On my first Christmas alone I ate a can of tomato soup, by myself. It was as close to miserable as I ever care to be. I had been with daughters on Christmas Eve, but my recent separation had them spending Christmas Day with their father. It was devastating. I have NEVER repeated that day. My holidays now are not what they used to be, but they are evolving.
What do Holidays 2.0 look like?
Are things a little different for you this year? Are there less plates at the table? Is the table in a new house? Is there no table at all? Loss, and therefore transition, is never easy and certainly never simple. It touches so many places in our lives. We don’t think the same. We don’t eat the same. We don’t live the same. There is no ignoring that.
You can live in denial, though, but it won’t help you for long.
Some people plow through transition like life is normal. They get hyper busy. They may seem okay on the outside, but I betcha on the inside there is a lot of chaos. Staying in a pseudo busy mode doesn’t take care of the pain. It only prolongs healing.
You might opt for shutting down.
When we don’t honestly face what is going on, we might let ourselves spiral downward. Issues can grow bigger than they really are. ‘Checking out’ seems like a viable option. “Oh, to just not feel anything at all. That’s got to be a good idea, right?”
You could get in touch with your authentic desires.
Truth! Pain! Responsibility! Do we ever want to choose that? Why would I want to do all the work to try to live again? Is it worth it? These are very transparent questions. If you’ve not let yourself consider these before, maybe you’re finally ready. Typically we can start looking at the future after some of the numbness subsides, and you have found enough reasons to go forward. That place of being genuine is the seed to new life. Remembering who you are at your core, regardless of your loss and hurt, is the bravest thing you can do. From there your do-over life can become what ever you desire.
What is the #1 survival tip?
Being proactive is the most important thing you can do. It is your #1 survival tip for Holidays 2.0.
- Plan ahead. Think about how you want to spend your day. (With whom? Where? Doing what?)
- Face issues. It’s time to own up to where you are. Reflect on possible comments you may need to have ready for inquiring minds. Remember to only share what you can do in a respectful way. No one needs to get any closer than is healthy for all parties.
- Choose alternatives. Fill your holiday time with new activities that have meaning to you, right now. Maybe the extended family dinner is not going to happen. Instead of dwelling on how much you will miss that, plan another version of dinner or an outing to occupy that same time. Be creative. It can be as simple as using different colors for decorations (Yay! for the dollar store) or as involved as a community outreach in a shelter.
Can you make it your own?
Life is different now. We can’t go back to how it was before. When you are ready to go on, its up to you to create new traditions, activities and outlets for celebration. As your heart heals there are so many opportunities for renewal and even joy. Although a few moments for memories have their place, for the most part, being future-focused is the healthiest thing to do.
Do you want some personalized tips?
I offer one-on-one sessions via telephone, Skype or in person to assist in your unique Holidays 2.0 Re-Design. With five years under my belt, plus my own 3.0 story, there are lots of resources we can explore together. Do it sooner than later. You will be glad you cared for yourself in this very specific way.
Let’s revitalize your mindset, so you can find the wonder in life… again. Call Mary @ 904.718.8943 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For more resources check out: www.trueyouliving.com
Mary Whitman Ortiz, MA, CLC is a Certified Professional Life Coach in Jacksonville, FL.