He settles the childless woman in her home as a happy mother of children. —Psalm 113:9

December 26, 2008

Getting Over Me

Somewhere around the time all the good children were pretending to go to sleep so that Santa could come, I realized I was in good spirits. We had just left my in-laws, where I had managed to have a nice time in spite of myself, and I felt relaxed and pleasant, and that's when it hit me: the mini-epiphany that I not only should, but could stop dwelling on what I hoped to get out of the holiday, stop thinking ahead and hoping and wishing, stop thinking back on things that had already let me down, and just accept--possibly even enjoy!--each moment as it comes. Roll with the punches, as it were. So that's what I did. And you know what? I ended up having a pretty nice Christmas.

Was it the Christmas card-worthy Christmas I had built up in my head? No. Of course not. It never, ever is, ever. Which is why I need to learn to stop putting impossible expectations on the holiday, on all holidays, because that is my tendency, and on my family, and on myself. You hear it over and over, how you need to learn to let go, to just be, to take each moment as it comes. For some reason, I just can't ever do that.

But yesterday, I did that. And it was so very, very nice, being able to stop being all wrapped up inside my head, being able to focus on my loved ones, catching up, hearing the family gossip, hugging and kissing on the babies that have gotten OH MY GOSH SO BIG since the last time I saw them, playing with my little nephews, geeking out over geeky things with my big nephews, hearing Bible readings and singing Christmas hymns, coming home to open presents with my husband and torture our pets with strap-on reindeer antlers for hilarious pictures, snuggle and watch the DVDs we got for Christmas, eat more delicious food and drink the pricey booze that Santa brought, and finally go to bed, stuffed and a little hung-over and happy. Yes, happy. It wasn't what I was expecting two days ago, but that's one expectation I'm glad not to have met.

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