a slow realisation that my role description doesn’t include providing the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow

Christmas red 1

I love Christmas, I really do, but I find the constant demands for me to be nice and considerate so damn exhausting. 2012 has been an exhausting year anyway, what with starting at yet another new school as a teacher librarian (thankfully this is now a permanent gig and I no longer have to be new teacher in the staffroom) my Mum needing to go into care, Daughter2 moving to the other side of the country, and let us not forget (and who could anyway) selling out city house (and the Buyers from Hell) and moving to The Village and a starting a country life.

I really wanted this Christmas, our first in the Flamingo Dancer Nest on the Hill, to be a happy and memorable time, but it started to stress me out. The thing that tipped me over the edge was my gift wrapping struggles with a pair of scissors that were blunter than a round rock and a roll of sticky tape that made me realise that should the day ever arrive where I needed to tape plastic over all windows and doors to keep the poison gas out, I would have no hope of finding the end of the tape roll and so may as well just throw open the windows and doors and breath deep. I have never held up any hope of sharp paper folds on my gift packages anyway, but as I gnawed my way through the sticky tape it dawned on me that I didn’t have to create the perfect Christmas for everyone. I probably couldn’t no matter how I wore myself out.

No, it is not my role to gift everyone in my life, and especially those gathered around my table. the perfect Christmas; that was the job of each and every person present. We make our own Christmas good or not so good, okay, good or bad. We each have a role to play, and it is not up to any one individual,  to “make” Christmas for another. As a mother it has taken a very long time for me to reach that realisation, but better late than never, I have.

And you know what? I think this was one of the best Christmases I have ever experienced! I relaxed, threw away the quest for perfection and went with the flow. It was wonderful, and I think, that from the comments made by others, that they felt that way too. No more guilt, no more anxiety, and a whole lot more fun.

Be kind to yourself by giving yourself permission to fail, and you will succeed beyond your wildest dreams. It also makes being nice a little less burdensome!

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12 thoughts on “a slow realisation that my role description doesn’t include providing the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow

  1. Love this FD and since we are just now starting our Christmas Day here in Washington, good advice. However, I had been following that stream of thinking. We bought no gifts except for son and GF, with whom we will celebrate this afternoon. We are dog sitting the grand dog in Seattle for them while they spent Christmas Eve and morning with the parents. a Christmas gift to them since her parents do not appreciate the grand dog. Except for the loud barking it is a relaxing time so far. Glad yours was so fine.

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  2. Pingback: a slow realisation that my role description doesn’t include providing the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow « The Rag Tree

  3. Ever since I accepted my status of “alone w/cats” on Christmas, and just quit worrying about it, I’ve been able to find immense joy in NOT shopping, not fighting traffic, not carrying. Today is just a very nice bonus day off work – and that is perfect for me!

    Happy Merry Joyous to you and yours!

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    • For the last few years I have day dreamed about going to a lovely restaurant and being waited on for Christmas lunch and walking out to leave all the dishes behind, but I know we will never do that, not know that grandchildren are appearing anyway! I could do alone with cats, I really could, and I would do it so well!

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  4. “should the day ever arrive where I needed to tape plastic over all windows and doors to keep the poison gas out, I would have no hope of finding the end of the tape roll and so may as well just throw open the windows and doors and breath deep.”

    LOL!!! I actually enjoy wrapping gifts. It’s creative and Zen. Especially with a glass of wine nearby. I do have a plastic tape dispenser right now that is driving me BATTY. It doesn’t cut worth a damn.

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  5. Fortunately we don’t have an extended family to impress here. Just the 4 neighbours, all old farts getting together to share whatever food and drink we happen to have on hand and share tall stories. No ‘perfection’ to be seen. Glad you enjoyed your first Christmas in the NOTH.

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  6. It is such a relief when we finally recognize each of us is responsible for our own feelings, each of us chooses how to experience our lives. It’s hard to give up that reach for perfection, however, and I think congratulations are in order now that you have done that!

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    • If only these things were written in a manual and handed to us so much sooner, I am sure we would all enjoy our lives so much more, and maybe even be nicer to each other. Just as well I am going to be 102, I still have half a life time to use my newly discovered self knowledge and hard found wisdom!

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