The OFFICIAL MASTER LIST: (sign-ups are closed)

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Holidays Aren’t Always Easy Guest Post from Mike of Tupeak Hope

Holidays Aren’t Always Easy

I truly wish that you are enjoying the holidays, regardless of your belief system. I wish you the best of health, happiness, financial stability, and good fortune throughout the holidays and all the days yet to come in the coming years.

The truth of the matter is I’ve been struggling incredibly in trying to compose this particular post, much more than I would like. For many, the holidays are an enjoyable time of year during which they get to spend time with friends, family, and those they love. Maybe they even get paid for the holiday. Maybe they get to see those people that are too far away to visit regularly.

Unfortunately, for others, the holidays are a tremendously challenging time of year for any number of reasons from personal health challenges, those of people close to you, or even the death of a friend or family member. Perhaps you find yourself struggling financially, for reasons beyond your own control, and like me have had to make the difficult decision to inform friends and family that there would be no gifts this year due to the horribly adult task of prioritizing what funds you have towards bills. Perhaps none of the above applies to you but rather you are faced with depression or other mental health issues which are often notably worse during the holiday season.

Then again you could be like me and fall into multiple categories. I have multiple complex medical and physical issues that are impacting my health this year more so than many previous years to the extent that I spent the better part of October in the hospital as well as some time in September and November as well and the medical community still hasn’t quite figured out what all is going on with my body. My mother passed away suddenly two days after Christmas many years ago. While Christmas obviously was never the same, we all tried to carry on for our own respective families.

As we mature into adulthood and even parenthood if we so choose, we realize that nothing in life is static and that it can all be gone in an instant. Some, like me, have been witness to this not only on a personal aspect but through being in emergency services most of my teen and many adult years.

See, sometimes we have to experience the difficult and troublesome things in order for us to appreciate those things in life, which we often take for granted. Nobody ever promised us life would be easy. Life is full of challenges and sometimes of the year are full of more than others. These are the times when we must make more than average efforts to truly take time to be appreciative of the good things that exist in our lives as opposed to the things over which we have no control. Let me see if I can put this into a bit more perspective for you.

See, I could be a miserable grumpy old guy during the holidays because of the various things affecting my perception of the holidays, including things I have not shared here, but to what end? What would be the point of being miserable both to myself and those around me I care about, not too mention to strangers I may encounter. Don’t get me wrong, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t depressed, and anyone who knows me well, knows that I most certainly am for a variety of legitimate and verifiable reasons.

However, despite having good and bad days like any person I’ve ever met, I choose to make a conscious effort to be mindful of my mood and the impact it can have on both my physical and mental health, as well as how others may perceive me. If I am constantly negative, then what will that accomplish? It will simply perpetuate the negativity and make those around me miserable as well as making me feel even worse. Now, I need to be clear here I am not telling you to “fake it”, but you do whatever gets you through the day.

I choose to try to recognize the things upon which I have absolutely no control and try, to the best of my ability, to not let those things negatively affect my mood or how I react with or to those around me. Sure, I still think about these things that are weighing on me but realistically I cannot change them so dwelling on them accomplishes nothing other than getting the pharmaceutical companies rich by ensuring I need more than the three different medications I already take for my blood pressure.

I try to acknowledge the negative items in that I allow myself to know that they exist, and then push them from my brain. It doesn’t always work, but it’s sure better than dwelling on them and frees my mind up to try to focus on the positive things in my life. Sure, I may not be able to buy gifts for those I care about, but I am also lucky enough to be able to be present in order to spend time with them. Many people no longer have that chance or ability.

I could be obsessing about the as yet unknown health diagnoses, but that would again accomplish nothing save give me a heart attack or stroke. Instead, I choose to try to take some time each day to try to clear my mind in whatever way works that day, be it listening to music, some breathing exercises, or even meditation. The trick is to find whatever works for you and try to keep things in perspective, so that you don’t torture yourself or others unnecessarily. Sometimes journaling helps, other days trying to think of how to put things into words is more of a stressor. The trick is to find a few things that work for you so that you have more tools in your toolbox for those tough days.

Life is hard enough without us punishing ourselves, so take a moment to breathe, smell the fresh air, coffee, flowers, or whatever makes you smile, then keep doing that. Don’t take a single moment of life or health for granted and don’t sweat the small stuff. Be grateful for what you have as opposed to upset at what you don’t have and while we will all have a bad day do your very best to minimize it to maybe a bad few minutes, refocus on what’s truly important, and then continue forward through the journey of life. Maybe you can even make your own A to Z list of things for which you are grateful!

Best wishes for health and happiness to all who read this, all participants and visitors of the A to Z Challenge, and the team members who work tirelessly behind the scenes to make sure that the A to Z Challenge continues each year. Special thanks to the A to Z Team for all they do!

