23 Dec Happy Holidays & The Yuletide ❄️
A quick episode to wish you all a wonderful holiday, whatever you may celebrate. I also encourage you to use this time for rest. 2020 and 2021 have been strange years; this is a good time to recuperate and do things you enjoy simply for their own sake.
The show will be on hiatus after this as I will be following my own advice and indulging in some dolce far niente. 😊 New episodes return on Thursday, January 6th when I will be talking about Workplace Psychopathy. If you suspect you have been the victim of a workplace psychopath or you know someone else who could be, it’s an episode not to be missed.
Special intro music: “Christmas Time All Over The World” by Sammy Davis Jr.
Special outro music: “By the Fireside” by Jo Stafford.
Transcription by Otter.ai. Please forgive any typos!
Hello, Hello and thanks for tuning in. I wanted to jump on and record a quick holiday related episode. I will be talking more specifically about the yuletide season in this episode, but I want to wish everyone a happy holiday, whatever it is that you may celebrate. So I’m going to try to think of everything and cover all my bases here. Forgive me if I leave anyone out. Happy Holidays. Joyous Kwanzaa. Merry Christmas. Happy Festivus. I’m late for Hanukkah because it was towards the earlier part of December this year. It kind of came early, but I belatedly hope that you had a Happy Hanukkah, whatever it is that you’re celebrating, I hope that you have a wonderful and safe and amazing holiday. I will be practicing what I preach. By the way, I’m going to be bringing up the Yuletide and midwinter and hibernation and how important it is for us to rest. I will be following my own advice and the show will be on hiatus next week. Be sure to come back for the next new episode, which will be on Thursday, January the sixth, I’ll be covering workplace psychopathy and that episode, so it will be pretty heavy, it will be hard hitting. But if you think you’ve ever been the victim of a workplace psychopath, or you think you might be the victim of one right now, it absolutely will be a must tune in cannot be missed episode. And please share it with anyone that you think might be going through the same thing. But now on to today’s episode about the Yuletime. So on Tuesday of this week, December 21, we had the winter solstice. So it’s sort of like at this point, we’re at mid winter. And it is definitely prime hibernation time. i i for one as an introvert who loves to like cuddle up and have soft fleecy blanket and read a good book or watch a good movie. I love it. I’m like yes, this is the fall and winter time of the year is like when my powers are at their strongest. Like yes, I can just revel in being an introvert and to not have to worry about going here and going there and rushing around. It’s like life was not meant to be rush and rush and hectic and frenetic pace all the time. That’s just not healthy. And it’s not sustainable to live that way all the time. Even though we in modern societies, especially in the Western world seem to think that we can it is supposed to be right damn now everything all the time, we feel ill used if the Wi Fi is a little bit slow. And people have complained for years and years that Christmas itself is becoming more and more commercialized. It really doesn’t have any religious significance to a lot of people anymore. It’s not about celebrating the birth of Jesus or going to midnight mass and reflecting on this change in culture change in spirituality. It’s about buying stuff, and keeping up with the Joneses who’s going to have the most impressive gift and who’s going to spend the most money and who who’s going to wrap their gifts in the best wrapping paper and have it look the best under the best decorated Christmas tree and it’s like, ah, you know, even thinking in that direction gives me a headache. And it’s so misses the point that I think the ancients better understood about this time of the year. It’s not about the rat race. It’s not about keeping up with everybody else. It’s about resting and expressing some gratitude for what you already have. Having that food set aside in the larder having the things preserved so that you can make it through the winter, whether it’s a mild winter or a harsh winter, you’re prepared and you know that you have what you need to survive. Not too much, not too little, but just the right amount. You know, down the road for me, I would say maybe two to three miles from where I live they are and I know this is gonna sound like hyperbole to some of you I swear to you. It’s not. They are like paving in this area that was a road ditch. It was like a road ditch slash easement for the railroad. And they are paving over it so that they can start crapping out yet another cookie cutter suburbanite housing edition and I see this and I’m like, What