Penning the dragon, when life explodes.

Mindfulness, Parenting

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?


6 thoughts on “Penning the dragon, when life explodes.

    1. The end of year offers a lovely time to reflect and plan, doesn’t it? And a bucket list is a fine reminder of all you’d love to do. I hope your fresh plan goes well in the new year. : )


  1. I can so relate to this, Ruth. I especially like what you day about priorities. Just the act of writing then down is so helpful in starting to realize whether what we’re doing is worthy of our time or not. For me, it makes it easier to plan my time. And for everything else, like you said, maybe next year. 🙂


  2. So happy I just read this post my dragon is now gone gone really gone thank you , today is now awaiting for a new little list perhaps, but one with heaps of simple stuff that will make cherished memories for me , I so needed to read this post and on behalf of all the people who come in contact with me today I say thank you for such clarity, especially my husband who will be delighted to see me instead of that dreaded dragon that wants the house painted before the visitors arrive ha ha .


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