One month ago, I was bursting with optimism.
- I couldn’t wait for my daughter to open her Christmas presents
- I couldn’t wait for my mom and dad to see what I got them for Christmas
- I had time off from work
- I knew I’d be taking a trip (although what became a trip to New York was supposed to be one to the North Carolina mountains)
- It was time to goof off
And suddenly …
… it was over.
So abrupt, too. No easing my way out of it – within one week capped off by one special day, there was no reason to be optimistic. I actually felt as though I had nothing to anticipate.
(Don’t worry. This had nothing to do with the Buffalo Bills. Well, perhaps a little … but not a lot.)
I felt a bit of depression strike on Dec. 26. As it does every year.
Forget the fact I had a birthday on Dec. 29. Disregard New Year’s. Christmas is what our country celebrates. Christmas is what we all look forward to. When it’s over, it feels like we are over.
But in reality, I told myself once I knew I was down in the dumps, I have a lot to anticipate: namely, life in general.
“You know, Justin,” I’m going to say I told myself but never actually said, “There was nothing wrong with your life before Christmas.
“Sure, the month of December is a lot more fun than the rest of the year, but it’s not like the 11 months before it were horrible.”
So I told myself there was no reason to be glum. And eventually, as I always do, I began thinking about others’ address of the situation.
Some folks get really depressed once the holidays pass.
They’ve got it much worse than me.
Consequently, I made it a point to be enthusiastic at work no matter how I feel. After all, there’s nothing worse than working alongside a man or woman who’s downtrodden.
Almost immediately, I notice an effect. Co-workers would be wearing a grimace (it looked almost painful) when they passed by in the hall, but it didn’t take them long to turn it around once they saw me and received my smile and greeting. I began applying this in public and – although less profoundly – at home.
It has an effect when we’re cordial to one another.
Many folks are looking for sunshine in a thunderstorm this time of year. They may not know it, but finding that light can yield positive results.
We all can be another person’s bright ray of hope.
Or we can be added misery.
It's a lot more satisfying to be sunshine.