It’s Thanksgiving Day. Whether you’re having a big meal with family, hanging out with friends, spending a quiet day by yourself, or helping those less fortunate than you, Thanksgiving Day is the official start of the holiday season. For some the holidays are a time of great anticipation and joy. Others wish they could just pull the covers over their heads and wake up January first. Still others, become despondent. Suicides are the highest this time of year.
What I learned a long time ago, when I truly did have a life-threatening illness, is that we are hard wired to survive. We may say “I could just die!” from time to time, but that’s not what we really mean. My father, Dr. Norman S. Blackman, was a respected physician who once told me that in the cases of suicides, in the moment they try to die people really do mean they want to die, but in the next seconds most of them really want to take that decision back. No matter how bleak things look, how hopeless and how painful, in the end, if you have a functioning brain, you can figure things out, as long as you live another day.
I won’t lie. This hasn’t been the best year ever for me. From a broken right hand, to a contractor who dragged her feet for months, leaving every aspect of my life in total disarray (and it still sort of is), to Hurricane Sandy (tropical storm, if you wish to call it that). But so many people have suffered far worse than I. This season, I’m focusing on is the positive. The holidays seem like they last forever, but each special day is just 24 hours, and then it’s over.
As people across the nation give thanks, I do, too. I am grateful for the chance to move forward, to figure things out, and to make life easier and more satisfying as the months roll by. I am also really grateful for you, my loyal readers, to my wonderful husband, and fantastic friends, and two great cats. They are the things that really matter to me. When you lose your possessions, it is just “stuff.” When you lose the people you love, that’s irreplaceable loss.
For most of the rest of 2012 The Advice Sisters will be focusing on the holidays. But in early 2013 we’re going to offer you lots of inspiration, information, and motivation for a new year, and a new outlook. Meanwhile, we all have to get through the holidays.
What are you grateful for? How will you be spending the holidays. I hope that if you’re feeling sad or blue (or even if you’re not), it might help to read this Advice Sisters Classic article: Top Tips to Handle a Holiday, Solo or Not . I post this once a year. Let it inspire you!
Alison Blackman Dunham