A Few Charms (Banner)

A Few Charms (Banner)

Thursday, 25 December 2014

The countdown begins... on the first day of Christmas

Christmas Day is almost over. Now the countdown begins! The Twelve Days of Christmas. The countdown to Epiphany, Twelfth Night, or Three Kings Day, depending on your affiliation. My goal is to post every day about a different charm on my winter bracelet, as we countdown to January 6, 2015. So here goes...

On the FIRST day of Christmas Pandora gave to me... a clear cz pavé lights charm.

live in Canada. In fact I live in the capital of Canada, and it is the second coldest capital city in the world, second only to Moscow. We have alot of winter, for a long time, with a lot of snow. And with that comes shorter days, less light, and a tendency for Seasonal Affective Disorder, and depression, at least for me.

I started my Pandora journey in December of 2011. During the winter of 2012, my focus was "earning" Pandora charms in my recovery from an eating disorder. Pandora rewards kept me "symptom-free" (no bingeing, purging, or restricting) and helped me set goals for what they call "behaviour activation" - getting active and making changes in behaviour. I was VERY motivated to get Pandora charms! The sense of self-mastery upon achieving those goals created a momentum of success that made me stronger after each little challenge, whether the goal was simply to walk around the block every day for a week or to make lunch for myself. Pandora became a symbol of that success - a symbol to remind me of the things I had accomplished, a symbol I could carry with me all the time, and often a symbol of an affirmation that would help me. And Pandora gave me something to look forward to.

The Winter 2013 version of my "Beat the Winter Blues" bracelet

Throughout that first winter, I enjoyed taking photos of my charms and sharing on the main Pandora page the meanings for the charms - what became known as my "stories." That winter I was one of the 50 most "engaged" fans on the page and was sent a lovely gift package from Pandora headquarters. There was a number of Pandora promotional items, including an umbrella and a round "play tray," but the most meaningful to me was the new pavé lights charm (next to the clasp). That charm symbolizes that first winter, and how my Pandora charms and my new Pandora friends helped me get through the winter.

The following year, I was determined that the winter of 2013 was going to be different, that I would not just "survive" it. So I started building a bracelet reminding me of all the things I needed to consciously DO to "Beat the Winter Blues" (the photo above is from the winter of 2013). For example, I was going to make my fitness a priority, so I set fitness goals. I tend to isolate when I am depressed, despite the fact that I am an extrovert who is energized by being around people. So I thought it was a good idea to go to a gym where I could socialize while I'm exercising. I decided that I would volunteer at the Y to get a free membership. The added benefit was that I travelled downtown on the bus two mornings a week and got to chat with my husband. So I wore my clear pavé lights to remind me that, just like the previous year, staying "engaged" with my Pandora friends would help me stay "engaged" in my life, and beat the winter blues.

"Blue Skies"

I was blue, just as blue as I could be.
Ev'ry day was a cloudy day for me
Then good luck came a-knocking at my door
Skies were grey but they're not any more

Blue skies
Smiling at me
Nothing but blue skies
Do I see

Blue days all of them gone
Nothing but blue skies
From now on

Related Posts:

On the second day of Christmas... polar bear

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