And I don't mean the fresh snow that fell this weekend, or the Salvation Army bell ringers, or the shoppers, the decorations, or the caroles. I mean the meeting rooms of AA. Where an average Saturday meeting is around 50, attendance is up by about another 30 people. Right before Thanksgiving I noticed the change, and its been steadily climbing for the last few weeks. I feel an anxiousness, a desperation, a totally scared out of one's mind kinda vibe.
This got me pondering. What is it about this year that can send people crawling out of their own skin. Is it the commercialism of Christmas? It's in the stores the day after if not before Halloween. The constant reminders of we have so many days before Christmas. The adds, the flyers, "Black Friday", "Cyber Monday"! Adds on TV showing people receiving flat screens, smart pads, smart phones, and for goodness sake let's not forget the a brand new Lexus with a big red bow in the driveway. Perhaps we set our expectations of what we think happiness is just a bit to high....
Or is it the landscape. Brown, barren, stark. A reminder that summer's kiss is long behind us, that (in my part of the country) the long winter lies ahead. All the flowers and leaves are gone, the grass is crispy white. The swings hang quietly in the fast darkening afternoons. The bare bones trees sway empty armed in the wind. Too often the sun doesn't make an appearance for days. This can have an effect on everyone.
Or is it that the year is in it's last month. All the things we set out to do last January and just a few accomplished! The diet, the marathon, the relationship, the finances, the on, and on, and on..... once again reminding us of what miserable failures we are. A whole year wasted and a new one fast approaching.
I see the desperation in people's eyes at meetings. They need something tangible to hang on to to get them through the holiday season. A guide, an instruction booklet, a way out, a glimmer of hope. Who has the answer? Where can I find it? How can I share it with those in need.
I was blessed with a lovely case of shingles over the Thanksgiving holiday. And there's nothing like nerve pain, a rash, and itching to give you a little perspective on what this craziness is all about. I've had a nutty year. Had to deal with some things that scared me to death, but I managed to wade through them. I think I started about 15 diets and failed everyone of them. Wanted to accomplish a million things and probably did 4 or 5. But as I layed in the quiet afternoon light on my bed while my daughter read to me, I stared out the window watching the big snowflakes fall and I realized, "it doesn't get any better than this!"
I find I create so many of my own demons. Including those that rear their ugly heads this time of year. I buy into all the hoopla and wind myself up, and start looking for the instruction booklet of how to survive, when it's right in front of me. I just need to step out, slow down, and actually enjoy whats in the here and now. I find myself humming Christmas songs at work, enjoying the lights on the trees as I drive home. Was excited about the first snow fall, and am looking forward to seeing family and friends.
Only we can make ourselves feel anything. Only ourselves can buy into it all. I have to keep myself in check. I don't do well with stress (obviously or I wouldn't have shingles) so I'm taking a lesson from Linus this year, and hopefully I will get to know what Christmas is all about too.......