A few years ago at the Pool Expo I attended a seminar by Clay Nelson (www.claynelsonlifebalance.com that had an impact on my priorities and my life. I now receive his email newsletters and feel like the following information is worth sharing as we enter Christmas week.
Family togetherness during the holiday season is something we look forward to, and often dread all at the same time. Ask 100 people why that is, and you will probably get 100 different answers that can all be wrapped up into one core thought, which is: Expectations!
We each have our own expectation of what the holidays will bring to us and what they should look like. Yet, your picture-perfect expectations are not the same as other’s expectations, and you can end up in this sort of mess of unspoken worry and make-wrongs. So, would you like to give all-of-this up, and embrace the holidays for what they are meant to be?
#1: Get grounded in what it is you love about your family and the time you spend together. Yes, even those we love most can get on our last nerve, which means we have to get present to what it is we love about our family and embrace them for who they are, not for what we wish they would be.
- Do you laugh about the time grandma burnt the fruit cake and the fire trucks pulled up in front of her house?
- How about Uncle Joe getting away with his off-color jokes, like only Uncle Joe can!
- Listening to your cousins rib each other over their favorite sports teams!
- Or how about watching your parents bonding with your children?
You have to look for the gold and the fun in everything. You may have to dig, but it’s there!
#2: Communicate fully and completely… which includes listening. You never know what you may learn!
#3: Let go of your ego. Are you still holding a 10-year old grudge? Have you been judgmental of someone else and need to let it go? If you want to be accepted no matter what, then you have to be the same for others!
#4: Keep it simple! Spending time with our families is not about whose child is dressed the best or the most well behaved… Spending time with our families is not about who has the loudest pipes on their Harley… Spending time with our families is not about who makes the best chocolate cake! Let go of the feeling that everything must be perfect, so when it isn’t you won’t be disappointed!
Family; we can’t live with them and we can’t live without ‘em! It is one of those things we wrestle with when it comes to balancing who we are and what we need versus what the family needs.
And in truth, we all need a sense of “family.” Family bonds go a long way in providing us with a sense of well-being and belonging! So, in this upcoming season of frantic “family” togetherness, remember this quote from George Moore:
“A man travels the world over in search of what he needs, and returns home to find it.”
Here is another nugget from Clay Nelson:
“As you sit down for a meal over the holidays, I’d like you to take on being really present to the people you are sitting at the table with. Think about it: What have you missed in previous years because all you can think about is the turkey not being moist enough…or the potatoes are lumpy…or your sister forgot to bring the whipped cream for the pumpkin pie…or the kids running amuck in the other room! The holidays are here for us to really be with those we love most. So don’t squander the time you have. Instead, savor each and every moment. Yes, take the good with the bad and live, laugh, and love! After all, isn’t that what the holidays are all about?”
It is my hope that each of you are able to spend some time with loved ones over the
Christmas holidays. Merry Christmas from Gohlke Pools.