I just need to sit and write for a few minutes or hours or days. The sermon today was about PEACE.(see I was paying attention). And… it sounded great while listening and believed it in the car… and then we stepped into our home and it is time for lunch, and for Sam time to play, and time to think about everything that needs done for the week, before work tonight, and details for Christmas such as: cookie exchanges, a tree would be nice, Sam’s O.T. gave him gingerbread houses to make, Church activities / events, work parties, some Santa lists to complete, and let’s not even forget the house. Oh, and then there are the extra things not related to Christmas: signed up for an online Bible Study in addition to my weekly Bible Study at church, agreed to cover a co-worker at my per diem job, cyber schooling the kids, and my regular job. Know that I did not create that list to show how busy I am, to get accolades for wearing a cape, to get empathy for my crazy life, to get criticism / advice on what I should do differently, etc. I wrote it down just to focus me, because well, writing is what I do when I need to focus. I could be working on the many projects, but honestly, I have learned sometimes I just need to write – sometimes a blog and often a list just to figure out the breathing room.
Anyway, going into this Christmas season, I vowed this year I would be different! My procrastination generally discourages me – I mean I have known since last year Christmas was coming (= To be honest, I had hoped to be a little further along than I am. But, there is a difference in ME! I actually put the Christmas channel on in the car. We went shopping as a family to a large mall. I took the kids shopping to a large mall last weekend too and was fine passing the time away at Toys-R-Us, the huge fountain with Sam (even after we ran out of coins), and watching the Grinch Stole Christmas (Cartoon version) about 15 times. Yes, I should / could have, instead of shopping, been home taking care of things. I could have made the excuse I have a “million things to do” (and though it isn’t a million, it feels that way). But, I have no regrets not staying home and capturing those memories – the Grinch of Christmas just wants me to feel guilty.
In the movie the Grinch Stole Christmas (the original one) the basic premise is Whoville is one happy community who loves each other and Christmas. The Grinch hated happiness, singing, celebration, etc.. and decided to “steal” Christmas – which he views as the gifts, the food, and the decorations. Poor Max, his dog, gets pulled into the plot by his owner, the Grinch. And after the stealing of all the “goods” there is a little Girl, Cindy Lou, who still knows that Christmas goes beyond the material and the things in the heart cannot be stolen.
So, what does that have to do with this whole blog… I have some choices this Christmas, as I always have before. But, I haven’t always taken the high road to be honest. Sometimes I do just enough to get through Christmas. First of all, I can choose to be a part of the happy group (Whoville) that celebrates Christmas, or the Grinch who dreads every song, decoration, event etc.. I can choose to be Max and be drug along by the bad attitude (my Grinch) of the past failures at Christmas (including the rush to get a tree done so running to target and buying a fake one and ornaments so I don’t have to dig out mine) OR I can plan for a tree (even if it gets up a little late – not the first time) and put my favorite ornaments of my mom’s on the tree, the ones from my patients I cared for over the years. I can choose to let the lists of things to do become my Grinch, stealing the joy from my heart or I can enjoy the moment I am in, choose the things that will bring back memories or create memories. I can bake the cookies and go to the church events and well, my list will wait and no one will die if it doesn’t get done. I can be the Grinch and drag my family and friends along, just like poor Max.
So what else is my Grinch – Worry and the list of everything to be done – really no different than every other day of the year – just magnified at Christmas. The list will always be never ending until I die. And yes, Christmas cookies, trees, events, etc does add to the routine list. I also worry if I get the “perfect” gift. Worry about money to pay for the “perfect gift”. One of my big worries is knowing that people will come to our home and judge me and know that I don’t measure up to their standard (and I get nauseated thinking about that – honestly). I also let guilt be my Grinch. I feel guilty that I can’t do more, give more, be more. I can feel guilty that I haven’t done more before this moment.
But this year, I want to be like Cindy Lou and know that the material things / the lists to be done – do not matter (if so Grinch would have been happy with his big lot of stuff). What matters is the attitude of MY HEART. I have a choice – I can love Christmas and what it really means and the wonderful memories with my family OR I can dread every moment and let the Grinch steal my Christmas and maybe even slowly become the Grinch. I can do the best with the money we have, the home we have, and the time I have to get everything done. It really isn’t rocket science which I should choose.
So, before today is done, a few things will happen. I will press send on two large orders for delivery. I will download some of my favorite Christmas music to take to work tonight. I have printed a weekly calendar for the next few weeks with all hours covered 12m – 12m to put things in perspective, to prepare a little more, and to make sure I get some sleep and quiet time. I want to really look at the weeks ahead approaching Christmas and put things in perspective of what matters – Church, family, and work is not an option. What gets done will be done… what does not get done will wait… because I prepare to be Cindy Lou and know and feel what Christmas really means! (I mean after all, the Grinch, himself, even GOT IT at the end… )