Something to Muench on: Kicking off the 2020 holiday season with gratitude

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Kimberly Muench

For most of us 2020 has been somewhat stressful, right? Even if you haven’t personally experienced the physical effects of COVID-19, you’ve no doubt undergone disruptions to your lifestyle.

It could be minor irritations like no toilet paper or your favorite band’s concert was cancelled…or, perhaps the year has brought big changes like losing a job, your marriage blowing up, a loved one’s passing…at the very least we’ve all been home a lot more since March and that half-finished DIY project you may have been too busy to finish is staring you in the face day in and day out.

As I write this column the election has most of us sidetracked and just beyond that event lies the next big thing…turkey, stuffing, pumpkin pie and how Thanksgiving will look for our families this year.

We’ll think about, talk about, and begin to plan for the holiday. We’ll ask, “Should we drive or fly? Should we go at all? What if we decide to go and someone ends up getting COVID? What if it’s my mother’s last Thanksgiving? If we don’t do what we would typically do this Thanksgiving, what the heck do we do instead? How will we bring meaning to an occasion without being in the same space with those people we love the most?”

The pandemic is calling us to grow in many ways. One of the most important being the invitation to stay present and listen to our intuition. To remain in the here and now, releasing the regrets and anxieties of our past and future as we decide how to make the 2020 Holiday Season meaningful. This is an opportunity to gain awareness about who we wish to become while living through this chapter in our lives. Communication with our self and with others is key!

What if the next few months are less about focusing on who we aren’t with and what we aren’t doing and more about who we ARE with and what we ARE doing. Focusing on what we have, rather than on what we may be missing out on.

For example, this Thanksgiving for my immediate family and extended kin also involves my mom’s 75th birthday. My brother and his wife and kids are scheduled to fly in from Wisconsin for the weekend (they were supposed to fly down at Easter but of course they pushed back to later in the year with the hope that we’d all be in a better place by November). My youngest brother lives in South Texas and would also like to come up for the weekend. We want to be respectful of how our mom feels about having visitors and we also want to let her know how much we love her by making sure we’re all together to celebrate this milestone.

Today we’re in “wait-and-see” mode and it’s hard, but sometimes that’s what it means to be present. To sit with the uncomfortable feeling of the unknown. We don’t want to make a rash decisions; we want our mom to listen to her intuition and then we’ll act accordingly. We don’t want what WE want to influence her decision because this is about her and not us.

As you make plans for Thanksgiving remember: Yesterday is history, tomorrow a mystery, today is a gift…that’s why we call it the present! Stay here and be grateful for all you’ve got. Even the challenges!

About The Author

Kimberly Muench

Kim Muench is a Flower Mound mother of five kiddos between the ages of ten and thirty. She is a certified parent coach who loves working with moms and dads of adolescents to build stronger, healthier connections in their home. To learn more, visit her website at www.realifeparentguide.com.

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