It’s Christmas. And, like many of us, it’s a time of year that fills my soul with quiet sense of warmth and happiness.
I’m one of those people who can’t wait to put the tree up, likes to bake and wrap and buy gifts with meaning, likes to retell my family’s Christmas stories, tell children the actual Christmas story, and join others in carolling, tinsel awe and peaceful good cheer. Yes, I really do love Christmas.
In the past few years we have been festively lucky. The Christmas season has seen us not overindulge, not be overwhelmed by events, activities, or shopping. We’ve coasted through the experience with a simple approach of being organised, not over committed and happy to steer clear of the things that can wear you down to a tiny heap of exhaustion by January 1. Overall, it’s been a pleasure.
Then there’s this year. While all the same simply approach is there, all of a sudden it’s becoming a little out of control. There’s a dragon in Christmas who’s new to the game and making it all just a little bit more tricky. He’s thrown more parties (oh, woe is me), an exhausting workload with tight deadlines, a bunch of household commitments, some renovation excitement, rainy weather and a dose of separation anxiety in our laps. And some truly lovely house guests. Most of this is genuinely fabulous. But somehow, the lack of any free time to do, well, anything akin to staring at the ceiling/ the ironing/ cutting my child’s Beatles-style fringe or putting away the washing, is starting to wear a tad. And yes, I know much of it could really wait til the new year, but did you ever tell that to the people who want all of that done before Christmas? No, me either.
Just prior to spontaneously combusting, I’ve decided to treat myself like a project, and project plan my way out. Or, to pen the dragon as I like to think of it. So, in the midst of it all I’m:
- Setting priorities. If it doesn’t fit the top four (or one, on a day with the kids), it’s going to have to wait.
- Being realistic. It’s nice to think you can achieve everything. And, heaven knows, I do want to achieve it all. But it’s not going to happen. Not for about 10 years anyway. Best to give up and let go. And stay a little sane.
- Being honest with myself and others. I will not be able to do everything. There’s every chance that will disappoint people – and as I like to finish what I set out to do, this is a tough one. Biting the bullet though, life will go on.
- Delaying what I can, writing off a few things as not all that necessary.
- Thinking about the end of life statement: Will I look back from my death bed and remember not handmaking that Etsy-inspired, sequin bedecked, Christmas bauble for the neighbours? I doubt it. Maybe next year…
- Being mindful. When it comes down to it, taking a breath and watching the world, one small activity at a time is what makes the day a happier one. I know it did for me today.
So, what say you? Christmas dragon on the rampage, or neatly resting in his pen? How’s your season going?