Holiday Greetings From “That Guy In The Gym”


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This is the best time of year, wouldn’t you agree?
I mean, the holiday season was created for all of us to reconnect with each other and spend some “quality” time together. Growing up as an Italian-American in Queens, I experienced all of the traditions of large family gatherings, complete with all the “dysfunctional dynamics,” which occur anytime we reassembled brothers, sisters, cousins, aunts, uncles and, of course, our memories.
This month I am certainly not going to stand here and speak on the evils of holiday parties and buffets. I am certainly not going to encourage you to limit yourself to one cookie. I’m not even going to tell you to make sure you hit the gym or count calories from Thanksgiving to New Year’s.
By now, you’re probably wondering, “Steve, have you totally lost it?”
(Well, yes, but that’s beside the point.)
I would like to take this opportunity to encourage each of you to “de-stress” for just a moment.
You know, this has been a tough year. From panic in the economic market, to crazy prices at the supermarket, from the pain at the gas pump to the pain of trying to buy tickets for a Met game, from bailouts to buyouts, and everything in between, we have been through the ringer in 2008.
Seriously, I can’t even watch the news anymore. It’s all the same “dreck” on every channel, sending us into a panic, warning us to “be afraid…be very afraid.” It’s just not right.
After all, there simply has to be more to this life than stocks, bonds, bi-partisanship, scandal and struggle. And this is what I want each of you to think about.
During this holiday season, I want you to find a soft spot…dare I say, a safe place to rest, for just a little while. Turn off the television, lower the radio, and just breathe. Pour yourself a warm cup of something, and put your feet up. Call a friend, write a letter to your cousin, or sit quietly and meditate on the blessings in your life. Embrace the person you are, and envision the person you want to become.
Reconnect to peace. Reconnect to yourself. Reconnect.
It’s time to create some space in our lives, some room to grow, some time to think; a new pallet upon which to paint.
Whether you celebrate Hanukah or Christmas, whether you spin a dreidle, or deck the halls, it’s time to laugh a little.
I’m probably the most serious thinking “worrier” you’ll talk to today, but even I can see that we are ALL in need of some major comfort.
I want you to try to create an environment conducive to peace. Maybe it’s the view from your apartment that brings you a sense of calm. Maybe it’s your neighbor’s voice, simply saying, “good morning,” which reinforces your sense of community. Maybe it’s the smell of something cooking that sparks a memory of really, really good times in your heart (this one is my personal favorite).
Whatever you need to do to feel that “re-connect to love” is the way to go here.
My theory is this:
Life is like a pizza. It’s divided into slices, and you have to learn to vary your toppings. Sure some may have vegetables and extra tomato on them, but you have to reserve a few slices for a little meatball, some pepperoni, and of course lots and lots of extra cheese.
Well, I feel we’ve had our fair share of vegetables this year. Now it’s time to enjoy a slice of life…just for the taste of it!!!
I promise you that this “gym guy” will be enjoying at least a canoli or two this holiday season, as well as a warm cup of espresso and anisette, while I sit down and catch my favorite show, “A Charlie Brown Christmas.”
Talk to you in 2009. Please take care of yourselves. Ciao!