Thursday, December 26, 2013

Merry Chris----I Missed It...

Before I knew it, Christmas was over.

I usually spend at least four solid weeks celebrating Christmas by blasting Michael Buble, watching all the GOOD Christmas movies, and making gingerbread houses and paper snowflakes. But something was just off this year. I don't know exactly what it was. Part of it was technical, sure. Thanksgiving fell a week later this year, leaving me with less time to get into the holiday mood, and I started working the day after I flew back home with only one day off to shop for presents before Christmas and absolutely no time to spend with friends or family.

But I think the real reason my favorite season came and went without me noticing was that I neglected to seize the day. Since coming back from my semester studying in Seoul, South Korea, I have felt a bit of reverse culture shock. Nothing is new. Nothing is exciting. I fell back into a routine that I never really enjoyed but felt I had no choice but to follow.

My mistake is in my procrastination. It's not just the homework and studying that I seem to put off until the last moment, it is the merry-making and adventure-seeking that I put off, too. Because if I am busy right now, today, this week, this semester, I use it as an excuse to put everything but the task at hand on the back burner. It's finals week? Then I have to deactivate Facebook and ignore my boyfriend until I can get through my exams. I have to work eight days straight this holiday season without a single day off to go Christmas shopping? Then I must sleep in as late as possible and refuse to make coffee dates with my friends who I haven't seen in four months.

It's not rational, to put my focus entirely on the thing that is stressing me out and to ignore any potential distractions, even if they are good distractions.

Good distractions.

It's a concept that I tend to refuse exists. But this holiday season, I have really realized how important it is to have good distractions, whether it be spending quality time talking to your family, strengthening your friendships, or decorating your entire house with tinsel and lighting a Christmas scented candle at midnight after a nine hour shift. It takes extra energy, energy you might think you don't have, to engage in things that make you happy. But happiness doesn't come to the lazy. You have to work at happiness. You have to make time for happiness. But the good news is, working at happiness doesn't really feel like work in the end. It just feels good.

I hope you all had a Merry Christmas and wonderful holiday season.

-A

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