Anticipation on the holidays

Anticipation of holidays can be so hard when you lose someone you love. Time really does help. But sometimes the holidays bring on these emotions you don’t expect. The good news is that the anticipation is usually worse than the day/time you were anticipating.

You should always be prepared for what you may feel and plan something that will help you honor that person. Light a candle, tell a story about them, send a balloon up with a note or take just plan some time to think about them. It doesn’t have to be anything major, just so you are prepared and allow yourself to feel whatever emotions come your way.

It doesn’t always have to be a holiday. What about when it’s not. Sometimes you go on with your day and you do something that reminds you of your loved one and as you start to feel these emotions, they catch you by surprise.

Recently a tree fell on my deck. I was very lucky. Just a broken screen and a couple of cracked rail caps. I went and bought the rail caps and put them on myself. I was ready to pick up the phone and call my stepfather and brag. But, I remembered that he died a few years back. I remembered things like when I had a question about something broken I called him. When I fixed something on my own, I called him and he was always proud. It’s been a while since he died, but it still had that twinge of “I miss him.” I don’t ever want that to go away.

For me this year it was a different than past holiday seasons. Thanksgiving seemed to be very small this year. I always had a large group, around 20 people. Everyone seemed to have different plans this year. It turned out to be 2 friends, my 2 kids and myself. Later the evening a friend’s daughter in law came with her kids.

Christmas was smaller too. My kids are older now and don’t want or need much. Opening gifts was much quicker and my older son went to his girlfriend’s house. My other son and I were here, just hanging out. I took a nap and he played video games. It was a reality check for me. I realized that my family was not only small, but it’s shrunk. Now my kids will be doing their own thing and I get a small portion of their time. For now, I’ll take what I have.

I’ve been dealing with the empty nest and seeing lots of changes in my life and family. As the New Year approaches I realize that it’s time to kick start the next stage in my life. Like adding some new traditions. As I adjust to less time with my kids and a small family I know that things are changing and the things I do need to change.

I’ve decided that this coming year is going to be the year of new traditions and new beginnings. Whether grieving a loss or the fact that a new stage of life is coming, we need to change with the loss or the new stage of life. Why not take some old traditions and combine them with some new.

I’m Having This Conversation Again

This is a busy time of year and for me the last week has been busy. It seems I’m having the same conversation again. Between cooking, cleaning and taking a few kids to North Carolina for a Cross Country meet you can just imagine how much free time I haven’t had. Aunt Shea is here and she has dementia. I talked about her dementia before. People with this disease can progress quickly. I’m living it.

Being so busy and out of touch I haven’t been able to keep up with my blog challenge. Having the same conversation over and over again is monotonous. Especially while you’re trying to catch up. I started a blog and couldn’t concentrate and thought I’ll never be able to do anything today. But I can’t do that I have to keep up. I’m already behind and need to figure this out.

My solution is to write about what I’m living right now. The same conversation over and over and over. If I haven’t answered the same question 50 times today than I haven’t answered it at all, no exaggeration either. The only solution, write what I’m doing right now. That way I can keep up my blogging and not worry about losing my concentration.

My lesson here is that where there’s a will there’s a way. You CAN do anything you put your mind too.

Thanksgiving? People are Stressing

 

Thanksgiving is just 2 days away. Thanksgiving? People are stressing as they begin to cook, clean, grocery shop, setting tables and preparing for guests of different numbers. That also means for some that Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday are just around the corner.

I don’t know which involves more work. There is a fair amount of work for either. Some people are stressing out a lot while others love it.

Those that go shopping must scope out the Black Friday Deals and get the shopping planned out so you don’t miss out on anything. I mentioned Shopkick recently and they come up with specials too and places where you can get kicks. If you know what you want and where you want to shop, there’s nothing like looking in the paper or online at the stores you like to shop at. Get your list and check it twice.

But now I am encouraging everyone to stop for a minute and be thankful for what you have. Enjoy the spirit of the day. Do what you can in advance, but remember to take a short break here and there to keep your stress level low.

My son and I were discussing the value of a 20 minute nap. A refreshing nap even if you don’t fall asleep let’s your mind settle and clear so you can finish preparing and get ready to enjoy a stressful day with what I hope is a little less stress.

Something else I do is listen to music. Depending on how I’m feeling and what mood I’m in depends on what music I choose. If I’m stressed I put on soft soothing music. If I’m feeling productive I put on happy feel good music. (wow, I sound so cliché)

Add a cup of tea too. Pick what works for you and use it to keep your stress level down. Getting so wrapped up in the preparations can take away from the fun. On that note, good luck and Happy Thanksgiving.

My Thanksgiving Nightmare

Thanksgiving is even more important after my nightmare

Brined Turkey, Stuffing, Green Bean Casserole, Sweet Potatoes, Pumpkin Pie and Apple Pie are yummy traditions that make Thanksgiving great. As a child, it was the biggest holiday of the year. We always had tons of people. A great tradition that I’ve carried on throughout the years. In 1997 that changed. I lived my thanksgiving nightmare! I was three months pregnant and my husband had been in the hospital for 5 weeks. Being pregnant with our second child and carting to and from the hospital and taking care of a toddler I knew I couldn’t cook so I decided to go to a friend’s house. At least that was the plan. But early Thanksgiving morning my husband took his last breath.

What made Thanksgiving my favorite holiday is that it’s a day to spend with friends, family and even some people that you only see on once a year. 1997 was the year that I didn’t really want to do anything. I don’t remember much that, but as I look back, I think Thanksgiving was the day so I would always remember him on my favorite day of the year, to make me more thankful for everything I have.

That was the hardest day of my life. I remember thinking “how can this be happening”, “why me”. All of the things you would expect. It took a couple years, but I’m happy to say that I enjoy Thanksgiving again, very much and cook every year.

We should be thankful every minute of every day. Who knows what the next moment brings. My new tradition, right before we eat, we go around the table and say what we are all thankful for.

This day is a time to be thankful and right now we need to be thankful for every peaceful moment. My life lesson is that one precious moment can change your life forever. Don’t take life for granted. Trust me, I’ve lived a nightmare and Thanksgiving is still my favorite holiday, just in a different way!