Hudson Valley Winter Wonderland

The holidays can be so stressful.  Add owning a major fixer upper into the mix when your bedrooms don’t have doors, the whole family is using one small bathroom, and trying to make sure that things get finished before your entire clan arrives for the holidays.  It’s enough to make a person want to pull her hair out – especially when vessel sinks arrive shattered after waiting a couple of weeks for delivery….

ESPECIALLY when electricians can’t arrive due to an ice storm, school has snow days, your Kitchen Aid mixer DIES during Christmas cookie baking, and your body just can’t do everything you want it to do in life.

But, the funny thing about life is that we often create our own stress during the holidays and beyond. We forget how commercialized the holidays have become and fall into the trap of trying to give everyone everything and put stress on ourselves when we can’t do it all.

Then, you stop for a moment and look around. No matter where you live, there can always be something beautiful surrounding you. Take a moment to realize what matters. Getting things done by a self-imposed date, not having perfection, not being able to do it all – those things don’t matter. What matters are the important things:  love, life, being a good neighbor – your family, your friends, and the people who mean everything to you.

To some, life may be a storm.  To others, things that happen in life may go from a storm to a beautiful work of art that can only be painted by every day life.  We can’t control everything we want to control.  We can’t have things exactly the way we want them all the time….but, sometimes, no matter what we do, things just work out.

You have it all when you can learn that the most important thing in life is to be able to give love and see the beauty around you.  A positive outlook is so important to a person’s life.  Not being able to see the outside world and bigger picture of life is so limiting.
trees3I look at this in awe.  Did the snow ruin the day or did it make it?  I couldn’t have a better picture during the holidays, could I?  I couldn’t have created this scene myself.  It was a piece of life that happened without my interference.  Proof that life can be good no matter what you do or DON’T DO!
Our dog, Darcy, was so funny.  She was enthusiastically jumping into the snow and running in circle eights.  She reminded me of a child seeing the snow fall down and wanting to play in it.  Even the family pet knew what was good.  Diving into the snow seemed like a great idea, and, for a moment, I wished I had her four legs to run around like she did.
I called her in and stepped back into the house – happy to be with my family on this cold, snowy, and beautiful day.  I looked to the left and thought, “So what…I didn’t get my tree up yet, but God gave me a world of Christmas decorations outside.”  I didn’t even have to lift a finger to make that beautiful scene happen.  Life is funny like that – sometimes, things just work out without trying so hard.  Then, I realize, my family will be here for the holidays.  It doesn’t matter what’s finished.  It doesn’t matter if it’s perfect.  It doesn’t matter if I can’t go shopping or can’t buy the world’s greatest gifts.  What matters is that we’re together. What matters is that I’m thinking about all of the good times we’ve had together.  What matters is my love for my family and friends.  What matters is that no matter how bad things may get in life that despite things being out of our control, we are constantly shown that a turn around can happen and beauty can be produced without us ever doing anything.  Even though we want to believe we’re in control of things, that isn’t necessarily true.  Life is full of monkey wrenches.  Knowing that life will carry on even when we aren’t here puts things into perspective.

With that, I’m wishing a stress free holiday season for everyone!  I hope you enjoyed a few pictures of the Hudson Valley today.  I’m blessed to have this view.

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