is even happening? What is the necessity for this? Again I feel like Bud Fox in Wall Street how many yachts? How many houses? How many mansions can you live in at one time? Why do we need all of these cookie cutter suburbanite houses with people just stacked on top of people on top of people I mean to me it’s it’s getting really insane At what point are we going to wake up and realize that we’re living on a planet with finite resources? When is it going to be enough? How much stuff do we need to have in order to be happy? I’m going to spend some time in a future episode going over that very question, because I think it’s a question that needs to be asked. And it’s something that we need to take a hard look at. But in the yuletide, we can really be grateful for what we already have. And we can celebrate that this time in nature. Even though the grass is dead and the trees are barren. It’s a barren time before the next round of fertility. So even in life when it may seem like the chips are down and things are quite dark and bleak. This too shall pass and won’t stay that way forever. I want to read a passage from the book Yule by Susan Pesznecker because I think it’s very important. Today, many of us have forgotten how to hibernate successfully, we maintain the same routines year round, and people often grumble about the winter months instead of embracing winters place in the great seasonal wheel. In our modern world, we can maintain a consistent temperature in our homes year round, a flip of a switch providing summer bright lighting late into the winter’s night, our diet may not change either, we can eat raspberries and spring greens year round, if we’re willing to pay for them. These actions threaten to pull us desperately out of sync with winters rhythms. And this may cause problems. In fact, one of the newest theories regarding seasonal affective disorder it links it to fighting against winters rhythms Instead of embracing them in quote, hallae Lhuillier the wintertime, the fallow season exists for a reason, you know, and as I see these track houses going up, people selling off their acreage and this up beautiful prairie grass, these places where, you know, like out here where I live in the Midwest, you know, at some point in time, there were bison out there on the Great Plains grazing on that land. I mean, once it’s gone, it’s gone. And it would take a significant amount of time for the land to reclaim itself. It always does though, make no mistake about that. When we look at what happened in the aftermath of Chernobyl, there were some people who’ve stayed behind like there are these of that area in the Ukraine that stayed behind, like the who stayed there and continued to garden and raised chickens. And they’re like, Hey, this is my homeland, and I’m not leaving. But the Earth has started to grow back. There’s vegetation, there are forests, there’s wildlife, even people and their vegetable gardens living there. But it does take time for nature to heal. And I look at all of this lack of space and people just trying to throw houses up anywhere in everywhere with no apparent planning for the future. And I just wonder at what point that isn’t going to come back and bite us in the ass really hard. But I think this also speaks to our urge to always be doing something not being able to hibernate and rest properly. Not leaving the land alone. No, we can’t have that 20 acre plot over there for grazing space for somebody animals. No, we need to crap out more tract housing for yuppies and their loud kids. I’m like, No. Speaking of loud kids, some of these damn kids running around nowadays, they need a visit from Krampus. Okay. Krampus does need to put them in a burlap sack and beat their little butts with reeds. The other day I was in the store. And there was this kid named Toby. How do I know that his name was Toby? Because I heard his mother impotently getting on to him. So Toby is just grabbing things, some of which were fragile and breakable and just throwing them he’s throwing the stuff in the floor, throwing stuff in the basket and just having a royal hissy fit. And his mother was like now, Toby, we don’t do that. Now, Toby, we don’t throw things in the floor. That’s not being a good person, Toby. And I’m like, oh, somebody needs to get a hold of Toby and teach him some manners. Because this stuff about just throwing store property in the floor and breaking things and having a ringtail fit. Hmm-mmm. That’s been some years since I was a kid. But that crap would not have flown when I was a kid, I promise you that. And if I had five minutes with Toby, he wouldn’t be doing that crap anymore either, trust and believe. I also think that the weekly Jewish Shabbat also gets this right. This idea of leaving things alone, we’re not creating and we’re not destroying for that one day out of the week. It’s all