Accentuate the Positive

Should and must. Must and should. I should have written this page weeks ago before the holidays. Oh well, hindsight is 20/20 and I just need to accept I did not think of it. Nobody is perfect.

Sometimes I get out of sorts with my husband’s approach to life. As social as I am, he is reclusive. I like to do. He likes to relax. Causes a little tension. Especially now since my wings have been clipped and I am dependent upon drivers.

Lin made the comment it is too bad holidays cause such stress and conflict. They ‘should’ be fun. They are ‘supposed to’ be good family times. Oh my. Guess who got a page idea out of that!

Expectations of great times are really rife with potential booby-traps. It is hard for real life to meet expectations we may have. I don’t know about you, but I don’t live in a Norman Rockwell painting. My life is certainly not ready for the cover of Life magazine! Having expectations worthy of Norman will lead to disappointment the great majority of the time. Like 99% for example.

Karyn Hall wrote a list of holiday coping ideas in the aptly titled Coping Ahead for the Holidays. She points out beliefs can really mess us up. DBT calls these myths. Things like “Other families have conflict free holidays. We need to, too.” Yeah. Right.

Hall also suggested we watch where we focus our attention. You want to know what is going wrong? Oh boy, can I tell you!  What is going right doesn’t get as much attention. Maybe I should turn that around.

Then there is acting according to your values. Shakespeare said it well. “To thy own self be true.” If it is not ‘you’ or something you value, maybe it should not be your goal.

Do less is another one of Hall’s suggestions. This is a holiday, not a competition. When there are articles and even a movie about ‘surviving’ the holidays, there is something wrong!

Hall’s fifth point is practice gratitude. That goes along with paying attention to the positive. If you make a conscious effort to be grateful, you have to make an effort to find something to be grateful about. “Accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative, latch on to the affirmative ….and don’t mess with Mr. In-between. Dum, dee, dum, dee, dum”
(Johnny Mercer, 1945) ….sorry. Got into a little swing dancing there😁. World War II music was fun and upbeat for a reason.

Hall’s last point was to have a plan for what you know are going to be the rough spots. Sit home and twiddle my thumbs? Heck, no! I have lined up some activities with like-minded folks so I don’t have to choose between sitting home being miserable or hauling my husband around and making him miserable. Foresee the problems and fix them ahead of time.

So that is coping for the holidays. Sorry it was a little late. Surviving the holidays can be rough for anyone but it can be harder for us folks with ‘challenges’.  Hopefully these few simple ideas will make things better next year.

Next: Red Rubber Ball

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