I did what I said I wouldn’t do. Last night I wasn’t enjoying the season. I became annoyed with the clock. It wouldn’t stop. I needed more time to do the things that needed to be done. Finally I realized that I was running out of time and was compelled to do the most pressing things.
I was an hour and a half late getting home because I had to make a large grocery store run to prepare for our get-together this weekend. I did some stocking stuffer shopping, too. I enjoyed the time in the store as I hummed along with the Christmas music in the background.
Once home, though, everything I needed to do flooded my mind and I slowly started to unravel. My patience was missing and my family felt the impact of it. In the midst of simplifying fractions, washing towels, looking for a Spanish II study guide, making peppermint bark, and embellishing goody bags, I missed some opportunities.
My sick teenaged son suffered in silence as I ran around trying to cross out some of the items on the “to do” list in my head. My kids didn’t complain about my busyness but I know they would have enjoyed a little more attention and a lot more joy from me.
Ty would have liked for me to do more than ask him if he’d taken any Tylenol and I should have offered to help Blake study for her Spanish II midterm. I did manage to help Brady with her math homework but she disapproved of my impatience as we worked her problems.
I neglected the essentials.
But I have to get things done. How do I do them joyfully and generously? How do I not turn into the Grinch by the time I pass out the beautifully decorated gifts or have the dinner on the table?
The answer is to learn what’s really important. The ribbons on the package don’t have to be perfectly curled. The house doesn’t have to be immaculate. The food I serve does need to be tasty but everything doesn’t have to be homemade.
I will enjoy my family tomorrow morning as we gather for our Christmas brunch. Not because I’ve spent hours cleaning the house or picked just the right bows for the gifts. And not because I’ve made homemade biscuits or cinnamon bread – frozen Mary B’s biscuits and Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls quartered and baked in a loaf pan are great substitutes for those.
It will be because most of the gifts under the tree were wrapped by my daughters and this year I didn’t fuss over perfect corners. Or because Brady and I went out after dark last night and cut fresh greenery by flashlight to put in the house. We laughed and laughed as I tried to make the right cuts while she tried to hold the flashlight steady. It will be because instead of staying home today and fretting over the house and the breakfast casserole we chose to hang out with my sister and her family for a while.
I’m taking care of the essentials.
The essentials… wow it is hard to prioritize sometimes. My heart gets cluttered. Probably more than ever I enjoyed the season. But I still had moments of slipping into frustration, over less than perfect family relationships or dog hair on the rug from our visiting “grand dog”. I am so silly sometimes and I am thankful for friends like you that help me remember I am not alone. As friends we can help one another laugh more and remember the essentials.
I am only recently back in Alabama and able to catch up on some of your blogs.
CONGRATULATIONS! for having the discipline to do them and THANK YOU for sharing them.
You have a special gift for being able to communicate your thoughts in a manner that allows the rest of us to identify our own “humanity” with yours.
Re: Your blog on “Enjoying the Season?” Your comment about your son taking his tylenol struck a nerve with me. Tylenol and/or any other type of aspirin or artificial means to relieve a fever can cause serious problems as it is interfering with the body’s inherent means of healing itself.
It was a lesson I had to learn the hard way, but I am so glad I did. That said, you might find the following article on our website of interest:
ps: I LOVED your mention of you and Brady going out after dark with a flashlight to cut some greenery for decoration;-).
This post made me smile … It’s all about perspective isn’t it? But please, try not to run yourself ragged. Only do what you can comfortably manage – you’re human after all. 🙂
Thank you. I’ve learned to slow down and enjoy what’s right in front of me.
Reblogged this on Full-Time and commented:
I’m better at enjoying the season than I was three years ago. In another three I’ll be even better. I’ve learned to be still, be present, and more than anything…..be thankful.
Thank you Jesus.
He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:10
Redefining of priorities. Constant challenge. This is the first time in decades that I’ve not put up one decoration, because we are leaving to visit 2 of our daughters in upstate NY, and guess what! I haven’t missed it! Wow, go figure. Have a GREAT holiday!
Enjoy your visit!!