by Amanda Forester
Can I see a show of hands of people who are utterly stressed right now? Do you see my hand waving wildly in the air? December for me is full of deadlines. I must send packages by a certain date. I must have my house ready for people to visit. I must buy presents, and cook the dinner, and decorate the house, and send the cards, and (most important) be filled with holiday cheer.
This year to add to the normal pressure I've had writing deadlines, work deadlines, and illnesses of myself and my family pressing for my attention and time. We are also remodeling part of our house and hosting a family reunion (hopefully the remodel will be finished before my family arrives next week.). Oh yeah - I've been STRESSED.
This type of pressure can lead to unfortunate incidents such as using some very un-holiday like language after burning a pie, or screaming the kids to stop wiggling and SMILE for the camera or so help me... Ahem. Of course those would be just random examples, not thinking of anyone in particular.
Lately, I've been struggling to get to The End. Instead of enjoying working on the task at hand, I have just wanted to get it over with so I could move on to the next item on my ‘to do’ list. I’ve been staying up late and waking up early, and working, working , working. I have been successful in making some of my deadlines, but others, not so much. It can be easy to get discouraged.
One of my favorite holiday specials is “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” (the original animated version) by Dr. Seuss. The story reminds me that Christmas is more than all the holiday trappings we give to it. Without all the cards, decorations, toys, and food, it is still Christmas. It is not about struggling to get to the end of the holiday season, it is about enjoying the process.
So maybe my cards won’t go out on time this year. Maybe I won’t make all my deadlines, and maybe my bathroom has a gaping hole where there should be a door. But these things are not important – right?
What is important is enjoying the process and being present in every moment, not living for the day when I have finished a list of tasks.
Have you yet reached The End of your holiday ‘to do’ list? Here’s wishing you peace and joy this season and the ability to enjoy every crazy minute!