Holiday Spinning

I gathered with a number of likeminded souls yesterday for a workshop series.  As we went around the room sharing how we had been over the past week, a theme started to emerge.  Of the seven of us in the room, four shared that they were feeling a sense of ‘spinning’ over the past week.  We each had our postulations about how we were in that place, but all shared the sense that the feeling was one of being ‘out of control.’  For me it was the distinct clench of anxiety which returned with harsh familiarity. I have been able to reduce its impact on my life though some of the choices I’ve made to slow my life down, but it still creeps in to my days more that I’d like, or care to admit.

The anxiousness of the week didn’t just affect me either. Our whole household seemed to be turned on its head.  Whenever I’m not centred, my children react accordingly.  They test me more, and because I’m not able to react in my usual manner, my reactions that are less than savoury.  I am usually scrambling to try and regain a sense of control.  My desperation only fuels their misbehaviour, and so a cycle is born.

I tried so hard to get my own emotions under control so that I could be the parent I wanted to be, but it just wasn’t within my power.  I couldn’t figure out why I was experiencing such a high degree of tension.  I tried all of my usual things to calm my mind and rid that that space where my ribs come together of its clench.  I couldn’t seem to let it go…I couldn’t even figure out what it was!  After speaking with others yesterday who were experiencing this same emotional ‘spinning,’ I began to contemplate the possibility that the feeling was coming from something outside of myself.

Last week was a huge build to the commercial frenzy known as Black Friday.  Here in Canada we’ve gone so far as to also have a ‘Red Thursday,’ because no one is celebrating Thanksgiving on that day.  Is it possible that the negative energy was being generated by such a strong focus on commercialism?  Black Friday indeed…

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4 comments

  1. This year was the first year I prepared all of Thanksgiving dinner, and definitely felt like I was spinning. Our solution? We just won’t be doing it next year! Thanksgiving is whatever you want it to be and does not have to be ruled by society’s view of tradition… and neither does the entire holiday season. I’ve never felt stressed around the holidays once I decided to stop buying gifts. We instead focus on the experience having a day to just be with each other. Whether we go to the movies or go to the park or just sit around and do stuff indoors, the point is celebrating each other. If it stresses us out, is it really a celebration? It’s amazing how much pressure we put on ourselves that is very preventable if we just allow ourselves to do whatever we want instead of what we think we *should* do. As I was telling another blogger the other day, my best memories of the holidays are just about being with each other… with exception of one book, I have no idea what I got for Christmas as a kid!

    Great post as always.

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    1. Thank you! I think the interesting thing for me in this situation is that I live in Canada. Thanksgiving has long past for us, so this feeling was rather strange and not at all related to celebrating holidays in our own home. I didn’t participate in the “Red Thursday/Black Friday” shopping either. My feelings could have been from any combination of things, but I just thought it was very interesting that they coincided with several other people’s similar feelings and a large consumer event. I enjoyed your reply and have similar feelings about holidays. They are completely what we make them. Each year we try to simplify a little bit more…slow small solutions!

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  2. We try to avoid stores at all costs on black Friday. We pride ourselves in being against consumerism. Last year we pulled gorse on black Friday. The two of us ‘old fogies’ in our beat up old garden clothes rooting around with a weed puller grubbing out roots. This year we were able to spend it with the kids and grand kids which I think is what it’s all about. As for Christmas gifts…the grand kids get gifts, but we are not going to be pushed into the obligatory gift giving for anyone else!!!

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