Wednesday, December 22, 2010
I hope you all have several great holiday days, remembering to give yourself time to relax and do at least one thing that gives you deep personal pleasure.
I love sitting with the fire by the tree (as opposed to the tree on fire) and knitting. I put on some soppy Christmas music and have a few quiet moments.
Over the years Steve and I allowed ourselves to ramp up expectations. It's always fun until someone gets hurt. Meaning, usually I was weeping in the bedroom with too many gifts to wrap, a couple suitcases to pack and a huge family dinner to sort my way through. Steve would be not weeping in another corner of the house, but he was probably cowering. Not a pretty picture is it?
One year, about 4 years ago, we gave ourselves permission to talk about expectations and in deep fear, we asked our kids about theirs. It turned out to be a fairly mature conversation and several things were dropped off our "To Do" lists. What was of real interest was that both Lucas and Phoebe took a few things on. Lucas learned how to cook the turkey and I think he learned how the stuffing was made. He now lives away from home and helps with Natasha's family meal. Phoebe has taken on the yam dish everyone wants and does a lot of the cookie baking. When she comes to stay for a few nights around Christmas she also rescues her Dad each year and they do his Christmas wrapping together. I think this year they will formally acknowledge that this is happening and celebrate it with some wine and cookies or if there is a hockey game on, beer and chips. I will be sent to my room to knit.
Talking with many people over the years, I'm not sure how the list of things to do grows so massively for an event that is two days long, maybe. It's kind of spooky if it is used as a barometer of other aspects of our lives at other times of the year. Have our expectations risen so high that it takes a team of 2 or more people to make everyday life happen? Have our expectations become so gluttonous that we can not bear to part with any of them even it means that our mental health would otherwise improve? Are our expectations more important than really interacting with the people we want to have relationships with and who "its all for them"? (bad grammar there but you know where I'm heading)
Ponderous questions. As I get older and the stuff I accumulate is less meaningful but the events that surround my relationships take on more poignancy, I want most of all to be in good relationship with myself and with the people I love.
And here they are!