Here in Southern California, the holidays are a special kind of stressful. People here just sort of just plum lose connection with any sort of common sense for a few weeks. And in the week before Christmas, the whole area vibrates with a special sort of near-nervous-breakdown energy that makes me want to stay inside and pull the covers over my head. In the last two days, I have seen some death-defying, I gotta get the eggnog before 7 PM maneuvers that left me screaming. On Friday, I watched a van driver flick on his emergency lights and pull over the shoulder. I had plenty of time to observe this as the freeway was in its usual “Friday Before a Holiday Parking Lot” mode. I thought to myself, “oh, that poor van driver person. What a yucky day to break down on the freeway.” I then watched as said van driver BACKED UP OVER 1/2 A FREAKIN MILE ON THE FREAKIN FREEWAY. Why? The driver had missed the desired ramp. After the backing maneuver, the van bumped up over a lane divider and pulled in front of exiting traffic to exit at the desired ramp.
“SERIOUSLY? ARE YOU EVEN KIDDING ME?” I shouted.
That is only one of many incidents of horrible driving, deeply problematic mall stampeding and grocery store aisle smackdowns I’ve witnessed in the past few days. And I have to tell you, it’s made me slow down, stop, and think.
You know what I want for the holidays this year? Just a little bit of peace. Just a little bit of space to breathe and appreciate and enjoy. And that’s my wish for you as well. I hope this holiday season (or what’s left of it) allows you to find a little bit of peace.
I wish you peace on the road–free from people screaming, cutting you off or as my friend jokingly puts it, “using the fellowship finger”.
I wish you peace as you shop. May the people around be considerate and kind. May they only have positive things to say about the way you act and the way you look and who you are.
I wish you peace as you eat. May you enjoy every bite and allow it to nourish you both inside and out. May you enjoy holiday gatherings free from food policing and body shame.
I wish you peace with your family. May everybody around you be grateful for all you have done to make the holiday special, even if all you were able to do this year is to allow your beautiful self to take more breaths and exist on this amazing earth.
I wish you peace with your body. May you declare a cease-fire in any war you may have waged against your good self. May you appreciate the staggering awesomeness of the body you have right now. May you pamper and find joy in the skin you are in.
And I wish you a peaceful new year. May you find a way to scoff at those in the world who believe the way to greet the new year is to change everything that makes you, well, YOU. May you face the new year with courage and optimism. May you choose for yourself a path that is strengthening, enriching, enlightening and encouraging.
Sleep in heavenly peace my friends. Sleep in heavenly peace.
Jeanette DePatie (AKA The Fat Chick)