This year, the stress I have created for myself over the holidays has made me want to hide in a pile of laundry, guaranteeing that no one will ever find me.
I don’t know why I wait until the last minute to do it all, but I do. Something in me must like the drama. But I do realize that when I find myself wanting to cry while wrapping presents and listening to Christmas music that I have reached a sufficient level of craziness and I need to take a step back and gain some perspective.
The perspective that I needed came while I was scrubbing the toilet today. Strangely enough, this is not the first epiphany I have had while cleaning the bathroom, probably because my kids avoid me, rightfully afraid that I am going to ask them to help. Therefore, I have a few minutes to think thoughts that only belong to me.
My perspective was not a new thought or even a particularly clever one, but it was the thought I needed at that moment while I clutched the toilet scrubber in one hand and the disinfectant in the other. The idea is that if I want to enjoy my life while surviving the holidays that I am going to have to make a conscious effort to believe the most in the little things.
You know, the things that make all the shopping and wrapping and schlepping and baking and packing and traveling and deciding and arguing and wrestling and crying and de-boogering all worth it.
Just this week my little things have included;
The gleam in my 8 year-olds eyes seconds before he threw a snowball directly into my face and then I had to tackle him and MAKE HIM PAY.
A butterfly girl at dawn.
A cloudy day that fit a cloudy mood somehow so perfectly that all of a sudden it all felt okay.
Beading bracelets and watching Game of Thrones with my Mom and Sister until the wee hours. Like almost 10:00.
My 3 year-old who hasn’t yet figured out that I can’t carry a tune and wants me to sing to her when we cuddle.
A new commitment to meditation. It makes me less crazy. I’m using the app, Insight Timer. They did not pay me to say this.
A perfectly made Bloody Mary and a perfectly made pot of chili that were better for the friends that came with them.
A wise piece of advice from my Aunt; “The best way to make something right is to go out and live well.” And then we did.
A teeny tiny Christmas tree that made its way from our friend’s yard into our living room.
Little girls with big skis.
Cousins sharing Cheerios from their car seats.
A 13 year-old dog who still chases snowballs.
A dance on the beach in the moonlight with some of my favorite girls celebrating that we have each other.
This big boy with his long long legs but still hanging onto his stuffed animal.
My kids taking turns throwing themselves into a snowbank in their underpants.
My friendships that stick and stay, even if we don’t get to talk to each other very much. I know they are out there and hopefully they know I am out here too.
My 8 year-old who came home from school and said he had the best day EVER because he got to measure the ceiling in his classroom. With a ruler.
This moment right now. I have placed my 3 yo in front of a movie so I can write and simultaneously avoid cleaning the house. With not one drop of guilt added.
So. Believe in your own little things.