Sunday, 1 January 2017

"It’s the Most Wonderful Depressing Time of the Year..."

As 2016 officially comes to a close, it has left many people reflecting on what seems to have been a turbulent year for most.

Images credit: milivanily
Special occasions, although usually a cause to celebrate, are generally a super depressing time for people. In addition to birthdays, Valentine’s Day etc. where there are all these expectations to celebrate in style, this festive time of year can also put pressure on people to mark the occasion somehow, therefore magnifying feelings of loneliness if people have no party invites.

Even those spending the holidays with their families find that this too comes with its own stresses: the expense of buying presents and the pressures of hosting a family get together, made all the more difficult if there are tense relations between relatives.

Luckily, I come from a culture that doesn’t really celebrate Christmas, so it’s one less thing to stress about. However, my mother had a stint in hospital from Christmas Eve onwards, so I too ended up having to spend time with family members who I’d really rather avoid. I then had to deal with various household mishaps, not to mention a bunch of health-related errands and appointments I had to tend to.

With all these stressful incidents, it wasn’t exactly the relaxing break I was hoping for.

As such, I haven’t been in the best mood this holiday, instead finding everyone and everything annoying. Any spare time I’ve managed to salvage, I’ve spent retreating to my room until this bad mood passes.

So, despite the slight pressure to celebrate the New Year, I would happily have spent it at home doing nothing, on my own. Especially now that I think I’ve outgrown that FOMO-feeling, probably since my experience last NYE when our party plans got cancelled. I ended up staying in with some greasy Chinese food (very Miranda, Sex and The City-style), and it turned out to be the best NYE I’ve had in years. I quite enjoyed the peace and quiet.

However, others may not share that sentiment. Especially if they have a history of trying to make plans with people who have ended up cancelling at the last minute. Nothing kills your mood to celebrate faster than unreliable people.

Despite my eventful week-off having also left me feeling unsociable, my friends had other ideas than to let me spend the night sulking in my room. So begrudgingly, I did actually do something for New Year’s Eve…and of course, I ended up having a great time 😃.

What with it being a more relaxed, civilised affair, it was nice to be around good people with good conversation. I honestly don’t know why these guys put up with my moods ("You're not that bad!" my amused friend reassured me). I did try to bow out of the soiree, but they seemed genuinely bummed that I wouldn’t be able to make it.

If you find people who, despite your flaws, STILL enjoy and appreciate your company, who lend an ear, can even understand where you’re coming from and don’t judge you…then take a second to appreciate them.

Image credit: SchilderSchool
Sometimes it's nice to just be alone, but if you do have people in your life whose company you can tolerate then definitely call them up to celebrate festive occasions, even if it’s just for a quiet drink or meal. Accept the invitation if they’ve been gracious enough to organise something. If you don’t have people to hang out with, then make that your goal for next year. Trust me, if I can make new friends, anyone can.

It might take some effort, but it’s totally worth it. Good friends keep you sane, especially if you come from a broken home or don’t have the best relationship with your family. Even apparently "happy families" have their issues, and the festive season has a way of bringing these to the forefront.

It’s good to try and end the year on a positive note. If your year has been anything like mine, you should celebrate having made it, despite life’s ups-and-downs. Especially in the midst of troubled economic and political times.

There’s nothing like a fresh start to get your life back on track.

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