What a week!!
I had to practice some next level breathing exercise to get me home after a day of shopping the mall this week. The never-ending supply of things to purchase made me feel empty, and simultaneously craving more. The line ups and zombiness of the fellow shoppers really affected me.
Nonetheless, with an almost respected budget, I managed to make it back to my haven of mismatched furniture and colored lights.
My little oasis of released expectations.
The Holidays can sometimes make us feel like ticking time bombs of triggers and emotional baggage.
Sometimes it's that you feel pressured to
drink things that don't make you feel good.
Sometimes it's that you have to indulge in small talk that makes you unable to cope, and sends you straight to the bathroom.
Sometimes you have to travel, even though you want to be home.
Or sometimes you have a heartache that cannot be healed, and the loneliness is inescapable.
Sometimes the Holidays are filled with magic and love, and we just can't wait for it all to unfold.
I hope this year, most of you fall in this latter camp.
I think I'm almost there.
Working through my own stuff, I feel calm, although not totally immune to the panic.
(that mall really did me in!).
But it was not always so.
6 years ago was when it all came to a head.
I had 3 kids under 5, was running my own retail business, and was unknowingly totally drowning in depression + overwhelmed.
I was routinely drinking way too much, and then overcompensating with exercise and obsessive eating patterns.
All tucked under a 'I'm FIIIIIIIIINE' veneer.
But that year, all of brunch... all the freshly squeezed juice + pyrex dishes, got tossed in the garbage.
The baked French Toast, Bacon, Chocolatines, fruit salad... none of it eaten, all of it trashed.
It was just too much.
I had constructed this castle of cards under which everyone had to act a certain way for me to be ok. And when they eventually didn't, I had zero coping skills.
And it all took the curb.
I had reached my limit of being and doing perfect things.
It was the event that needed to happen for me to FINALLY let go of the Christmas Ideal bestowed upon me by my self-constructed delusional ideal of motherhood.
Christmas should be........
Warm White Lights
Natural, harvested tree
Nurturing Advent Activity Calendar
Charmingly homemade decorations
Perfectly Penned cards
Thoughtful handmade gifts for teachers, friends, neighbours
Sumptuous meals and brunches, ironed table clothes + miscellaneous
But here's the truth:
My kids might be disappointed on Christmas morning- the lusted after gaming console will not be there.
Maybe I won't get all the gifts right, or all the food perfect.
Maybe I'll be disappointed.
Maybe my mom will be disappointed that the kids won't eat rabbit.
And that's ok.
We often cross our own boundaries to avoid disappointment in others.
And maybe this can be a reminder that we do not have to origami ourselves just because there are twinkling lights everywhere.
The Holidays can mean whatever we want them to mean.
This week, I felt like making gifts- not because I had to, but because I wanted to.
And this letter?
I really wanted to write it- not because I felt like I should, but because it felt good to talk about this stuff. And I KNOW that some of you (and me!) are feeling moments of doubt, panic and stress.
I want to feel LIGHT and EXPANDED this year. I want to write, and play, and have fun and not be wound up in my mind about all the things I should do.
2018 had some real challenges, but it reminded me of the importance of figuring out HOW I WANT TO FEEL and then reverse engineering the things that need to happen for me to feel that way.
So I will leave you with these questions...
How do you want to feel this year?
What do you actually WANT to do more of?
Can you let yourself feel and do those things?
Let me know what they are if you need a secret accountability partner.
And wherever you are- it's all good.
You are exactly where you need to be.