I have three beautiful sisters, all younger than me. The youngest happens to be one of the best stained glass painters in the U.S. This, and she also dresses fabulously, mostly from thrift and vintage shops. I recently had the joy of traveling with her (and my mom) to Barcelona and throughout Italy. In that experience, I was challenged to the point of learning some wonderful lessons. The one coming to mind today is from something my sister said, "Every day is an event!" She said this when we were talking about how often she changes clothes in any given day and how impressed I was and am that I too am now unafraid of dressing as fabulously (or outrageously) or plainly as I like, depending all on just one thing: me.
So, "the Holidays" are upon us, and for some, they do infact feel heaped upon our shoulders. Whether memories of past traumas -- or present stressors or emotions or trauma, "The Holidays" can be very challenging. But I think of my own trauma around this time (today is a very important anniversary of a sad sad day that changed everything for my little family) and realize, really, it's like any other day. The fact of "The Holidays," really only changes things if I put different expectations on these days than any other -- other people's expectations, cultural, societal, extended family expectations, Halmark, Irving Berlin's expectations... If I find the quiet place in me that deals with anniversaries of traumas and events all throughout the year (as anyone who's loved one ended their life does), I see that this time, this day is indeed an event equal to them all.
It takes the swollenness out of "The Holidays," for me to think about it this way. Today I just walk through it as I do every day. And if it feels right to put on a snappy outfit and shock our small community, I might do that. Or I may just want to spend the day wrapped in the snuggly coat Mike bought me on our last hiking trip to Central Oregon. Losing him and our life as it was, continues to feel heavy every day, "The Holidays" or not. Everyday is an Event. But I do have a choice about how I will dress myself for the occasion. Metaphorically as well as literally. Just like every other day.