Friday, December 24, 2010

How to Survive: Christmas!

I hope you all have a Merry Christmas and can enjoy the celebrations with family and friends.

Christmas Day at my family's place tends to be an epic event. It goes for the whole day. If you are like me and are an introvert, and also have a few family members who you really have difficulty being around for any longer than a few minutes (NPD/antisocial/obnoxious/racist), it can help to have a plan of attack in order to get through the day without being rude in response.

Here is my survival plan for the day:

1. Distraction
When things get too much, there are other things I can do. There will be no less than three playful dogs in the yard, a cocktail bar and if I really have to, there is a quiet and dark room where I can go and read for a bit or meditate.
Also, the majority of people will be lovely. I will find urgent things to go and talk to them about.

2. Diversion
"Yes, I am now a Doctor, no I can't take a look at that skin lesion/advise you on your medication regime/tell you whether or not you have a legal case against that ED who made you wait more than 30 minutes when you went in with a sore toe. Go and see your own Doctor, and look over there, isn't that the cocktail bar/amusingly drunk cousin/dog stealing beer? Excuse me, I need to pee."

3. Deception
Yes, I may plead diarrhoea in order to escape. Nobody will doubt the Doctor, right?

4. Drinking
Of course, I am not entirely serious. Being a bit tipsy around people who are being incredibly rude/racist/obnoxious would lead to me shooting my mouth off and putting a big dent in the fake family harmony that is Christmas Day.
But a little bit, plus trips to the bar to mix cocktails for other family members? It might make for some fun.

5. De-stress
There it is again, me in that quiet, dark room. I even have some guided meditations loaded onto my iPhone just in case. I kid you not.

Family is a precious thing. In most cases, you do as well as you can and you all get by. In some cases, it can be traumatic, damaging and maladaptive. My family is a mix of both.

We all have people with whom with are thrown together once a year through circumstance or genetics. In small doses, I can enjoy the positive sides to their personalities, and if I have a plan, I can leave it at that. I know I'm also far from perfect.

Have a lovely Christmas and a wonderful New Year!