Which reminds me of another theme: the variations on happiness, contentment and joy. Each has its own special sauce. The distinction may come down to duration, and their individual time capsules. To me, joy is more of an episode, while happiness and, particularly, contentment signify ongoing states of well being. (Cue the sound effect of a happy sigh.)
I have a sign in my kitchen that says, "Count the really good blessings twice." And when I stop to count them, there are lots of really good blessings. That's the challenge -- stopping to count them.
Whatever situation you find yourself in on this Christmas Day, stop to think for a moment or two about those blessings in your life. If it's one of those "firsts," it may be hard to find them (understandably so).
If you're enduring another extended family get together that could be described as "Norman Rockwell Not," this too shall pass. And your attitude toward it has everything to do with how you feel. After all, we pick our battles. Just stop and ask yourself, "Is it worth it?"
Here's a little mantra I composed that may help you out:
Peace on Earth
Is a lofty goal.
But inner peace
Is within my control.
Linda Arnold, MBA, is a certified wellness instructor and chairwoman/CEO of The Arnold Agency, a marketing communications company specializing in advertising, public relations, government relations and interactive marketing. Reader comments are welcome and may be directed to Linda Arnold, The Arnold Agency, 117 Summers St., Charleston, WV 25301, or emailed to livelifefu...@arnoldagency.com.