To be honest I was feeling rather grinchy a couple months ago. Feeling pushed to the limit and then add to it all the demands of a holiday season, right from the start, back in October, I could feel the anxiety kicking in. The pressure of the best gifts, the best dish at dinner, having it all and doing it all. But I just wanted to skip it all. I wanted to keep pushing through what I needed to push through, at work, at home, in my mind. I wanted to go straight to January.
Halloween was actually pleasant. Easy. Fun. Thanksgiving was fulfilling. Also easy. (Thanks Sheleah, for hosting again) but right after that, right when it turned into a time of gifting and planning. things began to fall apart. A tree fell on my truck, my dryer broke, we had some head lice around here (did I mention the dryer broke), my work became… more complicated than it was. Guys, even my rice cooker and oven broke.
Then I got sick. Really really sick. The week before Christmas, the crucial Christmas crunch time. This was horrible, horrible timing.
In that final week stretch before Christmas when I typically run myself (and my wallet) dry, I was stuck in bed. When I usually spend each lunch break running around shopping, stressing, mindlessly creating lists and breezing through them. I was stuck in bed. My body said no. Nope, you aren’t going anywhere. Anytime I tried to sneak out from my sick, to do some bare minimum Christmas shit, my sick followed me and turned me back around and sent me to to my bed. It was really devastating, actually. I laid in bed and practiced my apologies for dropping the ball this Christmas. Because I had every reason to fail.
But this is a victory story. This sick saved me from myself this Christmas.
You see, when the clouds cleared and so did my mind. When I could stay out of bed and just hang out in the living room, I found myself sitting before a tree–that hasn’t died yet–adorned with ample presents. I sat in admiration at the trifecta of coordinating wrapping paper I had selected, the bounce of the light off the shiny bows, the way the boxes nestle into each other. It had the same appearance from years past, in fact, it looked like a pretty abundant Christmas. And I realized in that moment that I actually pulled it off. Another Christmas where everyone who shows up to my home Christmas morning will get a little something. And most importantly, I did it without wearing myself thin in that final stretch. I didn’t need to feed my anxiety with lists and shopping and running around. And once that anxiety is in full swing there’s no stopping it, you are never done. This year, I had no choice but to be totally done. But I only found that Christmas was actually much simpler than I’ve been making it out to be. I’ve been over doing it, shopping too hard, killing the vibe, the opposite of the grinch, and possibly worse.
Taking away a whole week of preparation time actually saved me a whole week of worry, but with the same results. The same warm and fuzzy. The same pile of presents. Everybody is gonna be happy and everybody is gonna be together.
So now I’m feeling better and I can sit back and enjoy it all. I hope you all can take it easy and just enjoy the efforts you’ve made so far whether you are done with those lists or not.
Have a safe and lovely holiday.