Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Take Time for Thanks

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by Michelle Sutton-Kerchner

Holiday meals, family visits, and fall weather radiate warmth during Thanksgiving. Make it extra delicious, without added calories or expense …

Thanksgiving is upon us with other big-bang holidays following. While planning the meal, we simmer ourselves. Worry sets in about everything from sabotaging our yearlong fitness quest to affording the most delightful gifts. And, don’t even mention the current state of your humble abode, where guests will gather in close proximity. (With enough distractions, they may not notice your overflowing laundry room.)

Be Distracted

This may sound odd on a holiday that demands your attention to orchestrate a large meal, hungry relatives, and a welcoming environment. However, it may be the best way to enjoy it. Being focused is great until the object of our attention becomes hosting a Pinterest-worthy event. You don’t want to give up before you try. Perhaps just don’t try quite so much.

Much of holiday stress comes from being pulled in too many directions. Overwhelmed, we become frustrated. Those distractions do not allow time to set up the new surround system to provide guests with a superior music experience, craft a beautiful centerpiece, or bake the perfect pie. Let’s examine these distractions and see what should be done about them.

  • Flour child, picFamily wants our attention: Holidays are meant to be shared with loved ones. Time passes quickly, leaving us each changed in a small way daily. Shifts occur in our circle of life as elderly relatives pass and new generations are born. This group of people is our legacy. They define the meaning of Thanksgiving. Welcome their interruptions.
  • Children want to help: Everything takes at least twice as long when kids are involved. Let them help anyway. Your meal prep will morph from chopping and stirring to creating lifelong memories. You’ll always remember the cat sprinting through the house sprinkled with spilled baking flour. You’ll find yourself saving the place cards your tikes created with love and mismatched crayons. You may even learn something new about your teen in between their superficial complaints about having to help set up tables and chairs.
  • Dad and child, picTraditions are slipping away: It is easier than ever to abandon tradition in favor of a quick modern replacement. It may be something you have done since childhood — an ongoing backyard football challenge, a pinecone hunt, a homemade recipe, hand-carved turkey, or a special blessing. Gravy comes in jars and entertainment can be found in front of the TV or with a Wii remote in hand. You can start new traditions, even if they include a little “cheating” and television time. But, do not forget about your treasured favorites. Honor the special traditions, even if they are a hassle. Family rituals make life richer. 
  • sleep at keyboard, picYou have apparitions of your desk as a pillow: Be mindful of your needs, physical and spiritual. Holidays can drain energy as workouts are missed, sleep is deprived, and meals are eaten on the run. Use Thanksgiving to kick off the season with your health as a priority. Take care of yourself so you can continue to bring joy to your world. Visiting relatives? Obtain a guest pass and have them join you at the Center. Inspire your family and friends to live their healthiest by being a thriving example.

GenerationsAfter further contemplation, these holiday distractions quite possibly are not distractions at all. They may well be the core of Thanksgiving, the reason for our gratitude. When the turkey’s wishbone is all that remains of the day, make sure it’s available for the kids to snap apart with their wishes. Be sure you are not holding out for it, desperate to undo regrets with wishes of your own.

Image Credits

Flour child:

Dad & child:

Desk sleeper:


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