Tag Archives: happy holidays

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving, my fellow Americans!

We just got back from a hearty Thanksgiving meal at my dad’s house. Kris and Grey came too, so it was a nice little gathering. Of course we prepared too much food, but that’s what it’s all about, isn’t it? I am always grateful for quality time with my loved ones.

This time last year, Dave and I were holed up in our hotel room in Costa Rica, waiting for Hurricane Otto to pass by. After that unique experience, I no longer have any particular expectations for how a Thanksgiving should be.

I used to feel like Thanksgiving had to meet certain requirements in order to be right. My whole family had to be there. We had to have turkey, stuffing, gravy, broccoli casserole, creamed onions, mashed potatoes and gravy, cranberry sauce and biscuits. We had to have apple pie and pumpkin pie for dessert. If it could snow, even just a little, that would be nice.

Last year, Dave and I decided to use the Thanksgiving holiday weekend as a way to extend our Costa Rica trip. I hesitated at first – did I really want to be away from my family during this most-cherished of holidays? It had been weird enough to stop eating turkey on Thanksgiving once I became a vegetarian, but skipping the holiday altogether was really pushing some boundaries. Perhaps being stuck in a hotel room as a hurricane passed by was the price I had to pay for skipping Thanksgiving, but it was worth it. That trip was amazing.

This year, when it became apparent that one brother was going to do this, and another that, I accepted that we would not all be together on Thanksgiving day. Instead, my brothers and I had a pre-Thanksgiving weekend with my mom, and then today, Kris, Grey, Dave and I shared the day with Dad.

When I think back to Thanksgivings of the past, I feel so lucky to have spent the day with so many wonderful people and in so many cozy homes. Above all, I’ve come to realize that the holiday is about the experience of being together with people who are important to you.

This is what I’m grateful for today:

Time spent with my family.
My two fuzzy children.
That my dental journey is nearing an end (or, a resting point?).
Our cozy little house.
That I’ve been able to meditate for 110 days in a row!
That we live in a safe place and I can go through my days without fear.

What are you grateful for this Thanksgiving?

Wherein I Air More of My Flaws

I’d really like to be one of those people who sends a Christmas card to everyone I’ve ever known. I love sending handwritten notes to people and I love making cards. This year was pretty much an epic fail as far as that goes, thanks to chronic procrastination, an inability to say “no” to anything, and because I allow my work life to mentally drain me.

At work, there is a motivational poster that says:

Strength doesn’t come from what you can do.
It comes from overcoming the things you once thought you couldn’t.

The poster is meant to help people who are trying to get healthy by eating right and exercising, but every time I see it, I think about overcoming the mental challenges in my life.

Perhaps “psychological challenges” might be a better way to put it. I’m talking about these preconceived notions I have (and presumably everyone else has too) that often hold me back from being my best self. Some of them are engrained from childhood. Maybe they’re even inherited. Others, I’ve picked up along the way.

Probably the biggest mental block for me right now is the idea that I am never going to get my procrastination issues under control. I look back over the majority of my adult life and I see it – the ugly beast that is procrastination. It doesn’t matter what I’m doing, my brain will tell me that I should be doing something else instead. Or perhaps I will have several goals to accomplish and this invisible force will compel me to check my email and Facebook 47,000 times instead of simply focusing on the task at hand. Before Facebook, it was MySpace, and before that it was LiveJournal and Xanga and AIM and ICQ.

I’ve taken some steps to eliminate the temptation to procrastinate from my life. I no longer play any smartphone games. I turn off most of the notifications on my phone, so if someone sneezes on Facebook, I remain blissfully unaware. I know I could take it further by shutting down my Facebook account entirely and by only checking my email from home, but I think I should be able to learn not to give into temptation so easily.

Like the little engine that could, it’s all about thinking you can, right?

In other news, I got my hair cut last night:

Sometimes overcoming a challenge is simply about doing that which makes you uncomfortable. I used to be afraid of going into hair salons because I believed that I wasn’t attractive enough to be in that kind of environment. (It sounds absolutely ridiculous as I type it!). I was also afraid to try things with my hair because I didn’t want it looking any worse than it already did. But once I got up the courage to go, I learned that they could do some amazing things with my hair and no one ever said I had to leave because I was ugly.

If I don’t post again before Christmas, I hope you all have a beautiful holiday with loved ones and a safe and happy new year.