Judson's Legacy

Off the Hook

This holiday season, including Thanksgiving, Drake’s birthday, Jud’s birthday, and Christmas, left me acutely aware of my limitations.  There are so many expectations that seem to accompany celebrations of the season, whether external or internal expectations, and I discovered I was unable to meet many of them this year.

Between not buying gifts for people, not attending various seasonal parties, not having the desired energy or enthusiasm for my family, I might have expected to find myself in a heap of guilt for apparently letting myself and others down (which would have been my normal tendency), but instead, as we trudged through these days of acute sorrow, out of necessity I actually let myself off the hook.  I consciously decided to stop and not try to push myself any farther; I needed to be okay with not meeting stated or unstated expectations.

Admittedly, I wound up at times feeling self-conscious about some of my decisions, but generally speaking I discovered that it actually freed me up to enjoy things a little bit more.  In extending myself some grace, I was able to engage many of my moments with others more significantly.  In fact, as unbearable as this season has been, I found some pockets of great and unexpected joy.

Maybe I need to evaluate more often where I should let myself off the hook from various expectations, and in doing so, some of the impertinent, peripheral, less significant things of life may fade and I will be freer to engage that which really matters.

7 Responses to "Off the Hook"

  1. Cathy Horner says:

    Wow! Once again you have reached beyond earthly thinking Christina. You inspire me. (and many others I am sure!) I am overjoyed for your ability to treasure the moments around you during Christmas. Seriosly, isn’t that what we all should do?? I hope your 2009 is divine…as you press on towards HIS "Divine Design" for YOU.
    Thinking of you often, Cathy

  2. Misti Dunlap says:

    Good for you Christina! I am so glad that you were able to "let yourself of the hook". You so deserve it. I can promise you this….. those that really truly know and love you…… have let you off the hook also.

    Love,

    Misti

  3. Rebekah says:

    I think we all tend to spend a bit too much time and energy on the "required" things of the holiday season, and not nearly enough time doing what matters.

    Just as someone suffering from a strictly physical wound must take some time off to recover (although others may not understand or sympathize), you should absolutely do the same as you’re moving through the grieving process!!

    I think it’s wonderful that you were able to relax your expectations and not force yourself into a box.

    Hope you will be able to find just the right balance this year… not feeling bound to expectations, yet continuing to engage in healthy relationships and opportunities.

  4. Sandy Mitchell says:

    Christina,

    Good job lady! I think it’s so important for you to not beat yourself up and realize you need to take care of yourself and not feel obligated to do everything. As I’ve learned this year myself, feeling guilty and beating ourselves up doesn’t do anyone any good. We have to allow ourselves to be human and realize we have limitations and that is ok.
    Even though you may not feel it, I am so proud of you as you continue on this ever struggling journey towards wholeness. We are all here with you and think you are one amazing girl!

    Love,
    Sandy

  5. lisa taylor says:

    That is a great idea. Ryan and I decided to ignore this Christmas in it’s entirety. We got up and went to Denny’s for breakfast and then left a message on our phones that said "no, it is not a merry christmas for us, just one full of suffering", then we went to the movies all day long and didn’t come home until the day was over! As we knew we wouldn’t be able to handle the hub bub of it all, we just did it the way we could handle it and that was it. No more no less. I have found out that I simply can’t meet people’s expectations of healing and I am just not going to try. It is still as fresh and devistating as it was 10 months ago.

    I am glad you let yourself off the hook! I love you my friend, Lisa Taylor

  6. June says:

    Hello My Friend,
    I think this is a wonderful idea. OK…..so, you know that I don’t email in response to your blogs very often…..but I get lost in reading them each time you or Drake write. I so often "want" to write a comment, but then my words always seem so shallow compared to what is in my heart….so, I just don’t. So many times I just want to pick up the phone and call you…..but I know that you really don’t want all the phone calls. So – I just want you to know that you and Drake and Jessie are always in my heart and in my prayers. I love you all so much and I am walking this journey with you. And, really, NO ONE expects anything from you at this time so you should NEVER feel any guilt about not doing something. We have all felt a part of the pain you are going through. Your decision is a wonderful one – and I am sure it will give you some peace of mind.

    With lots of Love,
    June

  7. Jean and Gary Butler says:

    Wow….what an awesome idea….even for those of us who have "losses" in other ways.Christina, you are such a blessing….and so very wise for being so young.
    Love from your OLD friends…lol
    Jean and Gary

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