With Thanksgiving just a two days away there are always expectations that rise. Don’t get personally overcooked. I love the holiday and want it to be perfect. It seldom is. In fact nothing in life is perfect. There is the imaginary Walton family Thanksgiving experience that we have developed in our imagination but most families do not ever achieve such levels of closeness – I don’t think the Waltons did either. So here are a couple of additional things to think about:
Have realistic expectations. Don’t anticipate the worst but be more realistic both for yourself and your loved ones. Folks are not going to change their behaviors just because it’s Thanksgiving. If you remember how it has been, and it wasn’t all that good, then you will be pleasantly surprised if it goes well and you won’t be blindsided if it doesn’t. Keep your cool and enjoy the moments you can. Think about positive responses to situations before you even go to dinner or for a visit. If you can’t handle it – call me and I will coach you through it – in other words have a friend as a back-up that you can call to help you cope. This year it can be different because you can handle it in a different way, not because the other folks will be different.
Keep a sense of humor. The holidays are crazy and challenging and that is simply a fact. Be a bit of an observer. Step back and smile. Pretend you are a novelist looking for material. Study all the chaos and smile. Watch an episode of Jim Gaffigan talking about food and laugh out loud, he is hilarious. Instead of letting the holidays control your emotions, decide right now to create the experience you want. Remember this is your chance to shine and let your spiritual strength to express itself.
I hope you all have a great Thanksgiving, my favorite holiday because of the feelings of gratitude it generates in me and others around me. Make it one to remember – if not for others – for yourself.
“A glad heart makes a cheerful face, but by sorrow of heart the spirit is crushed.” Proverbs 15:13