Holidays…All or nothing?

Holidays...All or Nothing

Holidays.  All or nothing… in 2020

The 2020 American Holiday season.  We were briefly introduced to the holiday changes on Halloween. 

There was so much talk about whether or not we should let the kids trick or treat.  Was it a risk for them?  For us as parents?  Would every house have a candy shoot…would the be required to.

It was a flash test for what was coming.  For those of us beyond the trick or  treating years, this was a mere blip.  It didn’t really affect us.  Our only concern was, do we turn on the lights this year or not.

Halloween was flash test for what was coming.

But now, here we are at the beginning of the BIG Holidays, beginning on Thursday with Thanksgiving, continuing through Christmas and then New years. 

What will this look like? What can it look like?

The news is full of warnings.  I just heard that for a Cowboys home game only 25,000 fans were in attendance and it became a super spreader event.  I believe the roof was open and groups were placed far from the others.  Less than 25% of capacity and still a spread.  So now what?  What is responsible?  ….And do we just cash in the 2020 holiday season all together?

Do we CANCEL the holidays????

It is what the news media and the CDC seem to be selling.

On my calendar Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years and all of the other holidays are still on my calendar between now and January tenth, two thousand and twenty.

Whether we choose to acknowledge them or not, these holidays still exist.  These holidays from Thanksgiving to after New Years are part of our past. And IF WE CHOOSE… they are part of our present and our future.

These holidays from Thanksgiving to after New Years are part of our past. And IF WE CHOOSE… they are part of our present and our future.

Both groups act like we only have two options, all or nothing.

However, there are many ways to celebrate a holiday.  We may not immediately see it. Most of us have been celebrating the same way for years. 

When we look around though, to our friends and neighbors, it is then we see that everyone does not celebrate the same way. 

All or Nothing…

The reason cancelling the holiday creates such drama, is that it assumes that holidays are an all or nothing ordeal.  We either, …celebrate the way we have, with all of “these people”, at “this place” and in “this way”, OR we cannot celebrate.  Black and white. 

This is a well meaning trap.

Having not experienced or considered alternatives, we may think there IS only one way.  This is well meaning trap.  A preferred way of thinking our brains prefer to  keep us safe from the unknown.

Our brains like it.  When life is steady and predictable, our brains are happy.  They do not have to work so hard.  See “The Power of Habit” by Charles Duhigg.

This practiced predictable way of working though, does not serve us in a time or a year like pandemic 2020.

This black and white thinking only leads us to fighting what is.  There is no changing it, the facts are the facts.  We may choose to argue, fight or even try to avoid it, but we will lose the argument with the circumstances…100% of the time.

Option Zed

What IF there is another options…on that does not try to change the circumstances. What can we do what options are there if we accept the pandemic and the limitiations it dictates?

We change the only thing we can control. We change is ourselves.  I am sure you have heard the saying, all we can control is our response to it.

I learned the secret.

This was a curiosity and an impossibility to me for so many years, until I learned the secret.  Until I learn, I could control what I thought was uncontrollable.  No the circumstance by how I saw the circumstances.

In the past I would work to change the circumstances…what was going on or try to change the people.  This rarely if…well  it never worked. So, after a while, I gave up trying. 

There it was again, that word ~ belief

What I did not know was that there was an option Zed and all those along the way.  The way people control their responses to their circumstances was that they were able to do it because of options Zed.  They believed they had another option, even multiple options and they were willing to pursue all of them.

There it is again, that word belief.

Belief and pursuit

Belief is what keeps us pursuing the celebration of the holiday with and around our family and friends even at a distance in a yard or through a screen.  Belief that we can have a holiday celebration drives us. We take hold of a belief in option Zed.

…driven by a feeling of being “figureoutable”.

With this in mind the Celebration can and will happen…just as it has for hundreds of years.  It may appear different but it will occur and can occur with joy and connection just as it appears on the calendar.

This belief in option Zed moves us into a place of curiosity.  The active pursuit is driven by a feeling of being “figureaoutable”.  Yes a made up word but still relevant, and understandable.

If you are feeling this holiday season is figureoutable, what then?  What are the options and the possibilities ~ you can now see.   

The battle of what we want, is generally hindered by our own minds, by what we believe.  When we believe we can figure it out, and we tap into the energy to pursue it…we no longer cling to what and how it was, we create what can be.

Seek and be Inspired!!

Open up your mind and see what others have done already to overcome the challenges of pandemic 2020 and be inspired. Look how these people have overcome.

People all over the world are getting creative, solving their own challenges, choosing to live in the midst of this and coming together to support their community.  People help people, ourselves and others. 

It is in coming to the aid of others, that we make this place better.  Wouldn’t it be amazing if the pandemic actually brought all of us together? 

Through creativity and innovation, a whole new way to celebrate, deeper, more connected and meaningful is created for all of us. 

Let’s hit the social and traditional media airwaves with that!

