This time of year always feels so hard. Our plates are full–both literally and figuratively. We are overeating, overbuying, under-sleeping and under-cared for. Many of us are up to our ears with demands and obligations we just can’t seem to keep up with. There are teacher gifts to buy, meals to prepare, cards to send, and parties to attend. I find myself at times, approaching these tasks with a dichotomous feeling of exhausted excitement, both mentally and physically.
The other day, I entered this familiar feeling again as I reviewed all of the things I needed to do to make the most of my day. Though, I am normally quite energized by conquering my to do list, today was different. The balance of excitement to exhaustion was just off.
There was more exhaustion than energy, more dread than excitement, more scatter than focus. Nothing on my list sounded like something I could start. I decided to listen to this seemingly confusing signal my body was sending. But what did I need? I was not exactly sure what I felt, or even what I wanted, but what I did know, was that my eyes were dry and tired; my motivation and energy to do anything on my list was just not there. Nothing sounded good to me, so by process of eliminating every other idea, I decided to lay down on the couch and curl up, without even a book (my favorite past time).
As I laid there, a feeling of calm came over me. With each passing moment came a general sense of wellbeing and contentment. My daughter walked into the room and laid down next to me. We didn’t say much, just existed together there, in the moment. With each passing moment, I felt more relaxed, more relieved, more happiness and more energized. Eventually, she began talking and I just listened. I had no agenda and no interest in turning anything she said into a lesson. She shared so many things, I noticed myself fully able to attend to her, truly hear her and just enjoy that moment with her. Shortly there after, my son joined us, and then my husband. It was as if the busy life we existed in on the outside, stopped for just a moment and the peaceful life that existed on the inside of our souls came to life. That was truly something, a true connection, a real moment. It just felt good.
The next day, my son said, “You know what I just asked Santa for?” “What?” I asked, he said, “I asked him for more moments like yesterday, where we could just be in the moment with each other.” What a realization of what truly matters during this Christmas season: our souls, our families, our lives. They are all gifts Christ has given us. During this holiday season, let us listen to our bodies, and take the time to nurture our souls and the souls of those we love, letting Christ’s spirit exist in the moments we exist in.
“You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.” Psalm 16:11.