So Tell Me Honestly, How Was Your Holiday?

People might surprise you and tell you the truth one day -- so listen up.

When I sat down to write my post-holiday, pre-New Year’s Eve blog post, I was in a playful mood and wanted to have some fun.  We can do that in Life Coaching, you know. In session, I often bring humor into the mix since we all know how powerful laughter is for creative problem solving.

Usually after the holidays when you are back at work, people inquire as to how your days off were. The answers are usually benign and sound something like this:

“Oh, it was very nice. We all went to my brother’s house and spent Christmas with the family there”.

“Yes, it was lovely. My parents flew in from Chicago and there were 20 of us at the dinner table”.

“Thanks for asking. It was a lot of fun!”

I am sure you would agree that those are the typical answers that you'll hear.  So, why not be creative and see if who you are talking to is actually listening to you?  Give it a shot and try one of these answers on for size: 

“Oh, it was really very nice. We all went to my brother’s house where my sister-in-law proceeded to have a complete meltdown. The turkey was burned and the food was awful. We all ended up with stomachaches and couldn’t wait until we got home”.

“Yes, it was lovely. My parents got stuck in Chicago and never made it in. It was such a relief to have the house all to ourselves and not have to deal with my father’s excessive drinking.”

“Thanks for asking. We had to call the fire department after my husband built a fire and neglected to open the flue. The house filled completely with smoke and I’ve decided to consult with a divorce attorney”.

Hmm, how refreshing would it be to hear answers like that? Even if the person was kidding, it would generate some smiles (I think). And if they weren’t kidding, what better way to deal with an unpleasant holiday than to name it, speak openly about it, and send it off to its final resting place. That is so much healthier than pretending it was joyous if it was not and burying your true feelings. Because for every person who has had a wonderful holiday, there are others in equal measure who have not.

The holidays can be great and they can be awful. The trick is to understand that we all have experienced both types. So to deal with the disappointment on those not-so-great holidays -- surround yourself with people who appreciate your candor, who support you in your honesty, and who understand that like life, some holidays are good and some are bad. The goal isn't to have everything perfect, but rather to be able to take a deep breath, deal with the good and bad, move forward and realize that 2012 will be great. 

And how do I know it will be great?  Because good or bad, you are upright, breathing, and able to experience all of 2012 day-by-day to grow and learn as you see fit. And that’s a wish about 2012, that every rich person in the cemetery doesn’t get to make.

Happy New Year my friends!

Life Coach Liz Hoffmann owns Atlas Coaching LLC.  Liz's office is in Fairfield Center and she is accepting new clients starting in January, 2012.  To make an appointment with Liz, please send her an email at Liz@AtlasCoaching.net.

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