I truly don't know where the time goes. I know I said that many times recently, but it is hard for me to comprehend that it is already December 11th and the Christmas season is upon us.
Perhaps the reason for autumn passing so quickly is that it is my favorite time of year. After all, we know that when we are enjoying something a great deal time seems to pass in the blink of the eye.
Maybe it is because this is also the 'busiest' time of year for most people. So many of my friends are crafters and artistic people, and it seems that the time frame between September and January is the busiest for all of them as well. With craft shows, special orders and making their own gifts, even those who are just starting out seem to have a full schedule.
Add to that the house decorations, baking, wrapping etc., and it is understandable how the days seem to begin and end within just a few short hours.
Yesterday was a milestone for me. I finished up the last of what I intended to 'make' for those on my gift list. Remember, my list is small, but I have been working on a truly special project that five people on my list will receive throughout the upcoming year. I had decided to do it in stages, with sending out part of it each month. That is the only way that I can think of that will make it possible for me to do it for them. But I think they will enjoy that as well. For each month they will receive a reminder that they are thought about and loved. What could be nicer?
It also served to take off a large amount of pressure that I typically place on myself for the holidays. I have always done this. Even as a teen living with my mom I used to 'think big' at Christmas time. I would start baking cookies right after Thanksgiving and would make a new type each night and pack them in the freezer. By the time Christmas actually arrived, I had over 20 varieties of home made cookies to dole out to my family and friends. It was a LOT of work, and expensive as well (even back then in the 70's) and I look back to those times and wonder how I ever accomplished it. Now I am lucky to make one or two varieties of cookies, if any.
We do tend to learn over the years. I did, anyway.
I learned to pace myself and to not feel like disaster has struck if I didn't get every spectacular idea that I had in my mind finished. Otherwise I would drive myself crazy. And while some of you may think I am already there, I assure you, if I am, it is the GOOD type of crazy! The type where I love life and love living to create new things and teach others to do so as well. So come join me!
As I finished up my pieces yesterday, I had this huge sense of relief. My house here is a bit messy (not too bad, but about a half hour of tidying up wouldn't hurt!) and I still had to wrap things up to be shipped out. Keith went out for the evening and I had the place all to myself (and the cats, of course) and I could have accomplished a great deal.
But instead I chose to do other things. I made a call to someone dear who has been on my mind. I visited with her for a bit. I stopped by my favorite groups on Facebook and had some conversations with my cyber friends. And I posted some of the 'secret gifts' for others to see in my private art groups, which brought a bit of conversation with my fellow creative friends. This, to me, was a low-key evening.
All the while I was doing these things, I had assorted cats on my lap. I made a cup of peppermint tea and had a couple of cookies (store bought) and I laughed at the humor of my friends and I looked at my little tree, which is now naked except for the lights, and I thought – "This is what the season is all about." It is about loving and caring for others and laughing and crying with them. It is about telling funny stories and teasing and making others smile and feel loved. It is about so much more than the materialistic things we have become accustom to in relation to Christmas.
When Keith got home, I was already in bed. He stopped in to say goodnight to me (he is a night owl and stays up quite late) he asked how my evening was. At first I said to him through my sleepy haze "I wasted the entire evening doing nothing." But then when I told him that I made an overdue phone call and chatted online with my friends for a while, I realized how wrong that statement was. The evening was NOT wasted. It was good. It fed my soul and made me smile and I went to bed appreciating the wonderful family, friends and life I had.
How can that ever be considered "wasted" time?
Everything we do does not need physical results. Sometimes the most important things we do for ourselves or others are the things that can't be seen, touched or held. They are the things that feed our souls and bring feelings of love, compassion and warmth. They are the small, everyday things that we do to make others smile and make their day a little bit better. I always say that if I can make someone smile on any given day, it is a good one. I try to do that every single day.
I wish you all a wonderful weekend ahead. I hope you think about what I mentioned here and try to keep yourself calm and happy during this busy time of the year. Things will get done. If they don't, the world will not stop spinning. I rarely hear of people thinking 'less' of someone because they only had 12 types of cookies instead of 15. Or that their house wasn't decorated quite as elaborately as the year before. Remember what is important – to show love and compassion toward all you meet. THAT will fill your heart with the spirit of the season.
Happy Friday to you. Enjoy your weekend.
-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"