It's tough out there. These are tough times. - These are phrases we hear a lot and that we say a lot. And they are true and accurate, but they are also over-used. The truth is that it's always been tough out there and that times have always been tough. Historically speaking, we've probably never really had it easier. I'm reminded of this clip of Louis CK on Conan: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8r1CZTLk-Gk - Everything's amazing and nobody is happy. But still, even though everything is amazing, that doesn't mean that at some given moment of time life isn't tough, that times aren't tough. It's a balancing act.
So we seek out what we think will make it better. What will make these tough times ok? We desperately seek out the solution that will kiss the wound of difficulty and make it all better.
This all causes me to get really stressed out, depressed, and down right angry. Not because we're seeking out what will make it better, that of course is a good thing, but because there are so many snake oil salesmen out there and they are craftier than ever.
Every where you turn there is a magazine full of solutions that will make your life better. It will make your kitchen look pristine, it will make a pile of throw rugs on the floor look like a decorating statement and not like you're a sloth, it will make your kids so deliriously happy that they won't ever bicker or back talk again, it will make you lose _x_ many pounds, it will make your spouse fall literally heads over heels in orgasmic awe of you. And if you buy now (or through the next three days) you can get it for 20% off and with $5 shipping! It's an even better deal!!! If you delay dinner with your gathered family to stand in the freezing cold & avoid being trampled or attacked in the ensuing stampede, the store will offer you magical discounts on the perfect products to make your holiday season absolutely perfect. You don't even have to think about your shopping list, the store has made it for you with their special deals! It's amazing!!
But it isn't, is it? No. It's soul depleting. It leaves us empty, because as soon as you've bought that wonderful deal a better deal, a newer model, comes out and then .. well, you're deal just sucks. And your life sucks. And that great gift makes your ass look fat. It's not only depleting it is insulting.
I would like this to be a general, any-time-of-year kinda post but the fact is that I am writing it as the holiday season is officially under full-swing. It is what it is. And as I look around I see the increasing amount of soul-depleting, life-draining false promises. Viruses don't spread this fast. Evil-do'ers dream of viruses that spread as fast as these shiny promises of happiness.
We need nourishment y'all. We desperately need it. We need a hug that isn't just an empty embrace by someone thinking of what else they would rather be doing, but a hug that is there.
We need loved ones who are there not to demand more but to offer help and support, and who will get it in return in spades.
We need friends, acquaintances and neighbors who aren't there to try and one up you. We don't need these same people who would say nice things to your face but roast you in hell behind your back. We need the ones who notice you left your front door open when you went out of town and not only call you but double check that all is well by asking the police to do a quick run through. Ones who lend several tablespoons of baking soda when you need a pinch, just to make sure you have enough .. just in case. Ones who bring by chicken noodle soup when they know you have a cold. Ones who realize that dogs bark, children leave out toys, and sometimes taking down holiday decorations can take all damn year.
We need family that doesn't make you feel bad for losing your temper with your kids when they've been pushing your buttons for too long, but instead offers, if nothing else, just the simple encouragement and reassurance that you're still a good parent. That your kids won't hate you forever. Family members who can help you through those times in a marriage (or any relationship) where you just don't know if it's going to work out, if you haven't grown apart. Family who can reassure you without assuming divorce is immanent.
We need love. And we need to be able to give that love back. Return it ten-fold. Not just to strangers we've never met, or that we only know online. Not just to those who are in poverty around the world. Even though everything is amazing, it seems like we're dying from the inside-out. We need the love to nourish ourselves whole again. True nourishment. Not sold to us by a book of how-to's, but what is already deep inside us, to give and to get. It hasn't been that long, our bodies still know what true nourishment is.
I hope you all can give and get the nourishment you need. I wish you all so much happiness, true happiness. I want you to know that I do believe in you, and that I do have faith in you. These are tough times but you will get through them, and you will do it wonderfully, even if you stagger at times, you will do it wonderfully. You are a good parent, you are a good person, you are a good partner and spouse. You are beautiful as you are and I hope you know that in your soul.