Christmas time is often viewed as a time of reflection, a time of remembrance. This could be due to families coming together that have been apart for most of the year. Or due to the timing of it all with the beginning of a new year. It is a time when emotions that have been suppressed for one reason or another, start to come out in dribbles or in some cases, like a damn that broke. How we react to those bubbling emotions, can determine how we come out the other side of the holiday season.
It took me about seven years to come out of my Christmas funk following the death of my father. I’ve never asked, but I think the same can be said for my mother and brother. Oddly enough, the turning point coincided with the birth of my first daughter, the first granddaughter and the first niece. It gave us a renewed purpose and focus for the Christmas holiday. We were distracted from the sorrow of missing a vital part of the family. But it allowed me to look past the sorrowful emotions and turn them around into joyful emotions. The feelings of missing my father turned into celebrating the traits my father passed through me and into my daughter.
The holidays change based on the events of the year. Last year, Christmas was an emotional time. It was my first Christmas as a single dad. I hid my emotions, even denied them recognition. I did my best to stay happy for the girls.
This Christmas is very different. The year has been full of positive moments. Moments like sharing my story of living with Dystonia through Patient Worthy. Showing others how I was able to turn around my diagnosis with a rare movement disorder into positive motivational tool for myself and for others that have read my story. Another moment was when I was chosen to be a part of the first ever RADrabbit running team for Rabbit Clothing. I became a marathoner back in March. And I made a decision to become a ultramarathoner this coming April during The North Face Endurance Challenge Series in Washington, D.C. They’re all positive changes and events that I have chosen to make!
So as I reflect and remember the past year with the holiday season looming just ahead. At least I’ll be looking back at the year with a smile and good view of the future. Because I’m choosing what happens next.