Happy Thanksgiving from my family to yours. My wish is that this year holds amazing things to be thankful for.
Have you even accomplished something you thought you couldn’t do alone? I know it’s a little bit early but today I got the artificial Christmas tree up all by myself. I know it doesn’t sound like a difficult feat but being only five feet tall, I am somewhat challenged. Not only did I get the tree up and the lights on but I also managed to get the bow on the top. I guess it’s true, where there’s a will there’s a way and once we set out mind to getting something done, it’s as good as done.
What have you done recently that you didn’t think you were capable of?
If there is a one way ticket to disappointment, it is through our expectations. I do believe sometimes I think too much about how I want something to be instead of just allowing it to be. There is one thing I am certain of in 44 years, life is unpredictable. No matter how much I want something to go a certain way, it is simply going to play out with no narrative from me. Too much thinking can be a slow, debilitating, poison. Sometimes it’s best to just go with the flow and grab some popcorn for the front row ticket of your own show. Fortunately, the opposite is also true. Sometimes I dread something that turns out better than I even imagine. So as John Lennon so eloquently put it, Let It Be.
I’m not really sure if I chose the right time to taper my depression medication. I am hoping by the time the holidays are over, I will be off of them for good. As I sit here quietly thinking about the family members who have passed away, I can’t help but shed a few tears. People come and go into our lives and they change us. Some for the better and others for worse but the ones we hold dearly never completely slip away. Their lessons, their memory, their kind words and their smile live in very special part of our hearts. It seems like yesterday that I was a teenager sitting in a room full of relatives, surrounded by an amazing circle of love. It saddens me to know many of those special people haven’t been a part of my life in several years. Every Thanksgiving I allow myself to remember. I sit in the pain, in my loneliness and I quietly grieve for their loss. I also remind myself that life is so much shorten than we ever imagine and it is so important to make memories with the people I am still blessed to have a part of my life. My heart is so full knowing in three short days I will return to place I grew up. The house that built me will be standing strong with a faint memory of my grandmother standing in the window waiting for me to pull in the drive. I still feel her presence today. Take time to look around your table over this long weekend. Be grateful for every person, every day, every memory and for all the wonderful times that are still to come. Count your blessings. Count them a hundred times and allow that special love to fill your heart and tuck it away where you can pull it back out whenever you need it most.
I am so excited counting the days to Thanksgiving. This year will be a little different than most. Other years, we have spent the day with my husbands family but this year it will just be the four of us at home. I realize the closer we get to the kids graduating from high school, the more we need to appreciate the time we have left. Life gets so busy sometimes with work, sports, school, studying and the days we spend quality time together are few and far between. That is why I am tickled pink to have my husband and kids all to myself for an entire day. No friends, no homework, no emails. Just our little family, some great food and some good old board games.
How do you celebrate Thanksgiving? Will this year be filled with years of tradition or will you be doing something out of the ordinary?
Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.
I made a quick trip to the mall today. As I was standing in line at Old Navy, I noticed a young girl behind me talking to her son. I’m guessing he was around four and his mother was quietly urging him to behave. He started touching my purse and playfully punching his mom and the more he acted out, the more she pleaded with him to stop. I could tell by her posture that she was embarrassed and I couldn’t help but reach out to her. We spend so much time trying to conform to the way others think we should be. We get caught up in comparing ourselves to other parents and measuring our own kids against someone else’s. I smiled at her and explained how I remember those days shopping with small kids like it was yesterday. We exchanged stories and before long she was smiling back at me through grateful eyes. Life isn’t perfect and we aren’t perfect either. People need our empathy and not our criticism.People need our support, not our judgement. She decided to walk with me for a short time so we could continue talking. She needed someone to take her by the hand and say it’s going to be okay. Those words of encouragement made a tremendous difference in her day and as we finally parted ways, she turned and looked me in the eyes and said, thank you for being so understanding. I smiled back and told her to have a nice day.
There are days I feel her pain. Days I can’t help but ask myself, where have I gone wrong? Those are the times my heart really hurts and the more critical I am, the sadder I feel. We are hard enough on ourselves without friends, family and strangers chiming in to make us feel worse. Think of this story the next time you feel the urge to pass judgement. Offer support instead and notice the significant difference you make in somebody’s day. Be the difference you want to see in the world. Be kinder, be compassionate and always jump in to provide some support. One person can make a tremendous difference. What kind of difference are you willing to make?
The choices we make determine the quality of the life we live. It’s so easy to get caught up in the things that trip us up. It takes an immense amount of focus and dedication to keep the bad from creeping into our hearts and making us cold. There are so many things, so many people that can leave us feeling nothing but bitter and only with determination can we overcome the bad and focus on the things that make the real significant difference in how we view the only life we will ever live.
I’ve spent months letting things that are out of my control determine how I feel. I have become consumed by the nagging cruelty of a small number of people I am forced to share this world with. I have given them the power and have left myself powerless along the way. The truth is, life is too short for that kind of nonsense. There will always be someone who will try and pull me down but it is up to me to make sure they don’t succeed. There are so many wonderful things I can focus my time and attention on. I have so many beautiful blessings in my life and I am no longer willing to sacrifice my happiness as a result of the manipulation of someone who has such little importance in my life at the end of the day. I can no longer be a puppet once I cut the strings and that is exactly what I plan to do. The secret, the way to win is to eliminate the people in our lives who rob us from our inner peace. No one has the right to take that from us and we need to make sure we don’t provide them the opportunity. So I am grabbing the scissors and making the cut that is long overdue.
We are meant to be happy. We are not here to struggle but rather to love and heal and make the world a better place a long the way. What is it that is holding you back? Is there someone or something you need to cut out of your life so you can finally enjoy it the way it’s meant to be?
I learned today that the truth does eventually come shining through. Life would be so much better if we were all just honest from the start. Unfortunately, that is not always the case so we must learn to be patient and navigate around any obstacles that tend to show up. Fighting lies does not do anyone any good because a liar is never going to admit their lies aren’t the truth. So we have no choice but to sit back and wait for them to eventually stumble over their own words.
I am pleased to say I survived another school meeting today. I was able to stay calm and just tell the story the way it is with no need to become defensive or prove any point. When something was entirely misconstrued I simply chuckled to myself because really there was nothing else necessary to do. Having a mediator made all the difference. There was no room for pointing fingers, passing insults, or intimidation. We simply just told our story and since I have been living it for three years, it was pretty easy to do.
Remember, always speak your truth even when your mouth becomes so dry that your teeth stick to your lips. Eventually you will remember to bring a water bottle and everything really will be okay. Always do the right thing even when no one is watching, because in all honesty, there is always someone who is watching. Be a mentor, an example of what you want to see more of in this world and at the end of the day, smile to yourself because you know, even when it seemed extremely hard, you have always done your part.
Could it really be? Yes! We made it to Friday. This is a day that holds so much hope. Generally, most of us find our smiles after a long week of muddling through. We all need a break sometimes and this day is the bridge that leads us there. Do you have anything exciting planned for the weekend? If not, schedule something to look forward to. There is nothing better than knowing something great is in the immediate future. Those little things that get us excited are like stepping stones from one time to the next. If we make the jump from one to the other, those other things just fade away. Be happy, love completely and laugh loudly. Enjoy this day as if it was the last one you will ever have. You owe that to yourself.