Sunday, November 24, 2013

Good Morning,

 Some people, though looking forward to the family getting together on Thanksgiving, still find themselves dreading it. Their memories of former Thanksgiving reunions are not very pleasant. "Something always goes wrong." says one." We've never made it through a holiday yet without an argument." says another. " I can relate to what they are saying.  It is disappointing to have worked so hard, wanting everything to be perfect, only to have everything go wrong. The day starts out beautifully, and then, in less than an hour, old unsettled issues are being brought up and people start arguing over religion,
politics, money, choices being made, or how children are being raised. Sometimes the arguments are really stupid, like over the way something was cooked.

I think things would go much better, more smoothly, if we didn't have such unrealistic expectations. To expect everything to go perfectly? That will never happen. Better it is to set some boundaries ahead of time, to let each person coming know what is expected. I'm for sending out a small notice a little ahead of time, just a simple one that says something like: This year I want our family to create some really special memories. Because this is my goal, I'm asking each of you (and include myself here too), to come expecting to have a great time, to come expecting to do nothing except enjoy one another and create some wonderful memories. There is only one rule to be followed, which is NO discussions on politics, religion, money, one's life style, or anything else we know will start an argument.

Boundaries are helpful things, not there to make things hard for somebody, but to make things easier for everybody. For most of my life I had no boundaries, which is why my life was so messed up- why I was so miserable for so many years. I was probably the most fearful, insecure, person on the planet at one time. My insecurities and fears- my low self-esteem caused me to people please for most of my life. I'd do anything, no matter how hard it was, or how miserable it made me, just to avoid an argument or displeasing somebody. It wasn't until I learned to say No once in awhile, and to stand  up for myself that my life changed. People aren't mind readers, which is a good reason for boundaries; they let people know exactly where you stand on things. I can't think of a time when this would be as helpful as during holiday time, when  our expectations are to high- to unrealistic.

Holidays, or I should say (just before the holidays) is a good time to send out a note like this to people who will be sharing the holidays with you. If I had sent this notice out many years ago, some of our holidays would have turned out differently, would have been much sweeter- the memories more precious.

I'm encouraging each of you to use this Thanksgiving  as a fresh start; to use it to set yourself on the course you know you ought to be on. I'm doing the same, am using Thanksgiving Day to began what I hope is one of the most eye-opening journeys of my life. I've always kept a Gratitude journal, written down the days blessings. But my goal is to write down two thousand blessings. The reason for this? Well, though I've always been thankful for what God has blessed me with, I have come to understand that because I focused only on the day's blessing, I missed some of the larger, more meaningful ones, those that could have helped me grow, could have helped me see the why behind some of my darkest, most painful trials.  When I hit the 2,ooo number I'll start over. By then I hope to have grown, to have reached a deeper, richer, more meaningful relationship with the Lord.

I love each of you so very much, am so grateful our paths crossed, grateful for all the love and support you've given me though the  years.I'm sorry I got so behind on my blogs, have missed keeping them up. It got tough though, losing so many loved ones in such a short period of time.

Be good to others, to yourselves as well. I hope you're all staying warm and toasty, that you're surrounded by people who love and appreciate you. Know that I do. Always.



I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

This is a great post, if we all could follow your suggestions wouldn't it be great.I do try to just enjoy my family and each day as it comes. Wishing you a very blessed Thanksgiving!

Jackie said...

I love Thanksgiving. It is a wonderful time to give thanks for the blessings in life that our Lord has so graciously gifted us. I love my family, and I look forward to being with them and sharing memories. I wish you and yours a blessed and happy Thanksgiving.

Helen said...

Since my Children have got grown everyone is scattered everywhere. I used to do Christmas here but so many have died and gone on there are just a few left. Each one goes where they want to so everything is peaceful. What do come are just glad to be together so we have no problems.
Happy Thanksgiving to you and your families.

Jeanie said...

A very thought provoking entry Barbara. I too loved the autumn leaf simile.
A beautiful poem I hold close to my heart at times like these is the following:

Remember Me. By Christina Rossetti

Remember me when I am gone away,
Gone far away into the silent land;
When you can no more hold me by the hand,
Nor I half turn to go yet turning stay.
Remember me when no more day by day
You tell me of our future that you planned:
Only remember me; you understand
It will be late to counsel then or pray.
Yet if you should forget me for a while
And afterwards remember, do not grieve:
For if the darkness and corruption leave
A vestige of the thoughts that once I had,
Better by far you should forget and smile
Than that you should remember and be sad.

With fondest love
Jeanie xx

Kath said...

I had to have professional help Paula to learn how to say NO.It's a great weight off ones shoulders, when you can say it.Great words once again Barb.I pray your Thanksgiving is a peaceful,enjoyable time.I will be thinking of you all over the Pond.Take Care God Bless Love you Kath xx