Hello everyone! I’ve had a bit of writer’s block recently. There have been several newsworthy topics I wanted to touch on, but honestly…I looked at my empty page so often and…nothing! Today something!
I am sure the festive season affects us all in different ways. The anticipation, the excitement, the hopes and dreams that Christmas evokes, and that’s how it should be. It’s how we want it to be. However, there are those that may want to experience those feelings, but actually are looking toward Christmas with dread! The reason may be financial, it may be family disputes, it may be a family member is ill, it may be their family is too far away, it may be the fear of having no one at all and being alone, or missing a loved one because of a death or a breakup.
Feeling lonely is bad enough, but feels even worse at Christmas for some reason.
The people you work with whether it’s a colleague or a client have their own life story; a story you may not be privy to. Outwardly they may be fine and happy, but inside there may be a pain, pain that is private to them. We all know the expression that a person can feel alone even in a crowded room, and this is true of so many, especially now. Especially at Christmas.
I have abstained from Christmas for many years; I chose to work. To fill Christmas with distraction. I thought about this when our working availability forms were given out recently; it’s been about 14 years since I put up a Christmas tree. I pondered on the experiences that I have had during this time which kept knocking me sideways, including my Partner who was taken with cancer; both of my parents were taken, and even my dog of 17.5 years walked the rainbow bridge.
More recently my little granddaughter has been diagnosed with Leukaemia. Like so many others, I felt there didn’t seem to be anything to celebrate. It does feel lonely. It does feel isolating. Feelings can become overwhelming, but you learn how to hide them. It’s a contradiction actually in that a person can feel so isolated, feel pain, feel so sad, and yet display to the world a happy jolly confident person.
I have colleagues that have suffered profound losses. I have clients that have lost their lifetime partners, even their own children. Their losses are equally as profound, no matter what their ages, yet everything carries on like normal.
My 4 year old granddaughter has displayed such strength and tenacity at her darkest times, and her strength, at this moment in time, is my greatest inspiration. She is light, she is hope, and she is Christmas all wrapped up in her smile and cuteness!
Yesterday I decorated my first Christmas tree in 14 years. Every decoration I have is out on display. My tree is heavy with bells and baubles. Everything from a shuttlecock angel to a toilet rolls penguin! The fairy on the top of my tree has been faithfully waiting in the box all this time….she was the first fairy on my first tree. She is 43 years old. Her white crepe paper dress is a bit faded and discoloured, but she is still adorning the top of the tree today in all her glory as beautifully as she did in 1979.
Every decoration has a memory attached to it; everyone stirred memory and emotion. I had smiles, I had tears. I finally have hope this Christmas for something new, for something more. Time to move forward.
Christmas evokes hope. We all need someone in our lives to give us the courage to step out and be brave.
My hope this Christmas is that each and every one of us will take a moment for others. You may be someone’s inspiration! Don’t assume that the person you are with is really as confident or happy as they seem to be. If there was ever a right time, Christmas is the time to listen. It’s time to knock on a neighbour’s door and say hello! It’s the time to do good deeds for others; it’s the time to befriend; and not just for Christmas! It’s the time of year for resolutions. Let one of ours be giving someone time which is far more valuable than a gift.
When we visit our clients find some ‘one on one time. Listen.
When we organise work related events, make the effort to attend. Make the effort to really engage with each other, to listen.
Let’s try and do our part to make this a wonderful Christmas for everyone we associate with by giving a little of ourselves. I want to believe we can make a difference to someone else.
There are staff members that humble me with their devastating experiences; my granddaughter inspires me with her courage; there are people with so little hope that I must feel blessed.
To everyone have an amazing Christmas, and let each of us try and make it a happy new year for someone else!
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