When I first became a vegetarian in my mid twenties, I was astounded when my mother told me that I was ‘ruining’ Christmas by not eating the turkey she had prepared. Thankfully, she eventually accepted my choice and that I was not making a comment on her cooking abilities or trying to ruin anyone’s Christmas!
It sometimes seems impossible to live life without experiencing some form of disappointment, defined as sadness or displeasure caused by the nonfulfillment of one’s hopes/expectations. Our lives sometimes seem littered with unmet hopes and expectations, large or small.
The Christmas/Hanukkah/New Year holidays can seem like exercises in disappointment. There’s such a huge expectation that they ‘should’ be happy family times, and look like something out of a Norman Rockwell card or a Currier and Ives print. It’s hard to live up to those pictures, whether they’re suggested by the media or come from earlier personal experiences. There are strong assumptions from family about what makes a good holiday, from food choices to gifts to activities—and even assumptions about when activities should happen.
However, as adults we get to create the kind of holiday we want. I encourage you to contemplate a few questions, and visualize the results you want to create:
- What kind of experience do I want to have over the holidays?
- What would my ideal celebration look/feel like?
- What can I do to create that experience (or at least part of it)?
- Who can I partner with to help me create it?
Next week I’ll talk a little more about how to deal with holiday stress.
And may you all pursue your celebrations with passion, power, purpose and peace.
P.S. I’m thinking about changing the format of this newsletter from print to video, producing a short 2-3 minute video. What do you think?