The “Most Wonderful Time of the Year” is also one of the busiest. There’s finals for school, evaluations at work, cold to deal with outside, and cold relationships to deal with inside– December can be a lot to handle. While we want everything to work out perfectly, nothing does. Often times “I want to achieve these big goals!” turns into, “I want to make it through!” But you know what? That’s okay.
Making it through doesn’t really get enough credit. For as much as participation trophies make people fume, not everyone does get a trophy, just everyone that shows up. Showing up matters because putting in effort matters. The problem is that it doesn’t always seem like effort matters. They say character is who you are when no one is looking, but if no one is looking, and you’re tired and don’t care, is the effort really worth it? Hypothetically we will usually say yes! Absolutely! We should always try! But in practice? Things become more nuanced somehow, and eventually we are able to justify taking the low road over the high one.
Especially at this time of year, it’s important to remember that character does matter. Even if everyone else is elbowing you in the face, you don’t have to sink to that level. When things become busy and stressful, people lash out. If other people lash out, we want to lash out as well, it seems natural! But what is natural isn’t always good. It’s okay if your goal is to just get through it. You don’t have to be the biggest or brightest house on the block. But showing up, participating, and being there as much as you can is important. Your effort matters, give it, so you can help those around you.