My wife and I have noticed this happening over the last couple of weeks—it seems like a never-ending full moon lately. People are acting c-a-h-r-a-y-y-y-z-e-e-e-e!
I know this is the time of the year when monetary overindulgence kicks in, malls and shopping centers are packed to capacity 24hrs a day, and people who stayed hidden the rest of the year try to navigate the insanity along with everyone else and their brother. With ‘Black Friday’ sales on everything from cars to toilet tissue, it’s no surprise—and honestly, I’ve grown used to it. I don’t like it, but I’m used to it.
But there is something else in the air. Old flames are resurfacing (not from my personal life, but around me.) Other people seem to feel the need to re-connect, re-kindle, apologize, clear the air, and a number of other ‘choice’ interactions.
I’ve been in the military for over a decade, so I have seen first-hand how hard the holidays can be on people—especially those far away from their loved ones. Those aren’t the folks I’m talking about. I’m talking about the ones who one time a year decide they need to be concerned with righting wrongs, asking forgiveness for old mishaps, and trying to be better people (or something like that, anyway.)
Maybe I’m being too cynical, but I would think that if one really wanted to better themselves or begin leading a better life by righting old wrongs, they would make an effort to do so all year, not just during ‘family-based’ holidays. It’s like trying to make Santa’s good list two weeks before the jolly old man makes his rounds or praying for forgiveness when you feel death’s breath on your shoulder. I’m pretty sure it doesn’t work like that.
I’m certainly not a heartless individual, so I would never make harsh judgment when it pertains to depression—it’s a very real and concerning infliction, especially during the holiday season. But is that all this is? One has no choice but to stop and think about their mistakes and not having certain people in their lives anymore during the holidays? It seems counter-productive to me to act on these urges like this.
Perhaps the un-written requirement to turn our focus inward, looking for things to be thankful for becomes overwhelming. Maybe the expectation to give gifts or be generous to those lacking causes emotional outpourings to take form when they are largely stoppered throughout the rest of the year.