Create Meaningful and Joyous Holidays

The holidays bring people together… the ones we love and care most about.  It is the time where we enjoy the company.  We do for one another and we express what they mean to us through both acts of service and through what we say.

Our acts of service and our voice are not silenced during this pandemic.

If anything, I have spent more time with those I love.  I have reached out to more people to check in, and extend help or even just a kind word of love and appreciation.

The precautions we are taking between now and the beginning of next year do not dampen who we are or our ability to connect with others.

Our Joyous Holidays will just look a little different… 
different bows and window dressing.

We may be throwing a quick celebration in a front yard or taking the kids over to grandmas to build a snowman.  We may back our favorite treats and drop them off at neighbors and friends who are alone this year. 

We may even drop off a tiny Christmas tree at each friend and family member with instructions to send a selfie and write a holiday wish note…like that “flat Stanley” so many of us had as kids coming with us to school, on each trip and to the holiday dinners. 

Perhaps assembling a book of everyone’s tiny tree pictures and holiday wishes printed out for everyone.  A remembrance that even in a time such as this, we still live.  We connect and continue to celebrate, on that day….as it comes on the calendar. 

You can do it

Get creative and make a difference.  Connect and reach out. 

I always like to think about the kids in war torn countries, because not matter how chaotic or dangerous, those kids still play.  They are kids and kids play.

but do not let it push out the joy

We are alive and we will continue to live.  Take this unique holiday season a truly make it your own.  Allow the grief of what cannot be…but do not let it push out the joy that is a part of life and a real part of this and every holiday season.

Happy Thanksgiving 2020!

I cannot wait to see how you inspire me!!

Want to feel a sense of home…here…now? 
I can help.

Download my free resource guide “a Sense of Home”. 

The journey is easy to begin, right here.

Categories

Life on Purpose

Life on Purpose

Life on Purpose

As adults we all think we live our life on purpose. 

We make conscious decisions as to what is in and what doesn’t make the cut.  We do this for ourselves, our kids and our families…sometimes across multiple families.

But this is just the problem.  Are we actually making choices OR are we going along with the crowd?

Going along with the crowd is not necessarily a bad thing.  Sometimes agreement “buys” us access into a group.  We buy into a belief or perhaps we buy into an activity that is “great for the kids”.  What we are getting in return is membership into that group.

And that is what leads us to living someone else’s life and values.

Our primitive brains(as opposed to the decision making part of our brains) are designed to desire this. It believes that when we have our tribe around us, we are safe.  Safety is the key to our survival.

And as far as our brains are concerned, going along with established norms or other “trusted” peoples decisions saves time and energy.  I mean why wouldn’t we go along with what our good friend recommended to us?  They know us and we like their values.  The challenge is that we do this more than we think we do, almost unconsciously.

And that is what leads us to living someone else’s life and values.

The “clean slate” of relocation
is a unique benefit.

All is Swept Away in Relocation

The unique thing about relocation is that all of these external influences are swept away in relocation.  Many times you will hear me talk about the “clean slate” of relocation.  This clean slate is the result of moving away from all that is known ~ the people, the culture and the rhythm of life.

The Clean Slate of Relocation is one of those unique benefits that is available in the first few months after the boxes have arrived.

When you do not know anyone and there is no normal to life, life in the new place becomes a blank canvas for you and everyone in the family to sketch out and create a vivid life that truly suits each one of you.  Sometimes the shift includes trying new activities or perhaps pursuing a different kind of friend.  It isn’t that anything in the past was bad, but rather this go round the ability to truly choose is available.

…the ability to truly choose is available.

Start with Who You Are

Starting with who you are can be a challenge, especially if you have kids at home.  We, as parents are so trained to be attentive to what our kids need or what our partner needs, we can lose track of ourselves. So, if the words do not flow when trying this part do not fret.  It is difficult for most of us during these years.

An easy place to start is with personal assessments like StrengthFinders 2.0, PersonalityHacker.com, I Said this You Heard That app or a Birkman assessment. From strengths to personality and temperament to stress responses learning these things about ourselves spurs on conversations within our families.  There are Ah Ha moments, “Oh that’s why I do that!”

“OH!  That’s why I do that!!

The effective direct result of taking these assessments is that we all think more about ourselves and what makes us tick.  We begin to associate those things that help us and those things/people/activities that suck every last piece of energy from us.

Teeing up this conversation within our heads helps us to see our wants…perhaps for the first time.

The Transformation Desired

One of the most brilliant questions I heard this week came from my friend Rob Fenlon, a StrengthFinders2.0 coach from the UK.  He has this question now that he asks himself and his relocating friends before relocation:

“What is the transformation you would like to see in yourself as a result of this relocation?”

Isn’t that brilliant?  What transformation would you like to see in you?!?!

How often do you think about your transformation?  We may have thought about it when in school and associated it with the kind of life we would have as adults.  But rarely do we pause long enough during these years to think about our own transformation in any context.

Transformation in the context of relocation comes down to who we will become. 

