Yeah, it's sappy. I like it.

Happy Holidays, Comrades –

Damn, it’s hard to be broke during this time of year.   The days are ticking down, and the list of things I want to give to so many people is so long it seems it will never end.  Today has been a day of discouragement and, at times, self-deprecation about my station in life.  I have a lot of love to give, but, alas, am between millions, so to speak.

After staring at the screen for longer than I care to mention, I found a way to get over myself long enough to pick up the phone and call my brother, who helped me put things in perspective in a way that I was unable to do on my own.   Funny how being in a funk can obscure simple truths – what we focus on multiplies, and everywhere I looked today was some other damned thing that I found myself lacking.

In my next post, I’ll touch on how to use your friendly neighborhood thrift store for holiday shopping; but for now, I’d like to take a few minutes to speak to you, whoever you are, to tell you a few things my brother said to me tonight that took away a lot of the weight I was feeling.  I hope some of it might help you, if you’re in need of it.

For starters, your worth is not dictated by your bank account.  Repeat this as often as you need to.  If you strive to be a good person; from simple acts of kindness to strangers to helping a friend or telling someone why they’re so important to you – these are things that make you valuable to the world.  At least they do in the world I live in.

If you don’t even have the financial space to breathe, I urge you to get off the ride of consumerism and look at what you do have to give to the people you love.

You have time and care and words; you have the ability to forgive and to reach out.   Maybe you have a skill you can lend to someone who could use it, or maybe you have a letter in you to a friend who needs to hear good things about themselves.   Some trifling little thing wrapped in silver paper will fade away pretty quickly – but thoughtfulness isn’t quickly forgotten.

When the negative thoughts come flooding in (and, usually, they’ll find a way), get off the couch and keep busy – take a walk, take the time to do something that you’ve been avoiding for a while, get out your crayons and draw a picture of a Christmas tree, take a cup of coffee to someone less fortunate than you are – something, ANYTHING that begins to focus your energy outwards in a constructive way.  What we focus on multiplies.

No matter how down in the dumps you might be about yourself, someone out there, me included, thinks that you’re worth more than what you’re able to buy.  It’s up to you to believe it yourself, but if you do something different this year and the heart behind it is generous and true, you might just be surprised.

“Then he smiled at me, pa rum pa pump um…me and my drum.”

I could really go on and on here, but hopefully I’ve sketched out enough of the idea to give you a clear picture of what I’m trying to say.  We’ve gotta be more than the economy, folks.  We’ve gotta embrace who we are rather than what we don’t have.

This conversation with my brother brought home the things that I personally find important, if I stop the ride and get off long enough to think about it; namely, the people I care for and how much they mean to me.  Thankfully, through one phone call, instead of a list of stuff I want to buy that I won’t likely complete any time soon, I’ve got a mind full of amazing people in my life, thoughts of whom sustain me and keep me buoyant – I may not be rolling in dough, but when I think about the people I’m lucky enough to be loved by, I’m a wealthy, happy soul, remembering what I value in life.  And that’s the biggest gift I could ever ask for.

Over and out for now. I’m with you.  Hang in there. As always, thank you for being a TSC reader.

Happy Holidays and All best, Nicole