It’s been crazy around here. With work, hobbies, family, and friends, it seems like this season can be relentless if you don’t pace yourself or find balance.
Balance? What does that even mean this time of year? Pace? Like how fast I run from a social event to my couch? That sounds sad, and that’s OK. Because that’s the level of chaos you get when you love so many people and they all mean something special to you. You want to give them your time and energy, so you make the Christmas recitals, you cry with them when they lose a loved one, you bake the things for the event. You hope the people that do get pushed aside accidentally don’t take it personally, because January will come and maybe I’ll be less crazy by then. We can laugh and relax over a cup of coffee … instead of crying in it.
The Christmas spirit is so appreciated by me right now. This year it was like I needed Christmas to happen once every couple months. Everyone keeps taking comfort in knowing that life will keep throwing bricks and lemons at you, but we take it and do something positive. We build walls and make lemonade. I don’t know about you guys, but why is it that lately it feels like the bricks are targeting me like a magnetic bullseye and as if the lemons are being squeezed into my very eyes?
I’m sorry if my mild depression came out while reading that, especially right before Christmas. I’m not depressed, just burned out. While I was trying to open the living room curtains, I lost my balance and knocked over our Christmas tree. I’m really short and couldn’t reach. Yes, like a toddler. I didn’t fall over, because I’m built like a defensive lineman. The tree was the weak one! Like a clumsy hobbit (daydreaming about second breakfast), I knocked over Gandalf.
I started to think about how short I am and got mad about it. I know my kickboxing people always feel like they’re punching a lady child from the Circus, so I’m always trying to encourage people to hit and kick me. What is that even going to do to my psyche? I never had “little dog syndrome”, but now every time someone rubs me the wrong way, I’m a mad dog on the inside. I need to remind myself not to take everything so seriously and this time of year is a juggle for most everyone, not just me.
How can I be better for myself and for others? Being real helps.
As we’re more transparent with the people we trust it gives us the opportunity to support each other in a real way. We get to put on our crown and take off our masks. Sometimes it goes bad. Sometimes it’s heaven. We allow each other to care for one another. We allow ourselves to relax and enjoy who God made us to be. You just don’t have the time or energy to fake it. Trust me, it’s nice feeling like yourself when you’ve mostly felt like a mess. Like knocking over Christmas trees and telling people to punch you.
I’m getting better at faking awkward situations, but I’m also starting to hate them more. I do everything I can to avoid them. In my mind the world revolves around me and everyone is watching, but really I’m just being myself. Being myself means that every now and then I want to shut off people and turn on alone time. I’m finding that my increased love for alone time is getting disturbing. I was watching a cop show and thought solitary confinement doesn’t look so bad. Looks a little like a mini vacation. Everyone says you go crazy from your thoughts, but that sounds like a typical Tuesday to me.
Don’t lock me up, but when did I become so introverted? Even though I feel perfectly fine with this mindset, after I take the time to visit with a loved one or two, I suddenly feel more like myself. Complete. Balanced.
Here’s the Thing: I’m typically a hashtag blessed, loves the smell of coffee, count her blessings type of gal. Most of the time. I also tend to get a little human with my reactions as well. I preach take your mask off, but sometimes it’s like … put it back on.
People are crazy. We need them anyways. As long as everyone knows we all have weak moments, but still truly care about each other, that’s a gift. Support each other this season by being kind and by being yourself. Both are gifts for free and often more appreciated than material things.
When the tinsel settles and the Christmas music ends, appreciate the ones you love.
Kasi McClure enjoys being a wife and mother of two in Kenai. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.