Each year as the weather starts to cool, I make a pact with myself. This year there will be calm in my schedule for the holidays. I want to bask in the peace and joy of this season. I want it to be a sensory overload of joy in our home for them. That will only happen if I say no to most offers and actually create that atmosphere here.
Inevitably, though, that focus gets away from me. Things I think will be encouraging or fun for my kids actually end up running them into the ground. Less sleep and more sugar never really are good combos. I should have chosen a few things I wanted to be kept as traditions instead of lots of little things that overlapped in content and focus.
I didn’t really realize it this year. Until this week. We decided to take the kids out of town for a few days. It ended up being the breaking point for my baby, my older kids and for me. I have one sure fire test to know if things have gotten out of balance. It is quick and always helps me get back on track.
If something unexpected happened right now could I say yes to it if I wanted to?
If a friend needed encouragement, could I be there? If someone got hurt, could I comfort them? If something fun and wonderful came up, could I do it? This week, I failed that test. A friend had a miscarriage, and honestly, I was barely accessible by phone. Another dear friend wanted a playdate. Sometime in the new year was my answer. I didn’t even blog for three straight weeks. There was no room in my schedule to breathe.
Life is full of unexpectedness. Joys and sorrows. Most of them are blessings to enter into, experience and feel. We miss out on those things when we don’t plan for the surprises of life. The thing is that we will get off track now and again. We will be tempted to over schedule and over do. A few days before Christmas, I am taking a deep breath, regrouping and building in down time during the rest of this year to delight in the joys around me. I hope you are, too.
photo: Flickr user lautsu