The holidays are upon us and preparations are in full swing for many of us. With Thanksgiving for those of us in the United States next week and Christmas next month there are a lot of us with lots of things to plan and prepare for.
Will you be with family or with friends? Maybe both? Who will be hosting the meal? How many people will be there? What assignments have been given to help with the menu? Do you have enough tables and chairs? Plates? Paper napkins or cloth? Silverware? Glassware? Chargers? How will you decorate the tables? Oh, is that just me?
Now you know why I am not hosting Thanksgiving this year. 🙂
My youngest had surgery a few weeks ago; I was out of town for the past week; I am getting ready to start a new job; I have home renovations that I still have not finished…..I have lots of excuses but we will call them “reasons” for now.
So just for those who may not know, I come from a very large, and what some seem surprised by, close family. We are spread out for sure. It would be hard not to be with our numbers between 95 and 100 (depending on the person counting :)).
So last year when I hosted “part” of my family for the thanksgiving meal, it wasn’t more than 45 people. 🙂 That can seem like a lot of people for some, but for us, it’s just fun. But I digress.
We had all the food assignments covered, we had the table cloths, chargers, silverware, glassware, plates, decor….. not fancy, but we aren’t all that fancy to begin with.
But, the part many people don’t prepare is their thinking around these holiday events. What do I mean by that?
So many of us struggle with time spent with family or friends because we are busy judging the situation for what it is not. We have created in our minds a story for how the “perfect” holiday get together should play out and reality is almost always a disappointment.
We have grand expectations for ourselves and others for how we/they will all act…… what will transpire…… no one will say something offensive to someone else…… everyone will be on time, not too early but definitely not late…… And we will all be happy all day long and have loving warm memories of this time we spent with one another.
But the reality is, people are going to be people, and things will not always go according to our “plan” and we may not have warm, wonderful feelings all the time. So what’s the problem? Unmet expectations.
In fact, it doesn’t have to be a problem at all. It is completely normal for us to have expectations or thoughts about how people should be. But when it becomes challenging is when we don’t manage or response to unmet expectations.
When people are not good at behaving the way that we expect them to, we are the ones who feel hurt, angry, or resentful. We punish ourselves when they are not good at being who we want them to be, or when they aren’t good at acting how we would act. They aren’t good at reading our manual (or our mind) for exactly how they should behave. What they are good at is being themselves.
I’m Michelle. I am learning how to minimize my overwhelm, perfectionism, and people-pleasing and I am ready to help you do the same. I’m a certified Life Coach and a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Come with me and learn how.
If we really want to be prepared for holiday gatherings, and time spent with family and friends we can take some time to clean up our thinking about the whole situation. Our brain will tells us all the “problems” that arise but when we have prepared we can reassure our brain that there are no problems at all.
What if you expected for everyone to show up exactly like themselves, and that was okay? What if someone didn’t follow through with something and it wasn’t a big deal? What if we just allowed others to feel whatever they wanted to feel about the situation and we didn’t take on the “responsibility” to make sure everyone was happy and having a wonderful time?
That is the magic, I think, of my family. There are so many of us, and we are all so different. But we allow each other to just show up as ourselves. We accept each other where we are at and encourage one another in our progression, but we allow what is. Are we perfect? NO!! But do we keep showing up for each other? Yes!! Every. Single. Time.
How might your holidays be different for you if you just challenged your own expectations for yourself and those around you? What if you just allowed yourself to think and feel whatever you wanted to about the holidays? What if you allowed everyone else to think and feel whatever they wanted to?
If you you want to prepare your thoughts and would like some help with that or if you want to learn some tools with me to see how you might need to “prepare” for your holidays, “Contact Me” and send me a quick email. Or you can “Schedule a Consult” for a free session to discuss what you want to work on and how to get started.
And as always…..Remember…..It’s ALL good!!