Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, happy everything!
Phew! This holiday season has been a whirlwind. After passing Comps and graduating, I thought I'd have a ton of time to just unwind. Well, I've had more time, but not necessarily to stop to catch a breath. :P I'm finally back again, and this time feeling better than ever! Now I can continue to be a mediocre blogger but without the guilt of academic procrastination attached. ;)
Instead, I'm sitting here with a bittersweet mixture of feelings of post-holiday blues and relief. Blues, because everyone knows I love Christmas an almost absurd amount (but there's no such thing as loving it too much anyway). I'm that annoying person you pretend you don't know who puts up the decorations early and takes them down late. Because one month is simply not long enough to celebrate Christmas, so kiss my ass and call it my protest. 💁🏼 To be honest though, a teeny tiny bit of me is weirdly relieved it's over, because let's be real, the holiday season can be pretty freaking crazy. I thought I'd avoid the stress that tends to come with it by ordering all the gifts online more than a month beforehand, but after losing a couple packages in the mail I realized holiday shopping stress, well, virtually unavoidable.
I realized something way more important, though. As I grow older, I really feel the spirit of Christmas in the quality time I get to spend with my family, and I find myself caring less and less about presents. In fact, I've realized that I cherish the cards more, as I've kept every single one. And every year that passes, I am overwhelmed with abounding g r a t i t u d e.
I love the holiday season for all that it signifies to me now: a time of gratitude and contemplation. The biggest question floating around my head has been, "Why am I so blessed?" Blessed to have a home. Blessed to live in a safe place. Blessed to have had the privilege of education. Blessed to receive gifts on Christmas. Blessed to have food in my belly and extra stocked away. Blessed to have clean running water and electricity. Blessed to be loved. Blessed to be wanted. Blessed to breathe. Blessed to be here.
My follow-up question is, "What did I ever do to deserve all of it?" The truth is, I've had this question for a while. I don't think I'll ever truly know the answer. Sometimes I feel guilty about the blessings that I have, especially around the holidays. I see loneliness and deep sadness and grief in so many of my therapy clients, their depression like grey clouds looming over them. I see numbness in some of them, too, and this is just as sad. This holiday season, my blessings grew, while some people wondered what it even feels like to wake up wanting to live. It feels unfair, but that is why I always, always must practice gratitude. I will never take what I have for granted.
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