Perhaps a little shamefully, I often listen when I hear people talk. When I'm standing at bus stops, walking pavements, grabbing a quick cup of coffee in a café, I can't help but let my ears hear. It is these little fragments of life which often bring me hope, encouragement and reassurance. I hear that my struggles are everyone's struggles, my family is like yours and everybody else's.
Today I heard a magnificent thing. And again it inspired me to write and share.
"It wasn't Christmas. But it had the spirit of Christmas. The feeling."
And with those words, a little string of fairy lights switched on and lit my path to January. We can stop trying to have the picture-perfect time. Give it up. It is cheesy, it is expensive, and it doesn't bring 'The Feeling'. The Feeling comes from pulling the essence of what is important to you and bringing it to the fore, to take centre stage, for a short while.
We didn't have family matching pyjamas when I was wee. We didn't even have, or need, new pyjamas. I did have much excitement wearing my pyjamas. We didn't have a glossy candle-lit table with a holly and ivy twisted runner with all matching china. We had our own, and borrowed, unmatching crockery, Tupperware a-plenty, at least one person sitting on a deck chair, and often someone rolling their eyes and squashing away the anger that can come from this most 'joyful' time. It was still great. It is still where the good memories lie.
Christmas can be a test for the best. And it can be very challenging when we struggle with our mental health. Ask yourself what gives you The Feeling. And let that take priority.
For me, lighting up the sometimes-unruly house with fairy lights and things we see but once a year. And gathering with people I love, a few times, in short bursts.
Avoid mental frenzy and plan on the side of less. Firmly stick to your plan as you go forth. I'll walk it with you. Let's do our scores.
The nearly fairy lit room above the garage
A Moodscope member.