it could be your last

This isn’t a reminder that funerals seem to increase or become more potent during December, but that life is always in flux and there are a lot of days to live before the next holiday season and New Year.  Stuff happens in the spring that can totally transform our lives by the fall.  Many times I faced the holiday season with expectations for creating the same flavor of celebration even though everything was different than any prior holiday.

Changes are wrought with what transpires through the year.  This includes but is not limited to babies, graduations, new or lost jobs, moves, traumas, accidents, weddings, illness, and new goals.  I’ve heard stories of others who dread the holidays because of the required gatherings of multiple generations of their family and having to face the same old questions.

Too many people seem to feel like failures at the holidays when asked if goals others think are important were achieved.  And the answer is no, because the expectations of our ancestors has little merit to our current intent.  People with lives, careers, and relationships, who are happy and motivated with their personal goals and desires, and are professionally successful and fulfilled with friends, will crumble into a wounded child when Great-Aunt Edna stares them down and asks, “Are you married yet?  Are you pregnant yet?”  What’s up with that?

Where is it written that we have to impress our worst critic?

Here’s my advice.  Gently caress those old and wrinkled cheeks and look Great-Aunt Edna in the eyes.  (Don’t pinch her cheeks and smack her upside the head like she did when you were young!)  Look her in the eye and smile your secret happy smile for a full ten seconds.  Then very quietly and gently inform her, “No, my dear Edna, instead I’m living a life you would have loved.”

And if Great-Aunt Edna was a life-long thorn in your side, you have my permission to add the following statement.  “I really want to thank you for being such a perfect example of who I didn’t want to become.”

Make last-years holiday season the last time anyone made you miserable.  Old patterns need to change for the fresh wind of happiness, even if Great Aunt Edna has been only a memory for a decade.

It’s never too late to thank our ancestors for their influence in our lives, it can always be that last year was the last time it made an impact.  This time, this year, is always full of the potential for being the first time you are happy with you.

About Terri Patrick
Writer of Romance and Memoir. Life is an adventure, take that journey.

2 Responses to it could be your last

  1. I don’t think I could do that to Great Aunt Edna. I would probably just smile and leave it at that. I wouldn’t want to spoil her day. I must agree though that a gathering of the clans can cause friction – if we allow others to have an effect on us that is. How right you are that we should be happy with who we are.

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  2. terripatrick says:

    I’ve always wondered if I would have said as such – to Great Aunt Edna but I never had the chance. I was married and with babies at 21 so all the old women in the family smiled upon me, but frowned on others. Yet I was often fascinated by the lives others were living. They had careers, their own apartments, and a lot of really awesome shoes.

    Our girls have always know motherhood is not a requirement and marriage is not a goal but a journey. They are all awesome just the way they are, and I will honor their choices because it is their life. I may be an integral character in their story but I am not their author.

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