This time of year. Oh this time of year.
I love this time of year. It really is my favorite. I love giving and let’s be honest, receiving. I love the snow and the decorations and the cookies and the festivities and the music and family. I love it all!!
And it is all those things and so much more that also make this time of year so stressful and that make me frustrated during the time of year that I love so much.
I am sure I am not the only one. We ALL do this. It is almost like a ritualistic form of torture that we put ourselves through this time of year. We put so much on our plate (literally and figuratively) that by the time Christmas day gets here we are exhausted and over the holidays. To say the holiday spirit is being sucked out of me quickly is an understatement. Though at work I am trying to maintain the spirit I have left by dressing up!!
(Those are ornament bulb earrings & a fun green braclet!)
And the thing that sucks, is most* of the time I do all this to myself. I create the stress.
Right now I have this to do list:
- Order Christmas, nah, New Years Cards
- I still have Christmas gifts to buy (a few people I still have no clue what to get!)
- Make cookies (extra for his school)
- Clean House
- Wrap gifts
- Send gifts to a couple friends
- Figure out Christmas dinner
- Buy gift for work exchange
- Make food for work
- Go grocery shopping (which I don’t think I have done in a couple weeks except for basics)
- Put Henry’s gifts together
- Plan meals for the holidays
- Plan Christmas get together
Not to mention things I want to do with Henry like take him to the Lights Before Christmas, build a gingerbread house, bake cookies with him, play in the snow, enjoy this time of year!!!
On top of that we are ALL STILL sick and I have an ear infection and I have to go to the hospital for a chest X-Ray and all of it just makes feel blah.
I just have NO time to get everything I want done and I am stressing myself out and making myself feel like crap because I can’t get it all done.
IS THIS WHAT IT IS ALL ABOUT?!?!
"'And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not; for, behold, I bring you tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you: Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace and goodwill towards men.'"
"...That's what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown……er, Jenn"
I need to STOP.
I need to BREATHE.
I need to BE IN THE MOMENT.
I need to REMEMBER THE REAL MEANING OF THIS TIME OF YEAR.
(ok, I am done talking loudly! I just have trouble controlling the volume of my voice….or fingers)
I feel some strengths of mine are also the weaknesses that create this stress. That is planning/entertaining/organization. I envision things a certain way and get frustrated when they don’t turn out….and with a child, they don’t always turn out. I get caught up in the moment and forget to STOP and take the moment IN. I may not want things to be perfect by I want them to be loved by all and if I think one thing went wrong then it ALL went wrong. I plan and plan and plan and want things to follow that plan exactly….if dinner is suppose to be at 5:15 it is AT 5:15, not 5:20.
I am definitely not a go with the flow kind of person. I have list upon list upon list and cannot deviate from that.
You see where I am going with this?!
Yeah, I sound AWESOME to be around during the holidays, no?!
As great as some of my strengths in the details and planning are, they also are the things that hinder me or that I obsess about or that make me miss the moments I shouldn’t miss.
I have tried hard since Henry was born to STOP. Ok, this last year I have tried. In some ways I have succeeded and others I fall back into my old ways.
Like last Friday Henry has his school program. I was SO excited for this because I thought it would be a great memory. I got off work a little early (not early enough apparently) and picked up Henry and made a cheese tray and got him some pizza and Terry and I got him ready. We were rushing rushing rushing. Henry is going the potty like a big boy (YAY!!), but I was just like…come on, wear a diaper don’t pee in the potty which he didn’t like. I am not mad or yelling, just short and snippy because we have to go!! We get there 3 minutes late and I grab Henry from the car and Terry parks it and we run in and I basically throw him to the teachers and see my baby reaching out to me, confused at what is going on….but I have to get him to the program, right?! Well apparently they start right on time and we missed the toddler performance. Then we see Henry at the end in the finale and he is looking for us and looks so sad, and we are in the back waving but he can’t see us. He looks so uncomfortable and sad and I just want to grab him….but NO, I had to get him up there to make memories!! And while I was recording him there must have been a smudge on the camera because it is always blurry and auto focusing so I have a horrible video. So we were just going to leave because we were annoyed. We get outside and I say “great, like the night wasn’t bad enough he now is going to miss Santa”.
I stopped. Why did he have to miss Santa. We had nowhere to be. We were just annoyed that things didn’t go as planned. Henry could still have fun with his friends & see Santa. So we went back in. Henry had cookies and talked to his teachers and saw (the jankiest) Santa and HE HAD FUN!! The joy on his face with Santa was like no other. (be still my heart)
That is what matters, right?! So I got a crappy video, I was there and saw HIM. So he missed singing, he sings at home. We then drove around and looked at Christmas lights and the night as a family wasn’t perfect or as planned…but it was also pretty darn awesome!
I am trying to accept that not everything is going to get done. That not everything will be perfect or go as I planned. That if I keep focusing on what I “need” to do I am going to miss the most important things. If I keep trying to create memories I am going to miss the ones infront of me that happen all on their own.
I admit it is hard, but I am trying. Tonight I am going home and making a list of what NEEDS done. Ok, really…you can’t change everything about me. This girl still needs her lists. But I am trying.
What is more important to me, a clean house or making a gingerbread house with my son?! Getting out
Christmas New Year Cards or curling up on the couch and
watching Christmas movies with Henry?! Planning
a big meal for Christmas or playing in the snow with Henry?! Um, no question….my son wins EVERY time. And
those, those moments are where the memories are made.
THAT is what I need to focus on. The time spent with my family. Of course, there are things that I can’t get around and need to do….but I also don’t need to make everything “perfect” or try to do it all.
So how do YOU handle the holidays?! Have you learned to relax and take it easy? Are you crazy like me?! Somewhere in the middle? What do you do to relax and ENJOY this time of year?
(Yep, this is how I feel too little buddy.)
*I say most because there are other people who do make this time of year more stressful then it needs to be…but that is an entirely different and private post. But we all know who those type of people are!