Reflections on Christmas Incongruity


Yesterday I listened to Christmas music on my commute for the first time. It was energetic and happy and evoked good memories, so it was a good start to the day.

But Christmas music also created some dissonance. See, it was 80 degrees yesterday. 100% humidity. I had the A/C on in my car, I was wearing a sleeveless blouse, and all the vegetation here is still green.

Do you know that almost all Christmas songs assume cold weather? They’re all “roasted chestnuts” and “snowmen” and “baby, it’s cold outside.”

It’s not cold outside, and I’m not staying over. Thank u, next.

I love where I live. Florida has been fantastic for me, health-wise. The sunshine and warmth provide a stable baseline for my mentality. They don’t keep me from anxiety or depression or whatever else, but they do tend to make it less severe for me. The sunshine alone is good for most people. That’s why Seasonal Affective Disorder is so prevalent.

So why do I feel this weird dissonance when I listen to this Christmas music in my tropical paradise? Because Christmas marketing is all about selling a winter wonderland. The music, the advertisements, the movies, the outfits. It’s selling a specific experience of bonfires and snow and a glorious celebration of the cold.

Don’t we all feel incongruity when our lived experience doesn’t match the vision we’re being sold? We worry that something’s wrong with us. We try not to talk about it, to keep everyone else from discovering that we don’t fit the mold. Maybe we lose track of our real feelings and desires.

Because the truth is, I hate cold. It’s bad for my mental health, and I only enjoy tiny, tiny snippets of the experience. I’m sickeningly happy to be in Florida, to be able to write you this article from my back porch because it’s warm enough for me to do that. I don’t even have fond memories of cold Christmases from childhood, because I grew up in south Alabama!

Maybe sometimes we’re not actually unhappy with our circumstances, we’re just unhappy because our circumstances are different. And being different can be hard.

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Lyse Links: Hobbies, heels, and how to


How’s your weekend going? I’m hunkered down waiting for a hurricane to slam my state, so I’ve got loads of time to share fun reads with you!! (Those are mostly sarcastic marks, but I do like sharing good stuff with you.)  Continue reading

Side Effects of Bibliophilism – Part 1


It seems like such an innocent hobby when you’re young…read lots of books, become smart in the process, experience super cool stories, nothing bad here (except the staying up late and parents telling you you read too much (I know, seriously?), but that’s not important). Now a little older, I recognize a few side effects of such obsessive reading. I’m not saying the side effects are good or bad, simply observing that they exist. Also, there are obvious side effects (did I mention excelling at some school subjects?), but I am not dealing with those.

Side effect #1: Treating everyone around you like a fictional character. No disrespect to anyone around me meant by this. Fictional characters are good. 🙂 Realization of this side effect took awhile to dawn on me. I wrote about my fascination with people a few months ago, and started asking “why?”. Why would I look at some people and suddenly want to spend a significant amount of time picking their brain? I wanted to know what was going on in their head, where they had been, where they wanted to go. Duh! What do you learn about a character? Generally, you see some back story, read their thoughts, watch where their life goes. There is no privacy…you see everything. In the space of a few hours, I’ve probed the depths of a (imaginary) person, every tiny secret of their life.

Unfortunately, life outside of books doesn’t work that way. I have no excuse to become so knowledgeable about a person, no basis for probing them. Probably best for them…real people deserve privacy from the intense curiosity of strangers. I watched this side effect play out in my relationships too. The best excuse you have for that type of deep probing is the guise of a relationship. With no conscious intent whatsoever, I believe I may have enjoyed the high of figuring out a few of my partners as much as I actually enjoyed the “relationship.” My depression after those breakups was more from the sudden lack of connection rather than any real hurt. I have yet to decide if that was unfair to the guys…I’m just aware of it for my future relationships.

This side effect is a mixed bag. Is it bad, my desire to probe the depths of a person? Probably. However, my fascination of people leads me to be accepting and more appreciative of humanity, which is clearly a good thing. It balances out…I am fascinated from afar, with no threat to anyone’s privacy.

Has anyone else experienced this side effect? Please tell me I’m not alone!