It’s Christmas Eve, and I’m in New Hampshire visiting with my fiancé’s family. It’s the first time I haven’t been with my family for Christmas.
It’s also the first time I’ll experience snow at Christmas.
It’s the first time I’ll be able to experience children opening gifts on Christmas morning since I was a child myself (with my much-beloved nephews to be).
It’s the first time I’m actually ok with being away because I know how much my family loves me, even if I can’t be there with them.
Up until this year, I have never even considered being away from my family at Christmas. It was something I would quit a job over. It was non-negotiable.
I initially felt like I was sacrificing a lot, giving up my Grandmother’s Christmas Eve party, my Dad’s turkey on Christmas day, and that precious time watching nerdy movies altogether as a family with Buddy the golden retriever at our feet.
What changed my mind? The removal of my stubborn blinders. When I took those off, I saw the love I feel for the family I am joining, the understanding I feel from the family I’m away from, and the excitement I have for the family I will be creating.
I started to consider all the amazing experiences I had to gain, trying something new. Real snow-capped mountains, golden leaves clinging to frost-bitten trees, the actual need for cold-weather clothing, Dunkin Donuts coffee…
There are so many opportunities in life to open up and experience something different, if we choose to see them as such.
When life throws you into situations you don’t want to be in, do you fall to the ground crying “Woe is me!” or do you go with the change in path and notice how green the grass is where you’re walking now?
What you see, how your life is played out, is based upon how you choose to act and react.
You can choose to interpret even the most painful situations as the lessons that will inform the rest of your life.
A loss of a job could be viewed as a release of all that time that you would spend at work to now use in the creation of a job that funds your passions in life.
A breakup or divorce can be a push in the right direction toward the person whose love will make you say, “Aha, this is why I was put through all those tests before.”
A loss of a friend or family member can bring you back to the gratitude you have for those close to you who are still alive, and maybe even mend broken bonds.
Every situation, even if it seems like the darkest time of your life, can actually be a shortcut to what you want most.
Life has a sneaky way of working out. Have faith, and keep taking action toward your dreams. You’ll get there.