When parting with people for some period of time, we often express some sentiment that references the time until we are reunited. On a Friday, you might tell co-workers to have a nice weekend. You may wish your friend a happy holidays if you’re seeing her for the last time before Christmas. Yearbook inscriptions often read, “Have a good summer!”
Nice. Happy. Good.
These sentiments are, of course, socially accepted platitudes we’ve all come to agree on as normal parts of communication.
But nice, happy, and good are not depression words. Nice, happy, and good are words that mock your depression, knock it on the ground, kick it, and spit on it for good measure.
Which is why I always appreciated the parting shot my former therapist used every week:
Have a peaceful week.
She knew that many people were dealing with situations in which good weeks just weren’t possible. The nicest wish she could bestow on them was a hope that they might find some peace.
So, that is my wish to you, on this sometimes-troubling day that falls at the end of a troubling year in a troubling world.
Have a peaceful day.
It might not be peaceful at Aunt So-and-So’s house. There might be so many sugar-high children running around that the line is crossed between “seeing Christmas through the magic of children’s eyes” and “complete chaos.” Rarely-seen relatives may be inquiring too much about what you’re doing with the next phase of your life, or why you haven’t gotten to some socially-expected point in the current phase of your life. And if all else fails, there’s probably an argument about politics going on.
Sometimes it’s just hard to find peace when you’re just not feeling very merry and you’re dealing with the pressure to put on a happy face.
But my hope is you’ll find peace somewhere. Maybe it will be on the drive home from the relatives’ house, when it’s finally quiet. Or maybe it will be in those moments when you’re finally alone, say, like, while taking a shower. Maybe you’ll have to make your own peace by taking deep breaths.
And no, there is not Peace on Earth, despite the greeting card inscription wishing it so. There may not even be peace on your little corner of the earth. But you can still find a moment of peace inside yourself.
Wishing you peace, with a little help from my friends The Eagles, one of whom was a victim of the cruelty of 2016,