I love the holidays. I love what they symbolize and the sense of tradition that goes with them. Thanksgiving gives us the opportunity to look back through the year and reflect on what we've accomplished. The New Year allows us to plan our future goals. Of course, our viewpoint on this matters a great deal. We can beat ourselves up for not doing as much as we could've throughout the months, or we can pat ourselves on the back for overcoming challenges we met. I'm trying to break the habit of looking backward and not recognizing all that I've accomplished. I have the option of which mindset I want. It's easy to feel discouraged, and it's just as easy to feel grateful. When I need a reminder of the year's past events, I simply load up the photos on my computer. It's the fastest way to put a smile on my face.
Do yourself a favor; before meeting up with family and friends, think of some fun stories you can tell. It doesn't have to be the ultimate tale of an epic journey. It can be a silly, slice-of-life recounting that would be interesting or humorous. This exercise may do a few things for you. First, even if you don't get a chance to tell your story, it'll put you in a good mood. Second, if you do contribute, you may be helping others to feel better as well. Third, family get-togethers aren't always the most comfortable (Damn you, Norman Rockwell), but a touch of lightness is infectious.
Fourth, you may open the door for others to share their delightful memories. Finally, Fifth, this is an important one, be patient and let your Aunt once again talk about her glory days as a dancer. (Yes, I know, I know, I'll stop one of these days.)
We get stressed out with all the end-of-the-year rush. We have quotas to meet, holiday shopping, travel plans, and deciding what wine to have with turkey and sweet potatoes. (Champagne is the correct answer, but I'll allow Pinot Noir or Sauvignon Blanc). We think that everyone is more organized and their home looks perfect. Don't fall for those setup Instagram, FaceBook, TikTok posts. They're all lies. (That's what I tell myself, and I feel better.) Remember to take a moment to close your eyes and breathe. Don't spread yourself so thin that you miss out on enjoying your family and friends. What's important is being excited to see everyone and catching up with each other.
We can take an honest look at what our year has been without feeling defeated. Instead, take stock of what went well and what can be improved. Choose to be in the present. This is a wonderful time to sit back and reflect on your life, and feel the sense of love and gratitude that surrounds you. Choose to see the silver lining, enjoy the rainbows, try not to run over the unicorns. Above all, have a joyful, relaxing, and fun Thanksgiving.