PERSPECTIVE for Christmas and the New Year

Benjamin Haas |

It’s Christmas! It’s almost the New Year! Excitement is building in our house and I hope the same for you and your loved ones, with whatever you choose to celebrate and however you are able to celebrate.

Fresh off a wonderful chat with Katie McKenna, Thrivos Consulting, (please check out the podcast this week) I’m focused on “perspective” right now. To me, perspective is all about trying to see the good through the bad, training our mind to be optimistic, or better understand different ways of looking at things. Gaining a new perspective and putting certain challenges and disappointments in perspective helped me through a heavy year but also rejuvenates me for 2021. Isn’t the New Year the perfect example of changing perspective? Will 12/31/2020 feel vastly different than 1/2/2021? Probably not. But, it’s an opportunity to change how we think, to flip a switch, and recognize that symbolically, 2021 is a new chapter in our lives.

So on the final days leading up to 2020, here’s some perspective I’ve been working on and want to share:

  • We’ve been stuck in quarantine since March of 2020. We are 9-months through this unfortunate time in our lives. How many months before our loved ones and those most vulnerable are vaccinated? Surely not another 9 months! That’s the important perspective to have. We are close. There is light at the end of this long dark tunnel.
  • Speaking of light, the official beginning of winter means that every day we get an extra two minutes of daylight. That doesn’t seem like much at all. We will hardly notice that. But that’s an extra hour we gain over the next 30 days. And that’s meaningful! The important perspective here is the symbolism of light, pushing out the darkness. And how little wins stack up and before you know it, noticeable change has occurred.
  • Being told we can’t/shouldn’t do certain things (saying “no” to something) creates space to say “yes” to something else. What can we say “yes” to that fills the void of being told “no, you can’t gather”? I’m trying to keep this one in perspective, myself. I miss hugs. I miss visits. But Zoom interactions are better than zero interactions. Christmas cards and phone calls still mean something to us and others. As someone I cherish but haven’t seen in over a year said to me said last week, “everything is special this year.” What awesome perspective for her to have!
  • Desiree helps the Optimist Club run a program called, “Christmas for Those in Need” where students in the 3 surrounding school districts that are known to be a part of financially challenged homes are given a little surprise. She shopped for 107 children this year whose holiday might be a little brighter because of the Club’s and her generosity. It may only be an small gift or two, but to them, it may change their whole Christmas. That’s important perspective for us to have.

And on that final note, I’ll share that I try to teach my kids many life lessons. Yet, sometimes, they are better teachers than I am. I can be disappointed, stressed, or worried about how the holidays will go. But they are just, excited! They teach me to just breathe and appreciate the spirit of the season. If there is a simple wish I have for all of you reading this, I wish for you to see Christmas through the eyes of a child. If you can have that perspective, it will be impossible for you NOT to be full of excitement, hope and joy this week. And hopefully that carries into 2021!

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