Holidays and birthdays are meant to be wonderful times filled with family, love and laughter. They are the days that many look forward to with great anticipation. As much as I wish I was one of those people, I’m not. For years I have been trying to figure out why this is.
On the days leading up to a holiday or birthday, I spend my time convincing myself that the day will be wonderful. I make up in my mind that I am going to wake up excited and happy, ready to spend a fun-filled time with my family; ready to make their day great.
Then, the day arrives and I immediately wake up in a bad mood. It’s not that I don’t like holidays. I do. I want so badly for the day to be a good day. But, deep in my mind I believe that it won’t be. That belief has resonated in my mind for as far back as I can remember.
Although I know this to be an issue, nothing I do seems to help it. No matter how much I work to change my mood, the holidays usually end in disagreements and at least one person going to bed upset. Yes. That’s me, the holiday wrecker. Maybe I’m a bit too critical of myself, but that’s what I feel like. It’s frustrating and I’ve always despised myself for it.
Yesterday morning was the same. Upon waking, I was instantly angry. No one was awake except me, and nothing had prompted my bad mood. It was just me doing it to myself. So, I grabbed my coffee and began assessing myself. Why was I angry?
I thought back to a conversation my Mom and I had earlier in the year, regarding this very topic. I had mentioned to her how miserable holidays and birthdays become with me around, and that I can’t seem to shake it. She told me of some past incidences that may be the cause.
I don’t recall everything she said, but the gist of it was that my first step-father used to make our birthdays and holidays dreadful. With his heavy drinking and arguments with my mother, those special days were stripped from us. Regardless of how well the day began, he always managed to ruin it by the end. For eight years of my life, that is what holidays consisted of; a great start that led to a terrible end.
Having learned that, perhaps the reason that I believe that those days will be miserable, is because they always were during my childhood. Someone always ruined them for us. So, naturally that’s what I expect to happen now. I never remembered the holidays or birthdays with my step-father and maybe that’s why. Perhaps I blocked them out. However, knowing this, it makes complete sense as to why I place doom upon every holiday or birthday before they even arrive.
So, as I sat there yesterday thinking back on that conversation with my mother, I finally had a reason for my bad mood. Having that reason made it possible for me to overcome it. I could almost feel my overheated blood cooling down, as my anger turned to happiness. At that point, I knew that it was going to be a good day, and it was.
That’s a huge victory in my book! On this Thanksgiving, I am so thankful to my Mom for explaining to me where this problem originated, so that I could finally move on from it. It was finally a ‘Happy’ Thanksgiving and I plan to have a ‘Merry’ Christmas.
How was your Thanksgiving?