Wednesday, December 9, 2009

"This Time of Year"

It is that time of year, between Thanksgiving and Christmas, when we are blitzed by such phrases as the 'spirit of giving', 'peace on earth and goodwill towards men', and the 'holiday spirit' - which I believe is supposed to reflect our open hearts and goodwill over the holiday season.

Note I said "supposed". Mostly what I see is stress; the anxiety and worry about getting so and so a gift, the concerns about whose house the Holidays will be spent at and did someone remember to buy grandmama her dried fruit?, the apprehension about traveling during inclement weather, the disappointment when opening a gift and it wasn't what was expected, the irritation that "I got her a gift, but she didn't get me anything!" or it was the wrong gift.

For years now I have had mixed feelings about "this time of year" - I've experienced the whole gambit I just rambled off above, fully thankful when December 31 finally rolled around and I didn't have to worry about "this time of year" for another 360 days.

However, since I've started practicing yoga and studying Buddhism, I've seen a subtle shift within myself. I've noticed that "this time of year" is no longer restricted to the 30 days between Thanksgiving and Christmas. That I feel comfortable now stepping back and saying, "Naw, I'm not going to get sucked into X Y or Z this season, it does not serve me."

This isn't saying that I'm in anyway perfect! I'm still fully capable of some very snarky moments and comments. Now I find myself mortified when I'm caught up in them.

Mostly what I'm trying to say is, for myself, the Holiday Season extends beyond these 30 days, beyond "This Time of Year". "This Time of Year" has become 365 days, that every moment is one to be grateful for, one to express my thanks, a birthday or random moment a time to show my gratitude, or to donate to a charitable cause.

"This Time of Year" is every year, the whole year through. Now THAT just gives me the warm fuzzies!

Om Shanti Shanti Shanti