I’m starting my resolution now. Here it is.....This holiday season, and in the coming year, I resolve to stay calm, cool and in control of my life and not get over excited, or overreact, or burnout from all the festivities and hype. I’m not sure I’ll achieve this, but it is my intention.
Usually people make resolutions AFTER all the chaos of the holidays. But my theory for why so many resolutions fail is due to the over exhaustion people feel going into the new year, and the inability to stay focused on what they say they want to achieve. Last Christmas was a nightmare at my house. It was the epitome of crazy-making and chaos. Just thinking about it makes be twitch. Eleven people were jammed in my small house, 4 of whom had the stomach flu, one couple split up the next month (so you can imagine the joy they brought), and we were snowed in for several days due to our unseasonable winter. I’m not sure I’ve fully recovered from it yet.
So when my sister e-mailed me to ask what we were doing for the holidays this year, I panicked (which I think was a Pavlovian reaction to last years festivities.) I took some deep breaths and paused (for several days) before responding.
My sister and her family are a wonderful source of delight in my life, but my gut reaction told me I wasn’t up for company. I decided to check in with my husband and son. “What do you guys want to do?” This was a strange question, because for the past 19 odd years my husband and I (and eventually our son) just rushed around the province trying to get to both of our parents homes and keep everyone (else) happy. So, each of us contributed to the plan for our day. Instead of headaches and gong shows, we were going to have a conscious Christmas— the first one in my 39 years on the planet.
We figured we owed it to ourselves to create our own traditions. We decided we will go the un-conventional route. We'll enjoy the morning as our son opens his presents, and then go to a movie in the afternoon while our simple dinner warms in the oven.
Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoy the fun of entertaining people and being surrounded by my loved ones, but I know that what me and my family NEED this Christmas is to not have that. So I replied to my sister explaining it would be lowkey at my house this year, but couldn’t wait to see her in the New Year.
FOOTNOTE: I wrote this a few years ago (yes I'm 42 now, geesh!) After having this unconventional Christmas, we discussed what we liked about it and what we didn't like. Turns out, we like some of the chaos of previous holidays and some of the gratitude we cultivated during the quiet. So now we appreciate a bit of crazy on Christmas, without sweating the small stuff. Hope you can too!
How to not freak out this holiday season...
Be mindful of the experiences and feelings you want to have this holiday season, and make your plans around that. This way, whatever is thrown at you, you can consciously choose to go with it if its part of what you want to experience, or kick it to the curb if it’s not. Happy Holidays!
Writing is like playtime to me. Exploring the nooks and crannys of my mind allows me to open to possibility, unbounded creativity, and truth. Sometimes it's messy. Sometimes it's angry. Sometimes it's lighthearted. Sometimes it's corny. Enjoy or dislike it as much as you want. Feel free to share. I'd appreciate that. Cheers, Lesley