I like plans. I find then reassuring, and calming, and they help me organized my somewhat over inspired (chaotic?) mind. And I had plans. A flurry of pre Christmas work emails, a little periscope video with a little reflection and another #joschallenge. I’d work on my social media schedule for the days ahead. I’d read, whiteboard some ideas. And then I’d sign off victorious, accomplished. I was ready to be done. The more tired I became, the more determined I was to get my perfect plans accomplished. Stress and frustration rising. I needed focus; I needed time and space to be left alone to execute my life..
But as the saying goes
Life is what happens to you when you’re busy making plans:
- A fun get together with neighbors and our kids to watch Star Wars episode IV, you know in preparation.
- When our church community took candy canes to bless shoppers and staff at our local mall and movie theater, we took time to make few unscheduled stops at more stores. Not to shop, but to talk with retail staff who enjoyed some friendly faces and gifts in the midst of their madness.
- A play date that turned into a sleepover. That turned into Christmas cookie baking with a group of 10 year old girls singing and dancing to Christmas music, talking about stuff and life. Smiling faces a messy dining room table, and lots of food coloring. And sugar.
My so-called plans were ruined, but life was happening and it was so good for us. It was good for me. Busy, focused me. Over- planned, under-spontaneous me. Recovering- Overachiever me. It dawned on me that I could have missed this. Fun. Time for others. Friends. All the things I actually need right now.
So here’s my thought for Christmas – my #joschallenge if you will:
If it’s at all possible
Put down the lists and the plans to achieve Christmas and maybe enjoy it. Enjoy the people you’re with, the food you eat, the things you do. Take it in and enjoy it.
Or, if needed
Put down the plan to avoid it, or grin and bear it – and grieve if you need to. Some of us need a darn good cry and sob. We may need to allow ourselves to take some time to grieve the people we’ve lost, the relationships that have changed, the jobs that have gone, the hopes that we can no longer hold on to. And some of us need to let the people in our lives do that safely and freely.
Yes, its Christmas. Nonetheless, Christmas is still life, and life is happening, regardless of the busy.
Sometimes we have to put the plans down and give ourselves permission pick up life.
Much love this Christmas