Perhaps you know the scenario that I'm about to describe. Perhaps you to are already feeling a tight knot forming in your stomach as you anticipate the frequency of it occurring over the coming fortnight or so. Do you know the one?
"How was your Christmas?"
It's a question that leads to me actively having to work on arranging my facial expression. I will the muscles in my face to relax, desperately try to refrain from an obvious wince. Knowing a comfortable answer is expected, I reshuffle my mental image deck. Carefully I select something small, nondescript. I think of twinkle lights as I answer "Lovely.... and you?"
This is where you dive in fast to move the conversation into their present giving, their obligations and the inevitable commiserating that someone came down with a nasty cold. You join in with a story from far enough away in the past, (a past that is safe), about an Aunt who spent all of the festive period under a duvet once. You shake your heads in sorrow. Imagine a Christmas so awful. Just imagine.
Not all of us are destined to feel joy about a time of year where we feel obliged to maintain certain traditions. For some of us, it's about putting up with a racist relative and his deafening white privilege. For some of us, it might be getting through a time when we are meant to be with our most special person but instead feeling nothing but their absence. For others, we lurch forward with a family that will never quite be orderly because our family has a disability that means routines need a certain order to function. Whatever we keep locked tight in that knot in our stomach, the deluge of questions can suddenly feel like an invasion into your private sphere. No one means to see in there as it's such a socially expected question after all. I mean, really, how hard can the festive period be?
Well here we are, the foggy space post Christmas and perhaps now you're pondering life a little. Everything, everywhere, all the time is screaming about Resolutions and Intentions and my goodness, have you not reinvented yourself right after that raw mess yet?
Let me just hold this moment here with you and say just this, in the desperate hope of helping another limping along. Take your time. Choose each day as you wish because only you are living your day after all. There's really no one else out there who is going to step up and live your day for you so you know what? Breathe out. You've gotten to the 28th December and you're not entirely broken. You, my friend, are an every day rock star. Don't even think about letting that crappy marketing about wellbeing get under your skin. Survival doesn't come down to Kale and Matcha.
And if anyone follows up that stinker of a question with the dreaded "Any New Year's Resolutions?" May I recommend answering:
"Yes. Biting anyone who asks me too many questions."
You're welcome x