Winning The Game of Holidays #5 Honoring Relationships
Ah yes Relationships…there was a quote in a play loosely based on Dostoyevsky’s, “The Idiot” where the character declaimed, “The problem with relationships is that everybody has them.”
So, in Gamifying the Holidays the factor called ‘relationships’ becomes a very important set of players in how we experience the weeks going by. It’s an awareness that when it comes to holidays, we’re all of a sudden filled with soft mushy, camaraderie relationship energy. Except of course for all those relatives we’ve been so assiduously avoiding the rest of the year. We’ll get to those, for now let’s look at the people we want to share time with. And the list is long. We spend a lot of time, energy and money almost trying to connect with those we haven’t seen much of the rest of the year due to previously aforementioned ‘no space in the time category’ of the game.
And while all of this ‘hail fellow well met’ activity is warm and loving, what we’re really attempting to do is make up for missed time with them. It even seems more efficient to attend parties, hold parties, go out for BLD’s (breakfast, lunch or dinners) and connect. And we do this with family as well. It’s expected to a high degree that we’re going to make more time for them because they are after all, family. And that often means in-laws, cousins, and family of origin get brought into the mix.
So we try to cram all our “connection time” into a time period that’s already challenged by events. Events, like shopping, end of the year work demands, vacations and anything else that doesn’t necessarily happen all of the rest of the year. Imagine being in the game of football and trying to connect with every team player on the field during the course of play because you spent not enough time with them in practice, in the locker room or even off the field. You wouldn’t know where to focus to get anything done. And the emotional tugs wielded by everyone can come at us like sticky tar that won’t accept ‘no’ for an answer. “Can you meet with me next week? Of course you can, just make time, we haven’t seen much of each other this year…” And the guilt rises.
This creates stress. And it’s no wonder with this and the other two (time stress and money stress) that the week after January 1 feels like, “Whew I’m glad that’s all over”. And that’s a shame when it could be celebratory; “Wow what a great time the holidays were.”
So making it a habit to stay connected with people important to you during the year, means you won’t feel so badly if you can’t fit everyone in during the holiday. Especially if the connection times during the year are rich and deep instead of a more cursory drive-by relating.
And as for those relatives or friends who insist on your time and you feel to share it would be like 40 minutes in the Iron Mask, say no. Who made up the rule that you must acquiesce to everyone else’s needs? It is after all, your game to play how you see fit.