I'm a little late with the reflections of my Thanksgiving 2010 holiday. I had originally planned not to do a dag blame thing. I have not had a day off to regenerate in a long, long time and I was bound and determined to relax for four glorious days ... sleeping late, no cooking, no visiting, nothing, nadda. Well, the Wednesday night before, my Gamma gene kicked in and I just couldn't let it slide without my fresh greens and macaroni and cheese (legendary in the family I might add) and of course a turkey for 2 1/2 women. So off I went to the grocery store Wednesday night to buy my fixins. As luck would have it, my daughter came down with what I call a migraine but her doctor says is a bad headache so there was no cooking Wednesday night but that was okay ... we were on the "whenever dinner is ready" schedule so I didn't sweat it too much. Anyway, Thursday morning we got up and cooked our dinner in our sweats and t-shirts, took our time, let the little one "help" and had a pretty quiet and non-eventful day.
I missed my brothers and my mom, the chaos, and the effort to get a full course, made from scratch dinner, prepared at an hour that I wouldn't even entertain at any other time of the year. But it was a good day. What made this holiday different than prior years? It was the fact that I did it my way which wasn't typical of societal expectations that were set for me. I combined my favorite traditions -- real roasted turkey (nothing like it for sandwiches and 200% better than that processed stuff the deli calls roasted turkey); my baked macaroni & cheese (which is really simple to make but for some reason only prepared during special occasions even though we love it -- this will change); and fresh greens (as long as I have breath we will not have Glory greens n this house).
It made me realize how much drama could be eliminated from my life if I did more "my way" instead of some unrealistic expectation that I felt I had to strive to meet. Thanksgiving 2010, unplanned and uncoordinated as it was, actually turned out to be one of the best Thanksgiving holidays I've experienced. I wasn't able to say the prayer quite as eloquently as my mom, but I'm sure God understood.
How much of our stress and pressure is due to perceived expectations? How much stress and pressure can be eliminated if we just "do you"?