The holiday season is a constant reminder of collisions between the past and the future. For some of us, Christmas is a reminder of childhood, a wonder to be shared with our families and children. It is a tradition that we pass on to the next generation. A moment in time creating occasions for the generations to meet.
Getting there often happens within a whirlwind of things we do. It ends up being a stressful period. Hurrying up to get everything done disconnects us from the events themselves. It becomes increasingly difficult to remain aware of ourselves and our options to deal with the holiday season, to find our own rhythm.
Using speed to get everything done is based on the idea of having to perform, to create the best event, the most memorable occasion. It leads to an ever-growing amount of “getting everything done”. It’s similar to project management that dreams big, achieves a lot and remains frustrated by the many things that had to be let go to finish on time. Satisfaction comes from the one moment all the planning concentrated on. It is being measured by the smiles and acknowledgments received at that moment. The exhaustion that comes with it, is based on the speed and anxiety of being able to succeed, to worry about the unfinished.
Choosing the option to avoid engaging in the holiday season is probably just as stressful. Deciding to do behave differently than our culture describes Christmas, is a way to step out of society. Wishes for a happy holiday season become the constant reminder of being in an outsider position. Even more so in a digital world in which one click can reach people all across the globe.
This one click also connects us with many more traditions than the ones we have grown up with. We find ourselves in front of a vast number of new opportunities. The more doors open up for us the more we have to find out through how many doors we can walk. Or how many of these fantastic opportunities are for us.
As the future comes closer we can see how developing our ability to choose and to know what we choose has become our most important option.
Appreciation of what is available to us at the moment isn’t the opposite of performance. It is our opportunity to benefit from our performance and to constitute it.
Appreciation is based on our awareness of the choices we made and the acceptance of these choices. It allows us to see what we have done. It is a starting block for our next move, one that shows us how much has been already reached and what can still be done.
Appreciation teaches us to see. It allows noticing that we exist in a space full of beauty if we allow it.