Posted in celebrations, family, Self Care

Expectations of the Season

The alarm jolted into my brain and I awoke to the dark of winter during a snow storm. Somehow 0605 seems easier when the sun is blazing in and the birds are chirping. But there you have it. We can’t always pick and choose.

I eventually rolled out of bed and convinced myself I would just have a quick shower so I could leave for work those few minutes early. It makes a world of difference in traffic levels. But there you have it. 5 minutes can change an action or an outcome.

I punched the clock (3 years later I still get a kick out of using an actual time clock) with time to spare. I walked down the hall and got my first glimpse of the operating room. Second glimpse told the same story. Monday = Dr. T, Friday = Dr. K. Today is Monday and it’s Dr. K. And there you have it. Things aren’t always what we expect.

Which is a perfect seque into the season isn’t it?

The list was made and items organized, seemingly eons ago. But some actions weren’t taken by various players in the field. Which has translated to the last minute panic feeling of will there be gifts under the tree or not. This is not how I usually roll or at least not to the degree this year is going at. The list is only as good as the actions.

I’ve taken the calendar off the wall 500 times (yes really) and yet can’t seem to organize a single thing. Some days have so much on that I need a detailed sheet. Some days I seem to spend the day walking around the house wondering what it was I was supposed to be doing despite my list of lists. Well ok it’s maybe not that bad but… Expectations versus reality.

One of the things that hasn’t happened this year is daily kindness advent calendar activities and the blog recording of it. My friend and I faithfully did it for 4 or 5 (?) years and somehow this year it never became a conversation. I recalled how much pressure some of it added to an already busy season and decided that it would be all right not to participate this year. My plan is to make a couple of meaningful local donations. But somehow not doing it left an unexpected emptiness. Certainly gave me more time but then I wonder what did I do with said extra time. Certainly not Christmas cards or shopping.

Which leads me to what? Still just walking around in circles with items half done off of this list or that. Meanwhile, someone else decorated the tree, and the house and I walked around, grinch like saying, “we don’t need to use it all,” to no avail. The traditionalist likes what he likes. I am enjoying, like always, the colored lights outside. It adds some cheery notes to the dark mornings and nights.

Perhaps, side note here, that seasonal affective disorder is running rampant in my brain, and I’ve failed to recognize it. It’s certainly been overcast and dull and monotonous. When the sun shines, I follow it from room to room. Ah well, the solstice is 2 days away, and we will tilt again. And maybe that’s the thing; life keeps going and we have a choice about how we show up and what we do.

So I will show up for Christmas, perhaps without Little Man C’s late ordered gift, and I will enjoy what is most important and try to let the rest of the expectations fall to the way side. I will extend my hand to help those I can, and that makes me so grateful that I have the means to do that. We will do a light tour with the little ones and build a gingerbread house but perhaps it won’t be timely. The Christmas lights will brighten my outlook even if the sun won’t shine.

I will count my blessings and celebrate because we will be together. It won’t be perfect, and it might be messy on many levels, but that’s life isn’t it?

My hope is that those who wander in here and read will also be inspired to enjoy what comes their way this holiday season. That despite the commercialization of the season joy can be settled into.



I have had a love of the written word for my entire life. It's no surprise that eventually I found a platform where I could write. It's random; sometimes funny, occasionally sad, maybe even at times from anger and I lean towards creative photography and hands on crafts. I have a few blogs that high light these interests.

21 thoughts on “Expectations of the Season

  1. Christmas is so full of expectations but many of them, we put on ourselves. Sometimes, it is good to go with the flow, rather than over commit. We all seem to be so time driven these days, that time always gets away on us. Hope you had a good Christmas season, nonetheless Bernie. Allan


  2. Hard to let go of expectations that we put on ourselves, especially when we are struggling. Self compassion should be the new word for the year!


    1. True that many of the expectations are of our own making, but some are traditions, and that makes it worth doing. I think I’ve found my WOTY but it’s not self compassion. Will let you know. Merry Christmas to you, Blair and the whole family. Bernie


    1. Ah the just go with it plan! Works for most men… I feel like I’ve caught up a bit both on gifts and activities so that helps. But of course more wrinkles and twists have happened so that kind of un balances it all. But it will come and it will go and what happens happens. Just hope the turkey is dead when we go to stuff it (like for real…) Merry Christmas. Enjoy your family time Donna. Bernie


  3. I feel stressed just reading this post. Of course being retired has its own stresses and one of them is being reminded of when I wasn’t retired. Merry Christmas Bernie. 🙂


    1. LOL Glen. Soemdays I wonder why I still hang in there but I do enjoy it and I only work 1 or 2 days a week so it’s not like 40+++ hours a week.
      Merry Christmas Glen. Bernie ps I’m not sure it’s work that adds to the stress level at this time of year bur rather all those details.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Every time I click onto your blog throughout the year – I get to open another gift! Merry Christmas my friend!


    1. Ah thanks J!! Did you Kindness advent calendar without me or just took care of being kind to yourself without the extra expectations? Merry Christmas and enjoy that family time. Bernie


  5. Good post Bernie. Sometimes we just have to accept that we cannot always control the outcome in the way we want and go with the flow. Easier said than done, I know. Still striving for that myself. Happy Christmas Season. Allan


  6. The holiday season can definitely be stressful and filled with high expectations. But at the end of the day, the only thing that matters is spending time with our loved ones. I know I need to remember that more often! Enjoy the holidays. It’s hard to believe that Christmas is right around the corner.


    1. And getting closer ever minute!! I knocked quite a bit off the list in the last 2 days; both gift wise and activities wise so feeling slightly more ready but we’ve had a few more twists and turns. The latest is a 12 hour drive (6 up/6back) so we can all be together as our S-i- L can’t get home from Fort Mac on an airplane. Our daughter is driving up to Edmonton to get him and we still have to butcher a turkey at -25??? So yes remembering its important that we are together is important and easy to lose site of in details. Hope your season works out well for you Linda. Merry Christmas.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh gosh, it sounds like you’ve been busy and have already encountered some holiday drama! But hey, it just makes for a memorable story! Merry Christmas to you as well. Happy holidays!


      2. Fortunately the rest of the season played out without any drama and now we are coasting thru the week between. Take care and sorry for the late response. Bernie

        Liked by 1 person

  7. “Things aren’t always what we expect.” So true, Bernie. But there’s an opening in there for great new things, sometimes… I hope your holiday and messy-wonderful! We are looking forward to very messy weather, and enforced snugness! Merry Christmas to you and yours…


    1. Our weather is just nasty not messy (it super cold for even here) but life seems full of twists and turns this month, more so than normal? But this to will pass is also something important to remember. Hope your family time is special over the holidays Pam. Take care. Bernie

      Liked by 1 person

  8. When Christmas comes along with its glittering lights, tasty treats, and beautifully wrapped gifts, it’s easy to forget the real meaning of Christmas. And here’s a tip: it really isn’t about any of those things. For me, it’s time for baking, spending time with friends and family, reflecting and keeping the love going. While the festivities of commercial Christmas can be fun, it’s important that we don’t forget what this special day is all about. Have a good day 🙂 Aiva xx


    1. After 2 years of not being together it’s easy to know what’s important. But I have specific things (like gingerbread houses) that are part and parcel. Keeping the love going….I think that’s an important line. Take care and the best of the season to you Aiva. Bernie

      Liked by 1 person

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