I started blogging again because I need to write. It clears my head to get my words on a page and helps me feel a little bit more sane. But because I chose to start writing again in a public space, I feel like I backed myself into a corner. The pressure is on to write posts that revolve around specific topics and have clearly defined content with a solid conclusion. The problem is that those self imposed limitations are now keeping me away from the blog, rather than helping me process my life the way I had hoped to by writing more. So I guess this is a warning to anybody who actually reads these – it’s not all going to be clear and concise. Some days I really need to just empty my brain of everything that’s been going on, no matter how random or irrelevant it may be. I need the freedom to write what I want, even if it doesn’t follow the direction of most other blogs. This is for me and I’m going to do what what feels best.
That being said – it’s been kind of a weird week. I’ve had to let go of a lot of my expectations for myself. Mainly sewing. This happened last year too, though I was totally okay with giving myself a pass from Heartstring Annie sewing for the entire month of December. This year I thought I was going to be able to do so much more. I guess in terms of quantity of dolls made, I did far exceed my output from last year only because I made a gigantic batch of ornament sized dolls. But I continue to feel so behind and constantly disappointed in myself. I want to make my customers happy. I want to always have a fully stocked shop. And I’d also really like to make some money! But I’m learning that for me, December is really about focusing on the rest of my life. I want to be present with my family and not acting like a mad woman behind schedule. I want to make sure my Christmas shopping is done early so I don’t have to frantically be fighting the crowds in the stores and panicking over those hard to buy for people on my list. I want to have time and energy to plan a party or gathering with friends and family during the month, before Christmas week is upon us. I want those gatherings to be a source of joy instead of stress. And I also want to simply take care of myself this month. Winter illnesses in Wisconsin are pretty terrible. My family is notorious for getting awful sicknesses right around Christmas – Shepard especially. I want to schedule in quieter afternoons for myself to catch up on rest if I need it. I also want to keep the pace as a whole this month a lot slower and quieter to try and help everyone else from getting run down as well.
This week I let go of most of my expectations, as hard as it sometimes was. But I also feel like it was really for the best. I had a lot of quality time with a lot of people. I feel closer to many of my friends, I feel closer to Greg, and I feel like I enjoyed and truly paid attention to my kids more than I have in quite awhile. I also focused on quieting my mind. As much as I love my podcasts, I chose to listen to Christmas music more often than not. The podcasts I did listen to were chosen with great intention, mostly episodes centering around Christmas themes that were uplifting and peaceful. The music, the added quiet for my mind, the good conversations and quality time I spent with people – it really added up to a nice week. Not what I expected for the week, but it was worth it.
Looking ahead at this next week I feel a bit of rising panic. Despite the quieter mind space, my to do list has not shrunken! I’m throwing two parties in the next four days. My house is nowhere near the party clean level I like it to be. I desperately need a large solid chunk of time to unearth all the presents I’ve stashed away for the boys, divide up which day they’re getting each gift and trying to make it all look even before wrapping and re-hiding them all. It’s also a very weird week with Greg being gone three nights and a fourth night me kicking him out so I can have my Favorite Things party. It appears we’ll have one family dinner together in the entire week, which is extremely unusual for us. I also need to finish up a couple strands of Christmas bunting for my shop and probably convince myself that it’s not the end of the world if I don’t make any more Annies this year.
There’s a lot to do. There’s always a lot to do. But I’m learning that December is not about perfection. It’s not about spotless houses and the fanciest foods I can create to impress my guests. It’s about forgiving myself. Taking shortcuts on things that truly don’t matter. And spending time with the people I love because they are what is most important in my life. I’m not going to look back on this month of my life and regret how few sales I made. I’m going to look back and be proud of myself for letting go of a lot of the stress that I didn’t need to carry. I know that chasing perfectionism makes me a crazy person that nobody wants to be around. I don’t want to be that mom/wife/friend. At least not this month. 🙂
I guess what I thought would be a bunch of rambling about my week turned into kind of a cohesive blog post anyway. That’s the power of writing it all out!