Are you feeling that you’re done with the holidays? Do you feel like you’re a bah humbug, out of step with all those cheerful faces around you? Do you tell yourself that you’re this way because of chronic illness? But you wish you weren’t?
I understand. I find that I approach this time of year with mixed feelings. In America,the “holidays” start with Thanksgiving and go through New Years. When my children were young, the holiday season seemed to start even earlier — with Halloween. Yikes.
It’s not all bad. I truly enjoy the food, the family times, and most of the events that go with it — not always in that order 🙂 .
But there’s always a part of me that worries and it can be a very noisy part that can get in my way. That part wonders: How will I get through all of this? What will I forget to do? What part of my body will mess up?
I’m always surprised that this doesn’t get easier. I write often here about planning, back-up planning, knowing your limits and being able to talk clearly about it with others. Makes sense for your work life.
But sometimes I resent the constant need for this. It gets “old”. I wish I didn’t have to approach my entire life with that same focus. Do you feel that way sometimes?
I can’t remember – was I ever spontaneous? I seem to think I had a spark of it at some point but I sure can’t remember who that person was.
But here’s the thing. I do a much better job of managing these feelings when I give them air rather than stuff them back down — whether it’s with my Focusing partner in my own Focusing practice, sharing with my husband, siblings or a close friend. It doesn’t eliminate the illnesses. Nor improve my limitations. But it sure feels a lot less oppressive.
Wondering how you might do this? You might try this:
Notice the parts of you that feel negative, angry, resentful. Then consider what you might do to give it breathing room. Will talking about it (no, it’s not the same as complaining!) with someone help open this up? Or perhaps you do better with meditating on that part inside. Or maybe you do best saying it aloud to a “professional” and letting it cogitate inside for a while (as a client told me she does after our calls).
Notice if giving space to these feelings, rather than stuffing them, allows you to respond with a bit more lightness to what comes your way.
I wish for you– for all of us who live with the challenges of illness – a peace-filled holiday season. Do you have a plan to manage the challenges illness creates this time of year?