For the last few minutes I’ve been staring out the windshield (as a passenger), down a straight and desolate stretch of highway 441, considering what to write about. It’s December 17, and if you’ve been out on the roads, you know the hustle and bustle is in full swing! This time of year it’s easy to get stressed-out and grouchy, so I’ve decided to share three simple tips to enjoy the ride (through the holidays).
Today we are headed to Vero Beach to celebrate my mother-in-law’s 85th birthday. Oma has dementia. She won’t remember our visit after we leave, but she will enjoy every minute of it while we are there. She will love reading her birthday cards, and will trace her finger over the signatures of her grandchildren. She will read each one “for the first time” over and over, and delight in them every time.
We brought some old pictures to share with Oma today. Pictures seem to jog her memories, and she likes to listen as my husband re-tells old stories. We’ll have lunch in the sunroom, and maybe we’ll sit outside with her for a bit. Oma will marvel at the birds and the sunshine, which will encourage us do the same.
There will be some frustration, and a little sadness as we leave today. Mostly, however, there will be smiles, laughs, and literally enjoying one moment at a time. THAT’S where the magic is.
In a few days, family and friends will arrive to spend the holidays with us, and there is still much preparation to be done. This morning, with a busy work-week ahead too, I was tempted to feel stressed about making the trip…Then I decided to enjoy it.
Rather than be stressed about having so much to do, I’m choosing to enjoy this day – just like Oma will, one moment at a time.
As you move through your holiday traditions and celebrations, I encourage you to:
- Seek out lots of reasons to smile; it releases feel-good endorphins!
- Appreciate the people you love, tomorrow is not guaranteed.
- Remember to breathe through any bumps along the way; a nice deep breath is instantly calming.
Every moment truly can be beautiful and special in its own way – if we choose to experience it as such. From our families to yours, we hope you enjoy happy and healthy holidays.
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