It’s that ‘joyous time of year’ again. And it’s funny how much this season has changed over time and how much of it has remained the same.
When I was a little kid, I can remember adults trying to put on their best face making the season bright and bountiful. But behind the holly-wreathed doors, I would hear the bitching and complaining about how women were the ones who would have to make the season happen if the season were to happen at all.
The gripes would include having to do all the planning, the baking, the holiday card addressing (and keeping track of the new addresses, the moves, the cards returned from old addresses or deaths) and then do all the meal planning, meal shopping, gift planning and shopping and wrapping and packing for mailing, standing in line at the post-office, planning for the unexpected drop-by guests, handling relative accommodating for overnight stays, stressing over the lack of space for everyone and dealing with airport pickups and returns, and of course the cleaning before visitors, cleaning up after baking and cleaning up before stay overs and before the meal. And this cleaning process also included cleaning the silver, bringing out special occasion linens and doing that clean up, preparation and then the decoration, tree, walls, lights and making sure there were festive candles, scents, firewood and the list goes on. This was all followed by also preparing for care packages of leftovers and then writing of all the thank you notes and preparing for New Year.
There would be this ‘knowing’ look in the aisles of stores while grocery shopping, big sighs in the lines where people waited with armfuls of goodies, with a glimmer of disgust and frustration. But at the end of it all – everyone was ‘happy.’ Of course the complaint would be that it took nearly two months to prepare for a moment where the meal was gulped down in less than twenty minutes and the present opening took less than ten. It’s kind of like a rollercoaster ride where you wait in line for three hours and the ride is over in two minutes.
The holidays happen the same time every year. But each year people get stressed, and sick with the flu from the stress, late hours, overtaxing of the body, mind and spirit.
It’s pretty amazing though that at this time of year, the average human who celebrates this one season can do all of this and survive it.
During regular life, away from the holiday season – life can be and is, just as hectic, but it’s not as glaring. Whether it’s dealing with birthdays, weddings, graduations, anniversaries, funerals, births, moving, job changes, commutes, house buying or selling, everyday task-mastering of business, personal, family, friends, neighbors, occasions, obligations and events…. Life can be crazy.
And whether you are dealing with crisis of illness and disease, accident or financial, career or family matter, life has a series of bumpy roads, obstacle courses and uphill battles to resolve and overcome.
But if it weren’t for all this, would there be the joy, peace and elation of life’s moments of gliding? Perhaps if it weren’t for all this, there would be no true appreciation and enjoyment of the good times, great moments of victory, achievement, accomplishment and endurance…
Think about that. If everything in life were easy, there wouldn’t be motivation to do much of anything. People would get laxed and lazy, disconnected by nature due to the fact that everything would be so joyous and effortless that they would end up having no emotional connection to the outcome of anything because nothing was put into it.
Nothing was more clear to me, than after watching Donny Osmond win Dancing With The Stars. The road up until his win was difficult because it wasn’t just the road he was on, it was the past roads behind him, the current road working hard to achieve the win and the road ahead of him as the outcome based on his performance all rolled into one.
When you live in a spotlight of expectation, expectation puts added pressure on you. When you are a perfectionist living with this spotlight, your self-imposed pressure can get the best of you. When you have had difficulty in the past dealing with social anxiety disorder in the arena of performance, and are performing with a broken toe, the flu and flying back and forth between Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Utah non-stop all week and performing a regular non-stop gig, even more so.
When you are trying not to let down a bunch of long-time fans who have been by your side for the past 46 years of performing, being the oldest contestant still in the running trying to keep up energy-wise with your peers who are the age of your own kids, that alone is huge. But when you are doing all this knowing you want the time you’ve spent away from your wife and kids will not have been for nothing, while also dealing with your own personal friendly sibling rivalry to come out ahead (also knowing you were winning for her as well – because at the time when she was performing, she was dealing with the death of her father, her own divorce and other family issues, while trying to lose weight to get healthy) well… the tears of joy behind the victory say more than you’re just happy you won.
We all go through the rocky road of life’s events. We all endure moments of difficulty, challenge and a path full of obstacles to navigate around, many emotionally, mentally and physically taxing times to juggle simultaneously while having a smile on our faces.
But again, if it were not for all this, the moments of victory will not have been as sweet. So whether it’s a holiday, a season, a life event, a competition or simply a moment to see what you’re made of …. We must remember that in order to enjoy the GLIDE in life, we must power through the rocky road.