Friday, December 4, 2015

The Holidays: “It’s a Wonderful Life.” Really?

The Holidays! You’ve made your list and you’re checking it twice. Let’s see: not enough money in the budget to get the kids what they really want. Not enough for a quick two day get-away for you and your S.O., given the cost of transportation, accommodations, and a sitter who will put up for that long with the kids and your menagerie of 2 cats, 1 dog, 3 hamsters and 1 and ½ lizard (tail missing). Relatives who are thrilled to announce they’re flying in for a nice long visit, of course staying at your house. And if that wasn’t enough, it looks like one of you may be out of a job come the New Year.

With this, you’re supposed to be cheery, filled with Holiday spirit (not the alcoholic kind), and wishing peace and goodwill to all. You wonder if that includes downsizing employers.

What you would give for an alien to beam you up and out of this Holiday mess! 

Since that’s not likely to happen, try the following.

Stop feeling sorry for yourself.

Harsh! You say. Cruel! OK, so? Dumping into self-pity at this juncture isn’t going to get the kids what they want, your honey and you some time away, or have your relatives magically disappear.

Quit wasting time and energy moaning about how awful it is. You already know it’s awful. What you don’t yet know is what you’re going to do about it.

Go into problem-solving mode. What can you give the kids that would please them? Or, how creative can you get with what they really want?

Same with the get-away with your honey. Make an afternoon at the local aquarium or wandering through art galleries, or hiking a trail your “get away.” Imbue it with specialness and romance so that the amount of time is far less important than the quality of the time spent together.

You may be stuck with the relatives visiting, but you’re not stuck with how long they stay with you or what you choose to do with them. Set boundaries. Preferably before they get there. You’ll feel better immediately.

People lose jobs every day of the year. They also get jobs every day of the year. Gather up your courage, dust off your resume, prepare yourself for an even better job, in better conditions, with a boss you respect.

Feeling sorry for yourself is the least productive thing you can do. It is also the most joyless, and totally out of sync with what the holidays are about. Not that you should rejoice over your monetary and other woes, but rather that you should take them in stride, knowing that you have the inner resources, the resilience, to make it through and on to better things.

As soon as you let go of “ain’t it awful” and plug into celebrating all the good you do have in your life, you too will find, like Jimmy Stewart, that “It’s a Wonderful Life”!

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