Dark, bleak, gray and hazy, a quiet November morning signals the beginning of holiday depression season. Happy family holidays punctuate the remaining six weeks of the year with periods of joy. Those same days are also the root of gloominess in late fall and early winter.
As adults we try to recreate the happy holidays of our youth. However, as children we didn’t have to make choices about family obligations, work or other socialization invitations, infinite gift choices with finite resources. We are supposed to be joyous as we jostle through the crowded malls or try not to spill a drink on the boss at the company party.
Some of us battle the disconnect between expectation and reality. If we get out ahead of the inevitable feelings, face them head on, plan for them and lower our expectation, we survive months eleven and twelve and start month one of the new year with new perspective and optimism.
I predict my own holiday depression this year will resemble the roller coaster my life has been on, but overall it’ll be just slightly worse than average. As long as I think it through and don’t overthink it, I’ll be fine.
If you know me in real life, you know how reluctant I am to show my depressed side. I always want to be the friend you count on and the shoulder you cry on when you need your spirits lifted. I’ll still do that. But this year I might need your shoulder a few times too.
Sometimes gloominess leads to visual creativity. Check out a few new 'solitude' photos on my other blog.