Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Before the Holidays Get Away from You…

 

Every year at the beginning of January, we all complain to each other about how fast the holidays went by. Especially for those of us who are older, the universe seems to slam on the gas pedal and we hold on for dear life. Parties, gift shopping, baking cookies, decorating: doing all the requisite tasks that make up this time of year.

It’s easy for me to get caught up in the mood, the sense of rushing and getting things done; the mood is contagious, and by keeping busy, I feel in some ways I’m participating. But I’ve decided to spend the rest of December in a different state of mind.

I’m going to watch and observe.

I’m going to hug my friends for the heck of it.

I’m going to make my husband laugh a lot. (I’ll just do my happy dance.)

I’m going to watch my orchids blooming almost before my eyes.

I’m going to breathe deeply, inhaling gratitude and joy.

I’m going to greet every clerk in the stores and smile.

I’m going to walk slowly, look around me, and wave to strangers.

I’m going to say extra prayers for those in my life who are suffering and are sick.

No new year’s resolutions for me. No trivial complaining. No rushing unnecessarily.

Just being.

Just appreciating.

Are all your holiday plans really necessary? Can you let some of them go? Will you decide that some things are more important? Can you let December be a time of reflection, peace and stillness?

Would you like to “just be” with me through the end of this year?

There are 16 comments.

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  1. SkipSul Coolidge
    SkipSulJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Wish I could take the downtime. I wrote this a few years ago, it’s still apropos.

    http://ricochet.com/298055/archives/the-burden-of-the-holidays/

    And this will be yet another Christmas for us on the road.

     

    • #1
    • December 12, 2018, at 1:01 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  2. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    SkipSul (View Comment):

    Wish I could take the downtime. I wrote this a few years ago, it’s still apropos.

    http://ricochet.com/298055/archives/the-burden-of-the-holidays/

    And this will be yet another Christmas for us on the road.

     

    I’m not going to lecture you @skipsul–this time. But I hear this a lot from friends, about how they have these commitments they just can’t get out of, that in spite of their complaining, they love to do all of it (growl, growl), that they can’t let everyone else down. . . If you’d really like to contemplate down time, you might plan for next year. Oops, sorry–I said I wouldn’t lecture. I can’t help myself. Sigh.

    • #2
    • December 12, 2018, at 1:22 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  3. SkipSul Coolidge
    SkipSulJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    SkipSul (View Comment):

    Wish I could take the downtime. I wrote this a few years ago, it’s still apropos.

    http://ricochet.com/298055/archives/the-burden-of-the-holidays/

    And this will be yet another Christmas for us on the road.

     

    I’m not going to lecture you @skipsul–this time. But I hear this a lot from friends, about how they have these commitments they just can’t get out of, that in spite of their complaining, they love to do all of it (growl, growl), that they can’t let everyone else down. . . If you’d really like to contemplate down time, you might plan for next year. Oops, sorry–I said I wouldn’t lecture. I can’t help myself. Sigh.

    This year at least marks something special – my wife’s brother recently finished his chemo and radiation for malignant medulo-blastoma, and he asked the entire family out to celebrate. But we’ve told everyone, this is the last Christmas traveling we’re doing for a long time to come. Period.

    • #3
    • December 12, 2018, at 1:33 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  4. MarciN Member

    The alternative to the Thanksgiving, Hanuka, Christmas, New Year’s craziness would be to schedule a family reunion during the summer. We see a lot of those on the Cape. It is wonderful to see big families on the beach and in the ice cream lines. :-)

    • #4
    • December 12, 2018, at 1:58 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  5. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    SkipSul (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    SkipSul (View Comment):

    Wish I could take the downtime. I wrote this a few years ago, it’s still apropos.

    http://ricochet.com/298055/archives/the-burden-of-the-holidays/

    And this will be yet another Christmas for us on the road.

