Expectations are funny things.
Over the last couple weeks, I have had more than a few moments when I found myself awash in a pool of self-pity about the holidays.
Our 20-something year old daughters are on the other side of the country and neither are coming home.
I was sad. Part of me still is.
But I really needed to get over it as my emotions were truly getting the best of me. So, I decided to pull out my secret weapon — curiosity.
I began my exploration with the specific question of ‘what would a perfect Christmas look like’. From there I did what is called a brain dump (a scientific term no doubt), where you sit down with pen and paper and write for 15 minutes non-stop. (side note – brain dumps are a wonderful way to discover some of the unconscious programming running in the background of your mind)
Let’s just say it was a very revealing experience for me.
One of the best things that came up was that there needed to be snow. Big fluffy flakes at night where the air is crisp, and you can see your breath. (did I mention that I now live in Southern California?)
And bells. Even though I have no idea where that came from.
Doing fun things with the girls was important as well as many, many hugs.
The list included a busy social calendar with lots of Christmas parties.
Nailing the perfect/most memorable gift for everyone came up plus having it wrapped exquisitely.
All with lots of family and friends and games at the dining room table and mom’s cinnamon rolls and my dad’s laughter.
And oddly enough, there also seemed to be a lot of items from a Christmas song I always sing called Silver Bells. Really brain?
When I wrote about what Christmas should be, it was like a highlight reel from all the Christmases I could remember (of course without any of the drama).
I had created an expectation of this fantasy holiday experience and I had been setting myself up for failure all along. Our brains do crazy things but I am happy to have finally gotten some clarity here.
There will still be things that make me sad this year and that’s okay.
But the suffering part is optional because it is of my own doing.
Who knows? This just might be the best Christmas ever.
Sending light and love to you all.