I woke up feeling a little sad and very inadequate. When I peeled back the feeling of inadequacy, I found it was related to Christmas. I think I got off to a good start with my holiday preparations, but then I got a little side-tracked with some other life issues that demanded my full attention and energy. Yesterday, my oldest child announced that it was 12 days until Christmas. Oh No. I’m not ready and I don’t really know what “ready” means.
This is a bit of a recurrent theme for me. This feeling of inadequacy, not measuring up, not doing enough, and not even knowing what I’m supposed to be doing can rise up with regard to most anything! Geez! Enough already!! I mean, come on….Who gets worried over Valentine’s Day? Easter? Back to School events? Big Days? Little Days? Spring Break? Fall Break? Please don’t make me go on!
I think there are a few different things involved in this anxiety. I really don’t have a good compass on these matters from childhood. I am sort of just winging it, making it up as I go–which isn’t altogether bad, but it does lend itself to a fear of totally missing the boat and not doing something that’s really important and meaningful for my kids.
I also think the media likes to feed into this anxiety. If I am kept in this anxious frenzy, I may just keep buying more trying to fill this emotional hole. Do you see how this hamster wheel will just keep spinning? Ugh! I can’t buy my way out of this!! No one can. At some point we have to find our own place of peace and rest in it.
The comparison game can have positive and negative effects on me. I have to actively seek the positive (isn’t that always the case!) I can hang out on facebook or my social media of choice and see the happiest, most joyful, perfectly dressed holiday moments and feel like a complete dud that will never measure up! OR….I can call a friend, a soul-mate-kind-of-friend, and find that they might be struggling a bit too, that the dog ate their decorations and they spent a big chunk of their Christmas budget on the trip to the vet!
I also need to remember that some of us are great at decorating, some love making dessert treats, some make delightful little gifts by hand, some have everything ready by December 1….you know these people!! It’s okay if none of these are your special gift. Personally, I’m not tops at any of those. And most days I can’t even remember what my gift is!
Maybe my gift is doing my best to show up and be present for those I love every day in my own perfectly imperfect way. (and write run on sentences!)
Today’s feelings of inadequacy have led to some positive action on my part. I am asking each of my children and my husband what is important for them in our Christmas celebration? Turns out the answers are sweet and fairly simple. I also need to answer the question myself.
May your day be incredibly blessed with clarity and peace in this holiday season.