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Recently it was brought to my attention that I like things to be symmetrical.

I may have known this info all of my life but I guess I never really thought much about it.

The first time that it really hit me that I seem to have an over obsessive issue with things lining up perfectly was the first time I stood up after I had knee replacement surgery last September.

The minute I stood up I noticed that the leg with new knee was now longer than the other one. Also, the leg with the new knee was perfectly straight and the other one was bowed back. The thought never occurred to me that after surgery my legs would be different lengths and man oh man did that drive me nuts!

Actually, this bothered me so much that over the course of the next ten weeks I spent a whole lot of time trying to rig my shoes in the hopes of somehow making my legs more even.

I bought several different styles of lifts from the store but all were either too high or too low. After the store failed me I decided to get crafty and began cutting different widths of cardboard and gluing them together to stick inside of my shoes. This helped a little but nothing I tried made them match perfectly.

My physical therapist even measured my legs and gave me a lift that she said was perfect but I still could feel a difference.

My other knee was scheduled to be replaced in November and soon I began worrying that maybe the doctor wouldn’t get my legs even and I would be lopsided for the rest of my life!

I know this sounds like it’s not such a big deal and I did know that I needed to just let it go, but oddly no matter how much I tried to ignore my uneven legs I couldn’t.  The lopsidedness was driving me crazy!

After Surgery Getting Ready for Christmas

Because I had my second knee surgery scheduled for the Monday after Thanksgiving I figured I wouldn’t be able to do a lot of the things I usually do to get ready for Christmas.

I also knew from the last surgery that I should consider my day to be very productive if I was just able to take a shower and finish all of my physical therapy exercises.

Here is a list of some of the things I usually do in preparation for Christmas:

The Christmas tree – I am usually the one who gets the tree ready to decorate by putting on all of the beads and bows. Once those are done my husband and I put the ornaments on together.

Christmas cookies – I usually bake a whole lot of different Christmas cookies.

Christmas Shopping – I usually spend many hours going from store to store to find just the right present for everyone. I then spend several full days wrapping them.

Christmas Dinner – I usually make a full course meal for our family dinner on Christmas day.

I really had no idea how these things were ever going to get done because everyone knows that I am the only one who knows how to do those things correctly…or so I thought….

About two weeks before Christmas my husband decided that he was going to put up the tree and decorate it. He put on Christmas music and I hung out in my chair with my foot propped up watching. I did hang a couple of ornaments but I soon learned that my husband has quite a talent for Christmas tree decorating. I also found out that putting the Christmas tree up was a whole lot of fun this year.

A few days later I found myself Christmas shopping online and without ever stepping a foot out of my house I was able to buy most of our Christmas gifts!

And they all arrived on time!

A few days after the presents arrived I put a roll of wrapping paper, tape, and a pair of scissors in the middle of my dining room table and just left them there.  Part of my knee rehab requires that I take a three-minute walk around my living room several times a day.  Each time I would get up for my 3-minute walk I would wrap a present. Eventually, all the presents were wrapped. It was actually kinda fun wrapping a few presents each day and also allowing wrapping paper, tape, and scissors to live on the dining room table for two weeks was somehow very freeing for me.

The weekend before Christmas my husband decided he was going to bake M & M cookies.

I helped by finding the recipe and explaining a few small details but for the most part I backed off and let him have at it. I soon realized another talent I never knew he had… Baking!

My husband’s cookies came out much fluffier than mine and I will also have to admit that they were the best tasting M & M cookies we have ever had in our house!

For Christmas dinner, this year it was decided that everyone coming would bring a dish of finger foods. This ended up being way yummier than the traditional dinner I would have normally made and also it allowed me to spend more time with my family.

Lesson learned…our family never needed a fancy dinner all we really need is to be together.

Also not spending all my time on Christmas day cooking and cleaning allowed me to snuggle with this little guy while he napped.

I think maybe I might have napped for a bit too.

Even though I was laid up with this knee I think this may have been one of the most peaceful and fun Christmases I have had in a long time. I am not sure exactly when it was that I put myself in charge of everything to do with Christmas but now I can see that I have spent a whole lot of time trying to make a perfect Christmas but all I had really accomplished was making myself dread the holiday season and I had missed all the important stuff like enjoying my family and preparing for the true meaning of the season… which is about celebrating the birth of Jesus which really has nothing at all to do with trees, food or shopping.

Over the past few months, I have realized that I just may be more of a perfectionist and a control freak than I thought I was.

I also have learned that there are a lot of things that I’m holding onto that I need to let go of and let other people do.

The past two years in a row God has given me a sort of theme word for the year. In 2015 my word was Trust and the year 2016 was my year to Believe.

With all that has transpired in the past few weeks, I can tell that I have already been given my one word for 2017 which is “Let Go”….Yep I know that technically that’s two words instead of one…but since I’m working on letting go I think I will just go ahead and go with the two-word one word this year 😀

A couple of things I have noticed by letting go are not only that I can relax when I let go but also that when I don’t hog everything there is to do, it gives others a chance to shine their own talents… hence my husband the awesome baker and decorator.

Also just another Fyi – It’s been 5 weeks now since I received my second knee and am very happy to report that my legs are a perfect match now and I can’t even begin to tell you how much better that makes me feel!

I’m not sure I can ever let go of the symmetrical thing fully but I can truthfully say that I can for sure let go of a whole lot of other things.

Oh, and one more thing…  we ended up having two Christmas trees this year! My husband found a great bargain on the display trees at K-Mart so he bought one and we put it up also! Yay!!!

2016 was overall a pretty good year and I am looking forward to seeing what 2017 has in store as I learn what else God has to show me about letting go.

What is the one word God is telling you to focus on this year?

Will you please share your word in the comments below and if you have written a blog about it post the link so I can read it.

Happy 2017!

Terri Siebert

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