We drove 15 hours on Saturday so that we could lie around all day Sunday and not have to rush anywhere. The children went from room to room playing beautifully but leaving a mess behind them everywhere they went. We all had outside time (I love “winter” in Colorado) and ate the lunch my friend left in our fridge for us. I did laundry, and Sam cleaned out the fridge. (Hooray!!!)
While Sam went to the grocery store, I prepped school and tried not panic about the calendar over the next five weeks.
Part of my issue, I’m sure, is emotional. I want Every. Single. Event. to be powerful and fully representative of its cosmic impact. Which means that even when I’m waiting in the endless line at Joann Fabrics to buy advent candles (because waiting in the line last year, I forgot to buy two or three sets) I want to be meditating on it as a metaphor for the world’s agonized wait for a Savior… which completely fails because I have the attention span of a grasshopper.
So I am trying to relax this year. Here is my 12-step plan for not going berserk during Advent:
1) remember that PRESENCE is much more important than presents. (See, this is deep content here on my blog.) Therefore one batch of cookies that we enjoy making together is better than burnt cookies made while I was doing three loads of laundry and making carpet lines.
2) A “no” this year doesn’t preclude a yes in the future. We don’t have to establish every tradition at the same time.
3) Process is more important than outcome. In some ways, process IS outcome. A heartfelt (but maybe poorly executed?) gift from my daughter to my parents will mean more to them than another scented candle for the bathroom.
4) There are going to be plenty of sweets everywhere we go, so dinner can be soup from the crock pot every day.
5) Gratitude is everything.
6) Lowering my expectations means that I am more likely to be satisfied. A school day making crafts and listening to books on tape is better than a day full of math and Latin we didn’t get done.
Okay, that was only six. That means I forgot the other half. Can you leave your steps in the comments?