     

    I’m not going to lecture you @skipsul–this time. But I hear this a lot from friends, about how they have these commitments they just can’t get out of, that in spite of their complaining, they love to do all of it (growl, growl), that they can’t let everyone else down. . . If you’d really like to contemplate down time, you might plan for next year. Oops, sorry–I said I wouldn’t lecture. I can’t help myself. Sigh.

    This year at least marks something special – my wife’s brother recently finished his chemo and radiation for malignant medulo-blastoma, and he asked the entire family out to celebrate. But we’ve told everyone, this is the last Christmas traveling we’re doing for a long time to come. Period.

    I love your decision! It will be a wonderful healing gift for him. 

    • #5
    • December 12, 2018, at 2:21 PM PST
    • Like
  6. RushBabe49 Thatcher

    Working full time plus loads of overtime through next Friday. Ray and I are off the last week of December (customary in the aerospace biz), and we have absolutely no plans. We will probably see at least two movies, one of which will be the new Fantastic Beasts movie. We will definitely be catching up on our sleep.

    • #6
    • December 12, 2018, at 6:30 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  7. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    RushBabe49 (View Comment):

    Working full time plus loads of overtime through next Friday. Ray and I are off the last week of December (customary in the aerospace biz), and we have absolutely no plans. We will probably see at least two movies, one of which will be the new Fantastic Beasts movie. We will definitely be catching up on our sleep.

    Good for you guys! Enjoy !

    • #7
    • December 13, 2018, at 3:56 AM PST
    • Like
  8. RushBabe49 Thatcher

    I almost forgot. I signed up again this year to play the full-length Handel’s Messiah with a local church. Their building is being remodeled this year, so the event will be held in another church not too far away. They pack the place to the rafters with singers and musicians, and everyone who wants to sings all the arias and choruses, and musicians do their best to play every note. It is exhausting, but exhilarating too, and you are very tired by the end. I’m really glad I will not have to go to work the next day, as it’s on Wednesday this year (always the day after Christmas).

    • #8
    • December 13, 2018, at 6:36 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  9. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    RushBabe49 (View Comment):

    I almost forgot. I signed up again this year to play the full-length Handel’s Messiah with a local church. Their building is being remodeled this year, so the event will be held in another church not too far away. They pack the place to the rafters with singers and musicians, and everyone who wants to sings all the arias and choruses, and musicians do their best to play every note. It is exhausting, but exhilarating too, and you are very tired by the end. I’m really glad I will not have to go to work the next day, as it’s on Wednesday this year (always the day after Christmas).

    That must be glorious, @rushbabe49! (No pun intended.) What a wonderful exhaustion to experience!

    • #9
    • December 13, 2018, at 6:38 AM PST
    • Like
  10. Andrew Miller Member

    Susan Quinn:

    I’m going to watch and observe.

    I’m going to hug my friends for the heck of it.

    I’m going to make my husband laugh a lot. (I’ll just do my happy dance.)

    I’m going to watch my orchids blooming almost before my eyes.

    I’m going to try and get my health back and take my positives where I can find them. This counts.

    • #10
    • December 13, 2018, at 7:37 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  11. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    Andrew Miller (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn:

    I’m going to watch and observe.

    I’m going to hug my friends for the heck of it.

    I’m going to make my husband laugh a lot. (I’ll just do my happy dance.)

    I’m going to watch my orchids blooming almost before my eyes.

    I’m going to try and get my health back and take my positives where I can find them. This counts.

    Absolutely counts! It’s very difficult to function when your health is compromised. I’ll add a prayer for you, @andrewmiller, for improved health and peace.

    • #11
    • December 13, 2018, at 8:36 AM PST
    • 1 like
  12. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    I want to be sure that people know that there are some things we should dive into, embrace and celebrate. There are even some things we’ll want to do because they are called for, for special reasons, such as @skipsul. Even @rushbabe49 will be filled with the holiday spirit, even if she’s exhausted.

