The first seasonal holiday event is complete, and now we're rounding the final bend into the New Year celebrations. Out come all the "best of" lists and the "resolutions you SHOULD have" lists and the "I'm going to be a better me by doing..." lists. So now I get to be a bit rantish. It's like being peckish, but with angry feelings instead of hungry feelings. Why? Because not everyone can hold onto the I'm A Happy Me ALL THE TIME mask.
In case nobody noticed, I really am a bit cynical. Sometimes maniacal. This time of year, with all its forced wide-eyed belief in everything that's been super hard until now suddenly going to get really easy because of throwing a few words into a goal-based mantra... me and my anxiety-riddled brain usually have a hard time with this point in the year. Those "best of" lists are typically things I haven't heard of or didn't actually like, so anxiety states I have done The Alive Thing wrong again this year. Any "SHOULD have" list or statement is a nest of poisonous snakes inside a sleeping bear and I am just not going to poke that shit. My anxiety and depression does not need to know that I should be sleeping three hours a night - without making time to eat - so that I can achieve GREAT THINGS. Just, no. As for the "better me will do..." lists... isn't this what I've already been trying to do every day? So...?
What all this above rambling means is that this year, for the New Year, I'm only listening to the music lists of "best of 2018". I love most music, so hearing songs I haven't heard and seeing where the stuff I already like is sitting on the rankings is fun and my anxiety can't pick at it. I'm avoiding the "SHOULD" lists as if they are all laced with bubonic plague (ie: Black Death).
Total aside: many moons ago I read a great article on replacing "should" with "will" in any sentence and, if the sentence becomes ridiculous, get rid of thinking you "should" do the thing. This trick has helped my brain SO MUCH! It was a click-bait link that I clicked to get to the article, so now many months later I can't find the link, but this word replacement in personal thoughts is a good one for me.
So, I'm starting 2019 with having asked my doctor for help and gotten into therapy, and I have a phone number for the local grief counseling specialists burning a hole in my desk that I'm going to use next week to see if I can get that counseling started, too.
"Best of 2018" lists? Only music... if I get around to it.
"Resolutions you SHOULD have" lists? Hahahaha! No.
"Be the best you by doing..." lists? Y-e-a-h... I'm already doing that. I'll just keep going.
I can't miraculously ~cure~ my anxiety, but I can work inside solutions that don't sabotage my self-care. Side note: you can, too. You don't have to trap yourself into things that aren't possible and are only fleeting wishes of the season. You also don't have to weight your personal progress under other people's seasonal wishes that make you lose sight of the most important thing: YOU. Bring in the year on your terms with the ways that work for you to be your best you, cynical optimism and maniacal laughter optional. ;)
May the best good luck of 2019 find you! Have a lovely weekend and a great New Year's Day!
And I use T.G.I.F. as in: Those Gifts I Found-in-the-other-closet-last-night-and-how-do-we-have-this-much-stuff-to-wrap?!
I'd forgotten how nice it is having a full weekend before the "official" holiday days hit. It seems to my memory that for the last few years, the holiday statutory dates were falling on weekends and there was no way to have a couple last-minute things go wrong without causing excess chaos. Or maybe it was just really busy and the excess chaos was happening anyway?
Whatever it was, what it is this year is a whole weekend of being able to prep and still sleep. That means a whole extra day to, well, hang out with the kids and do a craft or two, probably get laundry done, and possibly even open a word file and play with a story. Also, I can make ALL THE FOOD. I'm not a fan or follower of the doctrine behind Christmas, my personal beliefs lean into family togetherness and lighting up a few candles while having a wee feast for Solstice to celebrate the return of the sun, but I can get behind this being the season for gathering friends and family together for tasty meals and special desserts multiple days in a row! Plus, it's super-sized fun doing the gift-opening activities while the kids are small enough to light up brighter than the tree and big enough to understand it's a special occasion.
This week was entirely plugged with baking and kid recitals. To the extent that this is the first time I've been able to sit at my computer and write anything longer than an email, and I think the email happened on Wednesday... from my phone. *Shrug* Onward into the oldest kid's final day of school for this year, and then two weeks of holiday break! Happy Solstice and best wishes from my house to yours that you get to have a wonderful whatever you celebrate! :D
This show I will be at - with books and more! - is happening this weekend at the Alberta Aviation Museum! Come by, say 'Hi!", and finish your Christmas shopping all in one easy stop! ... and then go next door to check out the museum because they have kid-friendly interactive displays and so much info about Canadian heroes, aircraft, and gear that it's easy to get happily lost in there. (Speaking from experience. This museum and the Telus World of Science are my two favorite outings in the city with and without the kids!)
On the other life side of things, oh-crap-it's-the-last-real-weekend-before-Christmas-and-we've-all-been-sick-and-so-much-isn't-done-and-I'm-kinda-freaking-out-because-I'm-doing-a-trade-show-starting-tomorrow-and-I'm-BEHIND-ON-EVERYTHING.
The HOLIDAY PRESSURE is on and I hope you remember to take one minute every day to just close your eyes and breathe. I've been trying to remember to do this, but having a head cold is making it tough because, well, snot. Hopefully your airways are not suffering the same fate and you can steal a moment for yourself here and there throughout every day.
I also have been booked to go meet a human in the new year who is going to try and help me with the anxiety and grief stuff that's muddling my view on the world. I really don't have the words for how excited I am to have help getting out from under the yuck that is lodged in my brain (or, at the least, a few new tools for figuring out how to carry it better so that I stop getting smothered).
Mental health is important!
Does anyone else hear the "Jaws" movie theme music under the Christmas carols being blasted from every store front, restaurant, grocery store, and every other public space? Just me? Hmm... maybe I should've gotten things together earlier this year.
Okay, I'll just wait here until you quit laughing about me having anything at all together. ;)
I know I'm not the only parent out there feeling ambushed by the holiday season this year. I don't know how a static holiday date can always pop up suddenly, but here we are. Again. Scrambling for a semblance of calm in the middle of the three weeks before Christmas rush. This year totally has my vote to go back to the olden days with a week of feasting around celebrating the solstice and the fact the the days are going to start getting longer again (minus the sacrificing friends and family, and the constant threat of freezing or starving... that turned dark quickly... oops).
Something to brighten up your day if you're suffering shopping panic: there are a ton of trade and vendor shows happening that can provide you with thoughtful and hand-made items. This show, specifically, I think you should come to:
Why should you come to this show specifically?
1. It's at the Alberta Aviation Museum, and that place is cool to visit.
2. There will be over 100 vendors, each one having great gifts and/or ideas to help you through the holidays.
3. I'm going to be there! You should come visit my table and say hello and buy books!
Click the image above to redirect to the Facebook event set up for the show. You can get all the details, plus invite friends who might be interested. Hopefully we'll see you there!
This was a weekly blog updating on Fridays, but life got busy so now I pop in now and then to let you know I'm still chipping away at my stories. If you look back through the archive you'll find weekly quick personal blurbs about me, as in what's going on during my life as an Author and mom, and that doles out my short stories and novellas in bite-sized parts for everyone to read for free! Check out my Short Stories section for free downloads of most of my writing, too!