I'm sitting here with the doors open and the beautiful rain falling outside. It's the first chance I've had to sit down and process our Christmas season and my heart is just filled with gratitude. It was not perfect. In fact, it was far from it. There was arguing, a LOT of sickness, plans that didn't work out, feelings of being overwhelmed and sadness as we mourned many losses this season. But If I were to sum up our Christmas I would say it was full.
The good kind of full.
Every Christmas when I pack up my decorations I ponder how things went and compare that to my expectations.
I am always disappointed.
So I've taken to writing myself a little note to tape to the top of my Christmas decoration box. Last year I taped this to the top:
I remember last year so vividly. We had just moved and chaos surrounded us with boxes and things in the wrong place. I was extremely depressed. I hadn't slept in 7 years. I remember forcing my family to go get a tree in the day between moving and me going to the Wildflower's Workshop in Florida. I had strep throat and a high fever and I remember bawling and yelling as we decorated our tree because things weren't going like I pictured they should. My children's scared, wide eyes broke my heart, but I couldn't stop myself. My husband ended up leaving the room. The season was filled with lots of tears as time after time I was disappointed; in my children, in my expectations but mostly in myself.
This month feels like the first gasp of fresh air after nearly drowning. It's been 10 years of feeling like if I don't stop trying or doing I will surely drown. I'm suddenly aware that maybe this drowning, this doesn't have to be my life.
I'm sleeping through the night now. I'm seeing a wonderful natural doctor who is helping me regain my health and learn to trust my body again. A beautiful soul of a woman has been meeting with me weekly and helping me figure out the logistics of how to live MY life (not the best way to live someone else's perfect life). 6 months of intensive marriage counseling has broken down walls and given me a deep love and a bright hope for the future. I have rebranded my business and I have said "no" often. All of these things are wonderful. A lot of hard work has taken place in this year. This has been the year of stretching. This has been the year of hard work.
That little note on my Christmas box and the energy that is finally returning to my weary body provided the ability to "just be" this Christmas. There were many times I had to throw up my hands and say, "This. Does. Not. Matter", many moments I had to step outside and breathe in the air and clear my head of expectation. There were many times I messed up and apologies were necessary. But I have a heart full of beautiful moments: unforced, real, special moments with my family. The tears were far less and the joy was much more.
I've never been one to take hold of new years resolutions, because I'm more of a goal girl all year round. After this year of work I am ready for a beautiful year of growth. January 1st can come and I will welcome it with open arms instead of groans.
As I've been processing things, I thought about calling this the year of "me". I have neglected my body and soul much over the years and I don't want to drown anymore. I want to breathe! But the year of "me" makes me think of the desperate grasping at straws of worth. Of hobbies that don't fill hearts and time away from family trying to quiet the chaos.
In the end, a year of me is not what I need. I need a year, no a lifetime, of "be". Of just being; of allowing expectations to fall by the wayside and just being present, the year of taking the time to sit on a mountain top with no agenda but just being there and being still, of evenings sitting hand in hand with Noah in conversation instead of filling my mind with distractions and mind numbing tv. I am confident that this slight change in my heart will lead to much joy and the drawing together of our family.
Here's to a year of digging down deep and growing up tall.