It's been wonderful to cruise around blogland this morning and see all the super-secret Christmas projects that everyone's been working on. And in retrospect I'm feeling a little bad I don't have more to show you. Truth is I didn't do a lot of Christmas making this year. And it's the happiest one yet. So, here's the story.
I grew up in the 80's. As a girl in the 80's we were constantly told we could do anything we wanted. We could be astronauts, presidents, scientists, whatever we wanted. There was also the, I think, unspoken message that we could be everything at the same time - have a successful career, kids, hobbies, travel.... But you know what? You can't. You just can't do it all. I'd love to sew my children clothes and have a big vegetable garden and homeschool my kids and volunteer but I know I don't have energy for everything. Either you try and become stressed out or you pick and choose very carefully which projects get your energy. My family needs me to work and I'm pretty lucky to have a really good job, so that gets a lot of my energy. But rather than try to do it all at home, too, we have a nanny, who, as well as taking care of the kids during the day, does more than her fair share of the cleaning and laundry in our house. It saves our sanity. After work its all about family. You will rarely find any of us going out after supper on a weeknight. That's family time and it's precious. I only see my kids 4 or so hours a day during the week, so I don't trade that time for anything. So, lesson #1: You can't do it all.
I've spent a lot of time trying to come to terms with the fact that I can't have it all, but you know what, once I let go of that need to have someone else's perfect life I became sooo much happier. Lesson #2: Quit comparing yourself to others. You'll be much happier.
Lesson #3: Enjoy Every Moment. I am watching my daughter yawn and marvelling at the rows of little white teeth. And as she sits beside me saying "hab a supper" I marvel at how well she pieces together words to communicate these days even though I know that it means I'll soon have to interrupt what I'm doing to tend to her needs. Beauty is all around you if only you open your eyes. THIS IS happily ever after.
So, back to Christmas. I didn't step into a mall once this year. Not once. About 1/3 of our Christmas gifts were bought on etsy. Online is quick and easy, and there's some really cool stuff out there that you just wouldn't find at a mall. Another 1/3 was bought on a massive one day trip by my husband in December. Usually we both take a day off work and take one day and get it all done but this year he was on his own. And he did splendidly. In a blizzard that closed highways. Several more items were picked up my me on my lunch hours at stores within walking distance from my office. I did make a couple of ornaments and one special Christmas gift. And it was the most relaxing, joyful stressfree Christmas ever. So, I feel pretty content about not making all of our Christmas gifts this year even though I really would love to have done it. I just don't need to do everything anymore.
Pictures to come in a following post, I promise. We had a big 2 year old birthday on the 23rd and I have been working on some personal projects that I can't wait to show you...just need to get out to the garage with some frames and spray paint...