Last week was the 3rd annual “Camp Aunt Corinne.” My nephew, who is now 14 comes to stay with me for a week. During our time I choose fun activities in the area for us to do together. (Per his request, he also gets to go to Dave and Buster’s and plays video games until the money I give him runs out.
This week we went on a long bike ride and several shorter rides to get ice cream, spent an hour at WhoaZone in Holly; an inflatable adventure course floating on the lake. An afternoon at Tree Runner in West Bloomfield; an adventure course up in the trees with zip lines and repelling. And my nephew’s favorite, DEFY Trampoline park in Commerce; think Air Time plus America Ninja Warrior. Although, for the record, I did not participate in the trampoline park day for bladder related reasons. (I know you ladies can relate).
The holiday madness has begun at Chez Rogers... I’ve finished most of my shopping, distributed three of five Advent calendars that I created for a few lucky people in the family. A plan has been made for buying a tree - a tradition my husband requested so that our house can smell like evergreen. I found fun wrapping paper with tropical scenes (totally my style) and one with T-Rexes wearing Santa hats!
One of my favorite parts of the holidays are the cards we receive with family pictures. I know we have more access to pictures of each other via social media, but I must confess… I like to see my friends and their kids sitting on my mantle! It’s so fun to see the little ones growing each year, taking up residence in their world, deciding who they are and what’s important to them. I love the letters with their updates on lives - it allows me to feel connected to people I adore, but don’t see much.
Over the years I have sent out similar cards, letters and photos. When our dog came into our life in 2015 I made sure to showcase her in the holiday card. I added a little of my personality by dressing her up and was happy to send off the greeting to friends and family. In the next few years I began a tradition I thought was fun. I dressed our little Malteepoo in costumes from Christmas movies and created cards with messages that came from the script.
My husband went along with this, mostly because I’m a pain in his ass when he doesn’t. He makes sure to remind me frequently that I am “stealing the dog’s dignity.” She hates every minute of wearing anything, including her harness, but is compliant thanks to handfuls of meaty bribery.
This year, while contemplating spending WAY too much money on a costume for the little dog, I read a piece online about how women go above and beyond at holiday time. Click here to read it.
Disconnected & Unhappy
In summary, we women run ourselves ragged in the spirit of making everything “perfect.” Most of it isn’t important, and it doesn’t leave us feeling more connected, happy or cheerful.
After reading, I scrolled through photos I had taken this year, cut and pasted them into a card, typed up a quick blurb about our life, (it really is a good one) and pushed “order.” When the cards arrived this week, I noticed a typo. When my husband looked at the photo I chose of us, he let me know he didn’t like it because it wasn’t flattering. The dog, however? Still cute.
This experience, juxtaposed with my constant commitment to live authentically, has me questioning all of it. Perhaps I can further lean into an honest stance this holiday season. When I consider what it is I value about December holidays, it’s connection, fun, giving gifts and the beauty we create to contrast the lack of daylight. My spiritual connection to this time of year focuses on the rebirth of hope and the coming of better, brighter days.
This begs me to ask, which of my holiday based choices are in alignment with my values?
I’m pretty sure I’ve bought my last roll of wrapping paper - it’s horrible for the environment and a waste of money. Sure I love the pretty packages. but it cannot withstand my new standards for holiday joy. I’m also reconsidering the time I spend looking for stocking stuffers. No o one really uses what I get them. And I am ABSOLUTELY not doing the shit show that is sugar treats this year. Puh-leeze!!!! We are all getting sick from this JUNK!
Traditions I'll Keep
Some traditions I will keep.
I love the tree - and that it makes my husband happy to smell it. I love buying stuff for the kids in my life. I love the new tradition I’ve started of giving Advent calendars, booze to my brothers-in-law, lots of specific treats to my nephew, and some fun treats for my in-laws.
I’ll keep sending the cards as well.
I have to admit, I considered redoing the card for just a few seconds. I’m choosing to double-down on my efforts to be authentic and send it even in its less-than-perfect state. That photo of me is how I look. I think my husband looks good in the photo - he’s wearing a fun t-shirt and smiling and he’s my favorite husband ever! The typo is something that happens to us all. Hell, I‘ve read published books with typos! The dog is smiling in her photo too. She was outside sunbathing - not posed, or wearing a costume, or doing anything I had to bribe her to do.
It’s real. It’s imperfect and it’s good enough.
Just like me. Just like you. Just like this beautiful life!
Stop Killing Yourself
What holiday traditions are you killing yourself over in effort to live up to some standard that isn’t real? What can you prioritize? Let go? Lean into for more joy and connection? Inspire your Hive and leave your thoughts in the comments below.
Dr. Corrine Rogers,
Last month I wrote about standing up to bullies, setting boundaries and creating a life of badassery. At the end of that blog post I promised a second blog on how to confront people with whom we wish to maintain our relationship. So, here goes!
I know you want a simple, step-by-step, process because… me too, sister! But I have to confess, it’s just not that easy. So, before I attempt to put a very complex, dynamic and personal process into a few steps, a few caveats:
The process isn’t magic. Even knowing the process, you may still have to work through each step for a while before you know what you want to confront and why you need to confront.
So, with all caveats in plain view, here is my advice for healthy confrontation - an amalgam of psychological theory, knowledge I gained in therapy and what feels authentic for me. Please practice, edit and make it your own with my full permission and steadfast support!
Step 1: Look for themes. Pay attention to what it is the other party does that upsets you. Are there themes to the behavior, words, etc.? Talk it out with a trusted adviser before the confrontation. They may be able to spot the trends you can’t.
Curious how this might play out? Check out these three different scenarios below:
Scenario #1: Dirty House
So, there you have it. Easy, peasy, lemon squeeze-y, right? Nope! Confrontation is almost always difficult, but its doable and now you have an outline of a process that can help.
Have you successfully navigated confrontation with someone you care for? Share your story in the comments below and let others know what worked for you!
Dr. Corinne Rogers,