Getting to Grateful

Another holiday season has arrived. Although you wouldn’t know it by the periodically 80 degree weather we’re still experiencing here in Dallas. While I’m guessing this will mean snow in May (we got 3″ the first day of spring this year), at least it’s nice for now.

I think the weather has caused the holidays to sort of creep up on us this year, and I’ve talked with lots of people this week who couldn’t believe that Thanksgiving was already here. So I’m now beginning to see the onslaught of facebook posts about the holidays: both pro and con.

General gist of the pros: I love my family. I’m grateful for my life. I like pie.

General gist of cons: I don’t like my family much. I’m upset about things in my life. I hate how fattening pie is.

Earlier this year my cousin Jen married a survivor of the Aggie Bonfire. He’d been up top and has been in a wheelchair since I’ve known him. Here’s his facebook two cents on the holidays:

Glad to still be here. Always saddens me to remember this time of year. But thankful the times aren’t as dark. Even though I never met the twelve who died; I am always reminded of the people I’ve lost in my life, regardless of if they were strangers or family…They made an impact. So I wish all happy holidays and remind you to appreciate not only what you’ve lost, but to celebrate what you still have. There will always be somebody “better off” & someone “worse off” than you. So if the holiday blues try to get you, tell them they weren’t invited and remember. Had I not passed through the dark tunnels in my life, I wouldn’t have emerged to appreciate the goodness and love I’m surrounded by now. If life hadn’t ran me over a few times, I wouldn’t realize how truly blessed I am. So god bless and happy holidays!

…But how do we get from the black hole to the blue skies? I find cliches to be cliche because they’re typically true. Who’s ever heard “Time heals all wounds”?  Is there anything we can do to hurry things along, at least? I dunno. But I have noticed that there’s a few things that I do that make me feel better if I’m feeling blue or lonely.

For starters, I’ll make myself not alone for a little while. Nothing wrong with a little human interaction. We all need it. I’m really lucky to have awesome friends and family, being that I  live in  my hometown and all, but that doesn’t mean somebody is available to play on demand. Even if no one you know is around, there’s always still plenty of people ready and waiting for you… somewhere.

Heard of the internet? Guess what. There’s a meet up, hoedown, yoga class, music show, or whatever you’re into going on all the time, all over the place. So if you wanna talk with someone, chances are you won’t find them in your house. You’re going to have to go out.

But then again, sometimes you’re your own best company. There’s always a closet to go through to donate old items, a picture to draw, a book to read, a meditation CD to lay down and listen to.  Still bored? How about learning to cook something new. Or volunteering at a soup kitchen (a personal favorite during the holidays). Or blogging.

Too bummed for all of that? How about switching the channel to something upbeat or motivational? I love The Biggest Loser and Extreme Makeover Home Edition. Got Netflix? Plenty of good stuff on there as well. What we’re watching and listening to affects our mood. It’s easy to listen to nothing but Debbie Downer’s Greatest Hits when you’re in a shitty mood, but why not try putting on something to suit the mood you’d like to be in instead?

Above all else this holiday season, remember that wherever you are, you aren’t alone. The collective universe loves you. Even when you can’t see it, feel it, hear it or touch it.



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