Archive for the ‘Essay’ Category

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Winter Mood

February 4, 2008

It occurs to me that I lose touch with my Soul when I am away from it to long. This statement may sound obvious but the recent holidays and guests, however enjoyable, are far from routine. I am a creature of habit. I have working tolerances to my daily grind. When I exceed my specifications for a long duration problems arise. Namely, I become sullen and withdrawn. The so called Winter Mood. The time when I seem numbed from the loss of connectedness.

There are other times during the year when this malady can strike. Its onset requires a substantial diversion of focus from myself or inner peace (IP in Lady Sorrow terms). To hold the bond with my soul I must maintain a constant level of attentiveness towards it. Seemingly any lasting event can trigger the Mood. Though other than family vacation nothing seems to last long during Spring, Summer, and Fall. However, mid-November through mid-January are fraught with distraction. We all know what they are so I will not list them. Hence I suffer from a weakness of presence during this period.

Yet I know those who flourish in the season, reveling in the many chores. I notice that they act through a rehearsed plan from year to year. Apparently due to something called Tradition. They have slowly worked throughout the year towards these series of events. They then pique in the accomplishment of the multitude of labors. Labors that exceed the proportional load limit of stress during the time frame. Yet they truly feel gloom when it is all over and they must return to normal daily activities. Until next year of course.

Allow me to mention that I have celebrated this holiday period in a different fashion every year since the mid-eighties. I am unaccustomed to anything resembling tradition in dealing with the change of pace. Might I suffer from the disruption of Habit? Habit and tradition are different to me. The order that we dress ourselves each day may be considered habit. While eating Christmas dinner at two in the afternoon is more like a tradition. Many habits fall to the needs of the holiday season. Yet, as mentioned, since I’m without tradition I have only habit around which my day may be ordered. Can I then say that my gloom must come not from a departure OF tradition, as with those who plan for it, but a departure FROM tradition, as with someone who lives by habit.

What is it about tradition that helps us past the angst? I believe one facet of tradition is a possible mechanism for allowing us to behave outside of the norm. Tradition is a cultural positive and an accepted social pattern. Yet traditional activities are almost exclusively outside of normal daily behavior. Evident by a house normally occupied by two senior adults becoming billeted by the latter plus all their adult children, their children, the new baby, and 5 dogs; for two weeks. Where every transgression of protocol is dismissed as “hey it’s Christmas, we only do this once a year”. When under the umbrella of tradition are we not appeased by the alien actions & avalanching stress loads? Are we not permitted to call the unique, normal? Yes we are.

All of this begs the question. Can we assuage stress by planning chaos and making it traditional? This can, of course, lead one into the pitfall of expectations. The other landmine of the season. Yet if I spent the next eleven months planning for the holidays would I not centralize around prime activities. Though they would be odd for any other time of the year they could be a catalyst for focusing energy. The kind of energy that makes people smile instead of grit their teeth. If this is true then I should plan on starting a new tradition in the Polar house. Next year I myself will cut the Roast Beast; while wearing my Santa suit singing Deck the Halls and standing on my head. Did you catch that transition? I’m now anxious for next season to come. I had better start practicing.

I am sorry for making you read all of that just to hear me say, “Man is it hectic around the holidays”. The real reason for these statements is that this year my winter mood was dismissed after only a brief visit. Due mostly to the fact that I realized that my despair was caused by the acute absence of self. After that I had only to invite the awareness of my soul back into my house. Then “BAM” I was where I was before it had all started. I needed to understand my reaction to distraction on scales larger than daily habits allotted for. Once I did I was able to adjust for it.

Of course it will happen again next year if no changes are made. For how can I fully steel myself against these Yule usurpations of being? Considering the above I move towards a traditional remedy. Tradition. I will not create static plans but broad objectives instead. The Santa suit is a winner plus several more simple ones should do. These will not make the problems go away. If I can, however, perceive them as mere stepping stones towards my goals then I hope they will pass easily. Therefore allowing me a Silent Night.