Ironic how this is the season of peace, joy, hope and love and so many of us find ourselves stressed, sad, in despair and angry.
Stressed over money and purchasing the exact perfect gift for the weirdo family member we hardly care for or ever see!!
Sad over loved ones not here with us to celebrate the dysfunction of the holiday season.
In despair over life’s, often times, cruel reality.
Angry that little-granny-silver hair just STOLE OUR parking spot…I mean who the heck does she think she is…..just cuz she’s all senior citizeny doesn’t mean she gets DIBS on all the spots…does it???!! Now I have to walk…RRRRRRR!
The irony of this season, whether you believe in God or not, is that we celebrate the birth of a man who renounced worldly possessions BY BUYING worldly posesssions….HA!!
This is not a post about NOT giving gifts etc. I am an all-american gift-buying, tree-cutting, believer in Jesus Christmas celebrator….sigh!
I am here to offer a CHALLENGE…it is Monday, after all and perhaps a tip to shift your attitude from Mr. Grinch to Mr. Cratchit.
I believe that we set our expectations too high, which sets us up for bitterness and resentment, keeping us from joy, peace, love and hope. We do this everyday in regard to almost every aspect of our lives. Since it is Christmas, I will give you an example of how my MOST dreaded family activity has transformed itself to my one of my favorite family events by simply lowering my bar of expectation, in fact, in this instance I REMOVED the bar COMPLETELY….five kids people, five kids….there can be NO bar , if I want joy, peace, love and hope….jus’ sayin!!
Christmas Tree shopping…..sigh….oh and please don’t write me some holier than thou email about how UN-GREEN I am…I have checked into the whole singing and dancing elves that deliver your potted tree and then remove it and plant it afterward…and guess what…..this service is ONLY available on the WEST COAST….so ZIP IT!!
In any case, this yearly event quickly became a horrific nightmare that I dreaded each year.
My expectation list:
All of my children would share in my excitement and enthusiasm of venturing into the forest of piney trees.
All of my children AND MY HUSBAND would have IDENTICAL taste and ideas of what “the perfect tree” looked like….ha!
They would all share and welcome the christmas spirit and desire to assist in the cutting and securing of the tree.
They would decorate like well-behaved-polite-politically-correct debutants instead of like a bunch of uncouth-nasty-club-bearing-neanderthals….ugh!
Needless to say, I returned home angry and appalled by the shallow, selfish, disgruntled children I was raising, I mean for Pete’s Sake…..did they NOT UNDERSTAND how very FORTUNATE they were to even have the means to AFFORD a dang Christmas Tree??!! HOW DARE THEY??!!
Around the time I turned 35 and added yet ONE more BUNDLE OF UNENDING JOY (not at all said in dripping sarcasm) to the clan, I transformed my attitude and expectations…..I think 35 is the age where most of us begin to mellow out, maybe not…if you are beyond the age of 35 and are still the same ball of stress you have always been…might I suggest the book Zen Heart….really, it’s time to chill…life really is very short, why not enjoy yours?!
So….how did me changing my outlook CHANGE the whole event….if you are wondering if my shift miraculously altered the very nature of my children (nature of all children)…
NOPE! NO DICE! BIG FAT NADA!!
There is usually still a spat between some of them.
One is ALWAYS ticked about the tree that has been selected…usuually OLIVIA…sorry to sell you out like that Liv, but perhaps your embarrassment will lead to a TRANSFORMATION in YOUR ATTITUDE….jus’ sayin…LUV YA!!
And for PETE’s SAKE it is still difficult to get a dang picture by the tree with everyone looking (they were all….the sun’s too bright…blah, blah, blah), BUT…..and here comes the transformation….
I DON’T CARE!!
I know who my children are.
I know the kind, caring adults they will EVENTUALLY transform into…..fingers crossed..hehe.
There are MORE moments of my family playing, laughing, partaking in a oh-so-friendly-not-seeking-revenge-for-the-year’s-wrongdoing snowball fight (that is if there is snow) than there are sulking and arguing. It all depends on where your focus is…truly. If I am seeking out, standing in alert, ready for battle….then you can be damn sure you will discover one!
This principle is the same for merriment of the season….if you stand expectantly….
PEACEfully (dropping your expectations for the perfect day) in the….
HOPE to witness…..
JOY of your HEALTHY, VIBRANT family which you created together in
LOVE….you WILL experience it!
