Commentary: Holiday Thoughts for 2018

Photo courtesy of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles

The holiday season is almost to its climax. It has been an interesting one to say the least.

On the plus side, I was happy to see that AutoMotorPlex went into Ridgedale Center in Minnetonka, Minnesota to create an experience center to engage with shoppers and potential garage condo owners at their newest Medina location. They created a garage inside of a retail space full of cars, motorcycles, memorabilia, and displays for garage condo owners to equip their spaces. In all, it was a festive place befitting of their goals for the new complex west of Plymouth and Golden Valley.

The AutoMotorPlex space will run through January 5, 2019. If you're in the area, stop by! It is on the second floor next to Nordstrom.

It was indeed a space that has its own form of holiday cheer. The real cheer came in the form of a few stops leading up to Santa's big day. One was a wonderful party thrown by a friend and client from my consulting gig. I had the chance to talk a few people – a huge change from years prior. Maybe there was cause for celebration – and there was. I got out of my shell a bit without making a complete ass of myself. Mission accomplished.

I will admit, however, that I had to deal with some challenges towards the end of the year. I know that we all do, but I felt at times when things got a bit overwhelming. My mind races towards places where they should not go, and my emotions follow accordingly. Those are not good places to be – especially when you have a public persona, such as this website.

While the generation before me would scold me from talking about these things, it was that same generation that was exposed to many movements that were designed as new coping methods to deal with stress, loss, loneliness, and so forth. I remember my father getting into est – or, the Erhard Seminars Training. For the uninitiated, est got people to change the way they deal and cope with the world. Not to delve further into Werner Erhard's methods, let's just say that it scared the living daylights out of my family.

Then, I stumbled into the Men's Movement. This focused on getting men to cope with the same stresses and loss by taking a middle ground through encounter and rite. I was attracted to it because it involved drumming – and the original Boomer (my conga drum) was introduced to this so-called movement. The outcome was that I came out – something that wasn't supposed to happen in the Men's Movement from what I gathered.

If you are coping with stress, loneliness, loss, and grief during the holidays – don't do like what my family and I went through. There are much more constructive, engaging, and positive forms of release and emotional management to pursue.

Let's call it as it is – the holidays are damn stressful. You have to get gifts for people, send out holiday cards, deal with family and other loved ones.

Even cards from people you have never met! For example, I use Patreon to support a couple of YouTube channels – one of which offers a look into their lives as a young, out gay male couple in the northeast of England. The lives of Ryan Briggs and Aiden Nord are both typical and extraordinary; inspirational and positive. These autobiographical videos are what the world needs to cut through the noise of politics and the loss of civility.

One day, I received a parcel from them via the US Postal Service (from the Royal Mail) and it contained a wonderful card and message, along with a gift. If you're reading this, thank you again, Ryan and Aiden, for thinking of all of us who support what you do in the viral realm. I do hope we can follow their example to regain some sort of civility and love in our hearts – not just for others, but for ourselves.

That is really what we need right now: civility. We need to get back to a place where we need to be kind to each other, respect our differences, and embrace what brings us together. Honor the opinions we have on any subject whether you agree with it or not. Lend an ear for those who are hurting.

Photo courtesy of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles

So, think of the Santa character Dodge created for their holiday campaign. Think of that 797-horsepower sleigh that will propel Santa across the skies. Think of a December 25th that combines the innocence of a child, the love of a father, and the license to celebrate the day in any form you wish to pursue. Just make sure it's legal and non-violent.

With that said, Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Happy Belated Hanukkah, and a Happy and Safe New Year!

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