(as seen on http://realmums.com.au/you/)
Get plenty of rest folks. Stock up on those energy drinks. We’ve got to stay focused and strong as we hit that hardest, heartbreak hill before we hit the year’s finish line.
Stamina is definitely required for the 21st century holiday season. I mean, they put the blimmin Christmas decorations up way back in October! So wrong!
I don’t mean to be all ba humbug about it. And don’t get me wrong, I truly love Xmas ... in fact my name is somewhat Christmassy (Natale is the Italian word for Christmas).
But, those festive baubles, Christmas icons and carols that are tearily touching in the right environment, can lose all meaning when you are doused with them every time you leave the house (especially as the ting ting ting-a-ling you hear is actually the cash register and not Santa’s sleigh bells).
Usually by the time 25 December rolls around, it feels great to celebrate that last day of yuletide madness. And judging by the weary expressions I see on the faces of others similarly carting around armfuls of kids, gifts and MasterCard bills, I don’t think I’m the only one who just wants to collapse in a heap that blessed day.
I’m thinking I might need to up my training to increase my stamina. I mean, what a whinger going on about how tired the extended Christmas season makes me!
... Now, who can I blame?
As liberating and exciting as it is to live in a society that is constantly evolving and doesn’t expect people to endure situations that makes them unhappy, is our ability to endure life’s unpleasantries weakening in the process?
Marriages don’t last as long. No one stays in their job for more than a few years (or months!) – just ask Gen Y about that one. Even the marathons in the last Olympics were more like long distance sprints – those guys absolutely caned it through the streets of Beijing and smashed previous Games’ record times.
I certainly can’t hack the pace as much as I probably should. I usually look after both my kids on my own all day around three to four days a week. This is nothing extraordinary – but it sure feels extra-ordinary to me at times.
Sometimes I’m strong out of the gate and am a capable, attentive parent – but usually around the 2pm mark my dedication wanes and I feel like announcing, “Nope kids. I’m done looking after your needs for now. You sort yourselves out for the rest of the day.” I want to punch my time card and clock off. (This may well be possible in a few years but while they are aged four and one, it doesn’t exactly sound like the right thing to do for now).
One of my biggest problems is that there always seems to be too much to do. I’m usually two steps ahead of any given moment. You know, I’ll be having my morning coffee and planning dinner for that night. Entertaining the kids will seem like a drag while I’ve still got to hang out the washing. I’ll be sitting down with my husband after the kids have gone to bed usually working but at the very least, answering emails or writing my To Do list for the next day instead of talking to him.
It’s widely held that the Devil is in the detail. But I’m starting to think that it’s the Angel that’s in the detail. Maybe the likelihood of going the distance has become compromised because it has become much more about the destination than the journey. Maybe I focus too much on the “Have-Tos” – like Christmas preparations, work, domestic duties – and let the things that really matter – healthy kids, happy family together time, appreciation and respect for my environment - become blurry objects in the background.
There’s probably a good chance I could endure more if I changed my attitude, learned to enjoy the ride and stopped being bogged down by the responsibilities and obligations of modern life – and actually relish them instead.
Because, as whiney and self-indulgent as I sound, I have to believe that when our backs really are against the wall; when there are seriously stressful hurdles to overcome – like an economic crisis or like world leaders making truly destructive decisions - we can dig deep, focus on what’s important and ride out the hard times without losing our joie de vivre along the way. (Yes, we can!)
With that in mind, I’m planning my New Year’s Resolution (even though, true to form, I’m typing this over a month before 2009 kicks off). And let’s face it; it’s really my promise for January because a) who remembers their resolutions past the first month and b) this is supposed to be in the spirit of focusing in the now and not too far into the future ...
During 2009, I vow to enjoy more of the day-to-day stuff and to live in the moment – this includes not cheating myself out of the luxury of a relaxed morning cuppa; or playing with my children while they still want to play with me; and giving my husband’s day the time of day so he continues to endure me!
What’s your January promise?
, by Natalie Green