Wellness. Internal and external balance in your life. Peace and strength. Wouldn't you like that during the holiday season?
And wouldn't it be nice if this wholeness and soundness automatically came gift-wrapped for the holidays?
I think we all know that nothing could be farther from the truth. If there's any season of the year that is by its nature diametrically opposed to these beatific qualities ... it's the holiday season. In spades.
This sounds crazy, since the holiday season is meant to represent peace on earth, good will to all, love and joy.
So where does everything flip on its head?
'Tis the season for ... pressure. Big time.
There are so many people to show love to, with so many directions to express this love. We want to spread this good will far and wide, to our families, to our close friends, to our co-workers, our schoolmates, our neighbors ... and don't forget some folks we hardly know, groups we feel we should support ... There's the first pressure point, the first crack in the foundation of wellness.
And then we don't want to be stingy. And we don't want to appear stingy either, let's be honest here.
How much is enough? Is any amount enough? Do you still have money in the bank? Should you spend it on gifts and parties, meals and events? Are you a Scrooge if you don't?
And what about energy expenditures? Are you so tired you're on the verge of tears or a screaming hissy fit?
But you said you'd bake the Christmas cookies. You really should pick up a few more gifts.
Making a quilt is so time-consuming, but you made one for all the other grandchildren, you can't call it quits now. Guests are coming and you really should clean every corner in your house.
More rehearsals for the pageant? Really? Why don't they know their parts yet? But that's not very loving, better just hunker down and spend every last unit of energy. Don't want to be greedy.
I mean, you can't just say no, can you?
Or can you.
Depends. In the existential struggle between holiday expectations -- your own and others -- it is ultimately up to you to decide ... At the end of the holidays do you still want to be standing?