Photo Phriday- Pre-Christmas Edition

A very thinly tied together theme post, but might be the last until after the holidays. In fact, I've actually had calls for evals pouring in since I got back in the country, so January is looking very busy already! Some of these pictures are just placeholders for thoughts that came up in the most recent #occhat but hopefully you can indulge me and my holiday thoughts.

This is Swedish Santa Claus! I had a great time in Sweden once I got caught up in the right time zone. Wish that I could have stayed longer and that it could have been summertime. If you're ever looking for a foreign country to visit and don't speak any language but English, Sweden is a  great place to go.

Our Swedish friends had some requests for US gifts that were kind of amusing. We packed a suitcase with Disney Cars, junk food, and pajamas for their kids.

If Miss Awesomeness went to Sweden, these would have come home in her suitcase. Best pencils ever.

So the #occhat was on Christmas traditions and how we take part in them. I shared a few, such as shopping for an Angel Tree child, and my mom taking poorly focused pictures of each present we open. Some of our traditions have faded away... we used to go to my great grandma's house every Christmas Eve and the drive always used to feel like forever (probably about 45 minutes). GG moved into town in her final years and when she died the tradition died as well...I have no idea what that side of the family does now, if anything. I love hanging up our Christmas cards and setting up our WVU themed tree.
We definitely have our share of off-beat traditions. My brother and I love watching Home Alone at Thanksgiving and though we can't watch together anymore, when it comes on TV we always text lines to one another. My Grandma has had us all listen to an Adam Sandler CD I got her for Christmas one year- much to the chagrin of my mother who hates it. As a family, we spend our holiday break watching all the football bowl games and seeing who will win the holiday pool by picking the most games correctly. The oddest of our odd traditions may be the "mandatory underwear" gift which always comes in a Victoria's Secret bag for the males in the family.

I would say that for the past 15 years or so, I have been the designated family gift wrapper. It's something that I find soothing (until you've done about 30 packages), though as you can see from the picture I'm not particularly good at (it's a craft, and I have an extremely poor track record with crafts). Fortunately, skill has never been a requirement, just a willingness to sit and do it.

It's the little things that make up traditions, occupations and routines that piece together to form our lives. I've been stressed about some big and little things, but it's nice to hold onto some of these little warm fuzzies when things are changing or not going as expected.

Back when Linda was organizing the World OT Day blog carnival, I just could not even get an entry on "balance" together because my life was so out of balance. This week I have been stressed and depressed about some of the things going on, but thinking about the little things has helped put it all back in perspective. When looking at "the big picture," my life is actually going very well. I had my 10 year HS reunion last summer and realized that I was about where I had thought I'd be when I graduated. I've done some cool OT things in my 5.5 years since graduation, and though I can't necessarily say it was "according to plan," since I've had many plans, I've still accomplished things that I did not expect. Life has come into place for me in a lot of ways, and I've really been letting one out-of-balance thing (my career) dominate how I view my overall balance.

It's been difficult for me, because there is a large part of my identity that is wrapped up in being an OT. (One who is hopefully growing into excellence) And not having a typical job or regular hours or secured employment has been really hard for me to adjust to. But this is where my life is right now, and overall it's a very good place. I've been focusing on the career, and what is not there, for a long time. But there are a lot of other great things going on, and it's time to take a breath and make a shift in focus.

We end with a teaser... in addition to the wrapped presents I just have these piles of OT goodies getting ready for my 5 year blogiversary giveaway!! Great stuff there from AOTA and Maddak and more to come. I am really looking forward to the celebration and I'm hoping that readers will as well.

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