Thursday, 8 December 2011
I may have spoken slightly too soon.
Two days ago, I was all serene and OK with the slowing of the season.
Now, it is only two days until Christmas Eve, and I confess to being drawn into the swirling frenzy.
“The thing about those Christmas cookies,” said my tired mind as I struggled to fall asleep last night, “is that the kids love them so. They also love to help you bake, and since you fell off the advent craft wagon a week ago it could be your ONE CHANCE to make those damn memories you’re always talking about.” (When I’m less tired, the whole “one chance” thing seems a bit over the top.)
Then I wonder whether putting just one ball in Benjamin’s first stocking ever might be cheating him a bit, even though I know that if anything else is in there he won’t notice because he’ll just want the ball anyhow. And then I realize I haven’t gotten anything for Nathan’s stocking yet. He doesn’t care, but will the kids care about empty stockings? I wonder if there’s enough wine in the house for a gathering after the weekend, I don’t have a plan for Christmas eve dinner, I forgot to get the teacher gifts until today and I hope they like fair-trade chocolate and a card written by me, not the kids.
And I fret.
My inner perfectionist doesn’t like slowing.
And even if I can say no to a few of these things, I find what’s suffering is not anything external, including the kids. It’s me. When I believe the lie that I’m a failure if things don’t look a certain way. That I’m cheating my kids out of something because all the remaining crafts just look too hard or too messy and the last couple ended with me irritable and cursing as I cleaned microscopic glitter off my it-was-just-mopped kitchen floor.
The hectic spirit of the holidays just caught me a little late is all.
But now I’m taking a step back and looking at it so it doesn’t run away with me. I’m grabbing the I-can-just-do-this-one-more-thing thought and saying, “now, wait just one second.” Maybe I will go out and buy a few stocking stuffers at the last minute, and maybe I won’t. But regardless of what I do, I’m going to be kind to myself. Peace on earth, goodwill toward me. God has good will in mind for me, no matter how I perform, and I’m pretty sure his will doesn’t come about when I berate myself.
Peace. Goodwill. Noel. And God is with us after all.
What are you doing over the next few days to be kind to yourself?