The Gift of No Expectations

It was a low key closure of the year in this house. One the one hand, we found ourselves reflecting on our first year in Pennsylvania with the many obstacles conquered and many other voids yet to be filled. On the other hand, my husband had a pretty strenuous last quarter at work with the never-ending list of the responsibilities and projects to complete in his office competing non-stop with his home life.

We needed a breather and with the hubby hitting the pause button to take a much deserved respite, we enjoyed the last 10 days of 2018 as a family -with no outside responsibilities. I knew how stressed my husband had been over work and I did not intend on loading him with honey-do lists at home and a fast-paced week off spent on-the-go. So I did something that normally I wouldn’t and I let go of my planning side a bit for him to take over and decide what activities to do with the kids.

We kicked started the holiday break with a weekend in The Big Apple. Normally I would be the one sitting by the computer, compiling lists and mapping out the days. However, my husband wanted to be more involved from the get go and helped me decide on the activities and then he just took over navigating, making reservations and figuring everything out. I tell you, this was something unseen but it gave us a wonderful opportunity to switch roles. To really go on vacation mode.

We had a low-key Christmas all about the kids and managed to be social and hung out with a few friends. Overall, though, we were more concerned about spending time together, listening to each other, playing with the children, doing things that we normally don’t get the chance to do like cooking a meal together, him and I together while sipping wine. It was wonderful for the whole family dynamic to fit in the every day.

The ease of the days and the relaxing feeling of the closing of one more year was very much dependent on the gift of having zero expectations for each and every day. If we woke up wanting to go ice skating downtown, we would just go do it. If we felt like staying home and playing Legos or reading a book, we made sure that nothing else would creep into the schedule.

In the fast-paced life that we chose to live, is important to give ourselves the gift of nothingness and empty days on the calendar. I had forgotten what that felt like. Now on to 2019 and the many goals each of us has for ourselves and back to madness of the school-year routine but we are already making sure to make room for adventures and nothingness too.

Happy New Year!



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