  • What will we learn?
  • What will we assimilate?
  • What will we choose to keep out?
  • How will be change?
  • Will our values be tested or changed?
  • How is our bravery, compassion and ability to connect changed?

When we think about potential transformations, ahead of time, we can truly craft how we walk through this relocation.

Life on Purpose is about Intention

What I like best about the transformation question is that in asking it, we become more intentional about all aspects of our relocation. 

Filling that clean slate of life now with intention is not hurried.

In relocation we make hundreds of decision, sometimes on a daily basis for months. The thought of making it even more decision laden can be a bit daunting.  To make every decision with intention?  Doesn’t that cause more work?

I argue that living with known intention actually makes all of that decision making easier.  When we know where we are going and what we want out of this relocation, we have the ability to look at all of those option and decide more easily…more quickly.

Filling that clean slate of life now with intention is not hurried. We are no long frienzied with “getting this done” and “getting the family settled”. 

…we are now seeking out those things that fit us.

With intention in view, we are now seeking out those things that fit us.  We only allow in those thing that lead us toward that transformation we are seeking.  Sure we may try on new things to test them and see if they fit.  But ultimately those people, things and activities we bring in are now aligned with where we are going as individuals and as a family.

Start Here

One of my free resources gets you down the path to living life on purpose.

The “3 Step Relocation Guide” provides you with links to the personal assessments I listed above as well as worksheets and resources to get you through every step of your relocation journey.

Remember if you have not connected, your relocation is not complete.  I can help.

If you would like to know exactly how this works choose a time to meet with me in the next week.  I will give you an overview of what is here on the website, you will receive real WholeLife Relocation coaching and tool or two you can use today.

I can help.

Ready to learn more?

ReloWomen WholeLife coaching can help you.
Click the button and choose your time.

Categories

RELOCATION: Holidays away from home

After relocation, the first holidays away from home will be the most challenging.  Both awkward and isolating, they are filled with the reminder that, “You are no longer in Kansas, Dorothy.” (Wizard of OZ movie reference)

Our first year in London was all fun and games.  In early summer, we explored and learned all about our new home.  But that first holiday, I wondered, how am I going to do this?

By November, we were pretty well established into routines.  We had daily and weekly activities that kept us full up on groceries and busy.  But what about Thanksgiving???

As an American in London, it was a bit awkward.  Celebrating holiday that was the led us to disconnecting from Britian?  On a non- “Bank Holiday”?  It was a Thursday.

The biggest hurdle though was that the lack of family and dear friends.  We were literally isolated while trying to do something normal.


American Thanksgiving in London

After 36 years of American Thanksgivings though, I couldn’t help myself but to plan yet another one, so I got to it. For non-Americans ~ Thanksgivings is surrounded by harvest foods (pumpkin pies, squash, potatoes, sweet potatoes, turkey and such), watching the Macy’s day parade and football on TV and mostly spending it with friends and family.

Since only one of the three would be available (this was a few year back), I concentrated on the food and adapted it all to my very small refrigerator, stove and oven.

We invited locals and other expats to join us.  It was fun to explain what Thanksgiving was.  We talked about the foods that make up the meal.  We enjoyed a few chickens since turkeys were not available until Christmas, and I think I made a pumpkin pie from scratch, like starting from a pie pumpkin.

Without Thanksgiving football & parades we decided to go for walk in Kensington Park and played table games. It was nice to take advantage of the temperate London weather.  It was 42 degrees and blowing back in Minnesota.

Everything shifted into something a bit new.

Remembering to keep living!

One of the toughest things in Relocation is to keep living.  There is continual change and adapting going on.  The holidays highlight this additional challenge like a blinding spotlight.

Holidays are surprising.  Since the holidays only come once a year and most relocation assignments are less than 3 years, there is no consistency, no daily practice how to do it.

However, like with most topics on ReloMoms, this post is about getting around being Stuck.

Because everything is new the planning starts a few months early.   This allows the event becomes an adventure with participants on both side of the pond and figuring out how to get this done away from normal.

Involve the friends and family back home.  Get recipes and maybe have holiday care packages sent from there to incorporate into your day!  This also alleviates the day of calls from home full of tears, “We miss you so much.  WHEN are you coming back? It’s not right without you.”

These calls do not help. However….

By involving them, they become part of your holiday even from a distance.  The questions become, “How did the sweet potatoes come out?  Did you play the game? How did your new friend like the ______?”

At your new home, involve the new friends you have made.  They also have local holidays, customs and foods.  Perhaps they could bring cornbread dressing to your holiday event.  Great!  Add it in, and experience something new.

Something NEW

Ultimately, holidays will all change.  They always have, even when you were home from year to year.  It’s just not recognizable because it happens to all of you at the same time.

People come and go.  Foods change, and the days morph in to something bigger and more full than they were in the years past.

The most valuable to do is to embrace where you are and the life you get to lead today.  And when you want to change it, you will make new decisions that will lead life in a different direction.

But today, Celebrate and LIVE.

Explore your new town next:  RELOCATION: What the Locals Do