So I’ve been a bit bah-humbug lately.
It’s cold here. The weather report said “17 degrees, feels like -10”.
Sure, it could be the weather but that didn’t seem to be it.
For several days I thought about what felt like a “winter funk”. I am usually super excited for Thanksgiving , Christmas and New Years. I am that annoying friend that sees past all the potential seasonal drama and really embraces it fully and loves every moment.
I was in the car with my kids at school pickup waiting in the subzero wind and I figured it out.
Sad. I was sad. Everyone is just too busy.
Before Halloween there were Christmas decorations out at our local stores. Before Thanksgiving the radio station is playing Christmas music. Before the first snowflakes my kids are asking about Christmas gifts.
STOP. Just stop.
This is not a rant about a ‘war on Christmas’ or the freezing weather or even my own poor attitude. This is about being too busy to live the life right in front of us.
What makes this season so beautiful and joyful for me is the element of stopping and slowing. Of enjoying these once in a lifetime moments.
Yes, we have once in a lifetime moments every day but, in this season of one holiday followed by another, unique opportunities come more often.
This year, I feel like everyone around me is running towards Christmas, as if it were the finish line, and ignoring everything else. This is possibly a gross overstatement but I’m talking feelings here folks.
Our family gets busy too. Basketball practice, dance practice, Christmas Pageant rehearsal, random school breaks and the everyday work of life.
In these days it is easier to see life as a task list. Go here, do this, plan for this. We measure our days by how much we accomplished, how prepared we were, how we gracefully navigated complicated situations because we constructed 3 back up plans, none of which we used . We pat ourselves on the back for finishing the to do list and being one step ahead.
We are too busy because we have bought into the lie that at some point we will do enough to be enough. We can’t, we won’t. Life is not about all this doing.
STOP. Please. I’ll stop with you.
There are always 3 weeks between Halloween and Thanksgiving, enjoy your fall traditions. There will always be 4 weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas to buy gifts, make time to be thankful. There is still a full week between Christmas and New Years, rest with your family and hold off on the resolutions.
Thankful tablecloths and carols. Family reunions and food. Holiday cards and faith. Celebrate. Have fun. Make time. Find those things that remind you of who you are instead of what you have to do.
There were “things to do” long before you and there will be “things to do” long after you. Work, planning, preparation will always exist but there is only one you.
Stop. Breathe. Live.