Posted by: sistermom1 | December 15, 2010

Happy Holidays?

Saw a segment on The Today Show in which they spoke with two authors about how to maintain your happiness during the often stress-filled upcoming holidays.  ( It was interesting, because much of what they discussed could be applied to my own life.   They discussed the overwhelming desire that so many people have to perfectly match the holidays of our youth (at least what we remember!).  They also discussed the need to let things go and be flexible, and the dynamics that can re-surface when family gets together after being apart for much of the year. 

My health has forced me to take so many things so much easier than I used to – even in my 20’s.  The pressure that I felt (self-induced!) to re-create the memories of the holidays of my youth (which were fabulous and food-filled) stressed me out and left me disappointed when they did not match my remembrances.  Being a peace-maker by nature, when people get together and any tension surfaces, I am quick to feel uncomfortable — even when it is to be expected.  As you can tell from earlier postings, easing up and letting go has not been one of my strong points. 

Since being forced to deal with my diagnosis of MS — but most especially over the past three years (see an earlier blog entry on my anniversary) —  I have had to make many changes in the way I move through the world.  Not just the obvious ones, like my not being able to walk and needing a wheelchair, but more challenging ones like being ok with hosting a family dinner in a way that respects my current physical limitations (e.g. — everyone cooking and bringing food, eating on good paper plates – instead of china, not polishing and using all of the silver, everyone cleaning up, etc…)

Getting ready for the holidays this year has definitely been more of a challenge than I am used to.  I am thankful for the internet, so I have been able to get much of my shopping done ahead of time.   Some good friends have been willing to bring me on their shopping trips — I love the energy of the mall during the holidays — which I really appreciate.  There is an ease to the family rhythm this year — I am not quite sure why.  It is probably a combination of more of my energies being directed towards my kids’ education experience (he is a freshman in high school and she is freshman in middle school) and my spending a bit more time examining this stage of my own journey.

This holiday will be a happy one.  Putting together an enjoyable celebration over the next few weeks without needing to be in charge of the entire thing will be a new way for me to relax and enjoy the end of this year.  The entire season caps off with our wedding anniversary on New Year’s Eve.  I am looking forward to it — 16 years is something I really want to acknowledge and celebrate.  Who knew what we would encounter on this journey?

Here’s wishing all of you who check out this blog a wonderful, happy holiday.  Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all……


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