31 Thoughts for a Happy Holiday Season

Unlearn the Isolation

This one is a hard one because we thrive on alone time.  We need it.  We crave it.  We can’t function without it.  But remember that our beloved isolation is a learned behavior (as is being around other people comfortably and easily socializing in general).  Just as we learn isolation, we can unlearn it.  It will be tough, no doubt.  With kids around, alone time is pretty much non-existent.  You’ve got to plan for it (e.g., go to bed early so we can wake up early), and you’ve got to take what you can get (you will get used to living on far less than you would prefer).  But what helps us even beyond planning for it and accepting less than we’d like is simply unlearning the isolation as a whole and (instead of clinging to our solitude) learning how to open ourselves up to others.  I know.  This is painful.  Even to our spouse/co-parent and to our own children (and even ourselves, which equals honesty about reality).  But it will need to be done.  If we do not at least try to open our hearts (I think this is called being vulnerable), then the frustration of not having the comfort of our isolation anymore will just follow us into our latter years.  We have to improve things at the deepest level possible.  So rip out the weed of isolation already and grow something (like openness and vulnerability) that’s more helpful to a family environment (and yourself).