Zen Mama Wannabee Banner

Out of Control

Less than a month until Christmas….are you starting to feel the pressure, the tightening in your shoulders, the slight throbbing at your temples?  Are you beginning to feel like time is rushing by and yet there is still so much you need to do?  Are visions of lounging by the fire, sipping on hot cocoa seeming like a distance fantasy?  What do you do when you feel like things are spinning out of control?

I told myself this year would be different.  I identified two of my biggest stressors and was determined they would be done BEFORE December 1st – so that I would have time to enjoy the other things (decorating the house, baking cookies, and sure why not – lounging by the fire – sure sounds nice, doesn’t it?) 

To my credit I must say that I am very close to achieving that goal.  The cards have been ordered, the address labels have been printed, and as soon as I get them I will start signing them and sending them off.  (Yes, I sign and personalize each card – I am a stickler for it actually – if I am taking the time to do cards, then I am taking the time to let someone know that card is meant for them)!  We are about two-thirds of the way done with the gift shopping, but it feels like we’re almost there – and that is a good thing.

So why, if I am on schedule for the most part, am I experiencing this feeling of overwhelming chaos?  As though I am only 2 steps away from a nervous breakdown?  What is it about this time of year that brings that out for so many of us? 

A friend fell into my arms crying the other day – completely out of character for her – but I understood the feeling all too well.  It wasn’t the injury she just got from slipping on some wet leaves and tumbling down the steps – it was all of it (a recent move, the feeling that you are still living out of boxes, a crazy-busy work schedule, parent-teacher conferences tied into early dismissal for the kids for 2 long weeks…it was life). 

Sometimes I think a good cry is what we need most.  A few minutes to stop holding up the façade that we have got it all under control.  A few minutes to have a private pity party and acknowledge that yes, it is tough and NO, we are not the Superwomen that society would have us believe we need to be.  A few minutes to just surrender a bit before rounding up the strength to get up and carry on with that formidable To Do list.

We all have tricks (coping mechanisms) for getting us through these busy times.  Some take things off their list (no cards this year, no cookie exchanges, no presents for extended family).  Others find that leaving things out kill the joy of the holiday spirit and they would rather DO them and be a little stressed than not do them at all.  Hopefully we know what would work for us.  I went so far as to make a list of all the things that were really important to me; they are non-negotiable for me – I WANT to do them, but I also want to figure out how to do them in a way that doesn’t create more stress in my life. 

The next week or two will be critical in determining how it will all play out.  If I can keep it together and really get things done, I think I have a shot at having December be the way I want it to be.  Ah yes – IF I can keep it together.

So as I tackle my To Do list, this Zen Mama Wannabe tries to remember to take deep breaths and keep my vision firmly planted in my mind.  Of sitting by the fire, with the kids playing a board game near by, Christmas music playing in the background, washing down the Christmas cookies with a big mug of hot cocoa and feeling a great sense of accomplishment.  Who knows…it can happen.

Tags: , ,

One Response to “Out of Control”

  1. callieandbatido Says:
    November 28th, 2008 at 12:39 pm

    No matter how I organize, plan, eliminate, or just power through, the holidays are a very stressful time. There is so much to be done in such a short period of time and no mater how I budget, it costs way to much. My To Do list includes so many things I WANT to do, I LOVE to do but also things I don’t like to do at all. But along with the stress comes so many moments of pure happiness. My daughter baking a batch of Christmas cookies all by herself and her pride as we eat one. Sitting by the fire at the end of a long day with the Christmas tree sparkling and the carols playing. The marathon wrapping session….so many more. I love the holidays, stress and all!

Leave a Reply


Archives