So This Is Christmas, And What Have We Done? /EN/

17.12.2017

While Christmas is generally considered a joyful time, it goes without saying that it can also be very difficult for some people. Most of all we have to deal with loneliness. Actually, I was meaning to write a piece about this before the celebrations of the New Year since the end of the year usually rises deeper contemplations about what we have done or perhaps haven't done. We usually tend to summarize the year and somehow quantify our achievements. For a lot of people this goes hand in hand with feelings of disappointment or even misery. And what's more, social media is not helping at all. We are literally avalanched by photos of people who seem to be leading the life we have always wanted. Instagram and Facebook are full of stories of people having a blast, posting loving selfies, snaps of great food and interesting places, neat homes, their adorable kids and their other halves. Sure, I am old enough to know that life behind social media is almost never as it is presented. Moreover, I could be put into textbooks as a classic example of someone who usually does not let bad things come out. However, it somehow makes me realize that there are things I might be missing on. While I love what social media is giving me, more often than not I also let it make me feel blue. I don't think that this has something to do with envy in the traditional way of meaning. I don't want to have material things people on Instagram showcase or I don't want to be in places they travel to. All I wish is to feel the fulfillment they are showing, or, more precisely, they are advertising. And although I fully realize this might not be a complete picture of their lives, I am still envious of this feeling. I want to smile and really mean it. I want to say I am happy and really mean it (who doesn't, right?). Please, don't take me wrong, I don't hate people celebrating their lives on social media. In fact, I strongly support it and I myself do it as I like to look for the better in life, but sometimes it's just hard not to feel blue, especially at Christmas.

We are living in weird times. We have things, we are able to make choices, there are opportunities, etc. We are constantly reminded how lucky we are to be born in this society as there is a devastatingly huge number of people in the world who weren't; people who view our lives as a dream come true. Speaking of me, I do know a lot of people have real problems. There are people who have health issues, people who have no shelter or those who are forced to live in horrible conditions. Does all of this make my problems smaller? The answer would probably be, yes, it does. It's funny we have been told that we should not compare ourselves to other people when it comes to our talents and skills because there is always someone better or worse. However, when it comes to unhappiness and depression, we are told to look at other people who are much worse off so we should feel ashamed. I believe this might have disastrous consequences as people who have such issues might be viewed as needy, high-maintenance or even attention-seeking. The thing is that our issues derive from the general problems of the environment we live in. Soon it's going to be Christmas and this holiday, no matter how we smile, can be pretty hard on us.

But Christmas should by all means be about good things. It should be about slowing down a bit, enjoying the presence of our beloved ones, eating delicious sweets (and feeling guilty about it afterwards) or watching Christmas-related programmes that make us all nostalgic because we have sweet memories of watching them as kids. And this Christmas, I am going to do exactly this and enjoy it. May your holidays also be filled with love, beauty, and understanding, at least for a brief while.