Skip to main content

Pass the Turkey Please!

"Thanksgiving Day is a jewel, to set in the hearts of honest men; but be careful that you do not take the day, and leave out the gratitude." ~ E.P. Powell




Here we go! The holidays have descended upon us. Here in New England many of us have been so busy recovering from the great October Nor'easter that we didn't realize all of a sudden, it was Thanksgiving week.



Life gets tricky this time of year. For about six weeks, we are thrown into social situations with family that we may or may not get along with. Typical family drama that we deal with all the other days of the year can intensify. New relationships and families may have been formed in the previous year which means that we have to reexamine our previous traditions and how we choose to spend our precious holiday time. Sometimes we are so busy running from one holiday event to another that we can't wait to get back to our normal routine because our stress levels are so high.




I enjoy the holidays now which has not always been the case. I loved this time of year when I was a child but once I entered my twenties and thirties, I found myself getting wrapped up in the task aspect of the holidays. The priority became getting everything on my list done; the shopping, the cooking, putting up the tree. I became so focused on the getting things done that I wasn't savoring the activities themselves.  I lost sight of what was really important. Sound familiar? Over the past two years or so, I have finally found some sort of balance between doing what I HAVE to do and and genuinely celebrating the spirit of the season. During the holiday season, I make sure to stop and remember what it is truly about for me and for Thanksgiving that means gratitude and family. At Christmas it means Jesus and love. Oh yeah, and food too...for both! I will admit, it is still a hard balance at times, but at least now I am more aware.




So what can we do to survive from Thanksgiving to New Year's Day? Well, I have found that planning is helpful so that not everything is left to the last minute. While I am plannin, I carefully look at my schedule to make sure I don't book too many events in one week. I make sure to avoid feeling like I am running a marathon!



I prioritize. I used to put so much pressure on myself to do all the proper things for Christmas like baking, decorating, fulfilling church obligations, sending out Christmas cards, etc. OK seriously, that is ridiculous. I was so burnt out by Christmas Eve that I was almost too tired to enjoy the evening. Now I take into account what else is going on in my life at the moment, how much time I have, my health status and the like when I am deciding what to do. I have decided that for example in regards to Christmas, my priorities are church activities, putting up a tree, shopping for Christmas presents, and spending time with my family. If I don't have the time and energy to bake or do Christmas cards, it doesn't get done. I have yet to get a complaint the last two years from anyone about not getting a Christmas card so....



I make a huge effort during the holiday season to make sure I have time for myself to reflect on the season and what it means to me. I participate in at least one or two volunteer activities that do something to help people less fortunate or people who may be having difficulties during the holidays that particular year. In doing that, it grounds me and fills my spirit in a way that writing out Christmas cards just doesn't do for me. Isn't that what the holidays are all about?



My hope for all my readers this Thanksgiving is that as you pass the turkey this year, you take a moment to not only give thanks, but to think about what types of steps you want to take in order to get through this upcoming holiday season with some mindfulness and some peace.











































































































































Photo: Courtesy of Google Images

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

10 Day Green Smoothie Cleanse

After careful consideration and a lot of research, I made a decision after the holidays to embark on a cleanse/detox. I will start by saying that I have never done anything like this before, mostly because I don't believe in fad diets, or any diet for that matter, and also because I'm not sure, with all my health issues, how good it would be for my body.


However, I had been having some new digestive issues and some of my other autoimmune symptoms were acting up sporadically here and there. I also really overdid it and made some consistently bad food choices over the holidays and I was trying to get my food cravings under control. The digestive issues were not anything severe that impaired my daily living, but I am slightly paranoid about my family history of ovarian cancer and I am at the age my mom was when she was diagnosed. The most overlooked and under recognized symptoms of ovarian cancer are the digestive issues I was having such as bloating, gas, and constipation. Sinc…

Low Dose Naltrexone

In my last blog entry I discussed my current experiences with an integrative medicine doctor. (Going Down the Road of Integrative Medicine). In that entry, I mentioned a new medication I was prescribed by this doctor called low dose naltrexone (LDN) and I think that it is worthy of its very own blog entry so here we go. Be forewarned, it's a bit complicated...


Since we have the modern day miracle of Google, I am not going to spend a lot of time describing LDN and exactly how it works, but I think there are some basics that are important. Naltrexone is a medication that was created in the late 1970's as a treatment for heroin overdose and subsequently used in larger doses (50-300 mg) to treat heroin addicts. It blocks the opiate receptors in our body, which are also found on immune system cells. The next discovery, in the 1980's, was that naltrexone at lower doses (hence why it is called low dose naltrexone), blocks these opioid receptors and increases the endorphin level…

Sjogren's and Disability

I have been reading a lot of posts of the Sjogren's Syndrome Foundation Facebook page lately about disability for this disorder. People seem to have a lot of questions and comments not only about the process itself of obtaining disability, but also about the journey which is at best, extremely stressful. Having gone through the arduous process myself, I thought it might be helpful to blog about my experience in the hope that someone may find the information useful or at the very least, know that they are not alone in their struggles and frustration with getting through this system.




My journey with disability began in 2008 when I was put on short term disability through my former employer. After a period of time (I believe it was ninety days), it converted to long term disability which was a benefit I had elected through my employer, thank god. What that meant was that a private disability company, contracted through my employer, paid me sixty percent of my previous year's gro…