So, we have all survived another holiday season … gift wrap stains on our rugs, long-distance family back home, inevitably having forgotten something we have to now ship, broken china, and at least one nice ornament gone the way of the Dodo. It happens.
But we’ve got wonderful memories too, and time with loved ones worth is worth any price. Plus, we iterate and reiterate, it’s imperative to remember, every day, come what may, that we are the lucky ones. The holiday seasons of 2020 and 2021 especially, have been exceptionally difficult and many of us exercised great discipline to make them healthy in every way possible. We’ve beat many odds for another year. Even though we must remain thankful that we avoided the new plague, we are aware that the old plagues are still around including drunk drivers, the dreaded “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up,” and, of course, natural causes. So, here we are, blessed, and we go forward.
Accompanied by a wonderful new year, many of us take stock: what we’ve accomplished; what we’ve completely missed; and what we’ve missed but can still accomplish anyway. We make promises too, most are to ourselves, and that’s a good thing regardless of whether we can or can’t keep them, don’t keep them or don’t even plan to keep them. Promises are dreams and hopes we hold dear, so they’re always allowed, whether they’re reality based, actively pursued, or feathers on a breeze. Who cares? We all deserve to be wistful. It truly is the magic in each of us that makes life tolerable and keeps us hopeful.
Sometimes, when a new year arrives and we feel what we left behind isn’t what we planned, we abandon the optimism required to renew those unfulfilled pursuits. Sometimes, we just can’t get past the residual disappointment, but the new calendar offers both new and continued opportunity. No time is a good time to cave in, and wishful optimism is better than living without dreams.
Today, feeling flustered, I decided to try to invigorate my belief in my new year by tackling a tough task: the dreaded Holiday Returns. Returns have a short shelf life so, under that time-pressure, nothing will make us feel more powerful than successfully running that gauntlet.
If we had a long list or if we do multiple small gifts there are, inevitably, returns. Even when working from detailed wish lists and in cooperation with other involved Santas, even the most careful shoppers among us get stuck sending things back. It’s that January thing; a fait accompli.