Before I sat down to write this post I was talking to my sister and letting her know all of our fun Thanksgiving travel plans (aka the amount of time she should have her phone at the ready for me to call and bitch about everything.) She was quick to say how fun it would be and we laughed knowing that “fun” isn’t necessarily the first word I’d use to describe my visits home. Heres the truth. If you know me it wont be a surprise, but for you lovely souls who have just stumbled upon me here on the inter-web ( I think that’s a funny word, I know it’s not the real word but I like it.) I’m neurotic, I’m anxiety ridden and I have ungodly ridiculous expectations. Add those together and imagine what my holidays or any high pressure situation end up like.
And then my sister reminded me of the year I called it Hatesgiving.
Okay wait before you get all pissed and preachy, just realize I was only half serious.
So one year I was in a bad mood about all of it. I think it may have been the Thanksgiving before I had my oldest son, I was just about 1/2 way through my pregnancy and felt tired and cranky (well I actually feel tired and cranky kind of often but at that point I had something to blame it on.) Who knows it doesn’t matter so much. What really matters is that I was feeling incredibly apprehensive and cranky so I set my mind to the fact that it would never be the way I wanted it to be. It was never going to all be perfect (because perfect doesn’t exist) and I made a joke out of it. Don’t get me wrong I’m a huge advocate for and believer in the importance of gratitude and don’t fret for one more moment because I know that in the grand scheme of things I basically should be on my knees thanking God every second for the multitude of blessings in my life. I’m also a realist and at times I’m a bitch. So that year I was trying to take it in stride, make a joke of the fact that it all gets so messy at times, and make fun of myself a little for taking it all too seriously. And would you believe it if I told you this was the same year that Chris and I said was the year of the Thanksgiving Miracle.
That Thanksgiving miracle was that it was PERFECT. I mean perfect in the sense that we had an amazing time, the visit was amazing, the food was delicious, we laughed, we cried (well we didn’t cry but you get the drift.) Now don’t get me wrong I don’t think having a negative attitude often produces positive results au contraire. I don’t know what exactly happened that Thanksgiving but I have a feeling that in some ways I was working on these following tips, whether I was aware of it or not.
1. Set Realistic Expectations
This one is the hardest for me. I have dreams big dreams every year. And they are usually crushed at the very beginning because they’re not realistic. This year my expectations with 2 small children eating dinner are basically that I wont sit and I wont relax. But that’s okay. I’m going to eat as quickly and as much as possible -and then when everyones done and someone wants to play with my kids, I’ll gorge myself on pie! Now we’re talking. But really. I do find that realistic expectations make it much easier. My kids aren’t going to look perfect all day and not spill on their clothes they’re also not going to refrain from screaming and being too physical with each other, they just aren’t. So I need to just know that and be okay with it. Phew. I feel better already.
2. Laugh at Yourself
This one is somewhat easier for me (at times.) As I mentioned before I can be really ridiculous and in those moments sometimes the best thing to do is laugh at myself. You burn your favorite dish? It’ll be a great story in a few years. You drop the appetizer on the floor and serve it to your fiancés family anyway…(oh wait that was just me?! sorry guys!) Just laugh (oh and it burns calories which is great for Thanksgiving.)
3. Have Perspective
My featured photo on this blog post is a picture of two of my sisters and their kids. One year on Thanksgiving morning we delivered meals to individuals who weren’t able to get out for them. It really put things into perspective. The kindness of others never ceases to surprise me. It’s actually even hard to find opportunities to volunteer on Thanksgiving because so many people want to give back. In a world where so many awful things happen and individuals are suffering in horrific ways as I write this. It’s so hard to keep perspective. To remember the blessings ALWAYS.
4. Find Your Own Fun
So one of my odd Thanksgiving fantasies is to sit down to an amazing gourmet Thanksgiving meal where everybody speaks softly and kindly to each other (see already this is ridiculous because I would be the first one to ruin that!) My point being here that’s not my reality. While I actually think that would be loads of fun. It’s just not happening. So instead I’m going to think of what I can do with my family and my personal limitations. A walk after dinner or maybe just wildly chase my children around the yard to get some exercise in?! Now we are talking.
Which of these tips do you need most?
Share in the comments. Or if you have a tip that works for you that’s not here, I’d love to hear it!