What's on my mind, Marty, is handling stress from the holidays. I'd love to find a place of peace and joy in a world that's pretty harsh.Okay, Doug, here are my thoughts.
It seems you're asking about two separate things: how to handle holiday stress and how to deal with a harsh world. I'll try to address both:
Dealing with holiday stress
We'll feel stressed or sad if the upcoming holiday season is unlikely to live up to the stereotype, for example, a party with the happy extended family laughing and bonding. Here are four ways to address the situation:
- Create Christmas: Gather hand-picked relatives and friends or make new ones by taking out a Craiglist platonic ad or even people you like at work, in an avocation, or even at a bar. Invite them to a Christmas party at your place, the community room at your apartment complex, wherever. Invite a lost soul to spend New Year's Eve with you.
- Volunteer your butt off. A great way to deflect feeling sorry for yourself is to turn your attention to helping others.
- Forget the norm and enjoy the holidays in solitude. Music, TV, your favorite foods, a glass of wine, contemplation or writing, can make a Christmas that's more rewarding and less stressful than what many people experience.
- Resolve to make more friends or build family relations so next year's holidays will be better.
The harsh world
True, the world seems to be getting harsher. People don't keep their promises. They don't return phone calls. Job applicants often don't even get the dignity of a rejection letter-- they must wait indefinitely hoping, in vain. Even family members may screw each other, especially for money. As my father said, "Respect but suspect."
But there are many good people plus many more who are good when treated well. Easier said than done but I believe it's worth working hard to be a good person. Also, maximize the amount of time you spend with good people and minimize time with lesser lights. Do those things and your stress will likely diminish and somehow the world won't seem so harsh.
I hope that helps, Doug.