As exciting as the Christmas season is for the majority, for many, it’s a time of sorrow, loneliness, financial stress, depression and sadness for a variety of understandable reasons. Who on this planet, hasn’t experienced any of these things at one time or another? Unfortunately, it’s part of life and living in the real world.
Sometimes one goes through these things enough times that one can start recognizing the signs. I was in that place this past week and just realized it Christmas Eve morning. My personal circumstances aren’t important. Trust me when I say that I understand. Trust me when I say that there is something that will help tremendously, and that is finding something positive to do for SOMEONE ELSE. The magical thing about doing something for someone else is that it not only puts a smile on the face of the other person, but by the very act of doing so, it gives you a feeling of accomplishment, of doing a good deed, of making a difference in some small way, a feeling of self worth, and a kazillion other good things.
An ‘Un-Pity Party Project’ is an attitude coupled with an action. Go ahead and grumble, cry or wallow for a bit first. Only after you’ve got the bad crap out of the way will you have room in your head for the good stuff. Forget about how much money you don’t have for a moment. Forget about what you don’t know how to do for a moment. Put a large piece of that tiger-print duck tape over the mouths of all the committee members sitting on your shoulder right now telling you all the things you can’t do. Take the rest of the roll of duct tape and wrap it around all the committee members and stuff them in the closet for the time being. Have a little faith in the power and strength of duct tape if noting else right now.
Take outa sheet of paper and a pen. No, not your laptop. You might need to tape this list to your fridge as a reminder of where you are at this very moment. At the top of the page, write: ‘My Un-Pity Party Project’. Think about the things that upset you about the world we live in or your own neighborhood or family. Maybe it will be injustices done to others, maybe it will be things associated with diseases or handicaps. There are tons of things going on in the world today that are upsetting and there are people all around us that are going through hard times. Pick a topic, a group or even an individual that is close to your own heart that you want to do something positive for.
Once you have your specific topic, group or individual you want to focus on, then its time to start making a list of things you are capable of doing. Making a difference doesn’t always take money, you know. If your focus is an individual, take a walk through your own home. Who doesn’t have a drawer full of clothes they don’t wear, a closet full of stuff they have no room for, or basement full of stuff they don’t use?
Toys or books could be donated to doctor’s offices, clothes and/or furniture could be donated to your nearest shelter, and the list goes on and on. Find something to give to someone else, whether it’s just one thing or a box full. Don’t talk yourself out of doing this because you don’t know whether they will like it or use it. And for God’s sake, don’t even think about how much you originally paid for it because that’s usually why we have so much stuff!
Write a brief note to include with the item or box. You can remain anonymous if you want to, but personally I would rather know who was thinking of me. Its a great way to start a new friendship if you want to.
Put this item or box in your car right immediately and grab your keys. Drop it on the front porch of the intended party and leave. Now was that really so hard? Okay, so it took a box and a little gas in your car to pull it off. Small price to pay for getting rid of something you don’t even want or use and putting a smile on someone’s face in the process. Doesn’t it feel good that you actually DID something positive today?
Go back to your list on the fridge anytime you can or need to. Pick another topic or person and repeat the process. Pay forward for a change instead of backward (after someone has done something nice for you). You might be surprised to see how little time you have available to attend that old pity party, when you keep yourself busy focusing on someone else!