I hope you all had as nice and quiet Thanksgiving as I did. Mine was peaceful and relaxed. My mood was stable and upbeat the whole time.
It was the first year I didn’t join the crazies at the mall on Black Friday. Instead my daughter and I went to her quaint little downtown area where we were about the only people on the street. Guess where everyone else was? 🙂 We stopped and had a wonderful latte at a local bookstore. Just a lovely day all around.
I couldn’t help but think that I knew it wouldn’t stay that way. Getting away is always relaxing but reality waits to grab us the minute we step back into our normal routine. And reality says that life can’t always run smoothly. We can’t always be on top of the world.
In the book I’m writing, I devote a number of paragraphs to the subject of being leery of happiness. That doesn’t mean we should be looking for the sky to fall. I don’t mean that at all. What I DO mean is that it’s important to keep our emotions fairly even-keeled. I’m easily excited; it doesn’t take much to make me happy. but I learned a long time ago that the higher I jump, the harder the fall.
I still get excited about things. I still get giddy sometimes. But I try to keep my “emotional feet” on the ground. Depression is ready to pounce when we’re at our best. I don’t know why that is, I only know that it is.
With the holiday season upon us, it’s important to actually decide to prepare our emotions for what is a very topsy-turvy time of the year. I know few people who don’t feel stressed at times while jubilant at others. It’s the nature of the season.
I have determined that I will modulate my emotions. I won’t enjoy the season less. I will enjoy it more because there won’t be the inevitable let-down when people don’t behave like they should, when family gatherings don’t turn out as they should,when the cookies aren’t perfect, etc.
If I allow myself to go down that path, I’ll completely miss the message of Christmas. For me that message is peace. There was none of that in my childhood and youth. For a long time, there was little of that as a grown-up. I refuse to go back there. It’s not what God wants for me; it’s not what I want for myself. This gift of peace is meant to be opened. It’s not meant to sit on the shelf.
We so often blame others for our lack of peace but God never said that peace was dependent on other people. He said He offers “a peace that passes all understanding”. To me, that means realizing that peace lies with within me, and I find that very hard to understand.
I hope you’ll think hard about what you want this month to look like for you and then determine to do what you need to do to make it that way.