‘Tis the season for Love. Last week, I told you 8 weeks of joy, and this week, and the weeks thereafter, I am all about being for the love. Let’s face it, you can’t have Joy without some love.
About a month ago, I shared the question, “What is saving your life, right now? I received a lot of texts from people about this topic and all were in agreement that the holidays were the thing that they were looking forward to the most. A lot can happen in a month, though, and I know, many of you are now concerned that you won’t be able to spend time with your families over the holidays. I get it. The idea of not being able to do the things that we have been looking forward to and hoping for, is a hard pill to swallow.
So, where do we find the joy and love in this time that feels so uncertain? Well, researchers have found that we derive more joy out of anticipating an event than the actual event itself (Van Boven and Ashforth 2007). So, where does that leave us? It leaves us with a choice to move forward with our 8 weeks of joy as if everything is as it’s supposed to be or reminisce about how it used to be.
Five years ago, we were faced with the reality that our two oldest daughters would not be home for Thanksgiving. I was sad and all I could think about was how it used to be. A few weeks before Thanksgiving, I decided that there might be a way that it could still be good even if it looked different. I called one of my good friends who had spent many a Thanksgiving coming to our home and told her I needed something different. Together, we hatched a plan for us to come spend the week with their family and do Thanksgiving with them. While we, of course, missed our girls, we had one of the BEST Thanksgivings we have ever had. If we had stayed home and tried to make the most of it in the same old way, we would have been miserable.
This is not the time to just suffer through. We have to think outside the box this year, but it doesn’t mean we can’t be for the love.
I know for sure, that my oldest is NOT coming home for Christmas this year. That did not stop me from putting Christmas sheets, blankets and pillows on her bed. It’s likely that her room will never be used over the holidays and come January I will remove the sheets and just put on the regular ones. I refused to let that little setback take me down, though, because I LOVE TO DECORATE FOR CHRISTMAS! Part of that decorating is being able to look in every single room and see the spirit of Christmas.
Our youngest is coming home early from school and doing the remainder of her semester online. This isn’t what we had planned, but we can’t wait. We are making plans to decorate the house together and she can’t wait to help her dad with the outside lights this year. I know, some of you are a little shocked that we haven’t decorated yet, but as much as it pains me to still have pumpkins out, I promised to wait for Reese. She can’t wait to snuggle and watch Hallmark and of course finish her classes and finals. Ahhh, to have her upstairs at her desk working sounds like a dream.
We can’t wait for our newly adopted daughter, Molly, to come spend days baking and decorating and curling up on the bean bag chair with the dogs wrapped around her like a pretzel. We can’t wait to share our family while she is away from her own. Molly is a nurse and can’t go home to Georgia for any of the holidays this year. We can’t wait to celebrate Christmas with her, on whatever day she needs it to be Christmas. Hey, maybe she will sleep in one of those festive beds!
We are planning to go see the newly engaged love birds for thanksgiving and all the joy they bring. The key word here is “planning.” They told me this weekend they are being exposed to Covid pretty regularly at this point. They are taking all of the precautions and the hospitals have moved back to N95s, goggles and face shields the entire time they are working in the hospital. Our youngest also has another mandatory Covid test this week before she comes home from campus. Our trip hangs in the balance, but we are moving forward as if it will happen and hopefully it will. If it doesn’t? We will be sad, but we will get to decorate for Christmas a week earlier than planned and we will improvise.
Even though the newlyweds aren’t traveling for Thanksgiving this year we are hopeful that they will be home with their crazy pups to snuggle and walk and watch terrible movies around the tree. We are looking forward to playing games in the basement and toasting to all the wonderful things that did happen this year. That is still a month away, so we may need to think about it another way come Christmas, but again, we are moving forward preparing for their arrival.
This year is going to leave its mark and most assuredly it will bleed into 2021, but these next 8 weeks? We’ve got this. We have things to do. People to love, hearts to heal and fences to mend. We also need to spend some time reflecting on all that was good, and trust me there was a lot of good that happened this year. We have had some of the most special times with our adult children this year. Time to love on them. Time to watch them grow. Time to miss them. Time to celebrate them. Time to cry with them. These are times that would NOT have happened without Covid.
Being for love is anticipating an amazing holiday season and acting as such, it’s thinking outside the box and being open to something new this year and it’s about reflecting on all the good that actually came out of this year.
Sunshine & Sarcasm,
Lowi & G