Thursday, November 10, 2011

Holiday [Family] Time

Okay, let's get serious for a minute. I know I can't be the only one who feels like they stress about holidays more than they enjoy them. Right?? As you probably know, I live in TN and recently moved from KY. Most of my family is spread out in KY. This proves to be a bit of a complication each year around this time. Who do I see this year? Where do I go this year? Who did I recently see? Should I see these people because of this or because of that? Should I skip these people because they came to see me recently? I’m a girl, so these thoughts go on and on and on and….you get the point. I spend more time worrying about the impending plans then I actually spend enjoying the time I DO get with each family member.

Don’t get me wrong…all of the thoughts I have come strictly from my own overworking mind.
I don’t get pressure from anyone, but I know in my heart everyone wants to see me. I think back to the days where every single person in my Dad’s family would squeeze into my grandma’s house and we’d all have Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner and then nap around the house, watch football, or open presents. I remember that I would get beyond excited right before the holidays. Even at a young age I would look forward to seeing my aunts, my uncles, and my grandparents. There was something comforting about being together with everyone all at once. Security.

As the years have progressed, my family has grown apart and each person has developed their own branch of the family. Aunts and uncles have their own children…parents add new babies to the family and stay at their own home to celebrate with them. People move away and get older. While some families can keep it going for years and years, some families lose interest. Some people just get tired.

I don’t ever want to be too TIRED to celebrate having my family around. Last year when I was at my wits end about where to go for the holidays and trying to figure out how to be in 5 different places, Ryan reminded me that I should be thankful that I have that many people that want to share their special moments holidays with me. I try really hard to keep that in the front of my mind, but here I am again this year worrying and TIRING myself out.

I know that I shouldn’t worry so much because family….well, family should be there no matter what. However, over the years I’ve learned that it’s not that simple. When family members are spread out there’s a lot more that goes into keeping a family together. Sure it’s easy to say hi or swing by when someone lives right down the street, but what about the ones that are 50, 100, 200 miles away? Those are the ones that need more work. That’s where the holidays come into play. I feel like the quality of time spent together during the holidays should be better and should fill some of the gaps. I think that’s where my stress comes into play and is the reason I care so much.
Holidays used to mean the world to me and I don’t want to lose that feeling! I spend time with Ryan and that makes me beyond happy! I love sharing moments with him, making memories with him and building our own holiday traditions : ) It looks like we’ll be moving into our new place around the holidays this year so I shouldn’t be worrying so much about where I’ll travel to. I won’t have to think of as many reasons for being in one place instead of another. I won’t have to disappoint anyone by telling them I can't be there because I’m spending the holiday with another equally deserving family member. I will be moving and I will be doing something that is necessary. As un-heartfelt as that is, I feel like I was blessed to have a reason to travel less this year. Blessed to just enjoy the littel things....enjoy being with Ryan (and the dog!) and to enjoy the home that we have together.

That’s what the holidays are really for, right? Enjoying whoever is special to you and counting your blessings and eating delicious food!
Do you travel for the holidays? Do you worry about pleasing everyone?
Okay, so maybe I am the only one ; )


meghan said...

You're definitely NOT the only one, so don't you worry!!

Happy almost-Friday!

megs [at] Shine On

Susan said...

You're not alone Ashley. I'm a people pleaser too and it's really hard sometimes, but you've got the right ideas and are doing the right thing. Good for you to put everything into perspective :)