When someone brings up the holiday season, the first thing that has popped in my head since I was eight years old and watched Elf for the first time is, “SANTA...I KNOW HIM!”
Wait. Before I go on. I just said I was eight years old when Elf came out. WHAT EVEN! Ugh.
Anyway, back to business. This year has been a little different for me. This year, my other half, one of the biggest and absolute best parts of my holiday season, is deployed. I wish I could sugar coat it but I can’t - it’s been pretty tough so far.
I think I’ve done a pretty good job. I’ve been super strong. Being apart for about six months so far with a few more to go has been hard, but I know it’ll all be worth it in the end. One thing I know for sure is that there are plenty of people in the same situation as I am, and I’m fortunate enough to be surrounded by my family and loved ones.
I’ve made him a Christmas care package (see my previous post for some fun care package tips!), I’ve stayed busy with finals, working and interning. However, I’ve found that there isn’t much to get your mind off of not spending the holiday season with someone you love. There are people all around the world this holiday season having to spend this wonderful time away from a loved one or without one. Whether the situation is a military one like mine, a college student in a situation where they can’t get home, a work situation or just a matter of physically being in a different place than your loved ones. Just so you know, I feel for you.
I’m also here to tell you that it will never get easier, you just get better at it.
Since the holidays have started, I’ve been on a rollercoaster of emotions. Quick shout out to my bestie for attempting to keep me sane, but I finally heard some really great advice: “God put you here, have faith.”
That’s what I have to keep reminding myself. I have a lot to look forward to this holiday season, and the new year is right around the corner with SO many new opportunities. I’ll eventually get to where I want to be, and hopefully there will be a day where no holiday season has to go missed. Optimism, see?
Also, I have to remind myself there is so much to be thankful for. Thankful that Matt is safe where he’s at, thankful for the birth of Jesus Christ, thankful for my health, thankful for my family and friends and just so thankful for this awesome life I have been given.
As for right now, staying busy and reminding myself that God has a plan is the way to go. The holiday season is filled with joy, and I need to be filled with joy, too! Don’t get me wrong, it’s not sunshine and rainbows. But I’ve found if I tell myself that often, it gets a little easier every day.
This year I am looking forward to starting a new tradition. Matt's family is joining mine and we are heading to North Carolina in just two weeks to spend some time away from the craziness of work and life. I cannot wait to get a break and spend time with our awesome families. I also cannot wait to share all the awesome pictures I get from our travels with you all once I get back, too!
To wrap this up, I guess I just wanted to share my heart with you all today. I wanted to write this incase anyone else is spending time away from their loved ones this holiday season. I’m with ya, let's have some faith together and it’ll be okay.
I’ll leave you with some tips that have helped me:
- Stay busy (my favorite, I’m a busy bee).
- Take care of yourself and don't fall into the pity party trap.
- Surround yourself with supportive people, have some fun every now and then.
- Don’t let the hardships of life take away your joy.
- Have a lot faith!
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