Punky Mama’s post on feeling simultaneously grateful and not grateful struck a chord with me this week. I knew exactly what she meant. Holidays are lovely – such wonderful memories are made – but holidays are incredibly exhausting. The traveling. The doing a million extra-special things to show people how much they mean to us. The extra effort we put into making special memories for our children, memories that tuck them in as they drift to sleep. It’s all a great deal of work.
It’s the week of Thanksgiving and I am already dreading the work that will go into the rest of the holiday season. It has barely begun and the thought of it makes me feel old. We will bring home two evergreen trees (we plant a live tree at our house each Christmas), decorate them and the house inside and out and put away all of the packaging from that. We will wrap and mail gifts. We will make special food (we make a Swedish wassail every year; no, we are not Swedish). We do extra cleaning, find the Christmas music, make the Christmas cookies and cranberry bread. We make the cats wear Santa hats and take photos of them in the hats (it’s how they pay their annual rent to us). We will set the stage for memories for another holiday season. With so many holiday parties every week, one hardly has a moment to sit down. And it’s so cold that I fantasize about sitting at home in my pajamas more than usual.
As I sigh thinking about everything that will happen in the next month, It’s good to remember the years before I had this chaotic abundance. Much more partying. Much less being the one to orchestrate everyone’s holiday happiness. No need to bring a tree home. A shorter gift list. Cats still in Santa hats (a cat’s rent is always due). More pajamas.
Of course, it’s a trade-off.
I had more time to keep my photo albums updated and properly organized…but less to put in them.
I stayed up late and slept late because I didn’t have young children to wake me up…but I didn’t have the young children to wake me up.
The single lifestyle was tremendously fun and I loved the freedom to celebrate only the facets of holidays that pleased me…but give me chaotic abundance. My life is draining because it is so full.
We’re exhausted because we have so much.