I am in one of those places again. The kind of place where I just want to be left alone to wallow in my sadness. The kind of place where everything and everyone is driving me insane, and I can’t seem to escape any of it. No matter where I go, there is someone there, waiting for me. It’s like a conspiracy.
I haven’t felt this low for this long in a long time. I feel like I shouldn’t be able to get here anymore, like there should be a fence with barbed wire surrounding it preventing me from entering. I feel tense, and anxious. The kind of irritable where every little sound sets me off. Every person that doesn’t show the slightest inkling of joy sets me off as well. I have been told, “Well, maybe it’s just the season. The holidays make people grumpy.” This is true, but it shouldn’t be that way.
This is a season of love, joy, and kindness. The time of year where we are all supposed to hold hands and sing “Kumbaya.” We are supposed to be grateful for what we have, and sometimes what we don’t. We are to treat our fellow-man with kindness, and if you can, generosity. Where did that go?
Maybe it is the season bringing me down. I have been taking my medications like I am supposed to. I have been playing my nerd game, which makes me happy. Maybe I am letting other people’s anger, ungratefulness, and down right ugliness get the better of me.
For example, I went to the pharmacy yesterday to pick up my medication refills. I was one of three people in the waiting area, waiting for my number to be called. I get to the window, hand the woman my ID, and say “Hello” with a smile. She walks away. When she comes back, she says the generic name of my medications, I smile and say “Yes,” and she tosses the bag through the window, and walks away.
She is just one example. I have come into contact with people all season who find it more convenient and better for them to just ignore you, or just be outright rude to you for no reason. What ever happened to a simple hello? You don’t have to smile if you don’t care to, but a simple hello could brighten a person’s day. That person could be down in the dumps, feeling so low that they just want to leave this place. A simple smile or hello could make a difference.
I went to the commissary yesterday (grocery store for you civilians out there) to buy Christmas dinner stuff. I got to the checkout counter, and the girl was looking for worn down and beat. I asked her how she was doing, and smiled. You could see tears welling up in her eyes, and she told me that people have been so rude to her today. Not just the customers, but people outside of the store, in her daily life. I listened, and then she apologized for ranting to me. I told her I understood how she felt, and I was perfectly fine with her ranting. I offered to go get her some coffee or something, and she said she was about to go home, but she really appreciated it. She even smiled. It looked like a genuine smile. I told her Merry Christmas, and she looked as if I showered her with a million dollars. “Thank you! Merry Christmas to you too!” she yelled very enthusiastically.
That is what the season is about. Being kind to your fellow human being. Reaching out to those who might need it, even if it’s just a smile and a simple “Hello.” I don’t think it’s the season bringing me down. I think it’s the people who have forgotten the reason for the season. Even if you’re not religious like me, this holiday can mean something to you. You can forget the commercialism and stress for one second, and remember other people.
I am going today with my friend Jennifer to the Unity Home in Joshua Tree, CA. They have a shelter, hotline, and other services for women and children who have experiences domestic violence, and other kinds of oppression against them. We are donating toys and clothes that we have gathered from other people in our community, as well from our own home. This area is not known for its strong economy or wealth, and there are a lot of people who could use a little extra help.
THAT is the reason for the season. Helping your fellow-man in the best way you can, even if it’s just a smile, and an ear to listen. Everyone should try it. Maybe it will bring a little joy back into the holidays.