbugHAPPY HOLIDAYS!