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Christmas Contentment: How To Really Appreciate The Holidays

Stepford Gal! Where have you been?
I’ve had a lot of thinking to do and with the COVID related cuckoo going on right now, it’s finally starting to settle in Victoria, we have managed to have no community cases in more than a month! I’ve had plenty of mindsets and values I’ve been thinking through and evaluating. Approaches in my life I’ve shifted and the energies I am now investing.
Are you really back though?
Yes.
As in seriously?
Yep-pe-roo.

With the holiday season well and truly here, I’m sure that some of you had expected me to have a post about decorating or saving or my usual spiel about the environmental minimalism (I still feel strongly about it). However, it goes a bit deeper than that now, as all of these chaotic events have made 2020 rougher from the start and have really challenged many people. Particularly their ideas around consuming, making their money and even what they own.

What I feel hasn’t been given much thought is how much people can be happy with. During a beautiful walk with my grandfather we discussed the way society has approached making and consuming goods and he stresses the idea of a fast growing economy for a better life and happiness. I didn’t quite agree and really if we are to go down the Christian route he lives by, I think Jesus wouldn’t either. Heck, the guy wrecked the markets when he saw they were indulging in too much materialistic behaviour! He saw my point there, though he expressed the doubt that people can change.

I think that’s the thing – there needs to be a serious re-thinking of what we consider ‘success’ or ‘fulfilment’ in life. There’s way too many that have unnecessary feelings of underachievement or shame or guilt (louder for the Asians in the back!) related to underperforming in a material/financial sense. Some jobs are just seen as dirt or even worse, people feel the need to climb higher and higher. They see big-shot people like CEOs and celebrities saying anyone can do what they do, anyone can be ‘successful’, we just have to keep trying.

That idea of ‘success’ that they promote is not bad yet it really doesn’t apply to everybody, to 99.999% of the population.

This particular idea, especially when spread to places where the citizens are more desperate, like third world countries especially, is unhealthy. Not everyone can be at the top like a company 500 owner or a singer. It’s realistically impossible since all that money and fame has to be concentrated from everyone else. I understand it matters to inspire people, especially the young to do their best, but a more important message is to teach someone to think about –

-where is the line drawn for you to have what you need and a bit more to be happy?

Of course, I am well aware for some people that the drive and climbing is what they enjoy and gives them life. Awesome for them! However all too often I see more regular people (everyone else too) who has just been convinced they have to be that way or keep striving like that and if not they’re worth nothing. Not everyone wants to climb.

We can’t keep wanting more and more, higher and higher all at the same time. It will destroy our balance in life and the earth too. This Christmas, as you look back on the year, give yourself credit for doing your best, for having aspirations while also setting healthy expectations that are unique to you and your life.
Then this coming year will feel like a lighter one.

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