All is well in my world.
My circumstances have not changed, but my sense of acceptance has matured right along with the aging of my children with hidden disabilities.
My son is approaching his last semester as a senior in high school, shy the credits he needs to graduate. There are other paths to success than academics and glee club.
My adult daughter on the spectrum is unemployed, yet chose to forgo the annual family pilgrimage to Texas for feasting with those we all love. By now the cooperative extended family is well versed in questions not to ask that showcase her deficits, and all of us celebrate her remarkable strengths. Nevertheless, anxiety won this year and she remained home in Colorado. We missed her, but nobody batted an eye.
Guilt free decision.
Yet I remember the days when the activity in our home, the door bell ringing, the festive music, the buzz of the oven timer, the rearranging of the dining room to accommodate more people, and the cheerful voices of guests would almost certainly elicit a meltdown in my daughter. Also elicited was my own deep sense of sorrow when she missed what was supposed to be that magical moment called Thanksgiving Dinner.
Learning to topple the idol of ideal in my life changed everything. I look for love, laughter, and shared connections to define well being, setting aside the pursuit of white picket fence living.
What's right in your world? Let that define your experience this holiday season and drive your gratitude.