As I sit here and type this post I am camped out on my couch. The lights are dimmed, it is late in the evening, my boys are sleeping, the Christmas tree is sparkling, the fire crackling, and the cat and 2 dogs are napping close by. Idyllic right?
Yes – very.
But let me widen the view so you can see the rest of the picture.
The dishes in my kitchen from the snacks we have grabbed here and there between swim meets and family dinner and badminton practice and holidays parties (and all of that just today) are stacked everywhere. It is long after bedtime and I can still hear my husband reading away to our youngest upstairs who hasn’t quite been able to settle to sleep. The stack of files and reports that are waiting for me – presumably to be written before my annual Christmas vacation begins – is still just as tall as it was last week.
The laundry mountain awaiting our attention has reached new record heights. There are no groceries in the fridge leaving me to wonder what kind of magic is going to create school lunches for tomorrow. My gift shopping list is as long as ever. I am hosting a party for 30 people on Friday and I have yet to sit down and think about what I need to get on top of for that to happen. I have five full days in my clinic this week and 3 holiday concerts to attend in the evenings. The other two evenings I am working late hoping to make up for the 2 days I couldn’t work last week due to the rising tide of vomit from a flu bug that invaded our home and, in part, created said laundry mountain.
Still feeling idyllic? Not so much. Or maybe…?
I’ll come back to laundry mountain in a moment. But let’s first talk about this time of year. Every year families everywhere have that same haggard and worn look about them. It is often the same story. Their children are falling to pieces with extra meltdowns. Everybody is short on sleep and long on to-do’s. Attending school is exhausting. Keeping up with regular schedules on top of holiday plans is almost unbearable. Parents are crumbling under the expectations – concocted by themselves, extended family, and friends. And everybody just wants it all to stop.
Why do we do this? This whole business of beginning the holiday break tired, run down, and needing our “silent night” just a little too much? And better yet, how can we make it all go away?
The answer is simple. Just be.
What if your freedom in all of this chaos was to refuse to attach to it?
What if you were able to just sit with what is all around you and be your authentic self?
What would it be like to not go to yet another party if you don’t really want to or need to be there? And furthermore, to do this without feeling badly?
What if you were to simplify your shopping this year? Cut back on Le List and go old-school with a less is more approach? With no apologies?
What if – as I have done (!) – you were to turn your enormous holiday party happening this Friday in your home that you won’t have any time to plan for into a potluck? And to do that unabashedly?
This is how we find our silent night.
In just being, you will land on your peace on earth.
The thing is, if you try to do it all, it really is too much. Our brains, hearts, and bodies were not meant for that. And if you can imagine how challenging that is for you as adults, imagine what it is for your growing children.
Kids also need their silent night, their peace on earth. And it us up to you to navigate that for them this holiday season.
So don’t be shy about being fierce in just calling it all what it is. TOO MUCH!
And turn it into what it is meant to be – by just being.