Decomposing from the Holidays

by Elizabeth Newcomer in , , , , , ,



My mom, my sister and I were discussing the Enneagram and the types of our loved ones over the Christmas holiday.  My dad, Gary, is a Three and so is my Aunt Janet, my mom’s sister.  Remarking how surprised she was that both her husband and her sister were the same number, my mom said, “Gary can relax from doing, but I don’t see Janet ever really slowing down.”  That is typical of threes, they are constantly doing, gaining their sense of self worth through their tasks, actions and achievements.  The beautiful thing about the Enneagram is that two people of the same type don’t necessarily look alike.  They can have a stronger wing on one side of them than the other; they can more frequently access one of their connection points.  And most importantly, your type is not who you are, your type is an adaptive strategy that you developed at a young age, it is the motivation behind your actions, it is the pair of glasses through which you see the world.  After explaining this all to my mom and my sister, she said, “Actually, now that I think about it, Janet does come home after a long day at work, go to her room, put on ‘Young and the Restless’ and just decompose.”  There was a pause, us girls not sure just what sounded wrong, and then my mom said, “Wait, is that right?  Decompose?”  And I said, “I think you mean decompress!”  Laughter ensued.

I feel a bit like I am decomposing from the holidays, all the sugar breaking down my teeth, the rich foods gathering around my belly, puffiness around my eyes.  I had a wonderful Christmas break, complete with seeing almost all of my family and my beau, Michael’s family.  But for the past two days, since returning to New York, I have been a decomposing lump on a log, not really wanting to get up off the couch or stop watching television.  Overwhelm is setting in, a bit, New Year’s Day looming over my head.  I have so many goals and hopes and dreams for this New Year, wanting it to be the best year yet.  And yet, I am setting myself up for failure before the New Year has even begun, putting expectations on myself that are so high, I am bound to fail. 

I am an avid journalist, and yesterday I was looking back in past journals to see what I wrote as my New Year Resolutions for 2012.  What surprised me as I flipped through the pages of journals from 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, was the circular nature of my musings.  In some senses, I have wanted the same things since I was a little girl.  For me, they have to do with implicit self-care, looking and feeling my best, and with my career, being able to really shine and express myself, to have the opportunity to work on beautiful moving pieces. 

No matter what type we are, we all have patterns and grooves on how we deal with the wonderful, intense, overwhelm of the holidays.  And most likely, in our New Year’s Resolutions, we are reminded of the things we have always wanted for ourselves.  What type are you?  How do you decompress from the holidays and how do you prepare for a New Year?  What are your New Year’s Resolutions?  Do you see any patterns in them?  Please share your thoughts in the comments below.