Ah, such dreams I had for this wonderful Christmas season. Admittedly, after our super fun (and extremely busy!) Playing Through Autumn series, I had planned to tone things back, both on the blog and in real life. But oh, how life has a way of arching its eyebrows and laughing maniacally at your best laid plans. Such has happened in our lives over the past several weeks.
I wanted to have a lovely and relaxing holiday season, full of Christmas movies, baking cookies, spending time at home with the family rather than running around to commitments that wouldn't make me or my family happy. Instead, I had a lot of stress, anxiety, and exhaustion. What is it about this season, despite my best efforts to not get overwhelmed, that just screams insanity?
To be fair, I did do a pretty good job of limiting commitments that drive holiday madness, but then life happened, as it's prone to do. From the first week of November, every single member of our family battled seasonal illness, one after another, and we've only really all gotten well now that December is well under way. This is a busy time of the year for my husband at work, and also for me: family conferences, extra hours, long days away from home. Basically, we've had no time to connect as a family, and it's showing in our actions. The tot has been a hot mess lately, Hubs and I have been grouchy, the house is a disaster. We've had no time to relax and just be together.
The tot turned 2 back on December 7, and we had a huge shindig at home, which was incredibly fun...and also pretty stressful. Prepping for such an event just weeks before Christmas caused me more stress than I care to admit, but I'm admitting here because hey, I'm not a super hero and I'm fine with that. Even so, there are things I had planned to do with the tot this season that just haven't come to fruition. I'm making peace with that too. There's always next year.
Now that the tot's birthday has come and gone, things at work are settling down a bit for both Hubs and me, we are making family time and relaxation our top priorities. Sometimes I think I forget that what the tot needs is for just to just BE. I don't always have to plan activities or outings for her to feel connected to us...sometimes we just need to sit on the couch in our pajamas and read 27 Christmas books in a row. Sometimes we just need to take a walk around our neighborhood and look at Christmas lights. Sometimes we just need to watching "A Charlie Brown Christmas" and snuggle. This is how traditions are created and memories are made.
My hope for 2013 is that I'll remember this perspective even after life picks up speed again. I'm writing a letter to Santa asking for my SANITY in the coming year...and hell, I've been a pretty good girl and I know that my family (and I) really deserve it!