Project Awesome

Making my life more awesome

Resting and being thankful

on December 28, 2013

These days between Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve feel like a gift.  They are a secret stash of days which don’t really exist, which no-one makes plans for, where normal routines are suspended.  They are almost the ‘rest and be thankful‘ stage of the holidays – a chance to recover from the shock of Christmas and reflect before the new year begins.

Christmas stole December from me.  I had, until then, felt that I was getting the hang of living: of working, running a fairly basic home and keeping us all fed, clothed and with clean plates to eat from.  And then, in the darkest month of the year, I am suddenly required to fit in Big Girl’s fourth birthday, and Christmas planning, and Christmas socialising, and buying, wrapping and posting presents, and Big Girl’s fourth birthday party.  Unsurprisingly, it didn’t all fit.

My Christmas was lovely.  I am dubious about the benefits of having two Christmases for a two-year-old and four-year-old.  It is possible that there is such a thing as too much excitement, and that the crashing disappointment of The Day The Presents Stopped is too much to bear.  But Big Girl and Small Girl behaved beautifully for most of Christmas.  Their excitement at discovering that Father Christmas had been, and had eaten the food we left for him, was a delight.  We had a relaxed day with a few of my family stopping over.  I loved having a quiet Boxing Day with them, staying in our pyjamas/new Disney princess dresses (delete as appropriate) all day, trying out roller skates, not having to do anything.  I love not having to go anywhere.  Not really having to plan anything.  No impending Large Event (well, apart from the fourth birthday party tomorrow.  Seriously, who *plans* a party between Christmas and New Year? Oh, me…) to think about.

And I am feeling very fortunate to have Big Girl and Small Girl for these few days.  So much of our life is busy, rushed and structured.  We always have to get somewhere – to nursery, to Meeting, to catch a train, to see friends – that even when we don’t actually *have* to get somewhere for a particular time, I forget that it’s ok to dawdle.  We’ve been making things with some of their lovely presents.  We’ve played with their new toys.  We’ve had lie-ins and late breakfasts.  Also, somehow, it finally seems possible for Small Girl to go up and down stairs by herself without me worrying that she will fall all the way down. And it finally seems reasonable to let them play upstairs by themselves without them destroying everything I own or themselves.  I feel a new stage in our life as a family is opening up, where perhaps I will sit downstairs reading quietly, uninterrupted…

I got some lovely Christmas presents too – some presents which encouraged me to be a little bit more creative, use my brain, try to write a bit more.  I feel so excited at the prospect of a new year: a clean slate, a blank page, a fresh start.  After the excess, the disruption, the hijacking of my life by Christmas, I can feel all this space and time – and potential – ahead of me.  It’s a giant reset button – when everything settles back down, what will I choose to be doing?  I’m not sure yet, but I think it’s going to be good.



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