Early in my adventure with Cowboy and our blended cross-country family, I realized our holidays would look different every year. I was prepared for holidays to be celebrated on different days (Thanks Mom!), but what I wasn’t prepared for was that every year who was present and many of the traditions would also be ever changing. After a few years of searching for that just right holiday feeling — I caved. These three little secrets changed the way I find happiness in the holidays. Family and planning can be complicated in all families and maybe one of these will resonate with you too this upcoming holiday season.
Changing expectations – Ever so slowly through this whole parenting, step-parenting, and general adulting thing I am learning that it’s not lowering my expectations or even giving up on them. It’s changing my expectations. I can still fully expect incredible, special and blessed moments to come from the holiday. Here’s the mind shift change for me. Those incredible moments are not defined by me. They aren’t created by me. In fact, mind blowing as it may be, I’m finding more and more — rarely do they even have to be planned by me.
Looking for the good stuff – Changing my expectations is so powerful because I’m free to look for magic moments as they happen. A good way for me to practice is to look for ways I can helper that will go unnoticed. The view is incredible as I go about those ideas quietly and with a smile. In the ordinary moments of peeling potatoes, sleeping in or having another cup of cocoa, I’m no longer working toward a goal. Instead, I’m enjoying the goal. Time together.
Be gentle – When I am demanding too much of myself, experience around here has proven, that these demands are likely to be deflected on others. Everyone is left feeling like we don’t measure up. This goes directly against what the holiday season is all about. Deep breath. I am worthy and I don’t have to measure up. If I let love and humility overwhelm my heart, then it just naturally overflows to those around me.
I look forward to the times when we gather around a big table, but my perspective has been forever changed. Here’s to embracing the traditions that are right for us right now.
From R7 to you —
Be a blessing.