Let’s kick this off with a short anecdotal story. So my 7 year old daughter and I bravely adventured to Costco today. For historical context, we wore our masks (with peppermint oil to bring comfort), equipped with sanitizer spray and were amongst the “counted” humans entering the establishment. My daughter treated it like it was not a disruption to her shopping experience (bonus points for mom prepping!) But then she saw the Christmas Trees—- in September. She profoundly stated (arms risen) “are you kidding me?! It’s not even Halloween!! It’s only September!” She shortly followed with a weak call to action and wanted to speak with “whoever was in charge.” As we drove past the aisles of toys and decoration- she refused to engage because it was “unbelievable.” Her shopping experience had slightly been disrupted by “far too early Christmas displays.”

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Thankful for the smiles and silliness, I couldn’t help but accept this experience as a resemblance of the current times. School doesn’t look the same. Being around other human beings doesn’t feel the same. Heck- celebrating holidays and birthdays aren’t the same. Finding humor may be our best mental health survival “life jacket” right now. Therefore, I am grateful for the resiliency our children have to help us not become ol’ grumpy folk!

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Now as we come together and “synergize,” I want to be real- life is confusing, challenging and exhausting. It’s easy to identify the disruptions and hard to reframe them into possibilities. Thus, a mindset challenge. How can we find humor that Christmas is evident in September? Are we striving for joy by activating our holiday spirit sooner than ever before? If it works- lets go for it! I will happily put my Christmas decorations up! HollowThanksmas! Let’s be jolly, thankful and spooky!

Alas, my daughter’s teacher discussed with her 2nd graders this morning about how to manage their emotional response when they experience frustration. It was the perfect day to have this lesson. I needed it too. Everything seemed to go wrong and my attitude could have become toxic and contagious. Little disappointments could have led to a day of unrest. I am grateful to have my little sidekick remind me that I could “try to do something different” instead of getting frustrated about “the things that weren’t working out for me.” Again, moments of synergy led to better outcomes.

Conclusively, I encourage you to be aware of the response you have to your little sidekick’s support and perspective of the world around them. You’ll be surprised and may find humor, insight, and honest feedback on how to navigate your day with more realistic expectations. I wish you growth and giggles as you go through your days.

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