This morning, I woke up tired. Fatigued. My house looked like Santa and his elves had a party and puked all over it. Wrapping paper strewn, batteries to arm remote control cars scattered, Christmas cookie parts crumbled, gift tags and last night’s wine and leftovers still on the counter.
I felt the looming pressure to tie up all those holiday loose ends in the next 48 hours before taking a long-planned Christmas away. I felt the pressure of a headache already forming at my temples before my day had even started. I felt stupid for letting myself get rundown at the holidays again.
Then I got a grip. Sitting on my couch at 6:30a.m., groggy and with a crick in my neck anticipating my countdown to-do list before the kids woke up, I had a little Christmas colored lightbulb go off. I realized I had been body snatched – again. By the ghost of “what you’re supposed to do at Christmas.”
In reality, that ghost has been present in my life for a long time. He also shows up as “what you’re supposed to do as a mom,” “what you’re supposed to do as room mom,” “what you’re supposed to do as a productive and respectable person in the world in general.”
Well, luckily my inner voice ghost named, “Being that girl is just fucking exhausting” showed up this morning and throat punched that other ghost.
That little benevolent badass ghost helped remind me that Christmas does not happen when I’ve finished my work and I’m on my beach vacation. It reminded me that the theory: “if I work my ass off my life will begin again on January 1” is a really bad one. It reminded me that this one week does not dictate my goodness or naughtiness or niceness as a human being. Every day the actions you take create that.
That yoga routine and moment of quiet I’ve been putting off until January 1, I decided to start my morning with that today instead. I decided to put on hold buying some gifts with bows on top, and think about what my hopes and gifts really are this Christmas.
My hopes for Christmas are two things:
1. To share a gift I have of writing. It’s the thing I can give that makes me feel deeply connected and purposeful. I thank you all with such gratitude for giving me the unwrapped gift back that means the most to me: reading my writing.
2. To remember to treat yourself with the presence of giving that we are sparked by at Christmas – everyday. To give yourself time for health, sanity and clarity of what matters today. To take action in ONE thing that really matters to YOU today. Trust me, that thing will be the thing that matters most to the world too. I believe that’s the gift Jesus really intended us to give in the first place anyway. Ask yourself, “What is the biggest gift I have to share this year?” Don’t over think it. Listen to what comes. Then share it.
For those of you that like books at the holiday, here are a few reads to spark presence and personal practices when the ghosts of “supposed to” visit:
1. The Big Leap – Gay Hendricks. If you’ve hit the ceiling, a plateau or continually self-sabotage, or simply give up when the getting gets hard, this book is simple and seismic in the shift it creates. Can you live truly live in abundance, love and success fully and completely? Yes, yes you can.
2. Zen and the Art of Happiness – Chris Prentiss. If you are a worrier or overthinker, this book helps you with the understanding of how to dissolve that. You will see the perfection in the design of your life exactly as it is. From that place, you can create all possibilities.
3. The ONE Thing – Gary Keller. Sometimes we make things harder than they need to be. This book will remind you how derailing doing too much can be. As a mom, this business book gave me clarity on how to run the business that matters most to me, my family, a lot whole better.