As I wait somewhat impatiently for my children, ages 8 and 13, to decide to go to sleep this Christmas Eve, I find I am feeling somewhat reflective. This is not unusual, as I am often told I overthink as it is, but it is also in keeping with what countless others spend their time doing during the Christmas season. According to Healthline,“the stress and anxiety during the months of November and December may cause even those who are usually content to experience loneliness and a lack of fulfillment.”
Translation? Sometimes, the craziness that is the holidays can lead to a whole lot of overthinking and that in turn can lead to some mental health challenges, which I have struggled with a little in the last couple of months. Christmas can be hard; there is absolutely no question of that whatsoever, but I am making an effort to look at things I am thankful for over Christmas.
Top of the list is, naturally, the health of my family and friends. I do not have to worry about my kids’ health issues, because thankfully both are healthy, though the youngest struggles with a range of throat issues due to still having her tonsils. In addition, in Canada, our health care is covered. I can take my girls to a clinic and have them seen by a doctor without having to worry about things like an HMO or how I might be able to afford to pay for any medications they might require. Granted, having to wait sometimes up to two or three hours at a clinic sucks, but I sometimes run into colleagues or friends there and am able to pass the time while snuggling with my sick child.
I am also thankful that love still appears to exist in this world. Whether it is the beautiful engagement pictures of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry that CNN and pretty much every other major – and minor – media outlet ran with or just some of the daily videos circulating of the love people have for each other and their kids, I cannot help but celebrate the notion that yes, in spite of all the terrible news that does happen in the world today, love is still happening all around us. It is not an easy thing to love, especially with a 50 percent or more divorce rate staring you down, but the fact that people are still embracing the courage to do exactly that is something I am very grateful for.
Finally, even though I could go on chapter and verse about the things I am grateful for, I have to acknowledge that I am exceedingly grateful that Donald Trump is not my leader. No political leader is without fault, and I do understand that running a country is not for the faint of heart. However, President Trump has sparked more fear in, at the very least, North America than any other person on the planet in recent memory. A leader should inspire, motivate, captivate – not leave people worried about whether or not something catastrophic is going to happen under their leadership, and a lot of people are feeling exactly that when it comes to Donald J. Trump.
So, Merry Christmas and happy holidays, everyone. Snuggle with your loved ones, and embrace the magic of the holiday. Be grateful for what life offers you, and enjoy the memories that come.