about rest. It’s about relaxation. time with the family not having to rush anywhere, go here, go there work. And it’s also not about disturbing nature, right? It’s about letting yourself rest but it’s also about letting nature rest, as well. There’s a real power to that. I want to read another passage from the rulebook. One of winter’s greatest gifts is that of quiet, a feeling of silence, calmness, inward drawing and introspection, it’s a chance to pull out of the hustle and bustle of daily life and slow down. It’s time to read, to think, to nap, to ponder to hunker down in our metaphorical cave. And while the winter away. Doing this takes intention and resolution, it requires effort to say to oneself, winter isn’t the same as summer and I can’t treat it the same. It means that one’s days meals and sleep patterns should be different. because winter is different. We can only experience this deep quiet by allowing ourselves to fall into sync with the new rhythms. Another gift of winter is that of renewal, the fresh start. midwinter is a kind of metaphorical sleep, or even in some traditions, a kind of symbolic death. But as with each turning of the wheel, sleep is followed by an awakening, and death by renewed life. During winter, we take stock, think consciously about what to finish or leave behind what must die, so to speak. And conversely, what to pick up or begin anew. Along the same lines, winter gives us time, quiet, unhurried, time to take stock of the past months and evaluate what transpired, what worked, what didn’t, what goals were realized and which ones weren’t? And most importantly, what do we want to do in the year to come and quote, yeah, winter is different, as well, it should be. I know, some people out there big outdoorsy types. They’re all about the sun. And they’re all about being outside all the time and hiking and biking, and they want it to be perpetual summer. And I get that you’re living on a working farm and ranch, there are things that are a lot easier done during the summertime than in the winter, and vice versa. And I’ve really learned, you know, living on the land and being intensely connected with my animals that we do have these separations of the seasons, the Wheel of the Year, if you will, for a reason, there is a time for the land to go fallow, there’s a time for the trees to be buried for the weather to be cold. There’s a time for a frost and a freeze, just like there’s a time to split up the land in the spring, and start planting your seeds a time to nurture and cultivate those crops so that at harvest time you have something to harvest. But where we get into trouble is refusing to acknowledge that time when things go fallow. And it’s time to be quiet. You know, I think our society has a real difficult time with quiet and solitude, not rushing, not being hurried not having to get on the 3000th Zoom meeting this week that your boss just thinks he can’t live without, but to really be quiet and to say you know what, I’m going to curl up with a good book and just enjoy it or I’m going to get under the blankets and watch something silly on Netflix and just enjoy it. For the pure sake of enjoyment. It’s like art for art’s sake, there doesn’t have to be some big higher glorious purpose to everything you can relax just to relax. So whatever your belief system may be, and however you choose to celebrate this time of the year, I really really encourage you to take that time for Dolce far niente the sweetness of doing nothing relaxing for its own sake, and thinking about what you want out of 2022. Let’s be honest, 2020 and 2021 have been weird years, we’ve had to deal with the pandemic, there’s been this major sea change in the way that we work. And some of it’s been great. The ability to freelance is, is stronger than ever before the ability to work remotely and on your own terms to really set your own rules of engagement. All of this is fabulous. But it’s still been a change. And as people decrease the desire to go back to quote the old normal and they’re adapting to the way that things are now, I want you to really think about what you want out of 2022. If you’re stuck in a cubicle, and you don’t want to be well start planning your exit strategy. There’s no better time than this two to three week period we have that’s left in the holiday season than to get out a piece of paper and a pencil or an ink pen and start plotting it out. No idea is a bad idea. Get it all down. That’s how I plotted my exit strategy out of corporate America so that I know it can work for you too if you put some time and effort into it. But enjoy, relax, eat, drink and be merry and do the things that you love. There will be plenty of time after the winter is over with to get back into the spring and summer months but for now, enjoy. Be safe. Have fun, relax and enjoy and I’ll see you in January.