Around this time last year when I sat down to write my first ‘letter to those struggling during the Christmas season’ life was very different from the one we know now. I was spending the holidays with my sister instead of the whole family for the first time and that was strange in itself. There was also so much uncertainty around me back then my only concrete plan was pretending to had one – fake it till you make it, right? Although I didn’t want to admit it then, truth is I was struggling too as I spent a big chunk of my time staring at blank walls and using sad movies as an excuse to have a good cry. Perhaps, in trying to comfort and encourage others I was essentially selfishly trying to do the same for myself too. I wondered whether it worked for anyone else…
In that post, I reminded you that sometimes it gets worse before it gets better. Little did I know things were really about to take a turn for the absolute worst.
I won’t give you a full recap of all the things that went wrong this year – if you are reading this you probably know it’s an endless list and then some, but I can for sure say that 2020 sure did all it could to stand out in history books.
I’m yet to meet one person whose life wasn’t completely shaken up by the events of the last eleven months so I am certain that most people will be in need of some sort of encouragement this season.
Simply put, this holiday season will be verrrry different; different in more ways than one and in ways that make the heart heavy and a little tired. The lights are dazzling and bright on every street as usual, but that is about the only thing that stayed the same from the years before. I feel like these past months have taken such a toll on us all, I’m not even sure we know how to celebrate or be entirely jolly at this point. Or maybe, we are just now constantly on edge waiting for the next shoe to drop. If there’s one thing that felt certain it was that; the crazy and unexpected could still happen any time, anywhere.
Regardless of whether you are the type to wait all year long for Christmas to come around or if it’s never really been your thing, this time of year has always been a hard one for many.
It’s meant to be a time of togetherness, bliss and pure gratitude. It’s about expressing love after a long busy year and remembering those we haven’t always had time for. For some, it’s about so much more than that, whilst for others, it’s just another holiday perfect for sleeping in till late each day.
We now have restrictions and tier systems and R rates, masks and bans, lockdowns and that dreaded C word we all wish would just go away. Regardless of the fact that this has been our vivid reality for a little while now… it still feels to me like a whole new world every single day.
So what do I say to you this year? What will bring a smile to your face or feel like a warm hug in your heart? How can I make you feel better about this time of year when I’m not entirely there myself?
Of course, this is a time where gratitude can go a long way. It might be hard to see right now, but it is important that we all recognise how lucky we are to even be alive today. We might not be swimming in gifts, seeing friends and family, or attending any parties this year, however, we got this far and sadly there are way too many of that would’ve loved the opportunity to say the same.
Nonetheless, practising gratitude doesn’t mean you have to put up a front either. I’m not a fan of fake positivity or saying stuff just because they sound good or ‘right’. As nice as some things are to hear, for me when I don’t feel it within, it feels like I’m just punching out fluff into the air. The end result? A beautiful mess.
Instead, know that everything you feel needs its own time to be felt; remind yourself of that so you don’t trip and fall on unresolved feelings. Please, please reach out to whoever you can this season if you are having a hard time coping, but also cause such a simple act could change someone’s entire day.
Wherever you find yourself this season, alone and isolated or in the company of a chosen few, I hope you can feel comforted by my words and that you find a little cheer in the upcoming days.
I’m sending a virtual warm hug your way xx
Your restless romantic roamer