Lola Rolls
Advice on Life from a Former Sideshow Fat Lady

Let Us Give Thanks

Posted By on Sunday, November 29th, 2020

Dear Lola,

I was fortunate enough to spend a beautiful, quiet Thanksgiving with my family. Thanks to the pandemic, this was very different from our normal routine where we have 20 or so friends and relatives gathered around the table.

Even though we are fine and healthy, I spent most of the day feeling sad. Every stupid little thing triggered these negative feelings to the point that peeling potatoes left me feeling depressed. The low point of all this was when I set the small, perfectly done turkey on the table and burst into tears. That upset everyone, and I’m angry at myself for having that outburst.

I guess my question is how do I get to my happy place, and, with Christmas on the horizon, how can I make sure that I don’t have another meltdown?

–Crying in the Turkey


Dear Crying,

I can appreciate and even applaud wanting to put on a brave face and stay cheerful for the sake of others. This strategy has its limits though, as witnessed by your ill-timed crying jag.

I’m guessing that if you hadn’t been suppressing your uncomfortable feelings because you didn’t think you had a right to experience them, then they wouldn’t have come rushing out during Thanksgiving dinner. Positivity has its limits.

Rather than trying to get to your happy place, you would do better to explore the full range of your emotions. Maybe that means that you allow yourself to take small breaks during the upcoming, curtailed Christmas celebration to be sad and reflect on what you are missing. Since this is an exceptional year, rather than doing an abbreviated version of your usual merry making, you could do something different and better suited to a small crowd. That would keep the festivities from looking like a puny version of what you’re used to.

I would also encourage you to reflect with your family about what you’re missing this season. The chaos and disruption of this year are the obvious elephant in the room. Talking about the current situation and what means it for all you would go a long way to diffusing stress and to freeing you and others from the relentless mandate to remain upbeat at all times.

The normal closing would be to wish you happy holidays, but, in this case: Happy, Sad, Angry, Disappointed, Resigned Holidays!



Barbara Boehm Miller
Fiction Writer and Creator of the Character, Lola Rolls

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