As kids we always looked forward to the holiday season. Regardless of your religious bent, the holidays were something to look forward to enjoying. As I’ve gotten older, okay much older, I have come to realize that the holidays are not just for celebration, but often times, they are that brief period of time for a quick sigh of relief. (Albeit, a very brief period of time.) Illustrating my point, we can take any professional or student, and notice how they are working towards that “end of year.” Now is the time that the Court System starts the rush to complete all those loose ends, and the lawyers scramble to get all the deadlines covered. The CPA is trying to get the “year end” numbers right, while the student is cracking the books for exams. This year even the physicians are struggling with a higher volume of patients, as they scramble to treat more patients before the newly imposed deadlines related to the imposition of the Affordable Care Act, a/k/a “Obamacare.” These are just some examples, because face it, everyone is impacted in some way by the “holiday crunch.”
Now along with the work issues, you have to add those pesky family issues. The parent who has everything already; the kids who need money; and that pointless search for the ever popular “perfect” gift for each of your loved ones. Overlying all of this will be the inevitable horrible weather bogging down the transportation system. This is all without adding at least one or more forgotten deadlines that are about to bite you in the ass. Finally, after trekking halfway around the world (or so it seems, even if your destination is a half mile away), you run into that ONE relative. You know the ONE, (we all have at least one), they are that relative who annoys you by their mere drawing of breath, and with whom you must make “nice” for countless hours.
I generally define stress as: “suppressing the desire to choke the living crap out of the person annoying me.” Therefore, there is no question that this is a stressful time of year. There are people who at work, on the road, and, even sometimes at home, that you would like to strangle, but don’t. Finally, with all the build up, annoying specials on TV, and crunch hitting all at once, you realize that it still really all boils down to family. As a result, you take a deep breath, down a stiff drink, and then hold on to the fact that with each year that passes, these moments are actually quite priceless. So, despite the stress, just remember the true meaning of your holiday, and hold on to what you can. Someday these things will be quite funny to you, and may well be all you have. Yep, welcome to the “Holidays!” ~ Michael S. Pauley