Sunday, November 15, 2009

Preparing for Thanksgiving


Yesterday evening I watched Ocean Thirteen while Mark was dozing of in my arms. I have seen this movie at different times and I like it because it is one of those movies where you just watch, while doing nothing! After busy times (I mean months of running around) I like to indulge myself in some evenings doing nothing. It somehow seems to help my brain reorganize and clean all the mess I made when running around and doing all my "important" things.

During the movie there were certain moments that I thought, "woah, I have not seen that before", "Ahhh, now I understand what they're saying or what they are talking about" and "Ohhh, hihihi that's really, really funny". In his closing statement to Brad Pitt, George Clooney says something like, "you should think about having some children" while walking way. (sorry, I'm still a little groggy this morning from my wonderful sleep and might not recall all the correct words) I remember thinking "Hmmm, does this comment refer to the movie (they were watching Oprah in the movie building a house for a big family), or did they slid in a comment about Brad Pitts personal life"? And when Matt Daemon got arrested (which was a setup escape plan) I  finally understood that the sheriff who arrested him was in fact  the person whom Matt had been talking to on the phone throughout the movie, hid dad.

Why am I telling you this? Because I realized that the more we look at things the more new things we see. My English has approved over the time I have lived in the USA; I have gotten a better appreciation for American humor; English language not longer sounds like birds twittering in the trees somewhere in the background. Because of these changes, I pick up on many more cues.

Seeing old things a new way

Immediately, I went from this realization to how this works in other areas of my life; especially in my favorite area of happiness. Over the years I have gotten a better understanding of happiness, I pick up on more happiness  cues and I create more focus towards happiness. This also became really clear to me this weekend.

Mark and I are very, very compatible in our relationship, and our relationship feels easier then other relationships I have seem. But even we have moments in which we consciously have to decide to choose happiness. Our biggest challenge point is when we both get tired. Not just tired from a night not sleeping well, but tired from running a big project for months and months where we have put all our waking hours in the project. In those instances Mark responds in the opposite way of me. He gets more and more focused on little details and getting things done correctly. I get more and more focused on "chilling down", "nothing is important", "it can wait" and "let's eat"!


So this weekend we had the following conversation:

Iris: "De other day when I brought the Times Magazine to the playroom..."
Mark: "The other day"
Iris: "What????"
Mark: "The other day when I brought the Time Magazine to the playroom..."
Iris: "The other day when I brought the Times Magazine to the playroom..."
Mark: "Time Magazine"
Iris: "Ok, when I brought de Time Magadine to the playroom"
Mark: "whahaha, did you do that on purpose? Time Magadine, Time Magadine
Iris: “sigh..., de other day when I brought the Time Magazine to the playroom...”
Mark: "the..."
Iris: "Mark. This might not be the best day to correct my English"
Mark: "why not"
Iris (starting to laugh): "what a couple we are, we should record this and show to the world".

This whole conversation ended in giggles, hugs and I told my story about the playroom. In the past this would not have been my response. I would have gotten pissed off, and probably ended up locking myself in the bedroom to avoid any more of this nonsense. I would have stayed there until I could think clear enough and handle the situation so I would not get into conversations like this. Now I really enjoy these moments. I know how we love each other and that we want to support each other at all times. Even in times that we are mentally in totally different places. And with that perspective we can find the fun in the differences and we can enjoy each other because of it.

From here to thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is coming up in just a week or so. So often with holidays we have the same expectations each year. We don't think about how much we have changed or how much the others have changed. So this year I'm going to see with new eyes and listen with new ears, and I am going to expect others to be doing the same. I'm excited to see what a difference that will make.

We are planning to have all the kids, grandkids and Mark's father at our house during Thanksgiving. Some of our friends will also come by. I am going to prepare myself beforehand by looking and embracing the differences among the people coming. Then during the Thanksgiving I will fully indulge in enjoying all the people and have fun with all the intriguing interactions that come from putting different people together in one room. I also will make sure I have slept enough beforehand, so I know I do not want to lock myself away behind a door after too many stimuli!

How are you going to approach Thanksgiving? Are you preparing yourself to give yourself the best experience ever? Are you going to be a beacon of happiness? How are you going to do that? How will you prepare?

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