Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Lemon into Lemonade

I love the holiday season. Even with the stress of deadlines, getting the perfect presents and all the other things that go with it.  It wasn't always so for me, though. As an adult, I made a decision that this time of year was going to be a joyful time. Simple as that - I made a decision. When my boys came along, it became more important than ever for me.

I didn't have the greatest of childhoods. This is not to say that I don't have some good memories but there was a lot of less than desirable times. My mom and dad drank. My dad drank a lot. There was something about the holiday season that exacerbated this so the time from Thanksgiving until January 2nd was always a rollercoaster. There was physical abuse from him to my mom. Not us kids but as the oldest of four children, I was always there as a witness and to help clean up the carnage. It's odd to think back on this now - these days it would be considered child abuse and we probably would have been removed from the home. There were many holiday dinners that ended up with the contents of the table on the floor because of some disagreement between my parents. Funny that it just seemed a way of life to us.

I don't blame my parents for any of this. I believe they were doing the best they could with the skill set that they had. Other than this my parents always provided good care and shelter for us. They taught us right and wrong. They loved us the best they could. I was angry at one point in my life when I realized that not everyone lived the way we did but as I matured a little I was able to forgive both my parents and live out the remainder of their lives with a fairly decent relationship.

I share this morose little tidbit about myself to show that we do not have to let our past define us. I have taken the lemons that life dealt me and turned them into a wonderful life filled with lemonade! It has been a long and not so easy journey but each day I take another step and make a decision to be happy and be accountable for my choices.

I love the holiday season and hope that yours is filled with much joy and happiness!