This year has been full of growing pain and self-acceptance. I had to come to terms with no longer being a mother of young kids, but rather a mother of two teenagers and a pre-teen. My oldest came home two weeks ago, after being away to college for nearly four months. I was excited about the holidays and I wanted to recreate pass experiences. Unfortunately, my kids wanted nothing to do with what I had in mind. Even my husband was more interested in watching sports, given that he has very limited time to do so during his busy work schedule. I was feeling awful and wishing the holidays would pass by quickly.
I felt like my effort to make everyone get along was not working. Even the games we all used to enjoy around the holidays now seemed tedious and painful. One of my daughters said, “Mom why are you doing this to yourself? You can’t force it, just let it be and enjoy yourself.” I felt as if I was losing out and needed to gain back control. I was mad and I was going to let them all see that they needed to comply with my forced family activities, so I decided to not part take in any myself. One of the days I laid in bed and read until noon and when I came down, they were all in the kitchen talking and cooking, they even asked what I wanted to eat. I was happy and felt a deep sense of containment that had nothing to do with my planning. Another day since they were all still sleeping, I did not start making coffee or get breakfast going, I woke up went for a long walk and left a list for my husband. He ended up putting a lot of effort into getting 80% of the tasks completed. Gradually I was feeling like myself; recharged and less concerned about photo-ups or playing forced family games.
The holidays can be challenging as we all have certain expectations, traditions and memories we want to recreate or keep, but a blissful holiday is about self-fulfillment. It is about feeling balanced, happy and appreciated. Self-fulfillment is all about a life well lived, not a life full of obligations and forced traditions. Give yourself permission to find deep satisfaction in worthwhile tasks that makes you happy. A blissful holiday is not about creating a bucket list, but rather, pulling back and discovering one’s nature. It is not based on outside influences, but rather internal self-satisfaction that occurs when we let go of our need to control every aspect of our lives.
Uduak (Udie) Osom holds a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in Speech and Language Pathology from San Jose State University. Udie has served students of all ability levels from preschool through grade 12, for over 20 years. She is very passionate about neuro-developmental disabilities and social-cognitive disabilities. She is the owner/director of Innovative Therapy Services, a pediatric speech, language and social skills clinic in Santa Clara, CA. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.