December has been something of a blur. Again. With work and blogging and chores and shopping and wrapping and all the other things. As has become tradition, I hit Christmas Day with a sigh of relief and a slightly stressed out demeanour. The list (lists) of things I wanted to do before the big day has been bigger than I wanted, there are countless things I promised myself and others I would do this side of the New Year that I haven’t even touched, and I’m feeling a little bit, well, frazzled. I would go as far as saying that my “overtired” has turned into “exhausted”.
It’s been a funny old year. This time last year we had just told friends and family of our planned move South West, the house was on the market, jobs had been secured, and we were in a weird state of limbo waiting for things to happen. That limbo continued for several months, during which time I left my employer of 13 years and spent several weeks living in hotels so I could start my new job on time. It wasn’t until just after Easter that things eventually fell into place and we found ourselves with 36 hours to pack up our house ready to move into our new one. During that time and the months that followed we discovered a new type of tiredness, one that could only be expressed at bedtime because we had new jobs to learn, new surroundings to discover, and a new home to make.
It’s inevitable. We all do it. We rush through December as though everything depends on having the right cranberry sauce. We stress over whether or not to serve Yorkshire Puddings with the Christmas Dinner. We worry about having enough chairs or plates or how sticky the floor is after making the buttercream. We rush around the shops bumping into people, getting more and more frustrated at the surly cashiers or families taking up the full width of the pavement as they dawdle along. And then there is the added pressure of making sure we buy wrapping paper that can actually be recycled by our local council, or realising too late you really should have used string instead of sticky tape because you want to be plastic clever. Oh, and we arrive at the Church carol service at the absolute last minute struggling to give the real meaning of Christmas the time it deserves. You may or may not be nodding at some of these – but there will be other things that sum up the last ten days for you, I’m sure.
But it’s okay. It doesn’t matter. Not really. Not at all. At Christmas, today, this week, none of those things are actually important. You know this, it’s old news… Christmas isn’t about decorations, cards, presents, chores or being up to date. It certainly isn’t about having enough gravy or noticing a dirty patch on the window ledge half way through dinner. And it is never about how good the photos look on instagram. In fact, life isn’t about those things. Rather it is all about love and kindness and being a good soul. Thankfully those things are much easier to fit in. And they involve a lot less stress.
I am now off work for a week. I am looking forward to some time with family, having some good home cooked food, doing some chores, having plenty of time outside enjoying the fresh air, making some plans for the coming year, and taking a little time to myself. This weird week between Christmas and New Year is such an important week in my year; I have time to catch up with my own thoughts, put things in order, and recharge the batteries.
I hope that whatever you are doing over the Christmas period, however frazzled you are after your December or the whole of 2018, however you celebrate, whether you are switching off and having a break or whether you are still online and/or working, that you will find time for the important things. And if it all gets a bit too much, please take a moment – in your living room or on top of a hill somewhere – for some deep breaths and calming thoughts, to remember what life is supposed to be about; making time for the people, places and things that matter most to you.
Have a very happy Christmas. May yours be full of the things money can’t buy.