“What screws us up the most in life is the picture in our head of how it is supposed to be.” ~Socrates

Written December 25, 2016

Another phrase I’ve heard that is similar is, “Expectations are premeditated resentments “. Wow! That’s a bit of a mouthful isn’t it? Yes, it’s time for a vocabulary lesson.  An expectation is the belief about (or mental picture of) the future. If you have great expectations, you think something good will come your way. At the same time, if you keep your expectations low, you won’t risk being disappointed. Premeditated just means thinking about it in advance and a resentment simply means holding a grudge.

Christmas time is a perfect example. Many of us remember Christmases when we were young. Our eyes aglow at all the lights, decorations, seeing Santa at the mall or some other place and of course presents from Santa under the tree. We remember getting together with the family and even the traditions with our family. As we grow older those traditions change. Family members pass away or move away, we get involved relationships and eventually married then having children and so on.

One day we wake up and we realize that as we’ve have gotten older the traditions we once held so dear have changed. Some for the better and some not do much. Maybe we had children and we are passing down our traditions or we didn’t have children and we have no one to pass those traditions to. Or perhaps we have fantasized how our Christmas will go only to have our hopes go unfulfilled. Our expectations are easily turned into resentments.

When these expectations are not met they tend to make us feel very depressed. It’s well known that this time of year is when suicides and drug overdoses are more common. This is especially true of people who spend Christmas alone. The memories of times seemingly long ago come back to haunt these people.

How am I so insightful about this? Because I’ve only recently come face to face with these thoughts and feelings. It began shortly after my father passed away and even more so the year I got divorced. Sure, I could do anyone of those things I mentioned or crawled into bed and stayed there til after New Years but how practical is that? Besides, as an addict who’s relapsed a couple times but now has a few 24 hours clean, why would I want to go back to that misery? I know that my Higher Power has His reasons for what He brings my way.

I have no solid advice for myself or anyone else who is going thru a difficult holiday season like this but there is one thing I started doing daily the last 5 months that helps to ease the pain in my heart this Christmas. I’ve been making a gratitude list every day without fail this year I am grateful for the people who are still in my life. They are the special ones who have stuck by me thru thick and thin. And this year I was grateful that certain things happened the way they did because the woman I just started caring for was going to be alone and stuck eating another tv dinner. I stayed a bit longer to make her some dinner and I ate with her. Oh sure it was my scrambled eggs recipe from my younger years but it was still what you might find at your own family dinner. Ham, cheese(without the crackers) onion and even the eggs(without the nog. Lol!!). All that was missing was pumpkin pie which was ok. I had plenty of it on Thanksgiving day.

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