I'm not exactly sure where my Sanity Train left the tracks this month. But I am, somehow, way off-course.
I generally try to keep my head about me during the holidays. I try to plan ahead, set aside time for traditions, keep a healthy focus outside of myself.
Not this year.
I've been busy to a degree that borders on frantic. I've been cranky. Distracted. Rushed. My focus has been everywhere except where it should be.
And I could give you a laundry list of reasons for this, of course: unexpected family events, school musicals, increasing work-load, busy Hubs, and a partridge in a pear tree.
The real reason, I suspect, is a heart that was already too busy and hurried heading into the holiday season.
Last week, I went shopping with my oldest son. I carried a clipboard, like some scary gym teacher, and I think I may have been muttering under my breath. At one point, Adam sidled up next to me.
"Mom," he asked, "is Christmas stressful?"
I looked at him quizzically.
"I mean," he continued, in a classic example of pre-adolescent understatement, "you've just seemed a little tense lately. Is Christmas stressful for you?"
I took a deep breath, a breath I should've taken about a month ago.
No, I told him. Christmas is not stressful. Christmas is holy. People are stressful. I am stressful. I take what is lovely and, whether by accident or design, I cover it with expectations and selfishness and over-committment and who knows what else. What is lovely gets lost.
Well, not really. It's never lost. Maybe my line of vision gets skewed. Maybe my hurried heart falters. But what is lovely and precious and staggering about this most holy time? It's still there. He is still there. In the manger. In the heavens. In my fickle heart.
In the interest of focus-shifting, I'm heading out for a little breather to reflect, quiet down, hug on my kids, and eat lots of stuff that is very bad for me over the next couple of weeks. For grins, I'll probably run a few things from the archives. I'll see you back here on Tuesday, January 6.
(OH! One big exception to this blog break: I will pop in briefly tomorrow with a hugely fun piece of scoop about The Mother Letter Project. Seriously, you will not want to miss this fantastic bit of news, AND you'll be able to help with part of the big "reveal". But then? Back to the blog break.)
In the meantime, may you find a quiet breather yourself the next two weeks. May you laugh and rest and worship. May there be pie in your house, and much of it. May your kitchen be cleaned by magical elves. May your days be mer-r-r-r-r-r-r-y and bri-i-i-i-i-i-i-i-i-ight. And may all your, um, spaniels be shrunken.
Merry Christmas, my friends, and grace and peace to you in the new year.