Right about now your social media and Christmas letters are filled with friends and family enjoying mulled wine and egg nog around log fires or relaxing on the beach with a beer. It’s all about the festive season, hanukkah, holidays and family time.
As you enter the second half of December’s social media, I have a task for you.
YOU’RE NOT GOING TO LIKE ME I suspect.
“Hey Ho” I say, without trying to sound like Santa.
- Place your hand on your heart
- Be completely honest and truthful with yourself
- Answer the following question
- When you see your friend’s/family’s holidays activities on social media, are you genuinely pleased that they are enjoying themselves or are you jealous?
I’m the first to admit that I get jealous. Not always, but it’s there.
I even hear the words, ‘Why am I not doing that?’.
In seeing family doing something exciting whilst I’m at my desk or seeing a friend enjoying sun, as my windows rattle violently with the wind and rain, my mind wanders to imagine what else I could be doing.
I feel kind of vulnerable admitting this, as though it’s some sort of failure, but I often want to be somewhere I am not. I crave external stimulation and excitement. I want to be on the go, travelling and I thrive when I am.
BUT, over the years I’ve also learnt 3 Valuable Lessons.
LESSON 1: People don’t post the hard truths of their lives.
We project our ‘best lives’ – a manufactured identity. We post the activities and experiences that leave us in a positive light. Unless we want sympathy, we don’t post about our financial woes, fighting with your partner about their parenting or your worries about whether you and your kids can cope emotionally with the next 2 years of your partner’s global job.
We know that much of social media is a modified truth. The activities being posted are real, but they are the skimmed down, cut and paste version of life. It’s sometimes helpful to remind ourselves to see them for what they are.
This is my reality. I POST ABOUT THIS
We live by the sea and it’s wonderful…
This is my reality today. I DON’T POST ABOUT THIS
* Walking home in the rain after I put the car in for a service
* Cold, windy and wet
* Worrying about a work deadline
* Tired and wanting to stop work for Christmas
* Missing hot weather Christmases from my childhood.
LESSON 2: Having a great holiday doesn’t exclude people from having had a sh*t year.
You might want the wonderful holiday your friend is enjoying and posting about, but do you also want the difficult year he’s endured?
When you don’t see someone’s day to day struggle, it’s easy to not appreciate their reality – and the very real need for a much-earned holiday. We don’t see the struggle so it hasn’t happened. We don’t see the hard work that goes into a tough year. We don’t see the tears, the anxiety, the frustrations. We see the celebratory times posted online and it’s easy to slip into jealously and wishing we were there too.
See your many blessings.
Cherish that your friend is getting the break he deserves.
LESSON 3: The grass is not always greener
I love the expression, ‘the grass is always greener on the other side’. In thinking there’s something better than our current situation, this attitude could be mistaken as being a good motivator to improve one’s life.
BUT, it can sit within a context of comparing one’s life to another’s, wanting more without being grateful for what is, and forgetting that wherever you go, you take yourself with you.
It’s a disruptive state of mind.
It leads to regrets.
So, next time you feel yourself wanting to chase something greener, consider two of the key things that matter to us most, here at Drawn to a Story:
You are who you are and your sense of belonging begins within.
I like to think that you’ve had a jolly good apprenticeship at being you (whatever your age).
Now is the time water the grass and become the ‘best you’.
I know that you know everything I’ve already said, but I also know that when I’m tired at the end of the year, I’m not at my best.
I’m guessing that you might not be too.
* There’ll be those of you who have not bought a single Christmas present yet. (No judgements here, that’s usually me!)
* Some of you are having everyone over for Christmas Day and you’re in a mild panic.
* And if you’re like me, I know some of you will be looking out the window at the cold weather and missing your hot ‘home’ country.
So, whatever your circumstance, remember…..
Every flier who ventures across oceans to distant lands is a potential explorer; in his or her breast burns the same fire that urged adventurers of old to set forth in their sailing ships to foreign lands
AND SO FOR DECEMEBER 2019
I CHALLENGE YOU:
- Use that ADVENTURER ENERGY
- BATTLE WITH the beast of the turkey in your oven
- BE EXCITED by your friends’ festive adventures
- PLAN YOUR own adventure SOON!