One of the things I’ve been thinking about is how powerful the idea of “reframing” can be. We may be overwhelmed with the idea of loss, thinking of all the things that won’t be the same over this holiday and the parties that will be canceled and the things we won’t get to do. With some “reframing” we can begin to think about how canceling some of those parties, that can actually sometimes feel like an “obligation,” can free up our time to be present with our immediate family. Being “stuck” in small groups can actually help us to be more attentive to the ones around us. Instead of going to a party that Great Aunt Jean insists on having every year even though everyone dreads it, now we just get to put on our pajamas and watch Elf or the Mandalorian or 60 Hallmark Christmas movies in a row.

A friend of mine just shared a story about how he didn’t get to see some extended family over Thanksgiving, so his nephew called him to say hi instead. This ended up turning into a really significant and meaningful conversation via phone that they probably wouldn’t have been able to have if they’d been in someone’s home surrounded by nosy aunts and uncles, a blaring television, and rambunctious kids playing hide-and-seek in the living room.

With a little reframing and a determination to stay present in the here-and-now with the ones in front of our faces, we may actually find that this holiday season lends us more time for rest, enjoying the moment, and sharing it with the ones we love the most.

–Mike Haarer, Vice President and Executive Director of Compass Rose Academy