Last week I had two experiences that I can't shake. One was watching this video that I somehow missed last year- that was probably rigged by a team of marketers at Ikea but I don't even really care because I think the content is true. It's short. Just watch it.
The second experience was talking to a friend about how they feel after they scroll through photos on social media- I'll paraphrase here: it makes them feel weird because they find themselves begrudging the displayed good fortune and fun times of others. Don't judge- admitting this takes courage and, personally I believe that everyone feels this way at least a little bit; some of us, depending on the day, feel it a lot.
We are on the precipice of the 6 weeks of the year that test our ability to stay with ourselves the most. The largest, collective display of material giving combined with the reflection, and inevitable comparison of accomplishments, that come with the year's end can be a perfect storm that leaves us wondering why the holidays make us feel sort of depressed and lonely instead of overflowing with joy and connection.
Dreary, dreary, dreary- what's my point? I want to encourage you to explore your options.
Instead of hitting holiday auto-pilot, take a few moments and ask yourself what you actually want or how you'd like to feel, instead of "what do I need to get through".
It might mean focusing a little less on your New Year's Eve outfit, and a little more on figuring out what you need to do to be able to really "be there" when you're at the party. Same goes for making 300 perfect and unique holiday cookies to give to your neighbors instead of spending a few minutes talking to them.
There are good reasons why we focus on the stuff, it's very tactical, responds well to planning, feels controllable, and ultimately it's less risky....and yet (you knew there would be a downside, right) the stuff also tends to be less rewarding because mostly what we crave is connection and meaning.
At Cyril's, we've decided that we're going to lean into the parts of the holidays that we love- big trees, twinkly lights, tinsel, cozy food, generosity, connection...and leave out the ones we don't care for- overscheduling/rushing, fight-the-crowds-shopping, pressure, decadence, sky high expectations.
We find ourselves in solid company in this endeavor to be lead more by what feels good- major retailer REI has decided to "optoutside" this year on Black Friday. All of their retail stores will be closed with the intention that their employees can spend time outside which relates to REI's core belief that being outside makes our lives better.
We're also going to take a nice long break for the week between Christmas and New Years so that the Cyril's team can spend time however they feel; around their own tables, outdoors, or wherever they feel most at home.
Best of luck through the holidays- we hope to see you relaxing in the glow of one of our twinkly lights soon.