Finding the Peace

Holiday Expectations

As we enter a holiday weekend consider whether you are carrying expectations for it. Holidays often carry history, memories of what once was, or what made it the perfect time. Or maybe yearly you continue to strive to create the perfect time as nothing quite measures up.

As I look over my own Fourth of July holidays, I realize that it is often the “imperfect” holidays that we talk about. Those holidays that bring the unexpected seem to be recounted more and more over the years. We often talk about the mishap of a fireworks zooming up the driveway and landing under my Grandma Werner’s chair and exploding. We all scattered as she sat there unaware that something had happened. As we recounted the memory over the years, the laughter has increased as we picture it over and over again (probably more magnified each year). Or there was the year that my husband was working on the streets as a police officer and so wasn’t able to be around for our annual lighting of the fireworks. The kids and I went over to join the neighbors. It was a cold, windy year and lighting the fireworks was not fun. We were uncomfortable and really just going through the motions. But we still recount the scene, years later, of us being diligent to carry out the tradition. Even this year, as we get ready for our annual gathering, key family members will be missing. I am working to focus on those that will be present and remain open to whatever the evening, the moments may bring.

Regardless of what you are doing this weekend – be open to wherever you land, with whomever you spend your time with. It is exactly where you are supposed to be. So pay attention, be open, and stay in your moment. If you stay in the moment you are likely to enjoy your time. If you have expectations and push for things to go a certain way, you may miss the moments you were truly meant to enjoy and end up with nothing measuring up.



  • Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker
    Licensed Independent Mental Health Practitioner

  • Janie Pfeifer Watson, LICSW, is the founder and director of Wholeness Healing Center, a mental health practice in Grand Island, Nebraska with remote sites in Broken Bow and Kearney. Her expertise encompasses a broad range of areas, including depression, anxiety, attachment and bonding, coaching, couples work, mindfulness, trauma, and grief. She views therapy as an opportunity to learn more about yourself as you step more into being your authentic self. From her perspective this is part of the spiritual journey; on this journey, she serves as a mirror for her clients as they get to know themselves—and, ultimately, to love themselves.


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