Giving Yourself Permission

Bella Cat is having A Day.

After the last couple of days full of rain and noise outside, plus some Serious Playtime inside, today Bella can be found in her spot by the window in the Library, one paw draped across her eyes, dozing.

She is tired. In need of quiet. And who could blame her?

I find myself envying the ease at which she takes on her own self care. She is very capable of announcing when she needs a cuddle and a hug – something she has had a lot of lately. But there are times when enough is enough and she finds a nice quiet spot to just be.

I think we could all take a lesson from such a cat, or dog if you are lucky enough to have one around.

So many things we do are by habit. They are the routines we live by, or at least attempt to. 😉

Sometimes, however, those habits are not fulfilling, not pleasing, not even enjoyable. A few simply are not necessary at all.

As we enter the Holiday Season it is well worth rethinking some of those habits, aka: ‘traditions’. “But we always …”

Be honest, those last three words just popped into your head and/or out of your mouth, right?

I know. Been there, done that. Really.

Habits and traditions can be fraught with all sorts of emotional landmines. They don’t even need a pandemic to emphasize them.

What would it be like to have one holiday season without all, or less of, the drama and trauma and stress?

The funny thing about traditions is that many were started not by a choice but by a need. There is an old story about how every Thanksgiving just had to include Great Granny’s ham made in Just The Right Pan. The grandkids had no idea why, they just went along with it for, well, decades before someone asked about it. Turns out the extremely special pan was the only one that the original ham would fit in.

When I was growing up, my mom and her sisters hosted the Christmas gathering at each home. They each took on a year with everyone meeting at that house. There were lots of people (adults & kids) around for an insane 48 hours and then people went home to meet at the next aunt’s home the next year, etc. This made sense in a way to keep the holiday together but after the kids grew up and people passed away, the tradition also died out.

What was served never changed, either. No matter the health issues or age or whatever. The Meal, huge as it was, never changed.

That couldn’t fly far with some of the food allergies and other health issues around today.

Whatever else this year has provided, it has given us opportunities to revisit the things we do, or wish we did.

So why not take the opportunity to give yourself permission to make a change or two and see how that goes? Want to try a new recipe? How about setting up the tree earlier or later, or not at all? Why not rearrange the furniture?

It might seem strange at first, but with each tentative step, you will discover what does and does not work for you.

The reality is this is your life and you have the right to choose how you live it. If you want your space to be more comfortable for you, it is up to you do make that happen. If you don’t want to do something just because it is a tradition you don’t particularly enjoy, you can choose not to do it. If your family wants to change the way you celebrate (or not) your family can make those choices. No one else should have a say in that, or at the very least, very little.

Give yourself permission to live the life you want to live in the way you want to live it. You might discover a lot less stress and frustration.

About Janet

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