The holiday madness has begun at Chez Rogers... I’ve finished most of my shopping, distributed three of five Advent calendars that I created for a few lucky people in the family. A plan has been made for buying a tree - a tradition my husband requested so that our house can smell like evergreen. I found fun wrapping paper with tropical scenes (totally my style) and one with T-Rexes wearing Santa hats!
One of my favorite parts of the holidays are the cards we receive with family pictures. I know we have more access to pictures of each other via social media, but I must confess… I like to see my friends and their kids sitting on my mantle! It’s so fun to see the little ones growing each year, taking up residence in their world, deciding who they are and what’s important to them. I love the letters with their updates on lives - it allows me to feel connected to people I adore, but don’t see much.
Over the years I have sent out similar cards, letters and photos. When our dog came into our life in 2015 I made sure to showcase her in the holiday card. I added a little of my personality by dressing her up and was happy to send off the greeting to friends and family. In the next few years I began a tradition I thought was fun. I dressed our little Malteepoo in costumes from Christmas movies and created cards with messages that came from the script.
My husband went along with this, mostly because I’m a pain in his ass when he doesn’t. He makes sure to remind me frequently that I am “stealing the dog’s dignity.” She hates every minute of wearing anything, including her harness, but is compliant thanks to handfuls of meaty bribery.
This year, while contemplating spending WAY too much money on a costume for the little dog, I read a piece online about how women go above and beyond at holiday time. Click here to read it.
Disconnected & Unhappy
In summary, we women run ourselves ragged in the spirit of making everything “perfect.” Most of it isn’t important, and it doesn’t leave us feeling more connected, happy or cheerful.
After reading, I scrolled through photos I had taken this year, cut and pasted them into a card, typed up a quick blurb about our life, (it really is a good one) and pushed “order.” When the cards arrived this week, I noticed a typo. When my husband looked at the photo I chose of us, he let me know he didn’t like it because it wasn’t flattering. The dog, however? Still cute.
This experience, juxtaposed with my constant commitment to live authentically, has me questioning all of it. Perhaps I can further lean into an honest stance this holiday season. When I consider what it is I value about December holidays, it’s connection, fun, giving gifts and the beauty we create to contrast the lack of daylight. My spiritual connection to this time of year focuses on the rebirth of hope and the coming of better, brighter days.
This begs me to ask, which of my holiday based choices are in alignment with my values?
I’m pretty sure I’ve bought my last roll of wrapping paper - it’s horrible for the environment and a waste of money. Sure I love the pretty packages. but it cannot withstand my new standards for holiday joy. I’m also reconsidering the time I spend looking for stocking stuffers. No o one really uses what I get them. And I am ABSOLUTELY not doing the shit show that is sugar treats this year. Puh-leeze!!!! We are all getting sick from this JUNK!
Traditions I'll Keep
Some traditions I will keep.
I love the tree - and that it makes my husband happy to smell it. I love buying stuff for the kids in my life. I love the new tradition I’ve started of giving Advent calendars, booze to my brothers-in-law, lots of specific treats to my nephew, and some fun treats for my in-laws.
I’ll keep sending the cards as well.
I have to admit, I considered redoing the card for just a few seconds. I’m choosing to double-down on my efforts to be authentic and send it even in its less-than-perfect state. That photo of me is how I look. I think my husband looks good in the photo - he’s wearing a fun t-shirt and smiling and he’s my favorite husband ever! The typo is something that happens to us all. Hell, I‘ve read published books with typos! The dog is smiling in her photo too. She was outside sunbathing - not posed, or wearing a costume, or doing anything I had to bribe her to do.
It’s real. It’s imperfect and it’s good enough.
Just like me. Just like you. Just like this beautiful life!
Stop Killing Yourself
What holiday traditions are you killing yourself over in effort to live up to some standard that isn’t real? What can you prioritize? Let go? Lean into for more joy and connection? Inspire your Hive and leave your thoughts in the comments below.
Dr. Corrine Rogers,
Last month I wrote about standing up to bullies, setting boundaries and creating a life of badassery. At the end of that blog post I promised a second blog on how to confront people with whom we wish to maintain our relationship. So, here goes!
