I'm so sorry but I will have the Christmas projects I promised up next week. This week I've been battling the horrendous flu, dealing with a husband who hasn't been well himself and trying to finish up decorating the house for Christmas before Alexa comes home next week.
Phew...suffice it to say, its been a VERY long & exhausting week. But I need to edit photos and get those typed up for you all and hoping next week is much, much calmer.
I just wanted to pop in with a little post for everyone to ponder over the weekend. Something that I've been giving lots of thought to myself and thought I'd share...because that's what I like to do is share with everyone.
I wanted to talk about Hidden Blessings....the things that happen that you don't realize until after the fact, or something that you didn't even realize was happening at the time but thought about afterwards. Something that was lifting your spirits, making you smile or easing your pain just a little. I like to think that these blessings happen to us all but maybe we aren't always so tuned in to what they are or if they even might have helped us. I think with the busy-ness of our lives, the stress, the long to-do lists, the sleepless nights, our jobs, our families, all those things that pull us that way and this way...I think sometimes we don't notice the little things that have been blessing us all along.
So my hope is that you will stop for a few moments each day or each week and think back on something that helped you in a way that wasn't entirely recognizable at first. Notice those small things that are bringing you some peace or joy, even if its much later...because when you look back and take notice...that's when the blessing becomes something more powerful in your life. Similar to a gratitude journal but these are actually blessings you realize later on...not the instant ones although those are always great too.
I notice lots of hidden blessings myself or I try to as I believe that we should focus on the positive more than the negative. It has helped me get through a lot in life..just the simple act of being thankful for the beautiful things and moments in our lives. And a lot of them are just little things like someone offering a smile & a friendly wave on a day I wasn't feeling well. Reading a book or story and then later on realizing it helped put a smile on my face or taught me a valuable lesson. Pondering what to have for dinner when you need to go get groceries and making due with what you have on hand, and later realizing what a simplified & great dish it was. Taking a quiet walk early in the day and later having a stressful evening, and really being thankful for that earlier time that helped you maintain a level of calm when it was needed most. Realizing that you ran out of time to get to the store & feeling angry about it, but then found out the next day that there was a terrible accident that closed down the highway while you were out..which would've meant you might have missed your son's school presentation. Lots of these things happen every day but I think most of us dwell on the things that didn't go well, or the stress of an event, or the sadness that we may be enduring.
Negatives always weigh more than positives....don't let yourself get weighed down by things you can change.
The hidden blessing I discovered didn't even hit me until the other evening. My husband was teaching a class at Univ of MD and Riley and I were home alone for the evening. I had the flu and hadn't been able to do much that day other than sit in my chair and sleep. Riley made me some soup and then he sat with me and watched some sappy Hallmark Holiday movies...not necessarily because he wanted to. Usually he likes to skype his girlfriend in the evening or play a video game after dinner when homework is finished or watch a hockey game. So for him to sit there with me and make me some dinner was a blessing...right then and there I SAW the actual blessing. Of course he complained about how corny the Hallmark movies were, but we laughed and watched them together and enjoyed the always-happy-endings.
But then I got to thinking later that night and guess what I realized?
I realized that he's been a hidden blessing all along. Not that he's not been a blessing in my life...that's not at all what I mean, because both of my kids have been. But with Alexa going to college there's been an emptiness in the house and our lives that I've really missed. Its really hard to explain unless you've gone through it yourself. So even though I still have a child at home there has definitely been a "shift" of emotions and things I've missed with having another girl in the house.
As I was thinking on all of this I started remembering how much TIME I've gotten to spend with Riley by myself since mid-August. Usually its just him and I till the hubs comes home, and if he's working late than Riley and I have dinner together too. We watch hockey and football games together, we get to watch Colbert & discuss it during dinner, he runs to the grocery store with me, adds more food to the cart (lol) and helps carry in the bags. He brings in the mail every day and we discuss his day at school. I talk him into taking walks around the neighborhood with me even when he groans that he's tired. We have movie dates and pizza nights. He shows me funny videos or memes on his phone. I cringe at the mess when I go down to his bedroom as he laughs and helps get it cleaned up. Without having Alexa in the house we've gotten to spend more quality time together that wasn't always available with his sister being around. With more than 1 child you are always divvying up your attention and time as much as possible and sometimes you don't get all the 1-on1 time that you want or need. So with Alexa having gone off to college now, Riley and I have been able to find that TIME which is I believe is my biggest hidden blessing. Something I hadn't really thought about much until the other evening. And as our little boys grow into teens its so hard to find that time especially with their MOM...with sports, friends, girlfriends and other things that I like to call "teen boy attitude" absorbing some of that time. For me its a way to establish a "new" relationship with him as a young man and not a little boy...for me to recognize who he is NOW and find joy in that. To hear all the stories and ideas he feels passionate about even if some of them make me groan inwardly a little hahaha! Its basically just the joy of having the TIME with him that I won't get back and to really embrace this moment in our lives without sadness.
Because in another year he's off to college as well and to start his new independent and grown-up life. But for me, in the here & now I'm so very, very thankful for this time I've been given with him. So instead of focusing on the emptiness I feel with my daughter being gone, I am instead concentrating on this hidden gem of a gift I've been blessed to have.
Even in the darkest shadows I do believe you can find some light.....
So my Christmas wish for all of you this month, which can sometimes be the most stressful time of the year....is to have many hidden blessings. And most importantly for you to have a moment to recognize them all.