We are winding down the month of December. I hope you have had some cheer, even if your life remains busy or difficult. This week I’m sharing my final thought for the holiday season: the best moments are often the ones we don’t plan.
I am a planner. Planning makes me feel calm and in control. I love checklists, calendars, and everything in between. At this time of year, I enjoy planning special events and celebrations for family and friends to enjoy. At the same time, sometimes I saddle my plans with (potentially unrealistic) expectations. I imagine how happy everyone will be when my plans play out. In some cases, events unfold just as I had envisioned and all goes well. However, in others, either a plan falls apart, something unexpected messes with a plan, or people just aren’t as thrilled as I had anticipated. That can be disappointing.
Fortunately, great moments are not entirely my responsibility. In fact, each holiday season I seem to have at least one experience that is surprisingly wonderful. This year, I had one of these moments when a client had to cancel at the last minute. Since I had a few “found” hours, I decided to plug in my tree, put on some instrumental holiday music, and work on a fun Christmas project. The glow of the lights and the soothing sounds refreshed my soul, and I walked away saying, “That was just so nice.”
Moments like these – that we didn’t orchestrate, and hence for which we had no expectations – can end up being highlights of the holiday season.
Can there be a lot to accomplish during the holidays? Yes, there sure can. Can wise planning make the holiday season easier and more pleasant? I think so. Will every joyful moment be the result of our planning efforts? Probably not! In fact, it may have nothing to do with us at all.
As you move through the next couple of weeks, I hope you will be on the lookout for surprisingly good moments. If and when one arises, allow yourself to fully savor it. You just never know what might end up being your best memory of the season!
Can you remember a special holiday moment that was completely unplanned?