I know you want a simple, step-by-step, process because… me too, sister! But I have to confess, it’s just not that easy. So, before I attempt to put a very complex, dynamic and personal process into a few steps, a few caveats:
The process isn’t magic. Even knowing the process, you may still have to work through each step for a while before you know what you want to confront and why you need to confront.
So, with all caveats in plain view, here is my advice for healthy confrontation - an amalgam of psychological theory, knowledge I gained in therapy and what feels authentic for me. Please practice, edit and make it your own with my full permission and steadfast support!
Step 1: Look for themes. Pay attention to what it is the other party does that upsets you. Are there themes to the behavior, words, etc.? Talk it out with a trusted adviser before the confrontation. They may be able to spot the trends you can’t.
Curious how this might play out? Check out these three different scenarios below:
Scenario #1: Dirty House
So, there you have it. Easy, peasy, lemon squeeze-y, right? Nope! Confrontation is almost always difficult, but its doable and now you have an outline of a process that can help.
Have you successfully navigated confrontation with someone you care for? Share your story in the comments below and let others know what worked for you!
Dr. Corinne Rogers,
I hope you have a wonderful family full of supportive, loving and intelligent people. And, if you do, please know - I’m jealous! I’m jealous because my family is full humans - opinionated, flawed, and sometimes stupid people. And included among those stupid people are some bullies.
Mind you, they aren’t your run-of-the-mill schoolyard jerks who kick your shin and take your lunch money. These bullies are lovely-looking, usually very-nice people, who hand you a cocktail and then tell you how you don’t know enough, aren’t good enough, and basically suck. I have left many encounters with these bullies, dumbstruck and shaking my head, wondering how I ended up feeling so awful after such a nice party.
Part of my personal growth has included a good deal of work on standing up to people who would like to make me feel small - including the bullies in my family. My evolution has involved dissecting the encounters I have with them, translating the seemingly “helpful” comments on my life and explaining why I feel like shit afterward. At some point I decided to start standing up to these people both in my head and in real time.
At first it was horribly scary… my voice trembled, my knees were wobbly. I began to say things in response to the veiled insults such as, “I disagree,” or “Excuse me, but how is that relevant?” and other conversation halters.
I’ve gotten better at simply refusing to tell certain people about the details of my life, they aren’t safe enough to be trusted. I’ve based my interactions with them on how they ACTUALLY show up for me.
Case in point…
This morning, a distant cousin who has political views that are opposite of mine, shared an article on social media that made my blood boil. I have been fighting with said cousin, in my head, ever since.
I have crafted a thousand well-researched opinions. I have cut and pasted all the facts that I could to support my point. I have even thought about unfriending my cousin.
Ultimately, however, I choose not to engage.
The decision not to engage came from a conversation we had in KeyHolder, Robin Breckenridge’s PIVOT series - a course on repairing and restoring relationships. (Which, by the way, I highly recommend! Just as I highly recommend simply meeting Robin. She is fabulous in a thousand ways!) In our PIVOT session two weeks ago we talked about setting boundaries with the people in our lives based on the ways they ACTUALLY show up for us. This is essential - most of us have boundaries based on what we would LIKE to be true.
Once a boundary is set, it is then up to ME to act accordingly. It is my job to not engage, disclose, or set myself up to be hurt. The other person will do what they will do and it is none of my business. My behavior is the only thing I can control.
My cousin is wrong, and mean, and in an outer relationship boundary where I put jerks that I will not allow to invade my life. This person is not someone I want to invest in and the relationship is not one I care to invest in. If we didn’t share DNA, my cousin wouldn’t be on my radar, nor would I be on theirs.
So I chose to not engage - to type nothing in response. I choose to let my cousin be wrong, and mean, and not a person I invest in.
I control who gets my time. I control who gets my energy. I control who gets my very valuable and very limited fucks. And when I am standing in my power, fully content with my choices, I am my best self.
This, my friends, is badassery.
So, what do I do when I do care and I must confront my bullies? Well, that’s a subject for another blog post. Stay tuned!
Are you giving the bullies in your life more time, energy - or fucks - than they deserve? Inspire others in your hive (and yourself!) by leaving a comment below making a pledge to engage - or disengage - how it best suits you!
Dr. Corrine Rogers,