Friday, November 23, 2018

Dressing down

I try to give my family great holidays, and frequently, that has meant that I turn myself inside out trying to do that. My plans for Thanksgiving were not grand, in comparison to some years (no roasting, scrapping and pureeing pumpkin for days to make the pies from scratch this year), but on Tuesday night, I found myself melting down over a series of individually minor mishaps that turned my expectations into ash.

It started with the dishwasher dying at the beginning of the month, and the ensuing comedy of errors won't be resolved until December 3rd.  Doing dishes by hand eats a lot of time.  I fell behind on my holiday preparations, regular housework, and organization projects.  Then we had a twelve-hour power outage that caused us to have to toss everything in the fridge and freezer and replace it.  That was expensive and smelly.  Then all of the orders I've placed for clothes for the kids, a prepared meal from Whole Foods for the holiday, and solstice gifts I ordered well in advanced because they were coming from overseas have all had problems.  Add to that potty training the little one, a preteen with an attitude, and teenage snark, and you have me threatening to drink an entire case of wine at once.

Thanksgiving came and went yesterday.  The china and silver didn't come out.  The tablecloth and candles stayed in their cupboards.  The pie came from a box. I used Cool Whip instead of whipping cream.  We had a good meal together.  At the end of the day, I found myself, tired, relaxed, and surprised.

By focusing on all of the misfortunes, I had lost sight of why I cared about making a great holiday for my family- I love them and I want us to have happy times together.  Sometimes, it is so easy to miss the point.  There are many distractions in life that will happily lead us off course into unrealities that trap us in illusions.  We have to be careful to stop, look around, and be certain we know where reality is.

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