This holiday season I’ve spent a good bit of time in hospitals and at doctor’s appointments with my Mother, a true angel on earth if there ever was one! While I never want her to hurt or be ill, any time I can spend with her or help her is a gift indeed, an honor and a blessing. All too many folks no longer have their parents physically around to share a moment, a smile, a hug. My sweet Mother has given hundreds and hundreds of years worth of smiles, grace and giving to so many in her 88 years here on earth. How blessed I am to be able to call her, “Mom.”
And as everyone knows, you have plenty of down time while sitting in a hospital or doctor’s waiting room. You also have more than normal reading and people-watching time and moments of reflection (including self-reflection) that we may not normally carve out for ourselves. You meet and talk with absolute strangers who also find themselves within the same hospital or clinic walls– walls that force-insulate us from the rushing around going on just short distances from where we sit .. and wait. Five holiday related questions keep returning to my thoughts … finally, I realized why …. because they are questions worth my reflection and more important, corrective actions where needed.
1. Why do so many people allow themselves to get so stressed out and down right exhausted each holiday season? Why do we feel the need to accept every single holiday invitation we and our kids get and then jam up our days trying to do it all? We complain about how commercial the holidays have become, but how many of us are active participants smack dab in the middle of evil commercialism’s target markets? Are we willing to stop the “train” so to speak and if not, can we at least STOP complaining about holiday stress!?
2. Why do we keep letting certain people get under our skin at family and office gatherings? Worse, are we harboring the negativity from such unpleasant encounters long after they’re actually over? If so, why … when we have the final say regarding who or who doesn’t get to affect our emotions. Staying totally focused on the moment we’re living is an extremely effective way to move beyond these types of self-destructive old habits; habits that leave us wallowing in bad (and PAST!) memories and fretting over future (and unguaranteed) moments.
3. Why are we worrying about whether our gifts for others cost enough? If our recipients are true friends and loving family members, they shouldn’t care, should they? Then why do we fret
4. Are we celebrating anything other than our survival of yet another holiday season? If Christmas or Hanukah, for example, have religious significance to us, are we merely going through the motions of attending church or synagogue instead of truly taking the unhurried time to reflect upon, honor and celebrate these holy days?
5. Of all the gifts purchased so far, how many gifts of our time, ourselves have been shared this holiday season with the sick, the needy or the lonely? What about in-between our holiday seasons?
Thanks sharing a few minutes of your busy day with me. I wish you good health, moments of stillness and healthy reflection and, of course, a very happy heart,Nancy
P.S. Just as I was putting final touches on this post, I got an unexpected “gift” which was a pleasant call from a not-so-pleasant acquaintance! Will practice my own advice and celebrate and appreciate this truly rare moment indeed (see my “Holiday Health Check“ post on enjoying the happy moments and ignoring the yukky ones).