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The holidays are officially upon us and with that means the hustle and bustle of cooking, parties, making lists, buying presents, sending cards - goodness, are you tired of just thinking of all of that?! =) So was I....until I read a very important thought for my own life and something I've made a mental note to reflect on each and every day. I've heard it said countless times by countless individuals, but the basic gist is that it is not any particular happening that causes unhappiness, stress or sorrow - it is our resistance to or unacceptance of that happening. I LOVE this thought because it gives me the choice as to how I am going to react that what is happening around me.
For instance, there are LOTS of things that are happening around this time of year that can be seen as stressful. Lots of us have traveling and packing and family, etc coming up. If you start right out of the gate stressing about all there is to do - your frame of mind is already set. If on the other hand, you challenge yourself to view it another way....a positive, an opportunity to grow, an acceptance that you are exactly where you need to be - somehow, the obstacle isn't as insurmountable. Personal example - every year around the holidays we take family photos. I am kind of "nerdy" in the sense that I match everyone up (that's seven people!!), painstakingly plan and shop for the outfits, schedule the haircuts to happen just before the shoot, carefully plan the naptimes - you get it. It's a BIG deal to me -because its often the only time we get the family for a group shot. So most years, photo shoot = stress. But, this year, I wasn't about to let stress steal what should be a joyous and happy moment from me. With the kids growing up so fast, I didn't want this to be another year where I worried and fretted and then "got through" or "survived" the family pics. I wanted to truly enjoy them. So, we met our photographer at a park and just played with the kids while she took pics. They climbed hills, fought with sticks (ok - I said I wanted to enjoy it, but not that they were necessarily angels!! =), ran around and just were kids. My husband and I truly enjoyed just playing with them and watching them explore and enjoy themselves. Like any experience with five kiddos, the day did have some challenges....My children were skipping stones at a man-made pond. I wasn't thrilled about them digging in the dirt for stones, but I went with it and tried to offer sticks as digging (and more importantly, keeping clean) tools. And then it happened. The moment that threatened to throw off my sanity... My second son was balancing on a stone pond wall and reaching out over the pond to get a branch that had berries on it - in hopes of skipping those instead. Of course, in my family - monkey see, monkey do... My third son tried to imitate his older brother and reach for those same berries (wait for it....I know you know what's coming)..and.....accidentally lost his balance and fell COMPLETELY in the pond!! Although I was there instanteously and pulled him out, he was covered in mud, crying, soaking and cold -- and we probably looked like the most crazy family out in the park that day.....BUT, I was able to laugh about it right wawy and make him feel a little better about it too. So we didn't get as many shots as we might have....but we enjoyed our time together and I think that that is what is important. I couldn't change that moment, I could only change my reaction to it. Because of my more relaxed frame of mind heading in to the shoot, I was able to deal with the moment...frankly, one that would have challenged my being able to hold it together. Getting upset, disappointed or annoyed would only have made me miserable and my son even more upset. On the other hand, looking at the humor in the situation of a completely soaked and muddy six year-old who fell in to the pond during family photos, changed my perspective. Someday, it will make a GREAT story! *wink*
I truly believe that each and every moment you are right where you are supposed to be. There is something to be learned from the stressful moments, the sad moments, the challengin ones and all the rest. If you can't change the moment - change your perspective. Enjoy the moments this holiday season - and those responsibilities that you see as a chore - challenge yourself to see things in a different manner or just cut them altogether if you can't.
From our families to yours - Happy Thanksgiving. We are thankful for so very much this year. For your support and encouragement, your kindness and your generosity. ((Hugs)) to each and every one of you!
In love and kindness,
Email Elizabeth & Heather
How we work
We are an online community of kind-hearted individuals who directly donate gently loved children's clothes to mothers who could use a little kindness. The wonderful donating mothers lovingly box up the clothes that they once loved their own kiddos in and send them for another mother to love on her children via the US Mail - Parcel Post. If you are in need, know someone in need or want to help by donating, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you can't do any of these but would like to spread our message - thank you kindly! ~ Elizabeth & Heather