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Happy Holidays...A phrase that I will never take for granted again.

This Thanksgiving Holiday was so different for me. Yes some things were the same...I THREW DOWN in the kitchen (holiday cooking blog coming soon).

Savory turkey, honey ham, baked beans, pulled pork, Mac and Cheese, green bean Casserole, Kale greens, sweet potato soufflé, whipped red potatoes and the ever-glorious dressing. The "threw down" part isn't just my words.. it is the words of my guests....As they rushed to eat their full plates and mumbled about how tasty everything was.

This year, the Thanksgiving Day energy was positive and light, but definitely different. Our family unit has lost so many souls in just a short years timespan. A simple collection of sentences cannot accurately explain the loss of my mom, grandmother, grandmother in law, and several other loved ones and friends.

Dealing with loss & life transitions.....

It is not lost on me that there is a palpable exhaust that is lingering over countless family and friends, as they fight to create some post- pandemic/pre-apocalyptic normalcy for themselves. So many are struggling with mental health, as they seek solace from the financial climate, negative world events and a polarizing social media landscape (to name a few).

As for me - I'm a mom, small business owner, wife, friends, employee and human - and despite my decidedly positive disposition, I'd be lying if I said that the weight of it all hasn't deeply troubled my soul. But here is one thing that this devastating and enlightening year has taught me: As long as I have breath in my lungs, there is hope.

As cheesy as that sounds, I believe it's true. And if ever you feel that life is hopeless and that you are buried under a pile of rubble, just drill a little hole through the rocks that weigh you down, and let a little sunshine in. Now that little analogy might make some cringe.... so here are some of the specifics of how I'm navigating the heavy holiday season. If you have ideas, share them too!

How I am surviving and thriving during tough times....

1. Exercise

This has single handedly changed my world!

As of this post, I am approaching bootcamp #24 at the gym. The insanity and discipline of it all has helped me surrender and also have hope for myself. More on that later. Right now, I'm just enjoying the new fitness journey.

2. Purging and Decorating

I have been working on home projects all year and they have truly eased my soul. I have amassed so much "stuff" over the years, and shifting to being intentional about design has not only made me feel like I am better utilizing my space, but it has spread so much joy to visitors and friends. LOOK AT HOW MY LOVELY Nieces, nephews, siblings and friends organically did photoshoots around our home!

Learn how I created various spaces at home:

3. Keeping traditions where I can & starting new ones

This one has been hard for a few years. So people cook Thanksgiving anymore? Are Christmas trees and decor just another responsibility instead of an activity that brings joy? I have decided to completely lean into the festivities and keep a few traditions alive. Cooking and decor still soothes the soul and every smile gives me hope.

4. Periodic social media & news hiatus. THIS ONE WAS TOUGH!

I was endlessly scrolling through social media one Sunday morning and I decided that I'd had enough! I was overstimulated, addicted, trying too much to please or impress others and had integrated constant digestion of information into my life and a mind numbing rate. I decided right then and there that I wanted to rework my relationship with social media and the news and that started with a sudden exit to see what was happening in the real world. My life without constant observation, comparison and concerns about algorithms and trending songs has been AMAZING. I'll get back on social, but things definitely will be different. Limiting my time online has given me the opportunity to be present in real life and simply relax without constant engagement.

How is all of this going for me?

AMAZING! Honestly, this year starting off so rough, that most of this change was forced upon me. I had to either make some adjustments or get shut down like so many others. I hope these tips helped you as much as they helped me!

If you have tips or thoughts, please share them, the world needs more positive energy and if you are reading this, I'm thankful for you. Keep hope alive! Comment down below!

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25 nov 2023

Truly enjoyed this post and your transparency. I am sorry to hear of the loss of your loved ones. I am happy to hear of the healthy ways you are coping. Continued blessings to you and your family.

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