Yesterday we talked a bit about gearing up for the Holidays. Sometimes our emotions can get in the way and circumstances can get our eyes off what is really important. We set unrealistic expectations for ourselves and those around us and pretty soon we're dreading the holidays. Just this morning, my youngest daughter said "the next few months are my favorite: I mean, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, yummy food!" I just chuckled to myself thinking of all the work that means for me but so much fun for her. Don't get me wrong...it's a lot of work, but I thoroughly enjoy it. I have had to learn, however, to lower my expectations and just enjoy the moment.
As you look back on Holiday's past, were you relaxed and "in the moment" or were you silently stressed and on to the next thing in your mind? Different seasons of life can cause us to re-evaluate our expectations. If we fail to re-evaluate we will be met with disappointment upon disappointment. Why? Because we based those expectations on the circumstances of the past years and found the current moment sorely lacking.
Whether you are single, newly, married without kids, married with kids, new to an empty nest, divorced, etc..you have expectations of what the holiday's are supposed to be. Hallmark commercials blare perfection, family traditions run through your mind (and if you are married, you are marrying your husbands traditions as well), Newspaper Ads bombard us with everything we supposedly "must have". Social media is filled with stories of what everyone else has planned, what their home and tree looks like, the 20 course meal they are serving (and making all on their own). Blogs are filled with so many ideas. Pinterest is jam packed over the top decorations and recipes. It never ends.
Where do your expectations fit in with all of this. Maybe there are even "wars" in your own home about what should/should not be done, who should be invited, what we are eating, how much to spend on gifts, who to buy gifts for, etc....Just the other night my hubby had the audacity (lol) to suggest we didn't need a tree this year for Christmas....we almost put him out in the dog kennel.
What are some of the expectations you've had over the years?
What are some of the expectations you have for this year?
Are they realistic? Are they peace inducing?
Are you holding on to these expectations at the expense of joy and happiness just for the sake of "this is what we've always done", or "this is what is expected".
Is your family on board?
Our expectations will look different from the next persons, and that is completely okay. Please don't compare.
Tomorrow we'll go a little deeper and I'll share some of my own experiences.
With Joy UNquenchable,