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No need to fear, the holidays are here – almost

Dear Lucy: This is always a bad time for me.  I have never been close to my family and I just dread this time of year. What can I do to get ready? 
 Lucy Shaw

Dear Lucy: It is October already and with Halloween coming, I know that the next thing is all the hype about Thanksgiving, Christmas and then the New Year. This is always a bad time for me.  I have never been close to my family and I just dread this time of year. What can I do to get ready?

– CH

Dear CH: You are not the only one with this issue. This time of year can be so frightening, painful and disheartening for all sorts of reasons. Some have to do with money, loved ones who won’t be with you or can’t be with you, lost relationships and the list goes on.

Change is the one dependable circumstance on this planet called Earth. We learn through change. So, when I am faced with the various holiday traumas, I ask myself this question: “If this was not the holiday season with all of the emotional attachments to distract me, what could I do that I have not done before to create joy?”

I make a decision to create the change that I want to experience. This approach takes away the need to have money or other people to make something different happen.  

Maybe this year, I will choose to befriend someone that I would not ordinarily. Or maybe I will make a game of anonymous giving; not a whole lot, but just giving without looking for credit. Maybe, I will start a list of things to do differently every day and write about it at the end of each day.

I like the way you asked the question. You said, “What can I do to get ready?” And that is the key.

You don’t have to sit in fear and dread of the coming holidays. You can create a plan for actions that you will take to create the changes you would like to see, no matter that they are small or large, and let that be your focus this year.

For years, rather than beat myself up at the end of the day over what I didn’t do or what didn’t go right, I write a list of at least five things that I succeeded in on that day. The list can have something as mundane as smiling when I didn’t really want to all the way to actually finally writing the column that’s due! As you practice this, you can be ready to start 2012 with a new way of thinking and loving yourself!

Making a list,


(Check out Lucy Shaw’s website at http://www.heartworks4u.com. You may send your questions to her by U.S. mail to: Heartworks4U, LLC; 4646 Poplar Ave. Ste 201, Memphis, TN 38117 or by e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .)

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