Are you happy yet? Has the season of giving allowed you to receive everything you wanted? Welcome to the paradox of the “joy vortex.” The more you take, the emptier you get. If you want to feel full, give a little more than you want. You want to feel totally complete? Give it everything you have this year. Most people end up with a sense of loss in January, a slight to severe depression from the withdrawal of holiday fervor, intense social interactions and family demands of time, space and money. More is better. Right up until the moment it is too much. This takes it’s toll on the body, mind and spirituality.
I know, I know… “It’s better to give than to receive? Really? Yakety – blah and zippity – hah! Tell me something I don’t know Lundholm!” Well, how about this? There is no law that says you have to feel good. So why put that kind of seasonal peer pressure on yourself every year? Why do you fall into the pit of mandatory niceties, gifts for show, temporary tokens of affection and short term connections to others? Why? Because you have a calendar! You are on a schedule.
All holidays are a way to select one calendar day, label it with an emotional theme and force people to celebrate the bejeezes out of it: New Years… Hope. Christmas… Joy. Valentines… Love. Easter… Redemption. Thanksgiving… Gratitude. Birthdays… Life. July 4th… Independence. Veteran’s Day… Honor. Labor Day… Effort. April Fools… Humility. Halloween… Extortion. (Kidding!) First thought wrong here: Do away with all holidays!! Forget ‘em (PG version). Too much hassle, not enough payoff. Too much work, not enough day off. Stop it already! I’m not judging, I’m just sayin’. As usual, I have the initial reactionary step-on-your-neck attitude of squelch the sentiment, stomp on grace and put this old dog out of it’s misery. No more celebrations. 365 days with no special ones. No more wrapping paper, greeting cards, bows, ribbons, tissue, candles, fireworks, ceremony, pomp and circumstance. Excuse me here but… what the @$*!# is pomp?!! Ebenezer Scrooge was a punk for changing his mind. Everyone has a few ghosts to deal with in life. Suck it up and stick to your beliefs. He could have been a contender, a hero. Someone to celebrate. The irony is gagging me here.
On second thought (or sixth, tenth or eleventh), if I consider this situation long enough, I am restored to sanity. Sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. I eventually come to a place where once again I am allowed to experience the privilege of being incorrect. The rewarding energy of being mistaken. Why not take this quandary another direction altogether? Instead of no more holidays, have one EVERY day! Celebrate every single square on the calendar. Take one 24 hour piece of time and attach an emotional thread to it. Something worth living for, just for that day, something worth giving to the rest of the world. What if tomorrow you used an entire day to highlight themes like hope, joy, love, redemption, gratitude, life, independence, honor, effort and humility? What a great day that would be! I could use a 2010 full of those, couldn’t you? So, go make a new calendar and get full.
Happy Holiday, every day!
See you soon,