As I am sitting and writing this column, it is the middle of the holiday season, with all the hopes and expectations that are incumbent in this season. People always want the holidays to be perfect and all the relationships to be mended.
I want to encourage everyone to have realistic expectations during your holiday. Perhaps you have always wanted a heart-to-heart with your mother, where you could honestly-albeit tactfully-talk with her regarding your hurts over the years. If, however, she has never been able to handle that conversation, why do you think that she will suddenly be willing to have it now? Perhaps you have always wanted your father to hear that you feel that he drinks too much. He is probably not open to hearing this now. You may be approaching telling your spouse all the things that are wrong in the marriage, perhaps after the holidays would be a better time to have that conversation.
Instead, focus on what is possible. Do something that creates a smile. Give someone a hug. Help to feed the homeless. Reach out to a relative that you have not spoken with in a while. Sing a song. Go look at the lights. In other words, take the time to enjoy the season. Take the time to enjoy what you actually have, rather than worry and despair over what you do not.
Mindfully enjoy the season and the people that are meaningful to you. Before you know, the time has passed. Happy holidays, everyone!