Thanksgiving is past and the frenzy of the Holiday Season is upon us! Are you feeling the stress yet? Did you have a little tiff with your significant other, Mother in Law or children over Thanksgiving? Or you perhaps had a touching moment with a loved one, remembering again why they are dear to you?
Regardless of whether or not you experienced some or all of these things, I would like you to take stock of that experience as you move ahead into this season. I talked last week about finding something to be thankful for, and would like to encourage you to continue in that manner throughout the season. But in addition to that, we can get through the season much easier if we accept those around us for who they are.
I talked in the past about setting boundaries with friends and family. That will be necessary if you are going to hit January in stride. In addition, you will have to look past the faults of many and know why you want to share this season with them. Let go of expectations and love them for who they are. If you can do this, the anger, bitterness and frustration that often surfaces will be minimized. Don’t be surprised when your aunt is critical, your husband is dismissive or your children seem demanding. They are who they are. Set your boundaries and let the rest go!
In short, take control this holiday season:
- Set and keep your boundaries!
- Accept others for who they are!
- Let go of grievances and forgive!
If you have questions about the how’s or whys, let me know! Until then enjoy the holidays. After all, that’s your choice!
Thanksgiving is just weeks away. Have you started your holiday panic yet? Have you begun to wonder how you will make it to New Years Eve without checking yourself into a psychiatric facility?
Many go into the holidays with above average anxiety. Can you get it right, please everyone, and keep your sanity all at the same time?
The answer is NO! Don’t even try! We want to believe we can please everyone and we just can’t. No matter how much you clean, your mother in law may comment on the dust bunny she found under the coffee table! No matter how much time you take picking out and preparing the menu, your father may comment on the excess of salt in the gravy!
I will never forget the Thanksgiving dinner I once prepared for the in-laws. I ironed the table-cloth and got out the good dishes. I polished the silver and lit the candles. The Turkey was perfect, the stuffing was moist, and the potatoes were fluffy. Dinner was at 2. The call came at 1:45. “We are running a bit late.” By the time they arrived it was 3:30. The Turkey was cold, the gravy was thick, and I was ready to commit a multiple homicide. To top it off, my mother in law’s phone rang and she talked to her daughter through the entire meal.
If you have been following my writings you know that I am always encouraging you to respond, not to react. I was triggered and then some, and the core beliefs of not being worthy of respect, not being good enough to warrant an on time arrival, and not being valued or appreciated were alive and well. I wanted to come unglued.
A response, however, meant owning these and realizing what I did and did not have control over. I had to understand the source, and accept that the lack of social skills was not a reflection on me. Ultimately, I had to accept that I did what I could and if their meal was less than adequate it was no fault of mine.
So as you go into the holiday season, be aware of what you can and can not control. If someone comments that the house was less than perfect, smile and let them know it was good food or no dust bunnies. You can’t do it all, so do what makes you happy and what is most important relationally. Sitting enjoying good food and conversation feeds the body and the soul. We can do that without a white glove test! And don’t try to be Martha Stewart if you’re not! My friends always say they don’t want to cook for me because I cook “fancy”. I tell them to cook what they love to cook and I will love it!
So prepare in the next few weeks by asking yourself:
- What can I accomplish while keeping my sanity!
- What will promote closeness and warmth for my friends and family?
- What will others ultimately remember about this holiday, and create that lasting memory.