Home for the holidays, Bethesda, Maryland

Going Home for the Holiday’s – A Survival Guide

I like the idea of going home for the holidays but often have mixed emotions when I get there.  Our long Thanksgiving weekend in #Bethesda gives me the opportunity enjoy my hometown through the eyes of a tourist, discovering new places while still relishing the few old ones still in existence.  This extended #sundayfunday,  inspires me to begin working on  a “Hometown Survival Guide” series which will offer advice and recommendations for vacations in suburbia. In time for winter break, this guide will help you to plan for entertainment whether you are traveling to your childhood hometown, your adopted hometown or perhaps just looking for some stay-cation or day-trip inspiration.

Whether you are the type of person who loves returning to your childhood home for the holidays or the type of person who is itching to leave before dessert is even served, home stirs up all kinds of emotions and going home, as an adult presents both challenges and joys.

“Where we love is home, home that our feet may leave, but not our hearts.”  (Oliver Wendell Holmes)

Before you go home for the holidays remember…
1. Live for the future, not the past. Nostalgia is arguably a useless psychological phenomenon that haunts the corners of our minds, as we long for a past that never really existed. Perhaps however, its purpose is evolutionary. For those of us who are nostalgic for our own past, these rose-tinted memories inspire us to create traditions for our own children, who will seemningly continue the cycle they grow up. Whether you take your kids to your old hang out, old playground, or old ice cream shop try not to let rose-colored images of days gone by throw you into a holiday funk. Remember that memories take on a life of their own as time and distance soften the rough edges and erase many of the blemishes of yesteryear. Remember that the lenses you maybe be peering through only tell part of your story. Don’t beat yourself up to much about past decisions and mistakes you’ve made along the way. If you aren’t happy with where you are in your life, decide to change and stay the course, otherwise proudly embrace all that you have become, moving forward and continuing to learn and grow everyday.

2. Get together with old friends. Studies show that friendships can add years to your life. With today’s connected world losing touch with old friends has become a thing of the past, however, this virtual connectedness can create a false sense of security that leaves you physically alone and perhaps lonely. It is important to  stay connected face to face as it is far more authentic and valuable than virtual connectivity. If you are lucky enough to have developed and maintained lifelong friendships with people from your hometown, get together with them when you go home for the holidays, introduce your spouses and your kids and walk through life together, getting together face to face as often as possible and creating new lasting memories.

3. Expect change. Don’t expect things to stay the same forever. The only thing we can count on in this world is change. Change is inevitable, and we must learn to expect and accept it or inevitably face disappointment. Eventually, for example, your hometown might become unrecognizable as houses are bought and sold and developers transform your old stomping ground into a destination metropolis, #Bethesda. When that happens you have the choice of embracing this new strange place you still call home or turning away and never looking back. Change and the unknown often is scary, but holding onto a past that no longer exists is more dangerous in the end. We must face our fears and move forward with time as this is the surest route towards a happy well-adjusted life.

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and that you are thankful for many things this year and in the coming years! I am so thankful for all of you and hope you continue to enjoy my weekly posts.

Until next Sunday my friends, be well!

As always, I encourage you to please share this post and your Sunday Funday with #findingmysundayfunday or #SFWMINK&RICH on social media.

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