Short Stories From 10 Years Ago – December 27, 2004

Short Stories From 10 Years Ago – December 27, 2004

Mini Whine Fest

Short Stories From 10 Years Ago – December 27, 2004 – The holiday season is fraught with joy, sorrow, great exuberance, disappointments, laughter, tears, eating (too much) and whining. I know, because I’ve experienced each of these. After over-indulging in feasts of superb food, shared with great friends and family, I’ve decided to never eat again.

I will soon be a very tiny person, unlike the sparrows who today returned to my bird feeder’s new location. They are supping on black oil sunflower seeds and grain in my back garden. They will soon be plump, happy birds, and unlike us mere mortals they won’t be suffering from a dip into the “after holiday blues”. It happens every year to me and to almost everyone I know. Thankfully I hope my session with the doldrums will be short-lived this year. In the face of the earthquake-tsunami disaster in Asia and India, even a momentary fit of the blahs seems incredibly self-indulgent, immature and inappropriate.

There was a time, not so long ago, when I would have felt guilty and silly for feeling a little down after all the activity of the holiday season. Now I understand it a little better and try to treat myself with kindness rather than contempt. Expectations play an enormous part in the way we feel before, during and after a significant holiday like Christmas. Things are built up in our minds to such an extent that nothing less than holiday perfection is acceptable. Anyone with an ounce of sense knows what a trap the pursuit of perfection can be. Beautiful people in wonderful places, experiencing an ongoing string of memorable, Kodak moments. What a fantasy. It’s actually quite normal to feel a little let down after a big event has come and gone.

It can also be a little intimidating if the holidays mark your “end of year recap”. For me, it actually means I may have to work at making the changes I’ve been telling my friends about. Yikes, it’s time to pay that darn piper. I’ll have to either deliver on said changes, or be forced to admit that I’m just a great, big, fat talker. In which case, people may be able to see right through me. This in itself could be the cause of a little back peddling and a visit to “blues city”.

Regardless of the cause, I am experiencing a little letdown, but coupled with it I’m moving forward. Action is always the best way out of disappointment. I’m planning for “January The First” when my now familiar obligation to write something everyday will be finished. In anticipation of this, I started to do a work-out on Christmas day. I already know that my daily commitment in 2005 is going to be to my health. My best year ever is on the horizon.

I not only want this to relate to my physical health, but also to my emotional, mental and spiritual well-being. In short I’m counting on a degree of personal growth that will enable me to change the things about my life that I still need to address. Like play as well as work – vacations instead of staying home – risk instead of reticence – fiscal restraint instead of the acquisition of more things – participating in life instead of watching from the sidelines and respecting the rights of others to live their lives as they wish, just as I will continue to live mine.

So my little whine fest is really over. I am aware of my incredible good fortune and I’m grateful for it every day. If there is a time when I feel lonely, it will be during the holidays. I experience the loss of my parents and my brother more keenly at Christmas than at any other time of year. This will pass. Endings always bring a new beginning. Little courages bring about small victories, and moving away from sadness after recognizing it, always allows the sun to shine again.

Life always has had, and always will have, both hard and soft landings. The bumps prepare us for the enjoyment of the good times, which in turn give way to a difficult patch again. The cycles of life come and go like the seasons. The trick is to learn at every turn, so the tough bits don’t last as long. When I think about it and if I’m totally honest with myself, I can usually determine why I’m feeling a little sad or low.

Being quiet, thinking about all that is right with life and changing my attitude always works wonders for me. I know the black day will pass. I know that I lead a charmed life and that I’m changing the patterns in my life that no longer work. I possess the curiosity and persistence to become the best person I can be – so a little whine fest every now and again probably isn’t a bad thing. In fact, as long as it doesn’t last too long it may even be healthy!