As the time of festivities draws closer, many of us are probably looking forward to the time when we don’t have to deal with the daily grind of commuting to reach our places of work or business, but what actually happens in those moments when we are not preoccupied with the demands of everyday life?
In some cases we take the opportunity to pause and reflect on how far we’ve travelled on our personal journeys. In other cases, we prepare ourselves to engage with our kith and kin in more focused ways than we do at other times. It is often said that the end of a year is more stressful for many of us than we are willing to admit.
Is it really necessary to exert so much energy at this point in time? I enjoy parties and gatherings up to a point, but even more than that, I like to switch off and not really have to be “on show” to anybody.
It would be helpful if the media could make it easier for all of us, by not focusing on the mawkish and sentimental side of things. If this happened, perhaps fewer of us would have expectations regarding the behaviour of other family members.
We cannot choose to be born into our families, as far as we know. Is it possible that true generosity and kindness would entail giving ourselves a break from having to make efforts to fit in with others?