Family Personal

Talking Back to that Little Voice During The Holidays

I’ve blogged about it before: anger is a secondary emotion. It comes after a vulnerable emotion like being tired, hurt, disappointed, or lonely. It’s a defense mechanism. And with this sequence of pain comes anger, then “the voice;” that internal negative repertoire in your head. For lack of a better description, I call this nagging voice “devils speak” because, if repeated over and over in your head, it will map a really nasty little neuron pattern in your brain. And if that ain’t some devil ****, I don’t know what is.

I’ve thought of giving this devil-persona a name -like “Bob”- so talking to it would feel more comfortable. I mean, if it’s going to have a conversation with me, I might as well have one back. I’d say things, like, “Bob, go away. I know you’re not real.” Or call him out, and say, “Bob, I know you don’t speak the truth. Stop lying to me.” Or, “Bob, I’m not listening…”

Christmas Time is Busy Time

This Christmas was action packed. For the second year, we did a progressive Christmas, starting at my daughter’s home for coffee, moving to my place for brunch, then ending at the in-laws for dessert. It was lovely, long and laborious. That same night, I enlisted my sons to help their dad construct our new king-size bed from IKEA. If you have ever put together IKEA furniture, you know what a labor-intense job it is. There were no less than 75 steps! Oddest part, there’s not one word of instructions; pictures only, which elevated my dyslexic son to the level of master builder. The four-hour IKEA assembly put Bad News Bob in ALL our ears.

The next night, with Bob at bay, we hosted our annual Boxing Day party. This was our 12th year! Unlike some years in the past, the weather was perfect. The party flowed inside and out of the house in one big circle. Guests went from grazing at the dining table to visiting on the front porch, then standing under Ms. Elm before finding themselves staring into the fire pit in the backyard; eventually starting the circle all over again with a visit to the inside watering hole.

By 8:30 that night, the alumni guests, who know the customary, evening routine, were getting restless for the annual 12 Days of Christmas group singalong. Cousin Charlie Askew, American Idol finalist, sat down to the piano to prime the party. Song books were handed out by the young’ns, and as we gathered around, son Gray divided us into 12 groups to represent each of the 12 days singing parts. It reminded me a little of church camp, only with adults holding adult beverages.

In a kind of organized chaos, the whole party came together to lift our voices and laugh. In unison, we chased away Bob’s devil speak and celebrated a great holiday season with the birth of a new year with it’s potential on the horizon.