Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Life Gets In the Way

We are having quite a December here in the Seattle area. Recently, we've had a series of winter storms that have really messed with people's daily lives. We aren't used to snow here. We usually get very little. When the white fluffy stuff does appear, it usually paralyzes us until it disappears.

We've had over a week of snow storms, freezing temperatures and hazardous driving conditions. Many people have been unable to travel at all.

Our airport has been inundated with stranded travelers. Many people are not able to get out of the area and on to their holiday destinations.

In my own life, none of my family members are going to be able to make it to my home, as planned, for Christmas. They live down in Oregon, where the storms have been even more fierce than our own.

I find myself, like many people in this area, trying to prepare for the holidays, which may or may not be anything like they have been in the past.

I did my grocery shopping, during a break in the weather, before I knew for sure that my family wasn't coming. I have a huge prime rib roast now, and no one to eat it! I have the tree and house decorated, and no one is coming.

It has been a little tough this past week to get into the holiday mood. Lots of things that usually happen, haven't been able to happen.

The financial pressures of this year had already changed the nature of our holiday. now mother nature has put another kink into the plan.

Most of the people I know are having trouble finding the holiday spirit this year. It is a challenge for all of us.

I've been reflecting on how much I count on things going 'as planned' in order to feel good about life. When the finances are good, and everything goes as I plan, it is so easy to be happy and upbeat!

I've decided that this year is all about changing my perspective at a deep level. What is it that give me happiness? If I depend on outer circumstances 'going my way' in order to be happy... I'm going to have a lot of disappointment in my path!

The snow here is beautiful. I'm driving a lot slower than I usually do. I'm seeing the surrounding country side differently than I normally do. My entire pace has slowed to accommodate the weather. I'm home more, because driving, at times, has been difficult. I've done a lot of projects that I usually don't have time to work on. I've also read for pleasure! I finished an entire book... something I haven't done in a long time!

I'm choosing to look at this 'inclement weather' as an opportunity to slow down and examine what I have come to depend on in an unhealthy manner - and let go of it all. I want to be able to enjoy whatever comes. Even if it isn't at all what I planned. Perhaps there is a gift in the withholding of what we want and expect. Maybe we need times of 'reset' where much of what we count on and depend on disappears from our life.

I think for many of us, we are being given an opportunity to reexamine our lives and our habits. We are being given a chance to deepen our way of engaging with life and creating a more authentic experience!

So, if your holiday isn't unfolding as you hoped or planned... embrace what IS happening. Look for something to be joyful about - right where you are!

Happy Holidays! Let it snow!! :)

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