The month of December was ALWAYS my favorite month of the year, mostly because it was the same month as Christmas, my Birthday, a lot of my close friends birthdays, and my dad’s birthday which is today.

Well in December 1999 that all came to an abrupt end because my dad died in December after getting hit by a truck. My whole outlook on December changed. My close friends who shared birthdays in December with me and I all grew apart (for the better; two went to prison and one was shot and pralyzed while selling drugs) and as I got older, my birthdays seemed less and less like a celebration and more like an inventory of my past and present failures.

My challenge this year is to recapture the joy of December, my favorite month. To remember the way the cool, if not anemic December weather here in Florida brought a smile to my face. To enjoy the Christmas lights and festivities, even if I have to do them by myself and to not run from the things that bring me anxiety (like visiting my father’s gravesite on his birthday). It’s been easy for me to push the good memories of December to the crevices of my mind and almost make them all but forgotten and treat December as just another month in the year, perhaps even a sadder one and letting melancholy set in. I think often we let events, people and circumstances in life steal our joy and that in turn is giving them too much power over our lives. I’ll write more about that in a later post, but right now I would like you to think about something that has robbed you of some joy, rather it’s a bum leg, a hectic work schedule or years and years of putting your children first while letting yourself slip away to the point that you don’t recognize yourself any more (you’re no longer YOU, but Bill’s wife and Sarah and Megan’s mom). Recapture yourself and the things that make you happy if just for a moment.