Rescue remedies for the next family event
Now that the first major holiday is over and you mistakenly believed you could do it alone — I thought this a good time to consider some helpful ways to manage your disorderly clan through the rest of this merry season.
First of all, the founding mothers of festivities were wise enough to bunch these events together so you don’t have to drib and drab with family members who perhaps voted for the wrong political party. Why carry painful, awkward discussions of Women’s March vs. Building a Wall straight through January? Why not see family more than ever right now so you can raise money among sympathizers and have the odd ducklings shipped off to the quirky state of Florida. It’s a place that “has all kinds,” as my aunt used to say. Besides, they could send you oranges.
If you get past the politics, you can have other upbeat conversations with this singular group that shares your DNA. Take advantage of it. Topics such as which ancestor you look like now that you’ve gotten older or fatter or your hair went grey, or where you got your penchant for breaking out the gin and tonics before the guests arrive instead of waiting until happy hour has officially begun. Make mine a double.
The world of meditation, meanwhile, has given us another great idea: the ability to visualize joy and success, meaning making things up so we can tolerate the truth. One method for this is called “loving-kindness,” a beautiful meditation practice that lets you send love to the whole ugly world, even those who never strip the bed when they stay over. This way you can enjoy every special moment with your brood until you get the guts to spend a holiday in Florida. Except if your misfits have already moved there. Either that or you could break a leg.
No matter what, loving-kindness comes to the rescue by encouraging us to meditate on phrases like “may you have peace, may you have success, may you have health,” then consciously spread those openhearted missives to everyone you will be lucky enough to see if you don’t kill them first.
Another coping skill to use this cheery season is writing. Writing gives you the power to take something annoying out of your head and put it down on paper, so it’s both in your head and on the paper, a double torment. Yet when you see things in black-and-white, it’s harder to deny you’re obsessively calling your in-laws losers and loafers. Besides, now you’re reminded to add the words liars and thieves so you’re not so redundant.
The pay-off is once you have
the nasty words in front of you, you can do a better job of turning them