Since it’s unlikely that anyone will return e-mails until January 5, 2015, the next few weeks promise to be very challenging for anyone who, like myself, needs almost constant validation from the outside world. So in lieu of the usual volley of short, long, meaningful and meaningless correspondence with which we pack our days like Styrofoam popcorn, I have created a list for myself (and for you) of five positive things that we can all meditate upon to lift our spirits should they begin to wane over the period known benignly as “the holidays.” (And statistically speaking, if your spirits do not wane over the holidays, then you are a dog or a small plant.)
1) Let It Go. I, for one, found the plot of Frozen rather confusing. But I did enjoy the songs, particularly “Let It Go”. During the holidays, it’s almost impossible to avoid our own foibles (read flaws), or those of the people we know and love. Life is a short journey in a wooden boat that always sinks in the end, so you might as well try and get along with everyone on the manifest, starting with yourself. In other words, let it go.
2) Puppies. OK, call me a softie, but no matter how old I get, the appeal of a cute puppy remains undiminished. The fact that there are puppies in the world right now and that brand-new puppies are being born every day…well, that alone pretty much outweighs all the horrors of Ebola, global warming and unscripted television.
3) You Are Not Dead. Many people are already dead, but you are not. You can eat, sleep, work and, if you’re lucky, still fool around. So when the Christmas doldrums descend, just remind yourself that you are not yet lying in a wooden box in a field. (And for the record, I do not mean to disparage the dead by saying this. Some of my best friends are dead.) So, rejoice!
4) You Recycle. As anyone will tell you, recycling is important, even if it’s not particularly interesting. And you do it. You put the plastic things with the other plastic things, and you put the bottles with the other bottles. You are doing your small part not to muck up the planet any further. Kudos to you. This may not seem like much, but around the holidays, we must all gather up even our smallest accomplishments like pennies in a jar, and hope they will add up to a few bucks of self-worth.
5) Someone Loves You. Granted, it may be someone who has little choice (your parents, your kids), but you do have someone. As my friend Paula’s mom likes to say, “There is a lid for every pot.” So be grateful this holiday season that you, too, are loved by a fellow creature. Around the holidays, a not unpleasant thing to do is to tell those creatures how you feel about them. This is best done in some awkwardly direct but very meaningful way. A handwritten letter is nice. Or a homemade cookie. Or, better yet, just look them in the eyes and say something like,”I’m really happy that you’re still in my life. I’ve probably given you lots of reasons not to be. So, thanks. You mean a lot to me.”
And on that note, I want to thank you, dear reader, for continuing to read these blog posts after so many years. I began writing the blog back in 2008 and I ran out of things to say around 2012. But, as with all good relationships, the best conversations always begin after all the clever and intelligent things have already been said. So, I’m glad you’re still here. And I’m glad I’m still here. I wish you all a very happy, healthy 2015!