Why Can't We Just Enjoy the Holiday We're Celebrating?

The turkey is disappearing fast and suddenly the long weekend is winding down. One child is off to visit her boyfriend's family and the other will be going back to school tomorrow. It's hard to believe that just a short while ago they lived here and I got to see them every day. For those of you with young children, cherish every moment, even the ones that drive you crazy, for they are gone much too fast.

And by tomorrow afternoon quiet will descend on the house once again. Not an uncomfortable quiet, but a lack of "vibrancy" that children, even grown-up ones, bring when they are home. And the day-to-day routine will resume.

In my adult life (i.e., with children) I've always been exhausted by the holidays. And I'm not sure that's just because life is busier with children in it. I feel like I'm being propelled by the media and the advertisers to hurry-up and get ready. I remember my mother lamenting that they were beginning to put Christmas decorations out the day after Thanksgiving...now they are out even before Halloween!

I feel rushed and I resent it; the holidays should be a time to savor and create traditions. When I was a child even Halloween was magical. Now with Christmas decorations already on shelves beside costumes and candy, how can even a child focus on the fun of the holiday at hand? Not just adults are being pushed to thinking about the other holidays fast approaching, but aren't our kids being pushed into the future instead of living in the present?

Our Christmas lights are not going up until December; today I'm still enjoying the holiday we just celebrated.


Multi-tasking Isn't Really a Benefit Sometimes

I've been incredibly busy lately. All of the traveling I've done since July (I was only home for 4 days that entire month!) has finally ended. But the build-up of mail and projects and now preparing for the Holidays is keeping me just as overloaded.

I'm realizing that I've been taking a shotgun approach to all of the things that need my attention. That fits in with my ADD personality but it's very counter-productive. So I have made my New Year's Resolutions early this year and, in fact, it is just one. "Do one thing at a time." Think about that. We are a society of multi-taskers. And in some ways it is good and allows us to accomplish more. But what I'm finding is that it contributes greatly to the sense of chaos in my own life.

Kids always bring you back to the important stuff. I found myself continuing to type while having a "conversation" with my 22 year old daughter on speakerphone and she called me on it. "You're not listening to me, are you? I can hear you typing!" It reminded me of when she was a very little girl and I would always tell her "people matter, not things." Well one night I was putting her to bed rather late and my favorite TV show was about to come on. I was trying to rush through our "good nights" and she brought me right back to reality with my own words. She looked me in the eye and in her little girl voice she said, "Mommy, people matter, not things." Needless to say I finished our good night routine at leisure.

And the saddest thing about that story is that I had the VCR set-up to record that program. It wasn't that I was going to miss it, I just wanted to see it right then. My priorities got messed up, big time. And that is what happens when I find myself multi-tasking too much. I'm so busy trying to do several things at once that I forget to prioritize.

So starting today I am making a conscious commitment to focusing on one thing at a time. If I find myself multi-tasking I will stop and re-focus. I'll let you know how it goes.