Christmas. A time to be happy and jolly, they say.
So why do I see so many stressed and depressed people in my surgery this time of year?
There are lots of reasons.
The long nights and short days make some people gloomy. The SAD is a good abbreviation for the Seasonal Affective Disorder.
We meet our families. That might be nice or not. Not all of us love our parents, siblings, in-laws. It is lovely if we do. But if we don’t love or even like them, being together for Christmas can be tough.
Add the shopping, money worries, crowds, bad traffic and all those coughs and colds and it makes a lot of people have a secret wish to fall asleep and wake up in March.
I used to be like that. My American partner used to call it “your Christmas funk”.
I felt I was not prepared well enough and did not buy enough food or presents. I always invited too many people so that the Christmas week meant me spending hours cooking complicated dishes and entertaining. The fact that it always went well, we had too much food and everybody was happy with their presents did not make me stop fretting again the year after.
This year, it is different.
I decided to relax and not aim to be perfect. I am less well prepared than any of the previous years, but so what? The shops are open almost every day. We have enough food, and if we won’t, we can go out. My children are adults, and don’t expect lots of surprises. In fact, they seem to enjoy the new, relaxed, slightly lazy Lucie.
“You seem happy this Christmas, mum. “ One of them said. “Yes, I am. Life is good. I can see better after my eye operation, I have wonderful adult children, I am in love, have many friends and my life is fun.” I replied. I did not say “And I have a very interesting sex life.” I don’t tell my children everything, and I do not expect them to tell me everything either. We are adults, and allowed to have secrets.
Of course, readers of my book, “Woman with (no) Strings Attached” know about my sex life…and about lots of other things.
So Christmas 2014, my house is not completely tidy, my presents slightly limited, my food plan not perfect, but I have a happy smile and I am in a good mood.
I think that is most likely the best present my loved ones can get from me this year.
Merry Christmas! May you be happy, too!