It’s Thanksgiving! The one day of the year we’re expected to do nothing but eat, drink, and be thankful. Thankful for the small things…too much food to eat, too many material things that treat, and too few unmet needs to meet. Thankful for the big things…ever-loving families, always-there friends, and shared-heartfelt memories. Friends and family are what make our lives interesting…colorful. Sometimes they color inside our lines of tolerance. And sometimes not…sometimes they color outside our lines, push our buttons, and drag our grown-up psyches kicking and screaming back to childhood experiences we’ve long since left behind. Those are the days we’d prefer to keep our lives simple…black and white. NO COLORING PLEASE! Like it or not, our families represent the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly in each of us. Holidays approach, and we get together in anticipation of Good food, Good memories, and a Good time. Our nostalgic memories have betrayed us. They’ve highlighted the Good memories, altered them a bit, and concealed any hint of Bad from our consciousness. But it’s there…stalking our innocent nostalgia. Ready to pounce when we least expect it. Like they say, we have to take the Good with the Bad. Apparently. Fights ensue over how to prepare the meal, who should sit where, and who was right or wrong about the seating/cooking arrangements for the last family get-together. Siblings suit up, put on their boxing gloves, and take their corners. Parents begin serving up guilt as a side dish. And before you know it, personalities are clashing like trains playing chicken on a one-way track to “All Hell Breaking Loose.” If one doesn’t play the chicken, the two collide, and the party’s over. This is it…the defining moment…the test to see just how well we can, or can’t, control our Ugly.
It’s official. We’re Home For The Holidays. Welcome to the good, the bad, and OUR Ugly.
Family can be difficult. To say the least. But with all the chaos, all the arguments, all the drama…there’s one factor that can outwit, outlast, and outplay the others.
No matter how many disagreements, differences of opinion, or nasty comments are swirling around the dinner table…behind each and every one of them is love. Our families support us when life snatches our legs out from under us. When life gets too easy, our family acts as a doormat to wipe our feet on. When life gets too messy, they’re the door we knock on. And when life gets down right cruel, they’re the shoulder we cry on. No matter what phase we’re experiencing in life, our family plays a role…whether that role is “extra”, supporting, or they’re in the audience cheering us on. Our family is front and center. They’re our one constant in this whirlwind life of unexpected twists and turns. Our navigation system.
Soon you’ll sit down to give thanks and eat like there’s no tomorrow. Enjoy! But don’t let the Bad outweigh the Good and bring out your Ugly. If personalities get on the fast track to clashing, think before you speak. That turkey may not be the only thing needing to be stuffed. On this day of thanks, keep your differing opinion to yourself, take a heaping spoonful of dressing, and…
Happy Turkey day!