Relax, Get to It! Thursday, Nov 29 2012 

Over the Thanksgiving Holiday I had time to ponder all the things in my life I have to be thankful for, I realized that I need to relax a bit and let myself enjoy all the good things in my life and not stress out about the big and little things that normally stress me out.  And that is so much easier said than done.  Perhaps writing it down will help.  Perhaps not.  Either way, I am writing it down.

I am a worrier.  Always have been, always will be.  I work hard to get what I want. I want things to be right and for everyone to do their part.  When everyone doesn’t do their part, or mayhap the part I think they should do, I tend to tighten up.  If things really go off course and ‘whatever’ is not completed or accomplished, then tighten up is not a strong enough term to describe me.  So it should be no surprise to anyone that knows me at all that stress and worry is a daily part of my life and its impact can spill over onto others around me.

That being said, I can also ‘let things go’ that I cannot control, after putting out a mammoth effort to control it. This is not the same as giving up. If I give it my best and cannot change the outcome, or if other humans are involved and I cannot control the outcome, I can let things go and stop inserting myself into whatever the situation may be.  It is not easy.  And sometimes my tummy will be upset over it.  But I can still relax out of it.  And watch from a distance.  Just in case.

I come by this over worry naturally.  My mother has a syndrome with a name too long to mention that is about being overcautious and worrying that is derived from being a child forced into responsibility too early.  And, while she did not mean to impart this issue to me, years of carefully worded concerns, cautions, warnings and rules, along with sudden air intake and other signs of worry left a deep imprint on me that for years I did not know was there.  My first child status also plays a part I’m sure, as well as being female, as both my younger brothers were not as imprinted as I.  My husband and sons were the ones to point out that my standard goodbye salutation to everyone is always ‘be careful’.  I’d been saying that for years without even knowing it.

But I am getting off point, if I ever had a point, which is relaxing a bit and being thankful.  Because I am thankful for many things in my life.  Some are small and may seem insignificant, but are not.  Some are large and seem significant, but aren’t.  Regardless of the size or the significance, I am lucky to have things for which I am thankful. I have a home, a comfortable life, an old husband (meaning we’ve been together a long time), and things I like to do, I mainly get to do.  I live in a country that allows me the freedoms many females do not get in other countries, and I am thankful for that.  I try not to take it for granted. I have people in my life I love.

As 2012 slides toward the end of existence, relaxation and thankfulness are my goals.  I’ll save the stress for the Fiscal Cliff.

Thanksgiving 2010 Thursday, Nov 25 2010 

I have so many things to be thankful for and yet as I sit here I am not feeling very thankful.  Sad but true. Sometimes, while understanding the importance of the big picture, the little picture gets in the way.  And when that happens, it’s a little harder to let the big picture have its day.

We are a product of our upbringing whether we want to admit it or not.  Sometimes the result is to do things as our parents or those that influenced us did them, and sometimes it is to do the opposite. The influence doesn’t stop when we reach adulthood.  Whether good or bad, it continues to mold.

For me the holidays have always been a struggle.  My family didn’t do many big gatherings with relatives for several reasons, all legitimate.  My mother, during my growing up years, was an only child.  (The story of having siblings found later in life is too long for here.)  And for most of my life, we lived states away from her parents.  If we had any, I do not recall holidays at all with my mother’s family.  We also did not normally live close to Dad’s side.  I recall a Thanksgivings spent at Grandma and Grandpa’s if we happened to be living close enough to drive in.  Strangely enough, I do not recall these events pleasantly.  It seems that drama always ensued.

So all this information is to say that I recall most of my growing up years to be Thanksgiving with my parents and brothers.  How factual this information really is, I cannot be certain. I just know that big, nice, warm Thanksgivings with football in the backyard, and cups of cider aren’t what pop into my head.

After marrying, the view changed.  His family is larger and much more involved in our lives.  My family faded out.   Since my marriage, my parents have not hosted one family event at their home.  If we get together, and that’s a big if, it is my home or at one of my two brother’s homes.  Travel is not an issue since we live in the same area, so it’s about arriving to eat, light conversation and going home.   Each year as the holiday approaches, I feel anxiety build.

We’ve hosted many a day, with one side or the other.  Last year we hosted my family, in another attempt to bring some closeness into us, but it was a disaster due to my father and his never-ending talking.  No one could get a word in and some of the topics were out of line.  People fled the second dinner was over.  After years of trying to keep things afloat, I decided to let it go.  I’ve always wanted a Thanksgiving that was my children and their families coming home to us.  Without drama.

My youngest son could not be with us and missed Thanksgiving entirely last year.  I wanted this year to be the make up year and have a nice day with him and my older son’s family.  The plans were made, menu etc.  But, alas, I did not count on my daughter in law.

New to our family, but never one to consider any feeling but her own, my son, my D-I-L and my only grandchild will not be coming here for the day.  Her immediate family is not gathering, with one of her sister’s going to her in-laws, but my D-I-L likes the stuffing her Aunt makes, so they are going to that Aunts house for the day.

So my request for a gathering was ……ignored?…disregarded?….I am not sure of the correct word.  My son,  what can I say, didn’t want to rock the boat.    I guess a compromise decision-making process is not part of their relationship.

So, we are cooking and the three of us will eat the best of the best, watch TV, play Wii, and nap.

And the next time money needs to be borrowed, maybe her aunt can loan it to her.

Bitter, party of one.  Yes, I know.  No one needs to tell me.

Time Flies, But Nothing Really Changes Wednesday, Nov 24 2010 

I didn’t realize it had been so long since I had signed in a written anything.  And I also didn’t realize I had not placed the last little bit of  my mother in law’s story out there.  I’ll have to remedy that soon.

Thanksgiving is tomorrow.  I am disappointed with the way the plans for the day are turning out, but there is not much I can do about it except accept it.  So I will.  I will have one of my children home for the day.  And I am thankful for that.  If guess if I wanted  to have a huge holiday celebration I should have had more children.

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