Day Off—Christmas Eve

Merry Christmas to those who celebrate. Work gave me off but our family is Jewish so I don’t have to cook a big feast today. Instead, I am using my time off to relax. Although I do appreciate all the Christmas lights and festivities abounding around me. Every year they are beautiful and heartwarming, as well as create a feeling of connection in the universality of the celebration—something that I appreciate this year more than ever. I hope this Christmas season is uplifting for you, albeit it is a different, more somber one.

The question that is on my mind now as I wake up this morning free from the daily grind, is: What do you do when you have a day off? In the morning, if you didn’t have to pack lunches for you/your children, and head to work/school, where would your mind draw you? What does your soul thirst for?

The answer for me is: blogging on my laptop. I’ve been in 3 jobs in the past 10 years, and in all of them, if I had a day off, it was off to my laptop to catch up on my writing! It’s a sort of retreat from the world, a time when I look back and process life; where I continue to work through difficult emotions of past or present—whatever my mind and heart conjures up!

The first 25 years or so of my life, I had a lot of experiences. Many of which may have not been remarkable, but nevertheless they stay with me till this very day. Currently, I intentionally send self-compassion to these parts of myself—whether it be the girl who felt excluded from her peers in high school, or the young woman who felt rejected by guys she liked when she was dating in her 20s. And then there are those more prominent events like losing my father suddenly when I was 21. Or the time I came home too late from a yoga training session and got mugged.

Sometimes I ruminate about how I felt during these experiences, swim around in the memories for a bit. Other times, I take a step back and do a mindfulness meditation to see how my habitual thought patterns are so deeply seeded that they continue to cause internal strife now just as they did for the past twenty years. Back then it may have been about an unrequited crush, or later, if I would ever find a husband. Now, it’s often about whether my husband will ever find a good full-time job. It’s always about finding something! Feeling a sort of emptiness—that something is missing—and then getting wrapped up in the thought that things will never get better. I’ve always had a tendency toward overthinking and negative forecasting.

My current mission is two-fold: to continue to be there for those parts of myself who have suffered throughout my life, i.e. my inner child, to tell her I understand her pain. As well as to keep strengthening my ability to step back, take a breath, and be an objective third-party observer of my mind. For by doing so, I can heal current suffering, as well as prevent, or at least lessen, future unrest.

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