Mike from Tupeak Hope



T: @TupeakHope


Wendy said...

I can certainly agree that holidays aren't always easy but made a particular effor this year and have just returned from a good break away. Interesting post.

Nicole Pyles said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Roland Clarke said...

I'm impressed by your positivism and take encouragement from it with my health. Blessings for 2019.

J-Dub said...

I dislike all the pleasantries as folks ask about my holidays. I can’t tell them that they were incredibly bittersweet. I’m grateful and taken nothing for granted but missing loved ones is hard. This time of year magnifies our loss. I’m trying to #ChooseJoy. Your post helped nudge me in the direction.

Tupeak Hope said...

Wendy, I'm glad you were able to enjoy a good break away. We all need to take some time for ourselves and self care, not just care for others. I too made extra effort this year in the aspect of simply trying to be grateful for the good things in my life. It may sound easy, but it can be easier to allow ourselves to fall into the negativity trap and justify it by saying we aren't being intentionally negative, we're just being realistic. As with anything the longer we practice a particular thing, the more likely it is to become a habit, be it good or bad (gratefulness vs. negativity). I have been taking steps to try to take back control of my life when my health seems to have taken that control from me and a combination of things such as being grateful, mindfulness, and similar techniques are in the mix to try to change the things that I can. Thanks for taking the time to comment and I wish you the best in the coming year!

Mike (Tupeak Hope)

Tupeak Hope said...


Thanks for taking the time to read and comment. You are right that life can get very hectic and even interfere with what we may desire to do on a regular basis. I also believe that sometimes we must take a step back from 'the norm' and evaluate if the norm is where we wish to be. I know plenty of people that spend tons of money on gifts they can't afford to purchase be it for their children, spouse, significant other, or children. Yes, it is true that we all like to give and receive gifts, but why do the gifts have to be so materialistic? What happened to the real reason behind giving a gift as opposed to how fancy or expensive it is, which is how many judge how good a holiday they had.

My apologies, for I know that was not the point of your comment and that response is not directed at you personally. Rather it is simply an observation that just kind of flowed from my brain to my fingertips just now.

I hope you were able to slow down enough to enjoy the holiday and the time with those you care about. To me quality time with friends and family beats any material gift I could receive.

Mike (Tupeak Hope)

Tupeak Hope said...


Thanks for taking the time to both read and respond to the post. I am sorry to hear that it sounds like you also have health challenges, but am extremely happy to hear that you were able to take encouragement from my ramblings. Best wishes for a healthier new year in 2019!

Feel free to visit my blog as I plan to try my best to schedule time much more regularly to post and share this year as I continue to work on my book. Hope to see you there!

Mike (Tupeak Hope)

Tupeak Hope said...


Thanks for taking the time to visit the AtoZ Challenge site and not only read, but comment on my post. I do appreciate it.

The pleasantries can be challenging in that while we don't wish to be rude or even Grinch-like even the best actor has days where faking it is extremely challenging, if not impossible. That doesn't mean we're not grateful for what we do have, but the grief of missing loved ones is very real and very potent, especially around holidays when we would normally have spent time with them.

I love the hashtag of #ChooseJoy and I'm extremely happy to hear that I was able to guide you on your journey of seeking and maintaining happiness by sharing my thoughts and experiences. Typically I've tried to keep my writing more general in the past so that it reaches the most people possible. This post for the holidays I decided to step out of my comfort zone and share some more personal insights, and the comments like yours have helped to show me that maybe I should do more of that in the future.

I hope to see you on my blog as well, for as we go into the new year and throughout my goal is to schedule much more regular time to write and share insights and seek input from others as well.

Best wishes for a great 2019!

Mike (Tupeak Hope)

Nicole Pyles said...

I agree completely. For many people way too much money is spent on gift giving, when this day for many Christians is a special day set aside to honor Jesus Christ our Lord with praise music, getting together, and celebrating what His birth meant to all of mankind. By my comment of "too much going on," I was referring to the impact within a family where numerous struggles and unexpected episodes of crisis require our full attention, strength, and prayers for each other.

Calla said...

Gifts come in many forms. We sometimes make the season materialistic instead of building relationships with loved ones.

Anonymous said...

Hi Mike. I stopped over in preparation for 2019's A-Z Challenge and read your touching post. I'm sorry to hear about your health issues and I hope they improve in the coming year. I'm sending positive vibes your way.


Anonymous said...

Nice Article here Thanks For Sharing With Us Sir.

Charan Deep Singh said...

My son turned two and I wrote a post on his latest antics. Read ...and he is 2

Kiloliad said...

What about the holidays so I agree with you. Every time these salutes and so on. My engine alarm always worked, but now that I’ve got a brand new one here
best personal alarm, this doesn’t happen anymore.