It’s what you make it

by adustyframe ~ November 27th, 2009

My mom did a wonderful job rearing us.She didn’t allow us to whine.

We didn’t get to skip gym class at “that time of the month”.

She taught us to work and do it well.

She didn’t try to make everything “fair”.

Although, she is very much a lady and would never say these exact words, her basic philosophy of life was “Suck it up and deal with it.”

You know what? That’s a lesson we all need.

In our entire growing up years, we never spent a holiday with our families. Dad’s churches were always quite a distance from Grandparents. He also chose to spend the holiday with his church family.
Oh yeah,  we lived in the Midwest. It’s weather can’t be depended on for easy traveling in the winter.

Once in awhile, when friends would talk about going to Grandma’s for Christmas I’d wish we could too. Mom would say, “We’ll have our own fun.”

And we did.

I’m very sure my mother would have preferred to spend a few holidays with her own mom, but I never heard her complain about it.

We just made our own fun and had fun with one another. Often they’d invite  people from church who didn’t have family close by over for pie and we’d play games and tell jokes and stories and spend an evening laughing.

Sometimes it was just us and we made our own fun then too.

I regularly hear adults complaining about things that aren’t perfect for them or for their children and I really wish they could learn this lesson.

“It’s what you make it.”

If you want to fall apart and feel sorry for yourself for weeks because the holiday won’t be exactly as you want go ahead, but wow! you’re going to have some really miserable days.

Our Thanksgiving this year, reminded me of this lesson again.

James went to play at Grandma’s with his cousins so Lee could come over to the house for a bit.

Through a goofy fiasco, the turkey was frozen solid so I didn’t cook a dinner.

I really missed my siblings and parents and wished once again that they didn’t live so far away.

I was pretty tired and not quite up to par.

So, you know, if I wanted to, I could have worked myself up into quite a tizzy.

1. Crazy shuffling game I have to play with my child and husband if I’m going to spend any time with him.

2. On a holiday no less. It’s not supposed to be like this you know.

3. No turkey dinner at all!

4. No house full of my family.

5. I don’t feel great.

But instead, I realized again that my day is what I choose it to be. I can focus on what’s messed up or I can decide to enjoy the day I do have.

Falling apart because I can’ t visit with my parents and siblings on Thanksgiving doesn’t change one thing about the fact that they live too far away. Whining and moaning about our family situation doesn’t change it.

If I gave into that, I’d have spent a miserable day but guess what? It turned out to be a great day.

James and I watched the parade in the morning and Little House at night.

Lee and I played a game.

I chomped on turkey dinner leftovers from my mother in laws dinner, when I went to pick up James. (I was invited but it didn’t quite work out. Lee spent the morning at his mom’s helping her cook.)

I got some rest in.

I finished a knit Christmas gift.

We looked forward to a visit from my brother and sister in law on Friday and Saturday.

It wasn’t a bad day at all, because I chose to have a good day.

Yes, I thought about the things that are sad, but I didn’t let it take over.

I’m thankful that my mom taught us to make our own fun and deal with life as it came to us. It’s a lesson that has served me very well in this crazy thing I call my life.

Psalm 118:24
This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.


8 Thoughts Shared to It’s what you make it

  1. Sally

    We to are far mile wise from our children and other family members. We had a wonderful time with some of our church family and other people from our small town and actually two familys from other small towns in our area. Later in the afternoon we heard from our two kids and a niece. I agree life is what you make it. We had a fun relaxing day.

  2. celina

    if it wasnt for cooky things like frozen turkey, what would we laugh at…lol

    we run all over the place at holidays and miss those of my youth with just me and my mom….we tend to spend more time in the car getting to and from than actually being there…some years i say ENOUGH and we stay home..this year..i’m taking the chance to visit and enjoy a few of those who may not be with us next year…

    it’s all what you make of it like you said…i cannot imagine how tired this all must make you feel..but it’s a step or 2 forwards from the past…and the fact Lee helped his mom cook and spent some time with her..makes me really happy for some reason…

    anyhow…have a great holiday my american friend and cook that turkey!!

  3. Barbara H.

    That is a valuable lesson — one I am still working on.

  4. Robin in New Jersey

    Sounds perfect Lizzie! We also made the choice to have fun even though everyone wasn’t here that we wanted to be here. Have a nice weekend.

  5. Patrick

    Amen. If more people were raised like you and thought more like yourself. America would be such a better place.

    God Bless, from a lurker who has you on his blogroll. 🙂


  6. katrina

    I know what you mean. I’ve spent many a holiday by my self without family. Friends don’t always think to ask if I need a place to go. This Thanksgiving, I was supposed to go to my BFF’s house, but she ended up going to the ER because of a very bad headache. I went to the house of another family in church who I’d seen, but never had the chance to talk with. I was able to meet some wonderful ladies from another church. It was a good time, but sad because of not being able to see my friend. I still havn’t been able to see her because she’s still not up to visitors. I could be sad for myself, but I won’t. I have so many things to be thankful for, I won’t let myself get depressed because of one small thing. I’ve learned that if I plan for a holiday, even if I spend it alone, I’m not sad.

    Liz, is Lee still not able to have contact with James? If not soon, will it come to an end when his probation is up?

  7. Sharon

    good for you. I have been learning this same lesson over the last several months and I’m marveling at what a difference it makes!

    I’m a new follower (via MamaBuzzHive) and would love for you to follow back!


  8. Lisa

    Not to “pick a scab” but is there an end to Lee’s parole in sight yet? I cannot imagine why this is necessary. I’m praying and praying for you guys!

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