Being thankful does not mean that life is working perfectly. It means reflecting on and appreciating the blessings in our lives. We are in the holiday season, a time of year that can be a bit frenetic, as well as a time when many gather together with friends or family. If getting together is in your plans, how can you increase the likelihood that you will: 1. Be reasonably ready, 2. Be aware of what you have to be thankful for, and 3. Enjoy your time with family or friends as much as possible!
Consider your purpose in getting together. Often that’s something simple; to catch up on one another’s lives and to share what’s important to us. Is there a way that you might focus more on your connection with others, rather than on the setting? For example, rather than striving for unrealistic and stressful ideals of a perfectly decorated home or the best food ever, how can you minimize expectations? If you are hosting, what will it take for your home to be ready enough? For the meal to be enjoyable enough? Sure, think about what you’d ideally like in these areas, but then consider what would be adequate. Anything beyond that is a bonus. By shifting our focus, we can become aware of and appreciate what’s most important.
Often, the simplest plans are the most satisfying. This might mean developing your own alternative traditions. I have enjoyed even holiday gatherings that were created for “orphans” those who wanted to celebrate, but who had no other plans. In the end, it becomes about the people and the authentic connections. What can you do to focus more on the people you care about, and the things you are thankful for? I wish you satisfying holidays where you reflect on your blessings, and enjoy yourself and those with whom you’ve gathered. Warmest wishes.