We took down our Christmas decorations the other day, marking the end of the season for us. Some might be sad at such a moment. Christmas is a time of hope and joy, at least for most people. But I prefer to look at this as a time of change, not sadness.
With every moment of our lives—be they sad or joyful, tense or restful, disappointing or satisfying—their effect on our lives is as much within our control as it may seem beyond it.
Time, despite Einstein’s claim it is a stubbornly persistent illusion, moves on whether we want it to or not. Those moments when two hours seem like five minutes or five minutes like two hours are all a matter of our perception.
We can mourn the passage of time, become saddened by the passing of such anticipated seasons as Christmas, or become mindful of them and hold on to the memories. We can choose to embrace those moments, to hold them firmly within, and enjoy their fleeting instances, or wallow in sadness that does nothing to bring them back.
I’ve come to learn that it is often the anticipation of such moments—Christmas being just one example—that brings us the most pleasure. For in having something to look forward to one has an opportunity to enjoy life.
I know I have things to look forward to!
In the 1946 book, Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl—which chronicled his experiences as a prisoner in the Nazi death camps of World War II—Frankl discovered the secret of how some survived the camps while others did not.
Frankl argues that man cannot avoid suffering but can choose how to cope with it, find meaning in it, and move forward with renewed purpose. In other words, man can survive anything if he has a reason to live.
You might ask yourselves why I would reference a book about such horrors in this piece on the fading of Christmas 2021. The point is, it is not what happens that matters, but how we perceive it and deal with it.
Rather than being saddened by the end of the Christmas season, I choose to embrace its memory, cherish the experience, and look forward to whatever comes next in this uncertain life of exponential potential .
And just a public service notice (although one that is likely to be appreciated by my generation and those who preceded us rather than those with Amazon brain) there are only 362 shopping days until Christmas 2022.