I'm not sure what it is about the holidays, especially the Christmas season...but people get so irritable.
But this isn't about other people. It's about me. I've noticed that I've been exceptionally irritable this year.
I'd like to be able to blame it on the rather large project I'm on at work, that is due by Dec. 31st, but that's not likely it. It's almost done, and I'm ahead of schedule.
I'd like to be able to blame it on the fact that I'm a musician that is booked solid through Christmas, but, that shouldn't be it.
I'd like to be able to blame it on the fact that everywhere you go at this time of year, the wait times are increased, the traffic is heavier, and other people are also irritable and tired.
I'd like to be able to blame it on the kids arguing or fighting with each other.
But I can't.
As easy as it would be to blame this on others, I simply can't. It's on me.
I have to do my best to not let things get to me.
I have to remember that the kids are just kids and that they will do like kids do and argue with each other, and be loud, and other kid things. In fact, I need to hold on to the things they do that are sweet. And loving. I need to cherish the fact that they are 14 year old girls who still want to hang out with mom and dad. Many kids that age want nothing to do with their parents. Not the case with our kids. They love hanging out with us. They don't care if we are in public, they love hugs. I drop them off at school, with all their classmates nearby, they don't care. Daddy gets a hug and a kiss on the cheek. They couldn't care less who sees.
I have to remember that while there are some people that get upset at Christmas because the stores are too busy and they didn't get what they want even after camping out for a week in front of Best Buy, it is likely that those people that are that upset have their own personal demons they are battling. There is no reason for me to be upset with them too. I should understand that they very likely could be feeling even worse than I am feeling and need compassion. It doesn't give them an excuse to be angry either, but I have no excuse to be angry with them. I need to love them and TRY to empathize with them.
I have to remember that I love being a musician. I feel it is a God given talent and I really can't explain the feeling of completing a song, or an album for that matter, knowing I put a lot of effort into it. There is no other feeling like it. I can't explain the feeling of playing in front of other people and touching their hearts through the music I am playing. For example, I'm performing at a kids event this year called After School Klub (ASK) that reaches out to inner city kids. We've rehearsed with the kids twice so far, for our performance next week. Do you know, after the rehearsal, without being prompted, they came up to me (and the other two people in the band) and said, "Thank you! You be jammin'!" Seriously. That touched me in a way I can't describe. Kids that come from troubled homes showing appreciation that someone cares about them is the most powerful feeling.
I have to remember that this project I am on is helping a lot of people at my work. It is solving a large percentage of issues we have had for several years here. I also have to remember that my boss has been extremely encouraging throughout, thanking me, and telling me that I'm doing great. She knows how stressful it is, and constantly says, "You are doing great, let me know if you need anything at all, and if I can help." Seriously, she's among the best bosses I've ever had. She doesn't micro manage. She thanks her workers. She even sends notes "up the chain" to her bosses and directors to let them know how we are doing, never taking credit for the work we do. I wish my last boss would take lessons from my current one. haha.
Some might say I can't blame any one of these issue, but perhaps the culmination of all of the stresses is understandable why one might get irritable.
We all have a choice. You. Me. A choice to be happy, or a choice to just be a grump. A Scrooge, if you will. While I don't feel "Scroogy" really, I am definitely not making the choice to just let it slide off me at this time. I need to.
God, please fix me. Help me to make the right choice and not let my current situations overwhelm me, but instead help me to constantly see the good in all of them and to be able to handle it properly when things go awry.
Help me to experience the joy that this season celebrates, and to have that joy all year, and in the years to come.
Sure, there will be days that will be harder, and there will be days when I fail, but gently remind me of the greatest gift of all. Your Son.