There is beauty in each moment, yes even the chaotic ones, we just need to acquisition them….truly.
And one more tip: Let Go Of The Guilt….just let it go…it serves NO PURPOSE…
We are human.
So what if you go all verbally ninja on your child here and there…..APOLOGIZE and move on…maybe save for therapy instead of college…KIDDING!!
Really….stop creating failure.
Tune into those precious-not-so-perfect moments….they are where perfection resides.
They are where hope, joy, love and peace reside.
Enjoy the season….the sentiment of the season….
And breathe again.
Create your peace.
Create your joy.
Create your hope.
Create your love.
Enjoy your day!
I am thankful for the beauty accessible to me everyday, if I simply pause and take a moment to notice.
The sunsets and sunrises are breathtakingly gorgeous lately, emblazoned terra sunrises…
and impassioned rose and azure fairy-flossed skies in the evening…..
We have talked previously about necessary transformation of evolving to conscious living….conscious to ourselves, conscious to our lives and conscious to our surroundings. I have been purposeful in this endeavor and have become extremely cognizant of the beauty beholden in the rise and fall of our sun, a contiguous result of my desire to be consciously alive.
If only I could metamorphose into an early riser to fully enjoy the sunrise as a refreshing and thoughtful way to start each day. Open to any suggestions on transforming from a non-morning person to a morning person???
So much for wordless….sigh.
Enjoy your day…take a moment later to experience the sunset!
Well, it certainly has been a whirlwind of a week for everyone!
Hopefully MOST everyone has had power restored.
Today I am thankful for those simply divine moments…the unexpected moments that you remember forever…..slightly odd, but all the sweeter!
Here is a short recap of Halloween and the moments I am referring too….
Below is a picture of our trick or treat group….
This was one of those sweet unexpected moments, as the french fries in the middle is a dear friend of my daughter Olivia, who has been battling a rare and aggressive brain tumor for the last year. She joined us unexpectedly for trick or treat! Love you Hay!!
The other moment…the bizarre, sweet one was this…
Saturday, the day of the infamous October Snow Storm that left NJ, PA and Conn reeling in its wake was my SIL(sister in law’s) birthday. As a result of the storm her children were unable to come home, as planned, from visiting their dad.
Pathetically Becky, my SIL, spent her birthday curled up on her couch...ALONE, WITHOUT POWER….IN COMPLETE DARKNESS listening to the breaking branches fall outside! HOW AWFUL!!
The next day, I threw an impromptu birthday celebration. Dan and I had a clambake….ha…try that on for size…an indoor clambake in the wake of a weird snowstorm in October….so the celebration consisted of CAKE! A quick birthday serenade, blowing out of the candles and a hunk of chocolate on chocolate cake before the kids had to hit bed….it was a school night after all…or at least we thought it was a school night!
Sidenote: I did bake the cake and the frosting from scratch….jus’ sayin.’
As a result of the storm, Olivia was babysitting my friend Lori’s two little guys at our house AND my friend Michele was over for showers and homework for her family, she has triplet boys and a 6-year-old boy.
In any case, all of these worlds collided and the picture captures Becky’s guests at her celebration! All people she knows, however are more my friends…lol! We were all laughing at the peculiar and perplexing mix of guests, but somehow it made it all the sweeter!
I love these moments….the ones that you could not have imagined! The ones where you are faced with a choice of making the best of it or moping around about it!
Often if we choose to make the best of it….the very peculiarity of the experience transforms itself into one of our most cherished memories and every now and then are the moments that teach us our greatest lessons.
Lesson learned: Where there is empathy, kindness and love….only joy can rise!
We were a motley crew…..most in need of showers..some from the absence of power and some from wreaking like a clambake….others were cranky as a result of school assignments needing finishing and spirits for some were a little downtrodden. Upon leaving however…..all wore smiles and were robustly laughing.
We carved a slice of joy for ourselves in the oddest of circumstances!
Be aware and cognizant of opportunities in your life seemingly undesirable for they may, if you allow it, metamorphose into a delicious morsel of joy to savour for a lifetime.
Remember….FALL BACK….daylight savings this weekend!!
Enjoy you day!
Today I am thankful that during the crazy hustle and bustle of the morning routine, I noticed the gorgeous sunrise and…STOPPED what I was doing…..went outside, took a relaxing, cleansing deep breath and admired the beauty that was present in my back yard.
I am thankful for the beauty that surrounds me each day!