So how are you feeling at this time of year? Really feeling.
I’m slightly overwhelmed with the thought of making the holiday season, as well as the end of the year, a happy experience for everyone in my life. I’m a tad anxious at wondering how a blended family will do over the coming days as we all adjust to a new family situation. I’m a skosh nostalgic of family gatherings in the past and trying to live up to expectations. I’m more than ticked that I can’t stay focused in the present.
A few weeks ago I mentioned in my email about this year’s annual fund drive how it is so easy to hide from the world and that we have so much to want to hide from. Most of what we want to hide from is made up in our head. We catastrophize every world event, every awkward look, every miscommunication into something that is 10 times worse than it might actually be. In many ways, we can look back on the year and feel the same way.
The missed opportunities. The failed relationships. The use of the wrong word. The pain we take on.
I’m not going to do that any more. I mean it.
I used to think that life was supposed to be perfect. That I was supposed to be perfect. I thought that I could solve everything, be everything, fix everything. That hasn’t worked for me.
What has worked is to show up as authentically as I can. Admit my mistakes. Say I’m sorry. Listen and don’t solve. Be present. The best gift or experience I can give my family, friends, and colleagues is to be present and raw. Be vulnerable. Realize that the end of the year can bring a ton of feelings that can be positive and negative. They are just feelings. We all have them.
Let’s embrace those feelings and be thankful for the messes in our lives. Be grateful for the “warts” in our families. Be accepting of the process that we are all in.
Take a deep breath and realize we are all imperfect. Imperfections make the best stories. The best memories. The best laughs.
So instead of looking at the end of the year as a time of never ending lines, unlimited sale advertisements, and guilt for what we haven’t done, let’s focus on the present. The good right in front of our eyes. The smiles we can return. The nods that let someone know that we see them.
Those feelings are the ones we will cherish. The ones we remember. The ones that make us smile.
That helps to make a more just, caring, and thriving world.