Holiday Disappointment: 3 Ways to Overcome Frustrating Circumstances as a Milspouse

by Anderson on December 16, 2013

Holiday Disappointment

Holiday Disappointment: 3 Ways to Overcome Frustrating Circumstances as a Milspouse


I’ve spent the last two Christmas Eves in the emergency room. Two years ago, I had major holiday plans change at the last minute. Dealing with holiday disappointment can be a challenge. Here are 3 ways to overcome the frustrating circumstances and still have an enjoyable experience.

1- Acknowledge Your Feelings

To combat holiday disappointment, it’s important to acknowledge your feelings and not push them aside. Two years ago, my husband deployed to Japan a few weeks before Christmas. I had big plans to visit my family over the holidays. Being with family was the only thing I was looking forward to during the entire deployment.

After he left, we learned that he would be allowed time off for Christmas, which we weren’t expecting. That meant I could go visit him, and I was thrilled to get to see him! However, I was kind of upset too. I had already made plans and was really looking forward to that time with my family. Once the holidays passed, I was facing several longs months with nothing to look forward to. It was so frustrating that the time he was available was– of course– during my other plans. I was disappointed that in addition to the Navy “ruining” the next six months, now because of their scheduling, they were ruining more of my plans.

This was not the best attitude. And being mad at the “Navy” in the broad, vague, sense wasn’t helping at all. I felt like I should have just been happy to see him, but the reality was that there was a disappointment involved in the situation.

Once I thought it through and tweaked my plans, my frustrations were resolved. Thankfully I was able to visit him, and I was able to postpone my trip to see family. Being willing to validate my feelings helped me to realize it was important to reschedule with my family. I also felt great about the decision to change my plans.

2- Prepare to be Flexible

Sometimes the Navy messes things up. However, you also never know what kind of problems you can cause yourself. Case in point, my trip to the ER two Christmases ago.

On Christmas Eve 2011, I was in Japan in my husband’s kitchen, serving up a glass of sparkling lemonade. The bottle slipped out of my hands and landed squarely on my toe!

Now, I know this sounds pathetic, but it hurt like crazy. It swelled up and turned black and blue immediately. Hubby thought it was just a little “owie” until I showed him my huge toe. It looked rather nasty and we thought it could be broken. (it was a hefty bottle ok!)

Besides the pain, the problem was that we were planning to go sightseeing that day and it was really hard to walk on my toe. I was disappointed to not be able to walk to the train and check out the sights near Yokosuka. Instead, we took a taxi to Chili’s on base. Talk about your Japanese adventure. Ha.

After Chili’s my toe was even bigger and walking wasn’t very pleasant. We had plans to go to Tokyo after Christmas, so we decided I should get my toe checked out so we would know if we could still go.

Spending Christmas Eve in the ER was a big holiday disappointment. After travelling halfway across the world, it was the last place I wanted to hang out. Not to mention my toe hurt.

But it all worked out. We had a good laugh about it, and we ended up still getting to see Tokyo.  I was able to keep the perspective that I got to spend the holiday with my hubby. Being flexible helped me realize that nothing could ruin that for us! And I probably remember that Christmas so well because of that darn toe. LOL

3- Take Steps To Ease Your Worry

It’s easy to get caught up in worry and fear, especially when things are unknown. We have to take steps to ease our fears so they don’t eat at us constantly.

Last year on the day before Christmas Eve, we were traveling across a snowy mountain pass at night. The trip was precarious and we came upon an accident. I was 19 weeks pregnant. The traffic was backed up and the hillside was eerily quiet.

Against my urging, Adam jumped out of the car to try to see down the road. All of a sudden, we were hit from behind. I immediately thought, “Where’s Adam?” It turned out he had seen the car coming and jumped into a snow bank at the last minute.

Then I started to worry about the baby.

On the trip home, I had to pray a lot for peace and put my trust in the Lord. It was such a low-speed accident, we all felt ok but I was worried. I didn’t have any pain that night after we got home, but the next day I had some aches and pains.

I was still concerned for the baby, and we decided I should get checked out at the ER just to be safe. Unfortunately, that was instead of going to our Christmas Eve service. I couldn’t believe we’d missed two Christmas Eves in a row. That was disappointing on top of everything, but it was worth making sure the baby was ok.

Thankfully it didn’t take to long to get monitored at the hospital. The baby was fine, and we were so grateful to God for protecting us all. I had to pray and trust God as well as take action to ease my worries.

Overcoming Frustrating Circumstances

In summary, when you are faced with holiday disappointment this season, you can overcome it with these 3 strategies:

1- Acknowledge Your Feelings
2- Prepare to be Flexible
3- Take Steps To Ease Your Worry

Good luck with all your holiday plans this year, and may they all go as planned! If not, you’ll know how to handle it.



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