This week’s guest writer is Shani Beard. Shani is originally from Houston, Texas and has lived in Little Rock, Arkansas for 10 years. She has been married for 25 years and has 3 children. She stayed home with the kids for 16 years and just recently went back to work as a Marketing Manager and Recruiter for an IT Management recruiting company. She has always been interested in writing but never done anything with it. A friend offered an opportunity to be introduced to some very generous writers so she can look into the writing world with more insight and insider information in the area. She also enjoys painting acrylics on canvas and being part of any activity that her kids are involved in.
As the holidays sneak up on me and my routine—which, with busy kids and a traveling husband is never routine –I fret over getting everything done before our annual pilgrimage to Texas. I worry that we will all be beyond tired for the duration of our visit. I worry that someone on that 8 hour drive will have to use the bathroom at an inopportune time. I worry that when we see my son home from college I will realize he isn’t as happy as I want him to be. I worry that I still do not have ideas for what to buy anyone for Christmas and will fall into my traditional last minute overspending. Like many with extended family, I think of the stress of being around lots of people, and some people–well, I wonder how we can possibly be related.
Any of you who do not stress about this are either fooling yourselves, come from very small families, or have already cleansed your friends and family pool – something I chose to do about 10 years ago, but that’s another letter.
I know these things are coming, and I still don’t know why I waste the energy worrying about them. I mean, a little exhaustion among people who know you and still choose to be around you shouldn’t really matter. Being late everywhere for over a week, even though you pride yourself on punctuality, will not stop the earth spinning ….
This letter is to remind me that I chose, a long time ago, to only have good intentions, even if the outcome doesn’t go the way I prefer or benefit from. In doing this mental exercise I quickly realized who around me has good intentions and who doesn’t. Being almost half a century old, I am now basically surrounded by people whom I choose to surround myself with. While exhaustion and uncharacteristic decisions due to that exhaustion usually occur during this time of year, around lots, and lots – and lots of people, I will remind myself everyone I see at Christmas will be people I care about deeply. They are as flawed as I am – some even blood relatives. Some are too quiet, or too loud, too messy, too uniformed, too politically not aligned with myself, too outspoken, to grumpy, too nice, don’t like cats – you get the idea. They do not carry these personality traits with the intention of driving me nuts and angering or wearing me down. That is just part of who they are.
The bottom line is, all of these people have good intentions toward me and my family. With that in mind, I can survive anything. I will remember this more often. I am surrounded by people who have chosen me, as I have chosen them. At the bare bones of it is this: unless I lose every one of these people, I will never really lose everything. I have these people around me, I chose them, and I know their intentions.
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