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...the HOLIDAYS. A word that stirs up various emotions about family, food, and fun. Spending time with family can be both joyous and heart-wrenching. It’s often because we position ourselves to be “schooled” in some way, shape or form. It’s called the School of Life and the class is usually titled ‘How You Have Grown (or Not) from the Last Encounter with Family.’
Regardless of the interactions, how are you going to be the best version of you that allows for maintaining good boundaries, but allows for you to show your care and support for each of the family and friends that you are gifted to spend time with. I love the lyrics from the Michael Jackson song “Man In The Mirror”, ‘If you want to make the world a better place, take a look at yourself and then make a change.’ May you appreciate and release thanksgiving for the friends and family you have around you at this season.
Make the choice to move into this holiday season with ‘Eyes Wide Open’. I encourage you to take the time to be the silent observer and check out what’s going on around you with your family and friends.
There will be a plethora of little ways you can make your world, and someone else’s, a better place. Time is a gift that you can give to both yourself and to another person, your undivided attention. Take a few moments to engage in conversation to listen, support and encourage someone around you. (Note, I did not say enslave yourself to someone for a 45 minute monologue of their woes. Gracefully extract yourself after (10 minutes) and let them know you appreciated getting a chance to connect with them.) Give yourself the gift of time to sit, breathe deeply, nap, play in a way that brings you refreshment.
As the relatives come out, choose awareness and assess how each person has changed from the last time you were with them… Be willing to ask yourself the harder questions: How is Aunt Sally is doing? What about my own parents; How are MY PARENTS doing? Dad’s been slowing down lately, do I really want to address his aging issues? If I don’t am I hiding my head in the sand and choosing to be in denial of the class we all have to take in the School of Life that most of us hate? Aging is inevitable and so is change?
This season, don’t approach the holidays with your eyes wide shut. Family get-togethers are the ideal opportunity to open your eyes, your heart, and your mind to the changes in the abilities of your senior relatives. They need you to see what they can’t so that they can walk through life’s changes maintaining a feeling of safety, support and peace of mind.
Click here to download our Checklist to Assess Daily Living Changes and move into the holidays with your ‘Eyes Wide Open’.