Thanks to all of you who are still reading me after the mess I made last week… the whole post I transposed breathe/breath… I get it- you don’t have to be a grammar nazi to have that make your skin crawl. Sometimes my whole purpose in life is to be the poster child for “how to screw up and keep going.” My children are blessed to have a parent who models careless abandon and low/reasonable expectations.
The old Yiddish proverb, “We plan, God laughs” seems especially appropriate this week of Hanukkah as we celebrate the solstice and move towards Christmas and the New Year…even for an old atheist like me.
Traditions bring expectations and pressure. Family adds fuel to the fire. If you can slow down and step away from the endless to-do list for a minute let’s talk about planning for break-downs.
Notice your perfectionism, high standards and pressure to please. You are going to let someone down, it isn’t going to be AMAZING and they will not appreciate it enough. Sorry… I checked the crystal ball… doesn’t look good.
Your gifts can’t be perfect, they aren’t love but simply an expression of your love. Every once in awhile you hit it out of the park but mostly you give people stuff they don’t really need… and they are deeply grateful…for having you. Say some nice words… they work great too.
Food is also not love. Food made with love can be wonderful…but so can food from the deli. Make a meal, do the traditional thing you do but always remember that Chinese food is also traditional. And the kids will fill up on store bought cookies no matter what you serve for dinner.
Decorations and pretty clothes are lovely but more is not always better. Your tree and your house and your children mostly look their best right before you collapse from exhaustion at the end of the day. Take a moment to notice that.
Notice the moments of delight and figure out how to add more of those to your life. Notice your martyrdom feelings- the ones where you walk around swearing under your breath that you have to do everything for those ungrateful brats. Figure out how to have less of those.
This is your holiday too. Pursue joy, find your center, do less, notice more, ask for help, say no, and mostly sit back and see how the best laid plans go awry. And if you’re feeling connected to the divine… laugh.
Have a lovely weekend, however you choose to celebrate your messy life.