Tuesday, December 20, 2011

December 20 Stop Spinning

If you're stressed about the holidays, cut it out.

Before I type another letter, I should probably tell you that earlier today I failed to follow the suggestions I'm about to offer. I have a gift shop and it's gift season. I'm the head of a household. And there's the occasionally spectacular dynamic of the humans around me - those who are part of the solution and those who are part of the problem. And all that goes with. I have my list, you have yours.

Sometimes the clock is ticking, my brain is racing and a dozen things are competing for my attention. Sometimes I find myself slogging through the glue that is overload.

I did today, for sure. Thankfully, I stepped back before getting stuck. Still, if I were REALLY good at this, I'd have avoided that goo in the first place.

Wouldn't you think?

What I'm trying to say here is, beware. (see blog header) Don't follow me blindly. I might trip.

That said. It's the holidays. Prime season for stress. Very likely this is a good time to remind ourselves that at this time of year, we tend to try to live up to impossible standards. We have to remember that these standards are mostly created by marketers trying to make us feel we are lacking. Because, if we shop at Target, our holiday dinner will be perfect. If we shop at Zales, we can watch the game in peace. And so on.

Our memories do it too. Those fuzzy-edged, rose-colored pictures of perfect family dinners, softened by time. Who are we kidding? Our mothers were spinning. Grandmothers too. Possibly they popped a couple of Valium or sampled the cooking wine. Either way, you likely didn't see them spinning. Why not? Because your mind was elsewhere.

You're not as important to the people sitting at your table as you think you are. Or, at least, not in the way you think. They're not watching your every move. They're not going to judge you if you forgot to use the good salt shakers. They just don't care. They're not going to notice if the candles are vanilla instead of holiday spice or if the tree's a little dry. It's not that they don't appreciate you. It's just that they're living just as much in their heads as you are in yours.

That spotlight bearing down on you is yours. You put it there. Just turn it off. In a week, no one will care about the details or who gave them which present. If they do, it's their problem, not yours.

What they will remember is how they felt. What you will remember is how you felt.

I'm gonna suggest here that we think about cutting down our lists. Some of the details can go. Some of the deadlines are made-up. I'm going to suggest we simplify and spend a little more time being.

I'm just saying.


DavidK said...

I hope you get a chance to pause and reflect on the better parts of the year, and that it helps reduce the spinning... for good or bad, everything only happens once (no matter how much our brains like to replay it for us).

The poppet box arrived in fine shape, and will go under the tree soon. I'm sure it will be greatly enjoyed!

Anonymous said...

This is something I've been thinking about for the last couple of months. I overload myself all the time, and I'm beyond sick of it. Thank you for posting this, Lisa, it has been a handy reminder.