Saturday, December 24, 2016

{when you don't feel the sparkle}




I remember as a child the Christmas season was bursting with sparkling excitement. All the shiny ornaments, the glittery snowflakes that fell on my white-blonde hair, the smell of pine, all the wrapping paper, the crackle of the fireplace - it all felt so warm to me. Going to Catholic School, I was deeply rooted in the story of Jesus and Christmas and we'd sing our favorite Christmas songs at my grandparent's house as one of my cousin's played the piano. I never wanted this time of year to end. I felt like I was inside a Tom Kinkade painting inside a snow globe. It was perfect, wholesome and oh-so happy. Then something changed. 

Growing older that magic slipped through my fingers like gold glitter or the warmest sand in the summer. For me, my parent's divorce made the holidays a time of stress and pressure even at a young age. My parents did the best for my brothers and I but as any child of divorce knows-  there are power plays around the holidays. As time goes on - my father dying, rebelling in my teenage years, moving out and away, getting older - all culminated into me not feeling the sparkle anymore.

I've learned to take joy in the simple things this time of year. I love decorating the mantle, for example. Last year I decided to learn how to gift wrap as beautiful and detailed as the pictures you see on Pinterest and Instagram. Taking the time to slow down and enjoy a new hobby made me feel more connected to the season. Earlier this month, my friends Sarah and Danielle and I made our own ornaments. We talked and listened to Christmas music. It made my heart happy.


I love this quote: "Watch your emotions during the changing of the season. The body is more open to depression during this time. Be aware and guard your spirit". That quote resonates me. In past years, this time of year has seen me at my lowest. My mind has gone to some dark, dark places. So dark I forget about the carousel of gold and white and sparkles and love and family. I forgot all that 4 years ago and only felt the darkness. I'm so glad I survived those thoughts and continued forward. 

(If you feel similar thoughts:   
1-800-273-8255 is a 24 hour Suicide Hotline. )


The stress of everything can be overwhelming.  The finances, the pressures to be somewhere in life that you aren't yet. Things can pile up and it feels like you can breathe. Trust me: it's temporary.

Breathe.
Take in all the glitter, all the joy, the Christmas carols.
Take in the love and if you need a break, take a break.
Don't forget to breathe. 







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