Saturday, January 05, 2008

When You Can’t do what You Planned

This weekend we are putting away Christmas decorations. It’s hard to believe that the season is over. It was actually a strange one for us because one person or another has been sick since before Thanksgiving. For most of December the sick one was me! Perhaps you have already discovered this from experience—that when Mom is sick many things fall apart. For us it was our typical Christmas routine.

At first I felt too awful to care about what I missed out on. A few times, however, I felt extremely bummed out. I didn’t have energy to bake cookies for friends or write Christmas cards. I had to skip the choir Christmas party and even the Christmas Eve service. After awhile I decided to avoid wallowing in disappointment and consider the things that I got to do instead.

I didn’t bake cookies for all my friends but, on a day when I had the energy, did dip chocolate pretzels for friends who had helped get my son to and from school, took him to a birthday party, and helped my family in other ways.

I had an opportunity to see that friends and family members really do understand when you are too doped up on pain killers and a brain-zapping infection to write cards. I don’t know why I felt to let off the hook. I would completely understand if the situation were reversed. But it served as a nice reminder. And there was an “instead” here too—the few that I did hand out or send were to very special.

True, I missed out on some fun events, but I also did a lot less running around. I was basically forced to have a quiet Christmas. And you know what? It was kind of nice. I read a book, watch a lot of old movies with my family, played games with my 5-year-old, and had time to reflect.

So looking back the change in routine turned into quite a blessing.

I’m sure you know this already but life often throws unwanted twists. Plans suddenly have to change. Things that we were looking forward to must be cancelled, put off, or enjoyed by others without us. How do we handle it? Sure we mope and maybe even cry, which is completely normal, but what about after that? Think of a time when changing plans allowed you to do something that might not have been possible otherwise. The next time that circumstances change you plans or traditions, pay attention to what you get to do instead.

Happy New Year,

Cross posted on Girls, God and the Good Life


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