It’s the holiday season. At our house, that means Christmas and New Year celebrations. For some of my readers, it means Hannukkah or Kwanza.
The holidays will be different because I’m still recovering from hip surgery. Sadly, decorating Christmas cookies with grandchildren won’t happen this year. Definitely, there won’t be dancing! I will focus on careful eating because vigorous exercise isn’t possible — yet. I don’t want snug waistbands and diets as a welcome to 2023!
I plan to sit around and recover during these last days of December. I’ll think about the many challenges of the year, and consider intentions for the coming months. Now that the World Cup is over I’m going to watch corny Christmas movies and listen to holiday music.
‘Chilling’ and Thinking
Chilling is a slang term for relaxing and taking it easy. Slowing down and winding down at the end of the year can involve taking an inventory of recent events to make peace with how life has unfolded.
Thinking about nothing and everything at the same time is a form of chilling. Sometimes quiet music brings a pleasant form of chilling. There is no agenda and there are no time constraints.
Staying cozy and warm while chilling means wearing sheepskin-lined mocassins or warm wool reading socks. Because I’m sitting around during recovery, my feet need to be snug. I also wear wool sweaters because they keep my upper body warm.
Chilling also involves dozing and napping. Animals hibernate to conserve energy. Although humans don’t hibernate, it’s a natural inclination to seek warmth once winter comes. Perhaps that’s why snuggling under a warm afghan for a short nap is a logical next step.
Corny Christmas Movies
Christmas-themed movies abound on television and on streaming services. They offer a seasonal escape from real-world concerns.
The storylines of Christmas movies are familiar and predictable with themes of family, small towns, and romance. Every movie is filmed in a beautiful natural setting. Characters perform on sets with decor that none of us can achieve in our own homes. Wardrobe choices always include colourful scarves, winter hats and boots. Christmas trees are perfectly shaped and glitter with lights and decorations. Snow always falls somewhere during the movie.
Curling up on the couch with a bowl of popcorn while watching a movie is an easy activity for chilling at home. To my surprise, my husband enjoys watching these corny movies with me. We laugh together at the familiar storylines and predictable endings! Sometimes the movies evoke familiar memories such as travelling to see distant family members just to spend Christmas with them. Because these movies evoke positive emotions of hope, joy, love, and gratitude, it’s hard not to feel good.
Reviewing the challenges of the past months helps me to set intentions for the coming year. Sometimes I choose a ‘word of the year’ (WOTY) or a short mantra to guide intentions in the coming months.
I like to use the last week or two of the year to review what has gone well and what I might want to change. It’s been a year with very few social engagements due to restrictions while my husband had chemotherapy — and, more recently, because of my hip surgery.
There’s no point in setting intentions about health issues — like cancer — that are beyond our control. However, I can set intentions around a successful recovery of my capacity to walk, swim, garden and resume yoga classes. I can also set intentions about coping with unexpected life events.
I will set intentions around socialization. When I can drive again I intend to resume playing bridge with my club. Playing online bridge is fine (and I intend to continue playing with my weekly group) but playing in person is more fun. I’ll also go back to book club meetings where we laugh our way through discussions that sometimes involve the book of the month and always involve lots of good food and friendship. I can also start entertaining again and accepting invitations to attend lunches and other social gatherings.
Intentions are not goals. I did enough goal-setting with specific outcomes and measurable results while I worked. Instead, my intentions are meant to set the stage for fulfillment and happiness in the coming months.
I’ll close this post with my wishes for every reader as you celebrate the December holidays. I hope you take time for reviewing the highlights (and low lights) of 2022 and deciding how you want to spend your time in 2023. I also hope you take time to watch mindless movies or find other ways to chill. May each of you be blessed with happiness and good health in the coming year!