Friday, November 12, 2010
Weekly Reflection (week 42): Priorities
I am coming to accept that there is no break between the beginning of the school year and the holidays. I have clung to this notion that there is a bit of a pause before the mania of Thanksgiving/Christmas kicks in, but reality has slapped that delusion out of my head for good. And now I am left with the realization that once again, I have overextended myself. You see, I dream of a November and December where I am mindfully and joyfully preparing for the holidays. Days warmed by the glow of a fire, the smell of treats baking in the oven, and me calmly presiding over a slew of projects that will become a bounty of lovingly crafted, personalized gifts for friends and family.
I can hear you snickering over there!
In the past, I have lumbered through busy days and my delusions, knitting until my hands feel like arthritic claws, finger tips crusty with dried glue from craft projects and in a state of mild shock by the inevitable and panicky Amazon.com purchases made when I realized I could not complete everything on my list in time. Add to all of this my tendency to enroll in challenges and ecourses - forgetful of the fact that not only do I need sleep, I require vast quantities of it just to stay sane - and I give you my recipe for disaster.
This week I have been mindful of how I use my energy and I am determined to set new priorities for myself and my family. The magic of Santa and his elves is very much alive in our house and I want to be present for this time as I know too soon, Cowgirl will be wise to it all.
Essential right now is time together as a family. The days are shorter, the weather has turned cold and we are spending more time indoors. Time together means games, cocoa, reading books and painting. Yesterday I spread out my shower curtain on the dining room floor and Cowgirl and I spent a good hour or so painting. We listened to music, took a break for snacks and just luxuriated in time together. Nothing is sweeter than my daughter pausing after finishing a picture and declaring "I love painting with you." (Yes, she is quite the schmoozer!)
To stay calm and centered, I need to begin each day by setting that intention. I have struggled lately with getting myself out of bed but realistically, I can manage to get up 10 minutes earlier and spend a few minutes either meditating, listening to an affirmation, drawing an oracle card or doing a mini reiki session.
To stay healthy (and believe me, working in a university setting, I am seeing everyone dropping like flies) means rest and good nutrition. We love soups and nothing is easier than throwing tons of veggies into a soup pot and letting it simmering into goodness. Fresh fruit is something I also will allow myself to splurge on. Nothing lifts the dark day doldrums like a juicy piece of fruit. Or fresh juice.
In addition to nourishing my body, I intent to continue to nourish my soul in the coming weeks. Painting keeps me sane, keeps me in touch with the landscape of my inner life and reminds me to look beneath the surface to discover the magic in every moment. My art journals, my painting tribe, my stash of paints - these will be my arsenal for sanity. If a few gifts get made in the process, great, but my priority will be to create for myself. For this is the best way to stay mindful of the beauty of the holiday season. And my very best painting buddy is also my inspiration and muse as she reminds me curiosity is the greatest attribute of an explorer, inventor, artist and lover of life.
Me: What should Santa bring mommy for Christmas this year?
Cowgirl: More paints!
Yes, she has a handle on my priorities. What is your intention for this holiday season? How do you plan to stay sane and enjoy yourself?