I’ve been struggling this week.
Maybe it was writer’s block?
Or I could blame 2020 (which for the rest of our lives will be an acceptable noun, verb, adjective or adverb).
I have been at a loss for words on what to say about a holiday that feels very different this year.
Then yesterday, as I was scrolling on Facebook, I read the following story posted by a friend:
My 5-year-old and 4-year-old were having a heated debate on if the words to a song were Her way or His way. These are the conclusions we ended up talking about:
1. You don’t have to agree
2. THE BEST THING about each of us is that we are different, we all think, act and see things different. How amazing is it that not ONE of us is the same
3. Don’t yuck on someone else’s yum.
4. Be kind and respectful of others opinions
5. You have something to learn in everything you do, everyone you meet and everything you see
I love each of the points this Wise Mama discussed with her little ones, but my favorite is #3 “Don’t yuck on someone’s yum”. We all have at least one Thanksgiving dish we continue to make year after year, that no one really likes, but it’s tradition so you make it anyway. Or maybe, you have a family favorite that when you describe it to someone else, they can’t see how that combination of foods could be palatable.
It is easy for us “yuck on someone’s yum” because it is outside of what we know. We like the things we like. They are satisfying. We know they will make us happy, so we stick with the tried and true.
Exploring what we think is a yuck, requires us to go beyond our comfort zone. The results are unknown, and it could be unpleasant, but it could also lead to something unexpected.
When we think about Thanksgiving, we get that “yum” feeling thinking about the food, family and traditions surrounding the day. This year the food will be prepared differently. There will be fewer faces around the table and traditions will be placed on hold. For all those reasons, no one would blame you if Thanksgiving is feeling a little more “yuck” this year.
Like so many things, it comes back to our Expectations. Over years of celebrating, we come to associate Thanksgiving with specific colors, smells, tastes, people, places, stories, feelings. Those associations fuel our Expectations and become our comfort zone. They give us a warm, “yum” feeling and define what the holiday should be. But what happens when our Expectations don’t match reality? When we can’t gather, or travel, or cook, or play? Those “yuck” feelings start to rise.
My advice is to allow it to be different. Who said you can’t have pizza and ice cream sundaes for Thanksgiving? Make it fun. Make it easy. Get the kids involved. You have the chance to make this year whatever you want. Keep the traditions you love and make new ones for years to come. “Yum” comes in many flavors, this year will taste different but will be no less delicious.
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Photo by Alfred Schrock on Unsplash
I started writing this blog because I wanted to have deeper conversations beyond "How are you?", "Busy", with other parents. Over the years I've shared personal stories, articles, authors and topics to facilitate conversations with parents about the joys and the challenges of parenting.