First off, that title, it’s not what it sounds like. I assure you it’s perfectly innocent. It’s as innocent as Christmas and Santa Clause, which is an odd comparison for me to make. If you know me, then you know I’m not a fan of the holidays. I don’t dislike them, and I don’t hate them either. I’m not a Scrooge or a Grumpmas. If anything, I feel a lot of nothing which is why I shrug off the early onset of the season and refuse to buy egg nog until mid-December.
If you want to put your lights up in September and inflate a Santa exposing his privates in October? Go for it! It’s innocent enough, so if it makes you happy, do it. Watch Santa drop his trousers and wiggle his half-exposed crack. Let the reindeer out, and jingle those bells. You do you because God knows we all need to find a way to be a little happier this year.
Typically, holidays leave me feeling ambivalent and sometimes down in the dumps. They mark a passing of time, and that’s the one thing I don’t handle very well. I feel like everything is moving too fast, and I can’t keep up. I feel like I’ve fallen behind with no way to make up the difference.
The holidays bring out a desperate need to slow down time. Slow my life down. Go back, and relive some of those lost moments when happiness wasn’t something I had to hunt for like a lost treasure. This is where I sigh dramatically, but I’m going to resist the urge.
Self-psychoanalysis is probably a bad idea, but why not give it a whirl. This feeling of desperation leads to that sense of ambivalence because feeling nothing is better than feeling everything. I feel so much, and golly gee, let’s give that trait a rest. So, during the holidays I switch off. I take an emotional break. I try to feel nothing because if I don’t, I feel like I’m going to explode.
Did I just hear the tired sigh of a deflating mood? Were you having a good day before you starting reading this? Finding Happy is in the title so naturally, you thought you were in for a romp through spring daisies. My apologies, but bare with me. I’m going to swing this back to happy, I promise you.
Well, soon but not right now because I’m going to bring up the elephant in the room. Would it be better if I called it Elle instead of using its scientific or colloquial names? Or, should I stick with The Virus and safely assume we all know what I’m talking about? Huh, the problem with this format is that I need to have psychic powers to divine your answer.
It doesn’t matter how hard I focus, clairvoyance is not a skill I’ve acquired or been gifted. I’m just going to have to go with the thing that makes me giggle. After all, if Santa dropping drawers makes you laugh then why shouldn’t I find something silly that does it for me? No reason at all, so Elle it is!
In my mind, the elephant is wearing a tutu and ballerina slippers with one toe poking out the side. Some fabrics just don’t stretch. Poor Elle, she can’t catch a break, but at least she made her grand debut on the world stage. She danced across the globe and left the world breathless.
Having had a private viewing of Elle’s talents, I can make a breathless joke and no one can tell me it’s too soon. Well, they can, and I can’t stop them, but I was there, dancing with Elle. The damn elephant definitely left me breathless, and she’s stirred the world up into a tizzy.
If you read Monday’s post, then you know I’ve been feeling a little down lately. Sad, frustrated, and lonely because Elle won’t take a bow. She won’t waltz off into that good night. Exit stage left, and take early retirement on a secluded island. Oh, you won’t be missed.
Speaking of missing, I miss my people, and I miss my life. I was looking forward to some new adventures this year, but none of that could happen. Be gone Elle, you bloody elephant! We’re tired of missing out.
Again, I’m bringing the room down, and I profusely apologize, but I always strive to be honest. Right now, as I’m writing this, I’m struggling to find happiness. It’s there, somewhere, and I will find it. The majority of life isn’t lived in the extremes but in the simple moments. And, in those simple moments, happiness can be found, but I long for the ease of the extremes.
No, stop, I’m focusing on the negatives, but there are positives. It’s not all or nothing. Forgive my repetition, but life isn’t either of these extremes. Despite being strange bedfellows, these two companions often travel hand in hand. They’re lovers in the night who contradict each other during the day. They shouldn’t work together, but together they complement each other perfectly.
It’s easy to focus on one, and forget that the other is close by. So, we spend a lot of time flirting with the negatives. On occasion, we get seduced by the positives, but it’s so aloof. It comes and goes on a whim or, perhaps, it just likes the chase? I can choose to follow it, play its little game, or I can sit here and flirt with the negatives.
