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From Crappy Holidays to Happy Holidays

Thursday, December 26, 2019
Written by:
Christy Johnson, Ph.D.
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Video Transcript:

Hello everyone, Christy Johnson here. This video is about going from crappy holidays to happy holidays, or at least happier holidays. This is part of my holiday history. So my husband and I met when we were in our thirties and up to that point we'd always spent the holidays with our respective parents. So I had what I thought was a genius idea that we could continue that tradition by spending time both places, which totally would make sense if they were anywhere in proximity, but they were not. My parents were in Indiana, which is in the middle of the United States and his parents lived in New Jersey, which is all the way on the east coast of the United States.

So we would go visit my parents before Christmas. Christmas morning, like 4:00 o'clock in the morning, we'd be getting out of bed, getting ready to go. My father would drive me, drive us, the hour to the Indianapolis airport, which at that point would wait for our plane where we typically flew to Cleveland, Ohio, had a layover in Cleveland, and then had a connecting flight to Newark, New Jersey, at which point Rick's parents would come, Rick's father would come, and pick us up. When we were leaving Indiana, my parents would be like "Leaving so soon?" and we'd get to New Jersey and they were all like, "Oh, what took you so long? Where've you been?"

Where have we been? We've been in cars. We've been in airports. We've been on airplanes spending the entire day traveling and it did not feel much like a holiday.

So what did we learn? Eventually we learned this isn't working. We're not happy. They're not even happy. Why are we doing this? This is just crappy. So we learn to tune in, "What makes us feel happier?"

Anyway, that's just a little story from my world. I do wish you happy and harmonious holidays this year and always and I look forward to seeing you in the next video.

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As I reflect on my attempt to please everyone and thus pleasing no one, including my husband and me, I feel for my younger self who naively believed she could be more than one place at a time. Now I know the more painful split involved separating from my authentic self, not even knowing what I wanted because I hadn't yet learned to listen to my feelings or tune into my preferences. May we all continue to listen to what does and doesn't resonate for us, releasing "shoulds" and obligations that no longer align to who we are.

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