The holiday season is a time of gratitude and thanks. We look forward to the celebration, bringing our families together and enjoying the quality time. We spend hours getting ready for the festivities and preparing for the feast. We envision how fabulous our time will be with our families and friends. In our heads, we play out how each minute will pass, how the food will be appreciated and how the love will be shared.
If you spend any time on the Internet, you can view the great photos of family and friends enjoying their time together. The food is beautifully displayed to perfection and each family member is having a wonderful time. However, things aren’t always what we imagine them to be.
I’m sorry to say that reality is often very different than our expectations. Our expectations lead to disappointment as we watch how things can turn out differently than we anticipated. You would think after we reach a certain age, we would stop doing this to ourselves. However, life doesn’t work that way. Again and again, we may be setting ourselves up to be more disappointed.
How can we stop this vicious cycle? Maybe I can suggest a couple mind shifts you need to make to enjoy this time a bit more.
Stop expecting people to be what you want, not who they actually are.
We all have a family member or friend that continuously disappoints us. They irritate us with their choices in life and let us down in their behavior. Common sense would tell us that that after all this time, we would accept this and be prepared for what unfolds. But often we do the opposite. We may be setting ourselves up by expecting this individual to be more than they can possibly be. Holidays are not going to change their behavior. They are not going to suddenly appreciate, change, or have any realizations just because of the time of year. Accept who they are once and for all and stop expecting a different outcome.
Don’t focus so much on the details and miss the point of this time of year.
I appreciate a perfect ornamented table, a gourmet dinner, and everything that goes with it as much as the next person. However, I’m aware that sometimes we can tie ourselves up with the details and lose our focus in life. Even I sometimes do it. I, myself, have become obsessed with trying to find the perfect runner in the exact shade for the dining room table. This will become my quest and I will spend day and night searching for the only thing that will do. It’s a crazy waste of my time because in the end, no one but me even notices. Step back and take a good look at what truly matters in the whole scheme of things.
Whether you enjoy this time is completely up to you. You are in control of your emotions during this time of year, whether you want to believe this or not. Take responsibility and make a decision to treat this year differently.