The Cracks of the Mind

Do you ever yearn for a more simple life? I do. 

Less in the house. Less on the calendar. Less on the list.

Less to read. Less to clean. Less to do.

I see everyone getting excited for Christmas and I wish I could relate. I wish I had the space to feel excited about Christmas.

What I feel is overwhelm by my to-do list, and anxiety about the first Christmas in my 30 year life that will be spent outside of the Pacific Northwest.

But I get to spend the holiday in Mexico! We are staying right on the beach. With my in-laws whom I love.

Isn’t it funny how swiftly the beauty slips into the cracks of the mind and how readily we latch onto the harder stuff? This focus on one’s fears had to have an evolutionary advantage at some point, but now I’m not sure of its purpose, or if there is one.

I’ve arrived once again at that familiar hump of change because I decided to forego a longtime family tradition. Which makes me want to latch onto other traditions with fervor. To prove to myself that I have them. And though I tend to become bitter about the volume of material possessions Christmas seems to force on us, I want to make it a magical time for my children, full of love and beauty. I want to know how to do that wherever we are, and however many presents we open on December 25th.

Tonight, the overwhelm dumped on me hard at the usual witching hour, around the time that one girl was having a fit and the other was making a mess. So I broke my rule of no screen time during the week and I put on a movie for them. [You can never go wrong with Frozen.] I collected myself and I dumped the Christmas decorations into the living room after digging them out of the basement, an unexpectedly monumental task, one I tackled without pausing, because my girls were waiting.

After that, I decided to forgo the rest of my chores and tasks, and de-stress by making a vegan chocolate silk pie, heavy on the pure cacao, the culmination of a weeks-old craving. Often, our bodies know exactly what we need.

My little girls dug through the Christmas decorations, ecstatic. Then, they clamored over to the kitchen and climbed on chairs, eager to help. We licked the bowl clean, the magical cacao bean drastically lifting my spirits before I’d had a slice of pie. I got all the dishes done anyways. [The laundry will have to wait.]

I think the simplicity I want can only be found when I stay in the middle of the moment, rather than stepping back to evaluate my life and everything I am, or am not, doing. I don’t think social media helps us much to stay present in our own lives, but goodness does it have its good side, too.

The morning after I wrote this, I put lights on the tree and I went to Target and complicated my life with more stuff. This made me feel happy. I must be in the spirit. 

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