Depressing December…

A Reason for Holiday Doldrums?… After the Break…

Depressing December…

We shouldn’t delve into the murky lake that is religion. However, this is the time of year where a lot of religions celebrate their big holidays: Christianity has Christmas… Judaism has Hanukkah (Hey, I know that there are other spellings for it, I chose this one)… Three Kings Day (otherwise known as ‘Epiphany’) is celebrated by Hispanics (Don’t ask me, I’m just reporting what I’ve been told)… Kwanzaa is regarded as an Afro-centric holiday… Festivus is for those who enjoy the TV series “Seinfeld”…

And on top of all of that is the start of the New Year (Yes, there are a myriad of calendars used throughout the world… For the most part, the Gregorian calendar).

It should be a time of celebration. A time of joy. A time for not killing one another.

So why are we, for the most part, depressed? Stressed out? Anxious? Downright suicidal or melancholy? Yes, there are those of you who are just naturally chippy, perky and bubbly; You folks are excused. I’m writing about the other 99.999999999999% of the population.

Truth be told, there are some reasons. The social norm is for people to celebrate these holidays as a group, which makes people who don’t have families (or families close by), friends (or friends close by) or significant others (or significant others close by) feel lonely. The social norm is for people to exchange gifts and, when you are financially disadvantaged (otherwise known as “flat broke”), you feel as though you have failed in some significant way and this makes you feel depressed. Than there’s a group of scientists that say that the lack of Vitamin D (colder temps, less sunlight) is causing the seasonal sadness.

I’ll posit another one, just for the sake of argument: It’s about goals.

Everyone has goals. I have goals, you have goals. The guy down the street has goals.

And, odds are, as you look back over the past year, you have miserably, horrifically, undeniably failed in a lot of those goals. Maybe you’ve done so for all of them.

You’re not as wealthy as you could be.

You’re not as romantically involved as you could be.

You’re not as healthy as you could be.

You’re still stuck in the same dead-end job as you were last year, with no prospects of being a manager or a supervisor or a director or… [fill in a job title here].

People tend to always look at the “glass half empty.” It’s basic human nature to do so – To complain about what was lost and not what was gained or what was retained. You remember slamming your hand into the car door but not meeting that nice individual at the party that you were pulled into or the funny joke that you heard at the office.

Yes, we all make mistakes. On occasion, some pretty hefty ones… The awkward fart joke that you told at a party… Slamming your hand into a car door… A botched business deal at work… Not filling out the correct tax forms and losing a bundle of money… Running over a curb and ruining a tire… And it’d be a shame to make those same types of mistakes again. That’s what the new year is for: A second chance to not make the same mistake twice. To slowly close the car door. To start a little early on wrapping presents so that they are all wrapped on time. To get helpful advice on how to boost your finances. Keep your opinions (and your jokes) to yourself when in polite company. Driving a little more cautiously.

So, during this holiday season, take time out from the holiday shopping… The holiday wrapping… The holiday parties that no one really wants to attend but does so in order to be socially polite… And smile at what you have achieved over the year. Odds are, you probably have a lot to be thankful for. And, during this upcoming new year, build on what you’ve already got so that, by this time next year, you have a lot more to be thankful for.

Just remember – You’re just as responsible as everyone else in putting the “Happy” in “Happy Holidays.”

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