A second Christmas in pandemic mode.
The cheerfulness that normally surrounds this merry period only puts in contrast a strong emphasis on the difficulty of the present days.
And for some of us, the stress that normally surrounds the festive period is greatly increased by the anxiety-provoking pandemic situation.
There are right now a thousand reasons to be exhausted, depressed or worried: our own physical and mental health and that of our loved ones, an economic context that has repercussions where predominates anxiety, whether we are talking about working methods (between working from home and returning to the office) or financial stability.
Uncertainty, isolation and loneliness characterize the current times and impact everyone, one way or another.
The duration of this pandemic obviously takes a toll on our human resources, which are dwindling over the course of these long months. Not understanding certain government decisions, moves or parties (hello Boris) is obviously of no help at all. We now all understand that normality is an ever-changing concept and that constant adaptation is draining.
What to do ?
I’m running the risk to repeat myself but it is essential to put things into perspective: even if exhaustion dominates, we have to remember every day that having a good health, a roof over the head and food on the table is already a phenomenal chance, a phenomenal chance that not everyone has. I think of the extremely sick people, the homeless people, the migrants who die at sea. To sum up, I think of all these people who have been forced to give up their lives in order to survive.
I know that I’m very lucky to have the opportunity to write to you at this very moment. It’s even an immense luxury because it presupposes material security and above all a mental and emotional availability which give me the resources to share my thoughts on this website. The point is absolutely not to invalidate the suffering of certain people or to draw up a list attributing a greater or lesser importance to a variety of difficulties, but one has to acknowledge that some people experience more insurmountable issues than others.
I’m running the risk to repeat myself but it is essential to focus on the essential, that is to say the human side of life and all its positive variations: love, altruism, tolerance and empathy. It is sometimes very difficult to fight the urge to withdraw into oneself – because once again, emotional fatigue isolates everyone, cuts one off from oneself and from others.
But the fact remains that it is vital, yes, absolutely vital to say when ones struggles and to ask for help whenever possible. Likewise, it is vital to express positive thoughts, to say when things are going well, to note the positive, awkward or funny events of the day (as minor as they may be) or to pay compliments to our loved ones or even to strangers – let’s be crazy.
I’m running the risk to repeat myself over and over again but it is essential to take care of oneself in order to meaningfully take care of others. Taking the time to do at least one thing a week that brings joy and pleasure is the bare minimum to preserve a stable mental health (not enough in some cases, but hey, life is a sum of baby steps). Regularly replenishing one’s energy capital allows to respond to one’s own needs and those of others.
I’s running the risk to repeat myself over and over again but it is essential to be a little more tolerant with ourselves. Perfection is just an empty concept which varies from time to time. Aknowledging that we are doing the best we can with the means available at a given moment allows to release the pressure and therefore the worry. Likewise, being lucid about societal expectations allows to free oneself from toxic thoughts: there is no meaningful obligation to cook a 75-course Christmas dinner, to starve oneself to be ultra-thin in a fancy dress or to deal with despicable family members that no one wants to see around a Christmas table.
Living the moment for real, remaining open to every tiny potentiality to experience a smile, a laugh, an exchange is crucial at these times.
This text sounds like a personal development text – and that is certainly not what I intended while writing it down. Also, I feel like I’m stating the obvious here.
To be absolutely transparent, 2021 was probably one of the most difficult years of my life because serious events impacted two of my children, which had to be handled on a day-to-day basis. I end up absolutely drained, both physically and emotionally.
However, this photo shoot that I am presenting here turned out to be a nice and unexpected Christmas present. Frozen to death in front of the lens of Cedric, my photographer, I understood that the Universe was with me when an empty 1930s bus pulled up in front of us. Obviously I couldn’t help but go to the three old-fashioned gentlemen who were in the driver’s compartment to ask if we could take pictures in front of the bus. When they said yes, when they offered to take pictures inside and even to take us for a ride on the Champs-Elysées, I understood that THIS was my Christmas present. And the pictures don’t lie: I look delighted, smiling from ear to ear. I thanked life, I thanked the Universe and I fully appreciated the gift.
Happy holidays to each of you, and loving thoughts to my sweet Debbie who inspired this text 🙂
December 24, 2021
Dior dress – Prada heels – Chloé purse – Max Mara coat
A huge thank you to Autobus De Paris