Don’t Retire, ReFire: The magic of the season

By Gail Supplee Tatum, Columnist, The Times

Ah, to look at life through the eyes of a child, especially during this magical time of year.  Well, you can!  All you have to do is put yourself back to a time in your childhood where you were wide-eyed and filled with joy, wonder and excitement. Soon, you will have a grin from ear to ear and a skip in you step.

Being the passionate person that I am, this is easy for me.  Well, that and living through the joy, wonder and excitement of my three grandchildren.

For some, this may be a difficult time of the year.  Depression can rise during the holidays, if things aren’t right, in your world, with a family member, friend or life, in general.  Maybe you feel alone, like nobody cares.  It hurts my heart to even think and write this, but I know it exists.

Whether you need encouragement or “food for thought”, let me offer a few ideas for consideration, to lift your spirits.  None of my ideas involve “spirits”!  Actually, too much, or any alcohol consumption, in some cases, can negatively alter your mood, so think moderation at all times.

What I suggest to you, I have practiced in my own life, whenever my mind drifts towards worriment or concern or when I just need a reality check.  I continue these practices to this day.

  1. Count your blessings. Often times we dwell on our troubles and what we don’t have, rather than focus on our blessing(s) and what we do have.  I’m sure I’m not telling you anything you haven’t already heard.  Start with this simple exercise.  Think of something that fills you with joy (a blessing) and smile big, from ear to ear. All it takes is one blessing, and it can be the tiniest of blessings.  It truly can calm you down and warm your heart.
  2. On the days when you don’t have to leave the house and, because of that, you decide to stay your pajamas and not do anything for yourself, switch your thinking. You will discover more productivity in your day, if you take the time to groom yourself.  Just the act of washing your face, brushing your teeth, combing your hair and getting out of your pajamas will make you feel accomplished.  Don’t stop there!  While you’re at home, with some uninterrupted time on your hands, take a moment or two to send a message, or two or more, to someone, or a few, who you want to express your appreciation to.  Start with the person who “you keep meaning to reach out to”.  Once you do, first you’ll wonder why you didn’t do it sooner and then you will feel so great and so will the recipient(s)!
  3. Be in the moment and savor all that it holds. There is so much to take in, not just during this holiday season but in life, with all that it has to offer.  If you don’t pay attention, you could miss an amazing moment or opportunity to make a difference in someone’s life.  So, pay attention! When you give, what you get is beyond compare.

So during this holiday season, slow down, take it all in, be kind and smile.  A smile goes a long way.  It could be the very expression that changes the recipient’s frame of mind, who prior to that may have been down-hearted.  Merge. Compromise. Insisting on being right isn’t always the answer. Give someone a break. How much would you be giving up?  If you’re looking down, whether it is at your phone or where you’re walking…STOP.  Look up and see the magical world around you.

Have a Happy Holiday! Soak in the Magic and Believe! Consider adapting that childlike wonder all year long.

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