One of the key things about time is that it adds perspective. An understanding of why you acted in a certain way in a moment’s time can often lead to some interesting conclusions. It can make a person see just how far they’ve come or wonder where their life went. It can fill you with joy just as easily as it can make you feel sad and spent. It can renew ones purpose in life, and it can make a man lament.
Growing up, the holiday season was my favorite time of year. Yeah, I was excited to get presents, but it was more than that. Christmastime (I grew up catholic) was about food, family, and looking past all our petty nonsense and try as a people to let our better nature prevail. Even as I’ve grown older and non-religious, I’ve been able to find joy in the music, the surprise and excitement of children, and even just the simplest of acknowledgements of another person walking by. Every year I found the holiday spirit with ease.
Except this year.
This holiday season has been a grind, but that isn’t new. When not tapping away at a keyboard trying to entertain the fine people who come to One Of Us looking for content, I work at for major online retailer (not going to give out their name, but it isn’t hard to figure out) and this is our busiest time of the year, so long stressful hours are par for the course. The workplace is decorated from top to bottom, but I don’t find any enjoyment in it as it was all done in a competitive scramble with other sections of the office, which soured me on the whole endeavor. My family used to go all out when it came to decorating our house, and while we weren’t above receiving any accolades or someone wanting to take a picture of the house, it was always done in the spirit of the season. Seeing the office decorated as it is for all the wrong reasons just makes me glum.
My health took a dive this year, and with the addition of hospital bills, I’m in more debt than I have ever been in my life. I’m single and with the exception of my dog, I live alone, so I don’t have anyone at home to brighten my mood. All my friends in town are busy with their holiday planning, and when they aren’t, I’m not really able to do things with them given my financial situation. The same goes for my family. Much of my immediate family, save one of my sisters and her kids, live out of state, so I only see them a few times a year. Technology makes communication easier than it has ever been, but it isn’t the same thing as meeting or having a conversation with someone in person.
So, I’ve found myself in bit of a funk. But you know what? I think that’s okay.
What put it all in perspective for me was, of all things, was A Charlie Brown Christmas. Now I’ve seen this special many times, and I’ve gotten so many things out of it over the years. I’ve also enjoyed hearing other people’s opinions on it, including such people as Doug Walker and the commentators over at Hellfire Comms (been a fan of theirs for years, you should check them out), who talk about how there is a beauty in how melancholy the special is. In a weird way, I’m glad that I feel the way I do and miss how the season made me feel when my life was simpler, because it is proof I still care.
I’m sorry this isn’t some grand piece about geek/nerd stuff, that is why you come to the site after all. I just wanted to take a moment to pull back the curtain a little and share something with you, because I know I’m not alone in feeling this way. This season can leave a lot of people feeling alone and worthless. It’s these types of feelings that can often lead some to take rash actions to try and escape the pain.
Now I’m not saying I’ve sunk to this level of depression. I’ll be okay, but I do understand how those people feel. So if you are feeling anything like I am this year, I want you to know that it is okay to feel the way you do, but you shouldn’t let it take over your life. Your not a bad person or letting anyone down, and it’s alright if you need to talk to someone, because allowing others to help you can lead to more happiness for both parties. Sometimes in helping someone else, people are also helping themselves. To those of you who know somebody feeling down, please offer them a hand. It isn’t much, and while some may not accept it, it is important to do so nonetheless. Finally, If you don’t think you have anybody and nobody cares about you I want to stop you right there and let you know that I care and that I want you to feel better and be happy. Consider the effort as a Christmas gift to me and I’ll do the same for you.
I want to thank everyone at One Of Us for allowing me to write this and for all the support you have shown me over the last two years. I hope to do even more great things in the coming new year.
Peace on earth, goodwill towards us all.