by Garet Bedrosian, LCSW, CIRT, CBT, CET
The holidays are almost over. How’d you do? Same-same. Not so bad. Best ever.
I used to hate the holidays. I hated them for every reason in the book. Wrong family, wrong partner or no partner, too much alcohol, not enough money, too hot, too cold, too big, too small… I felt like Goldilocks and nothing was ever just right.
As it turned out the problem was me. Who’d a guessed it? Probably everyone else but me. I had a terrible attitude and too many expectations. Measuring my and everyone else’s worth with the holidays as my finish line. It was a loosing proposition.
The race began on January 1st and ended on December 31st and the rest of the year was a blur. Needless to say, it was a loosing formula.
If I have learned anything over this quick lifetime it is that everyday has to count. Waiting until…who knows what to happen, is a wast of precious time. I am not even sure what I was waiting for. At one time or another I had each of the things on my list but I was still not satisfied.
I have decided to tear the list and live for today, every day. Here are a few of ingredients I have added to my formula for a happier life. I hope they inspire you to think about your new year…each and every day.
* I tell my clients that they cannot wait until someday or if only. They have to bring happy with them. (When I tell them it is a good reminder for myself.)
* We all have our own version of up and down days or moods but even those down days can be okay if paired with the right attitude. When I am down I take advantage of the solitude to rest and regroup, and I actually do rest. What a concept. I also read that book I have not had time to read, bring out my jewelry making project or spend time in the garden. It usually turns out to be exactly what I needed.
* I have also learned that attitude plays a big part in how I judge myself or others. I have resolved to give us all a break. We are each doing the best we can most of the time and it is all right l to give someone the benefit of the doubt.
* Say what needs to be said. Not everything needs to be said. Sometimes silence is the best policy. Remember, it is not always what you say. It is how you say it. So much is communicated non-verbally and between the lines. Be responsible for your messages.
* As it turns out, ‘I’m sorry’ really is the secret word and forgiveness is the perfect balm for creating a joyful life. Everything else is poison. It is a waste of time and energy. That does not mean I have to give myself up. It just means I get to decide where, with whom and how I live my days.
* Let’s face it, life can be challenging so creating some buoyancy is crucial. A few of the things that float my ‘life-boat’ are a consistent spiritual connection, vegetables, fruit, breathing space, friends, family, laughter, dancing, horses, yoga, hiking, traveling, gardening, learn something new, music and performance art. Some part of every day needs to contain something from my list otherwise I am sunk.
I am willing to bet that you have learned a few things in your lifetime about what brings you joy and creates buoyancy for your life. Take a few minutes and write them down. Hang your list on your refrigerator or mirror. Look at it every day. Add them to your schedule. Make them a priority.
Let’s compare notes next Holiday season and see if we can make it the best ever.