Typically, I’m quite lazy, so the choice is simple, but I’m trying to be better. I’m trying to find my happy. I’m actively pursuing it with the hope that we can stop this stealthy game of seduction. Maybe we can play an easier game. Hide and go seek, perhaps? That sounds fun. Well, as long as positivity is spectacularly bad and hides behind a telephone pole. I see you, silly.
That’s my hope, the reason for this experiment in reckless optimism, but I’m still on the hunt. Happiness, positivity, and optimism are still quite elusive. It’s work, and it’s hard. I have to catch myself, my automatic negativity, and refocus my energy on the positive.
So today, my quest has taken me to an unexpected place. It took me by surprise, but it was so pleasant that I willingly shrugged off my dislike of the holidays. Even Christmas in November? Kinda, yeah. It’s on display way too soon, but it’s making me smile. Why? What’s going on?
The last time Christmas made me this happy, I was putting cookies out for Santa on Christmas Eve. I can’t remember how old I was, but I remember the tree was lit up with sparkling lights. Stockings hung over the fireplace. There were presents under the tree. I carefully carried the cookies to the table and ran back to the kitchen for some milk.
Not to focus on the negative, but this was the Christmas my brother thought I was old enough to know, what he called, the truth. He said that Santa was just a story, and our parents were the ones who loaded the stockings and ate our cookies.
Lies! Damn Lies! Why do some people insist on perpetuating these lies? It’s baffling.
Today, my need to believe in Santa collided with my lack of Christmas spirit. I had to go to the lab for routine blood work before talking to my post-transplant doctor. There’s nothing to worry about, and it’s more of an annoyance than anything else. Especially now, with Elle screwing everything up and locking things down.
I thought I’d be smart and show up to the lab before it opened. I was hoping to beat the rush. I didn’t want to stand outside in the cold. Turns out, a lot of people had the same idea, so we stood six feet apart in the chilly morning. Half asleep and swallowing the early morning grumbles, we quietly waited for space to open up.
My lab sits in the middle of a shopping complex, and as I looked around, I saw the early stages of Christmas decorations. Giant snowflakes on windows. Big red bows strung up. Pictures of Santa, holding up wrapped presents, remind us that we’re running out of time, as well as money.
Commercialism is nifty, eh.
Despite the manipulation tactics, the decorations are kind of pretty if you look past the marketing. The colours are bright. They feel warm, even if the air is colder than a polar bears bathtub. It made me smile just a little as the line started to move. It’s something familiar, and comforting when everything else feels chaotic.
After thirty minutes of waiting, I stepped inside the warm building, and I was greeted by the gentle music of some old classics. It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas played softly in the background as I registered and waited for my turn. No one likes getting up early to get jabbed with needles. No one wants to wait out in the cold because we have occupancy limits. No one was happy to be there, but the music played, and people slowly swayed along.
My name was called, and I went into the back. The lab tech was perky and chatty. She made the process a little less painful, and it was even enjoyable. Talking to a real, in the flesh, person was a treat. I don’t care that she’s a stranger and just doing her job. Sharing space with another masked person while cool music played, made me smile.
Say what you like about decorating for Christmas before the first of December or listening to carols at the first sign of winter. I’ve said it all before, but this year feels different. There’s so much heaviness sitting in the air. We’re all stressed and handling this situation very differently. Some are handling it better than others, but none of us are happy right now.
Christmas has an innocence and an inherent joy that reminds me of happier times. It takes me back to the days of cookies by the Christmas tree. Stockings hung with care. For a few minutes, I’m five years old, and everything seems possible. Sure, there are scary monsters under my bed, but there’s someone to take that away and make everything okay.
Right now, I want someone to take away the elephant in the room and make everything okay. It will be okay! We will get our lives back, and we’ll find a comfortable new normal. But right now, we can enjoy the small moments of happiness that sneak up on us when we least expect it.
I never thought I’d find a moment of happiness at a laboratory, but there it was. Bing Crosby, singing in the background. Santa holding presents. Bright yellow tinsel wrapped around a lamppost. These things reminded me that if I actively pursue the positives in life, I can find a moment of happiness. Even on days when I’m sad, tired, and lonely, there’s something out there that can make me smile.
I just have to go looking for it.