Next week is Thanksgiving!! How did that happen?
The calendar says November (I checked it!) but I feel I'm still mentally stuck in the summertime. I really am having a hard time this year getting used to daylight savings time and it being dark so early. It doesn't feel great to leave work, walk out of the building and it's already night time. It is just not my thing at all. I love it when it is 7 or 8 o'clock at night and it's still light outside!
It's the best!
Plus this year, Thanksgiving seems early and then all the shopping and parties start and before you know it, Christmas is here.
I'm looking forward to catching up with my son who has been away for months and other members of my family I haven't seen for awhile. Then there are always those memories of holidays in the past which sometimes sit in the back of my brain, vying for attention. These memories can be triggered by a person, a song, even the smell of particular food.
For instance, whenever I smell that burnt, roasting smell of chestnuts cooking, I am instantly in New York City with my husband. And whenever I smell turkey stuffing or the ingredients of stuffing cooking, I am back in the kitchen of my childhood.
I think it's healthy to take these good and bad holiday memories "out" shall we say, and visit with them but not obsess over them. Acknowledge that they happened, talk about them or write about them if that makes you feel better and then put these past memories back in their mental place.
Today is what counts. Not something that happened many years ago that you can't change and might not want to change. Express what is appropriate and then move on.
This holiday season my priority is to stay emotionally well and appreciate simplicity. In browsing the web to research ways to reinforce this idea for myself, I came upon a short list of tips written by Joan Westlake for healthkey.com that I think is a good starting point for being positive and staying young at heart:
Affection and companionship are the best medicines for the heart. Fabulous friends, great grandchildren, salubrious siblings and nice neighbors keep you involved in life. Revel in romance. Pets provide unconditional love plus the hugs and warmth on which the soul thrives.
What you give truly comes back 10-fold. There are children longing for someone to read them a book, homeless folks hungry for a helping of kindness with their soup, homebound people waiting for a ray of humanity to brighten their day and friendly dogs needing a walk while the hope for a forever family.
Get on the go. Swimming is one of the best ways to keep in shape well into your 90s. Start your day off with a walk or hike. Take a dance class and get out and Salsa, Two-Step or Disco. Tai chi and yoga guide you in ancient movements to enrich your body and soul.
Take a trip. Learn a new language. Start a new business. Go live in the place of your dreams. Find your spiritual nature. Go boldly into new worlds.
Celebrate and embrace each birthday! Invite friends of all ages. Dance and play loud music. Eat cake and steak and have that rowdy shot of tequila or expensive glass of wine.
You're worth it!!