It’s again that time of year where we start to reflect on the entirety of the year. I find that for someone who struggles with depression it can be quite easy to forget about the things that went right when it’s stacked up against the overwhelming Eeyore-type feelings. It’s just easier to think on the list of things that seemed to go wrong and in doing so we barely acknowledge or even realize that there were in fact some warm and sunny days.
My husband and I are now living with my parents until we save up enough to pay off some debt and see about buying our “forever house.” Trust me, the situation is just as odd for me as it would be for any adult child and their spouse. However, I am finding that the warmth and comfort of home hasn’t changed and that living with my parents as an adult compared to when I was a child is much more than I thought it could or would be. There’s something nice knowing that mom and dad (and my grandmother) are all close by. Since I belong to an island family, the living arrangement is more common than it may be here in the States. That isn’t to say we’re going to be here forever but what it does mean is that we get to forge more memories. What we may see as taking several steps back may actually be us getting ready for the next wonderful stage of our lives.
Christmas is just around the corner and I’m sure for many the anxiety has already started. For something that should be no surprise and comes on the same day every year I too stress out a bit when thinking of the list of people whose gifts I must buy. I’m an online shopper. I abhor malls and crowds and although I’m not as crafty as my mother (who is typically 95% finished with her shopping by now), I am starting to look past my Christmas expenses checklist. I am now looking at the people and not the expense. I’m starting earlier than usual this year and despite waking up each morning in my parents’ house, I’m the most excited I’ve been in quite sometime. Sure, “the grandkids” will have a present-filled Christmas while the rest of us live vicariously through them, but I’m thinking about the fun of the season. I’m not yet the type of person who makes gifts but I’m looking forward to giving my family thoughtful and thought-filled gifts. I take the time as I review over my list of names to think about the faces and the lives of the people I love.
This year was the first since becoming an adult where I did not work a W-2 job. The life of a self-employed individual can be rough. Really rough. Daily I think about how if it weren’t for such a strong family base my husband and I would be in dire straights. However, as this year comes to an end I look back and find that I’m surprised that it turned out to be a really good one. I now have a full-time workload and wonderful clients who see me as more than just an independent contractor. They’ve become in some ways an extended family. It’s true what they say, once you’ve worked for yourself you can’t imagine going back into the 9 to 5 workplace. What I’m most thankful for is that I had almost 20 years in the traditional workplace. It has allowed me to better appreciate the experiences and skills I developed early on. Life really surprises you when you are able to be in the job you were meant for.
It’s easy to get swept up in the chaos of the upcoming season. And even though it’s not meant to be, November and December can be extremely difficult. For as many wonderful things to be thankful for we can get down in the dumps thinking about those we’ve lost and how hard life is. All that is true and it will always be true. However, try not to live in that negative space for too long. Take it easy, take life in and most importantly, enjoy it.