Lo and Behold, RW’s….the holidays are officially here. Hanukkah is winding down, and Christmas is starting. We have been on Turbo Prep mode for days, weeks, even months. All of that hustle and bustle, scurrying, late nights, sore backs, tired feet, clogged heads and exhaustion has led to this.
Now it is time to transform our energy into something else: celebration. Holiday parties, get-togethers with friends, family gatherings – or even small more intimate connections. Whatever the plans, our efforts will shift from prep to hosting or participating.
Yet somewhere in there – in between events, right before a party, or after the dust settles – somewhere, like a hidden gem, will be moments of peace. We just have to be ready to recognize them and accept them. These are the moments where we can finally breathe, finally be still, finally calm and – dare I say it – relax.
For some, those moments of peace will be shortly before heading out the door to visit family, when everything is done and ready. For others, it will be while sitting in church before a holiday service, or it will be when everyone in the house has gone to bed and there’s quiet time by the tree (when it is just you and those mice who aren’t supposed to be stirring either). Or, maybe, it is after the excitement of gift exchange has quieted and everyone is taking time to lounge and work off the sugar high of cookies. At some point, it will happen. We RW’s will feel even a brief moment of peace, and we’ll feel all that rush and craziness melt away, and will just…be. We will, finally, in those moments, remember why we do all that we do this time of year, and convince ourselves, again, that it is all worth it.
My first holiday moment of peace came today. I luckily was able to take today off from work to finish up last errands, wrapping and house cleaning (I’m getting wise in my old age). After scurrying around all morning, I took the dog out for a walk. And for the first time in weeks, I didn’t rush him around the shorter loop. We did our usual full loop, and I let him stop and sniff. It was cool and drizzling rain, but I didn’t really care. It felt good. When we got back to the house, I made myself a sandwich for lunch, and actually sat at the table, flipped through a magazine, and watched the birds eat their lunch at my backyard feeder. Ahhhhhhh. Peace. It didn’t last long (still had other things on my To Do list), but it was lovely. It felt great. It felt…well, peaceful.
In a matter of a few hours, the hustle and bustle will be back as family members arrive. The noise level in the house will once again rise up, and we will be busy visiting, talking, cooking, eating and diving head first into our celebrations. When we get busy with all of this activity, it can be a challenge to recognize moments that provide peace… but they will be there, we just have to let them in. We can sit with a child and read a book, we can lay on the floor with a pet, we can say a prayer, we can find a quiet spot to just sit and observe and look at all the lights. It doesn’t really matter what our moments of peace are, or when they happen – just as long as they do.
And so, my dear fellow Real Women, in the days ahead, I wish you the merriest of celebrations, full of energy and fun and love. But even more so, I wish you moments of peace that are amazing.
“Love is what’s in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen. ” – Bobby, age 7.