Be With What Is.

My brother and his lovely family visited us last weekend and I booked us a trip to some Christmas illuminations (pretty lights in pretty trees in the grounds of a pretty castle, I’m a sucker for sparkle and beautiful surroundings so it was a winner for me).

I imagined our families getting into the Christmas spirit as we marvelled at the festive lights with the kids. This was my first mistake: imagining. I’d created a story in my head for how the evening was going to go, and often when I do this reality fails to meet the glowing cinema reel of perfection my mind conjures up, then my inner critic Brian chimes in to ask me why I even bothered.

For example, my imagination had failed to take into account that I booked the illuminations not long after everyone arrived home from school and work, cue stamped feet from the children at the injustice of having to go out when they had only just got in, zero co-operation in getting changed and finding gloves and appropriate footwear, and a corresponding show of weariness from the adults who really wanted to have a good time but were feeling the pressure of even getting in the car, never mind trudging round a forest with a group of uncooperative children.

We arrived (late, nothing new here) and rushed through the lights because one child had a school disco to get to. The moaning at the injustice of being out in the cold when he could have been home playing on his computer (he’s Fortnite obsessed right now) ceased only at the sight of a hot dog van, the holy grail of our evening, and what turned out to be, ‘the best hot dog and chips ever.’ Cue some family festive enjoyment, as we troughed down our hot dogs and chatted amiably. Here was the family connection I’d been looking for, just not in the way I’d imagined.

With Christmas around the corner there’s going to be a natural break from devices for all of us so (yep, including me…gulp). No Instagram posting, no blogging, if a poem or story comes into my head I’ll be writing it the old fashioned way with pen and paper. Whilst removing the temptation of devices will give us a fighting chance at actually spending some quality time together, I’m under no illusions.

I’ll cease my daydreaming of our family gathered around the wood burner donning festive jumpers we don’t even own, our faces replete with bliss as we calmly exchange our gifts with gratitude, and I’ll just take it as it comes, trying as much as possible to pay attention to the moment that’s right in front of me and accepting that moment for what it is, with no wishing for how I think it should be. In the moments I can manage this, I usually find there’s a whole lot more joy to be found, just not always in the ways I might have expected.

Have a good one everyone, catch up with you in the New Year.

Our Christmas will look like this minus the minimalism and with more demanding children, and maybe some food stuck to the floor, probably some in my hair too.

Photo by Jonathan Borba on

Pause and remember, when you fight reality you will lose every time. Once you accept the situation for what it truly is, not what you want it to be, you are then free to move forward.

Jennifer Young
My imagination takes a better photo than this too, but this is the photo we got and I love it.

6 thoughts on “Be With What Is.

  1. Yes, there is always some beauty to be found simply with what is. The hard part is having the right mindset to see what is clearly haha. I so relate to your post! Hope you and your family have a joyful and relaxing Christmas! 🎄

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is definitely the hardest part, sometimes I think I’ve got it, I’m in it, this is it, and it always slips away again! But it’s worth the effort for the moments it’s there.

      Thank you for you kind words, hope you and your family have a lovely Christmas too 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This will ring true for virtually every family, it made me laugh and also reflect on what a grinch I can be. I will try very hard to be in the moment tomorrow come what may…… definitely no Xmas jumper for me though, one has to draw the line somewhere, however I do have a flashing elf headband to show my granddaughter I’m a cool nana. !! ( Flashing,as in lights, not a pervy elf).
    Merry Xmas to you all. Xxxx

    Liked by 1 person

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