Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Simple Joys

Welcome to Simple Joys on Chief 187™Chatter.

The holiday season is upon us. For many this truly is the most wonderful time of the year and for others it is nearly impossible to sludge through the dates on the calendar.

Holidays dredge up feelings of loss, regret, frustration, and, for many, stress. We are told to enjoy this season, embrace it, and cling to it, but for some that is very painful.

Like any week of the year, I encourage people (including myself) to stop looking at the big picture and concentrate instead on the Simple Joys life presents.

The Christmas season itself may be overwhelming and sad, but a smile brought on by a sight, song, or smell may be tolerable and even give brief joy.

If being alone is frightening, then find a place to volunteer. By removing the spotlight from yourself it becomes easier to get through the season and even reap some joy through others.

Change is sometimes enough to get us through delicate times like the holidays. Traditions are well and good, but if they bring back memories that are difficult, then change the routine.

Regardless of your thoughts surrounding the Christmas Season, I hope you continue to join me here for Simple Joys. Together the little moments that bring a flash of happiness, a feeling of peace, and a bit of relief will populate the weeks to come

And now, without further ado, is this week’s Simple Joys.

Togetherness. Twice a week my boys have Karate class. There have been times my husband has taken them to class but recently my daughter and I join them. As my boys take class my daughter, husband and I walk around the local “big box” store or discount store and just hang out together.

In the car we all talk, sing, laugh, and just “be”. It would be easier for my daughter and me to stay home, but by going we spend quality time together as a family. That is a Simple Joy I never take for granted.

Tradition. For the first time in a long time my immediate family was alone for Thanksgiving. I was a bit saddened by that fact, but I was determined to make the best of the situation. We decided as a family to forgo the big meal and instead go to our favorite sushi restaurant and see a movie in the theater.

The morning before Thanksgiving my first grader had big, wide, sad eyes before his bus came to take him to school. He told me he wanted to have turkey because, “It just isn’t Thanksgiving without it!”

I hurriedly ran to the grocery store and purchased a cooked turkey breast, some chicken quarters already cooked, and came home to plan the rest of the meal. When my son got off the bus I proudly told him we were having our traditional Thanksgiving dinner on Wednesday night. The boy was overjoyed.

My son ate with reckless abandon enjoying the poultry, mashed potatoes, broccoli and cranberry sauce and devoured the pumpkin pie I had baked with a huge dollop of Cool Whip! I served everything on our heirloom “Thanksgiving” plates, and felt a huge satisfaction that my six year old is already secure in our family traditions. Having Traditions shared with my family that mean something to my children are a huge source of Simple Joys.

Wreck-It Ralph. A fun movie that kept the interest of all three of my children (ages 10, 6, and 3) and my husband and me, Wreck-It Ralph is recommended by my entire family. Having a place to take our children on Thanksgiving for family entertainment was a much-appreciated Simple Joy.

Cleaning. Like many, our home can become overtaken by toys, paperwork, and other stuff. Did I mention the paperwork and toys? Now my children are capable of helping straighten, sort, organize, and clean. They did this twice over the weekend – once to prepare the house for Christmas decorations and once before our friends came for a visit.

Having extra hands pitch in to make less work for us was a truly wonderful Simple Joy.

Decorating. Decorating the house and the Christmas tree over the weekend with my children was both excruciatingly frustrating and extremely gratifying.

Once I let go of “this has to go here and that must go there” I started to truly enjoy the process. My sons and daughter were overly tickled every time they saw an ornament that they remembered and adored.

The children had fun finding the “perfect place” for each ornament and I had the warm glow that they value the holiday ritual as much as I do.

Sharing the decorating task was a true Simple Joy once I relaxed and allowed the children to shine.

As much fun as I have with my young children, my extended family who descend at Christmas time, and my love of Christmas, I still fall prey to huge expectations, a need to be “perfect”, and getting overwhelmed.

It is vitally important for me to keep perspective, enjoy a laugh, stay in the moment, and relax my expectations.

I am not “perfect” nor will I ever be. Accepting that and learning to simply enjoy my Simple Joys will allow me wondrous pleasures throughout this season.

Wishing you a week filled with Simple Joys and the permission to feel what you will this holiday season as long as you continue to look for your own Simple Joys.

Join me tomorrow as I wax poetic on yet another subject on Freestyle Wednesday on Chief 187™Chatter.

1 comment:

  1. This weeks simple joy watching the original Thomas Crown affair with my folks, last time we saw the film together was at a cinema in the middle of Africa about 40 years ago !