Holiday Season Musings - unearthed

I wrote this exactly a year ago and I got a lot of comments that people really related to it.  I thought it warranted a re-post. This year has been filled with it's share of ups and downs, craziness and chaos, and it's good to be reminded of what really matters and is most important to you. Happy Holidays! Enjoy!

Christmas is just a few days away. Are you ready? This is the question that everyone is asking. That I'm asking when making small talk with acquaintances.

A few weeks ago, I was in a bit of a funk, in that both my house and my kids (not necessarily in that order) were driving me crazy.

My house is small, compared to most people I know. We've chosen to live in a small house, and we usually love it and find it cozy and comfortable.  But every once in a while, and I'm noticing a trend in the winter when I get a bit cabin-fevery, it starts to drive me crazy. My kids are loud and active and messy, and they have a lot of stuff that migrates everywhere. Sometimes it makes me want to hurt somebody.

So I started fixating on everything that my house was lacking, and started dreaming of a newer, nicer, bigger house. I researched new neighbourhoods and home builders. I took my family to look at show homes. I did the math of what our new mortgage payment would be and how many square feet we could afford. And the more I mulled, inevitably, I got discouraged as I realized that everything I wanted wouldn't fit into the budget. Sacrifices would have to be made somewhere.  So l gave up and went back to being frustrated with the current situation.

And now, Christmas is just a few days away. I've been reflecting a lot lately on the state of the world around me - my world and beyond. I found out very recently that people in my life who I love are suffering, and going through painful and stressful circumstances right now.  Globally too, there is conflict, there is turmoil, as always.

I hate the feeling of knowing that my loved ones are hurting and going through difficult times. it would be insensitive to try to put a positive spin on that.  But thinking about them and their situations did grant me a much needed change in perspective: I've been fixating on negativity - that my house is always a mess, that I'm a terrible housekeeper, my family and I have been sick with colds for what feels like forever, I feel tired and run down,  sometimes I feel like I do a terrible job at work and at home. The quest for a better house was merely the accumulation of all this mental chatter telling me that I needed a solution, because life certainly wasn't acceptable in its current state.

But even though my pre-holiday mode is definitely not picture perfect, all things considered, I am really fortunate. My family is not dealing with any personal catastrophes. Despite having coughs and stuffy noses for weeks, my kids are healthy. I am still in love with my best friend and husband of 14 years. We have presents under the tree that are paid for, not with credit.

Phrases like "live in the present", "savour the moment" and "count your blessings" can so easily lose their meaning when we are saturated with them or distracted by life's frustrations. Posts like this with a theme of gratitude may even seem cliché. When I'm having a bad day, I definitely roll my eyes and refuse to buy into this type of messaging.

I had a moment of clarity nonetheless, to realize all that I have and all that I am free from.  And suddenly the house/mess/lack of space isn't bothering me so much anymore. I feel like it doesn't have to be perfect. It can be enough as it is.

With that in mind, I wanted to highlight this theme that I think can be translated to all areas of our lives. We can choose to pay attention when we get glimpses of clarity, fleeting moments of shifted perspective. We can acknowledge the wisdom in these glimpses, and draw upon it when feeling like we aren't enough or our lives aren't good enough. It is so easy to forget that we have everything we need to be happy when we are so distracted and preoccupied with chasing it.

My wish for everyone this holiday season is that you're able to slow down or tune in long enough to notice those split second reminders of how perfect your life is exactly as it is. And I'm hoping that this brings you peace and contentedness to carry forward into the new year.