I realize this at almost every season closing. More-so, as a new year ushers in and we are left planning and giddily jotting aspirations to be ahead; all the while, ignorant to what truly lies before us. I realize this now, as my kids are older. I realize this now, as I am older–often, left to my own devices and words for longer than a few hours per day. I now realize, more than ever, that life happens. And this isn’t a bad thing.
For the past few weeks, as I rush to get the kids dressed and ready for school, or as we run to catch the arriving train rumbling below our feet, and as we plan vacations in the not-too distant future, I realize that life happens all too fast. In an instant. I’m not sure I have found the value in rushing from holiday event to holiday event. Rather, as the holiday season approaches, I’d like to enter each one with a sense of grace. I want and need the optimism that arrives with the holiday, and less of the junk in the middle.
I need to do away with the stuff that says I must. When there is a voice and energy saying I shouldn’t. Last week, 10 events (at minimum) showed up in my email. Five buzzed through my phone– rattling my purse. And then there were the reminders. Only a few pulled on my sleeve, and those were with friends and of course my family. They all boasted a good time. Often, securing an invitation to a later holiday event.
What I am getting at is this; they don’t stop unless you do. Life keeps moving, but the attention doesn’t shift unless you drive off of the beaten path a bit. And maybe, more than likely, you aren’t receiving 10 event emails, but this is something that should be applied no matter the situation.
Instead of accepting the flood of invitations, I hunkered down and baked. We created, and then, spur-the-moment, I threw a small party for River. Something about pulling her neighborhood friends together as a surprise after-school, only to celebrate each other and Halloween, put a spotlight on it all. With all of it’s chaos, it reminded me that if we don’t stop to celebrate what we want, not what others are calling us to, we are left wondering where the year went, and naively setting goals for another year.
Why not disregard some of the invitations, and slow down and celebrate your own? Whether that means baking away a day, or stepping out to collect leaves in the park to only hang them through the apartment. Every invitation doesn’t need to be accepted. Be slow to enjoy your very own, simply because life happens in an instant.