Monday, December 5, 2011

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas......

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.......


  1. yay! it is great to see you! this is a tough time of year for many...the death of nature sets a grim scene...the pressure to buy something to make people feel specail or keep up with the neighbors....i try to keep myself in check as well...time for a little joy and keeping margin in our lives during a busy season

  2. I love the moment with your daughter and the realization :-)

    I feel agnst at this time of year and I know it's about me, my family, some of the dysfunction that typically occurs (including my own self-consciousness about my lack of wealth and ability to provide lavish gifts). I get twerpy every year at this time and it passes in time to realize it's not necessary for me to feel this way. And with that passing, I end up enjoying my holidays a little more each year in different ways.

    Good ot read you again, God Bless :-)

  3. I have been debating back in forth in my mind weather or not to go to a meeting this morning and your post helped me with the obvious decision. I think the main reason the rooms fill up is because it is such a party season, and many have finally realized that the party has been over for them for quite some time and they are facing another holiday alone because of their alcoholism I loved your writing in this post.

  4. Hello my darling friend, funny how alike we are, I have just drafted a post about Christmas lol.

    I was struck this week at the number of people talking about Christmas in the rooms and how vividly I can remember worrying about being exposed to the social drinking.

    It's so wonderful how God gives us the tools to get through these times, often while making wonderful memories!