So how's your holiday season?
Mine has been a little busier than usual, which I both like and don't like. I've enjoyed the festive activities I've been doing, but I don't like that feeling of too busy.
My goal in life is to never be that person who is overly busy. The crazy woman at the market who when you ask how she's doing lists off 50 things on her list. I want to be the woman who when you ask how I am will say, "Fine" or "Perfect" then ask how you are doing. I want to be able to have a 20 minute conversation with you near the satsuma oranges because I don't need to rush off and be somewhere else.
I have never confused being busy with being important. I dislike busy. While I love to have projects I'm working on (particularly writing projects), I dislike that feeling of overwhelmed or too many projects or the "I'm just taking things on to make life pass or because If I slow down I'll have to deal with the real issues in my life." I don't want to be busy for the sake of being busy.
So I struggle with that this time of year and usually, busy is just a week or two at the beginning of December, when everyone hosts their cookies exchanges, holiday get-together or ornament parties. Then next week, the calendar goes not necessarily blank, but there are days and days of nothing. A friend will ride the ferry to visit me and we will write in my Poetry Barn that has been waiting for me to find it again. I will volunteer at the school and take a yoga class. And things will return to a way of life I am happier with, the reason I left my corporate job 11 years ago to live here with less money, more time. I will return to my life where I can be active but not over-active, whelmed but not overwhelmed, engaged but not over-engaged.
These days with so many things trying to get our attention, it can be hard just to sit still. One of my favorite things to do this time of year is to get a good book, some cocoa, cinnamon toast, and a soft blanket and curl up in front of the fire and Christmas tree and just read. When my family follows and I look to see them around me with their books, this is my definition of a rich life.
Or just doing nothing with people I love tops my to-do list. Pulling out the Christmas videos-- Elf, Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown, and just spending the evening hanging out with popcorn, Junior Mints, and Christmas cookies. I have a list of Christmas movies I like to watch this time of year-- A Wonderful Life, A Christmas Story, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. All of them except, Frosty the Snowman, as the talking snowman has always freaked me out.
These are my favorite things this time of year. It can be hard to find while being tangled up in lights or lost in a crowd of shoppers. Even when our Christmas tree looks as if its been decorated by monkeys (our cat fell into it and my daughter has been using it to hide toys in), the craziness of the outside world, almost makes the inside world of my house that much more relaxing and while my Christmas decorations make my home have its own personal chaos and create a series of questions I'm unable to answer (why is Santa in the manger? Who lined up all the Nutcrackers in the hallway? Why does the dog have a snowman tied to his collar?) it also reinforces to me that what I really need doesn't come wrapped in box.