    I just think of those friends who feel there are all these things they must do at this time of year. They in fact might like doing them, but underneath that “like” is often the feeling that they are obligated, that people will expect it from them, that they don’t want people upset with them. This year our neighbor, Mr. Mayor, considered not putting up all the lights on our street. It is a huge job, even though a number of people help him and his wife. But he mentioned stopping the project, and people (who came for the hot chocolate and cookies) begged him to do it again. I don’t think anyone on the street insisted. So he decided to do it again. I realize there is a part of him that loves to do it, but after ten years of decorating, where the number of decorations and lights have greatly increased, it might be time to retire from the job. (Don’t suggest we hire someone–he takes pride in our doing it as a street.)

    Anyway, those are the choices we can make, and each person has to decide for himself or herself. FYI, I went to the grocery store and usually zoom through. A frail man in front of me was slowly pushing his basket. I almost rushed to go around him, then stopped, and stepped out slowly behind him–and said a silent thanks.

    • #12
    • December 13, 2018, at 8:45 AM PST
    • 1 like
  13. KentForrester Moderator

    Susan, I’m going to follow you around to make sure you do all you say you’re going to do. 

    I’m especially looking forward to watching you do a happy dance. But I’m also going to watch you when you express your “being.” I may not, however, stick around to watch you watch your orchids blooming. 

    I think you’re a hippie.

    No hugging! I’m a part of the no-hug generation. 

    • #13
    • December 13, 2018, at 2:45 PM PST
    • 1 like
  14. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    KentForrester (View Comment):

    Susan, I’m going to follow you around to make sure you do all you say you’re going to do.

    I’m especially looking forward to watching you do a happy dance. But I’m also going to watch you when you express your “being.” I may not, however, stick around to watch you watch your orchids blooming.

    I think you’re a hippie.

    No hugging! I’m a part of the no-hug generation.

    LOL!!

    • #14
    • December 13, 2018, at 3:06 PM PST
    • Like
  15. Jim George Member

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    KentForrester (View Comment):

    Susan, I’m going to follow you around to make sure you do all you say you’re going to do.

    I’m especially looking forward to watching you do a happy dance. But I’m also going to watch you when you express your “being.” I may not, however, stick around to watch you watch your orchids blooming.

    I think you’re a hippie.

    No hugging! I’m a part of the no-hug generation.

    LOL!!

    Susan and Kent, thanks for cheering up my day here in the rainy, cool, overcast Panhandle. Susan, your message was so spot on, it really landed at just the right time, and for that I express my sincere appreciation. But, I did want to note one thing about Kent’s “no hug” admonition– down in our part of South Louisiana, also known as Cajunland, our long time home before we recently became “new” Floridians, anyone who is a “no hug” person is in serious trouble as we Cajun folk hug anything and everything which shows any sign of life! It truly is amazing what even a quick, little, glancing hug will cause to happen between friends—and, friends-to-be! 

    So, thanks again for your lovely message, Happy Holidays, and most of all, Happy Hugs! 

    • #15
    • December 13, 2018, at 3:58 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  16. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    Jim George (View Comment):

    Susan and Kent, thanks for cheering up my day here in the rainy, cool, overcast Panhandle. Susan, your message was so spot on, it really landed at just the right time, and for that I express my sincere appreciation. But, I did want to note one thing about Kent’s “no hug” admonition– down in our part of South Louisiana, also known as Cajunland, our long time home before we recently became “new” Floridians, anyone who is a “no hug” person is in serious trouble as we Cajun folk hug anything and everything which shows any sign of life! It truly is amazing what even a quick, little, glancing hug will cause to happen between friends—and, friends-to-be! 

    So, thanks again for your lovely message, Happy Holidays, and most of all, Happy Hugs! 

    I didn’t know that about Cajun folk–that’s awesome, @jimgeorge!! Ah, Kent’s just a curmudgeon and party pooper. His loss, anyway. There are a couple of you in the Panhandle–you should meet! I’m glad we cheered you up!

    • #16
    • December 13, 2018, at 5:55 PM PST
    • Like

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