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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Blue Christmas

Today is December 27th.  In observance of Christmas, my company gave us yesterday off.  So today, being the first day back after the holiday, the #1 question wasn't the typical, 'how was your weekend?'.  Rather, 'how was your Christmas?'  Although I wasn't dreading this question, I was dreading the awkward responses I anticipated receiving when I said my holiday was, 'meh' with a shrug.  As a follow-up I said it was alright, with a face that told it all.  I spoke the truth, because there is no use lying.  I was in a blue funk pretty much all weekend long.

There were a couple of things that triggered this indigo mood, but I don't even feel like going there right now.  What I do want to focus on is how holidays, especially Christmas, can be duds.  I don't know if it was the fact that Christmas landed on a Sunday this year, or what, but I was not in the mood.  I did not get too many gifts this year, which really makes people weird.  It's like they feel sorry for you, even though I'm a grown woman who did not give it much thought.  Nor did I give gifts this year myself.

I am happy to report that after taking a 3 hour nap yesterday afternoon, I found that I felt increasingly better by the minute.  I don't know if it was rest I needed, or special attention, but by 7pm, I was back to dancing around my house to the music in my mind.  Maybe watching my favorite shows, marathon-style, on my dvr did the trick.  I particularly enjoyed the 60 Minutes feature on the 20 Eastern Orthodox Monastaries of Mount Athos in Macedonia, Greece.  These monks prayed 'without ceasing' as instructed in 1 Thessalonians 5:17.  All day long, no matter what they were doing, their lips were moving as they prayed almost continuously something to the effect of, 'Lord Jesus, have mercy on me.'  Although this group is extremely private and they do not allow women on the island at all, I really appreciated them and found them inspiring.

While I was going through my funk, I called a good girlfriend up to tell her how I was feeling.  She told me simply not to fight the feeling, just kind of let it wash over you.  She knew I was grateful, because I started the conversation saying that I knew I was being a brat.  I quickly rattled off a number of things that I was grateful for, but I admitted that I still was pissy.  What the monks and my girlfriend showed me was not just to be grateful and appreciative for what God has given you, but also, take life for what it is at that particular moment.  More importantly, push through to the other side.  For me this meant mentally listing things I am grateful for whenever I wanted to cry.  Or, taking the advice from another girlfriend, pretend what you thanked God for today is what you were given tomorrow.  This will really help you change your attitude to gratitude.  If you think of only having what you have thanked God for, you will run out of time trying to fit it all in one day.  The monks had no t.v., very little communication with the outside world, two meals a day (10 minutes each), and other rules we outsiders would consider restrictions.  However, they seemed healthy and happy and at peace.

I had the blues, but now I don't.  It is not the easiest emotion to have around Christmas, I'll admit, but I am only human.  The key is, I pushed through.

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