Your calendar is full.
There’s family to love up on, friends to connect with, children’s invitations – seriously, how does a four year old have that many options?! – photo opportunities, pressie buying, drinks to be had and BBQ’s to attend.
Plus, it’s the end of the year. A pretty big year, I’m going to guess.
The holiday season might be your thing! You could be vibing like you’ve got the keys to the penthouse, canapes to die for, the PERFECT outfit and your fave cocktail in hand. You could be shouting ‘bring it on, baby! I am Here.For.It!’
I’m happy for you ….. but I know this isn’t all of us.
Others see the looming of December like a dark cloud rolling in. The day gets darker, and we know that cloud is going to drench us. We’ll feel heavy and exhausted, then when the 'season' is over and the metaphoric sun breaks through, we’ll be left feeling soaked & bedraggled, like a neglected stray, and wondering ‘what just happened?’
Instead of basking in the festive feels of joy and connection, you’re wishing you could crawl down a hole like crabs scurrying on the sand. ‘Footsteps. People approaching. I’m out. Adios!’ and with one scuttle, you’ve disappeared. Or so you wish.
It’s ok to be either of these women: to see the season as one to celebrate or to view the holidays with dread. To be honest, it's likely you'll be both women on different years and that’s ok. Wherever you are this holiday season, remember that things might be different in 12 months time. Nothing lasts forever, not the happiness or the sadness.
Today though, I’m chatting to the latter woman. The one who sees the end-of-year looming and doesn't like it, nor want it.
As certain as your children will groan, leave a mess or complain there’s nothing to do, or eat, the holiday season is coming.
What are you to do?
Firstly, I hope you WANT to enjoy it. Not ‘cause it’s Christmas, the end of the year or the start of a new one, but because you’re alive. You’re here and your happiness matters, my beautiful friend.
Secondly, you ‘enjoying’ the holiday season is where the magic is. And I don’t mean tinsel-carols-festivity-magic. I mean, you knowing what ‘enjoying this season’ looks like to YOU is where the magic is. Being in bed by 9pm with a good book might be your magic this year.
Enjoyment, satisfaction and contentment can only be found within. This is your life sweet friend. Not your parents, children’s, spouses, colleagues or school-mum-Mary’s. Nope, you’re living this precious existence, so you need to know what you want and how you want to feel.
I have a little theory and I’m curious what you think. If you practice being honest with your friends and family, you’ll experience one of two reactions:
What’s been your experience?
If it’s the latter, I’m sorry.
Your children are watching though; learning how to negotiate relationships, boundaries, self-awareness, care for others, balance, authentic happiness and basically, how to design a life they love.
When we remember our children are learning from us, it can make us feel more scared!
‘Geez – I’m a hot mess, do what I say, not what I do!’ you might be thinking …. like thousands of other mums who (incorrectly) think they’re screwing their kids up. Hint: the fact you worry about that means you’re not.
I encourage you not to see it that way, but instead, settle into the comfort that the greatest modelling you can do for your children is to live as authentically as possible! ‘Cause yeah, this human game’s pretty tricky, isn’t it?
You’ve got this, beautiful person. I know it.
Did you know you can step back from social obligations, but still share your love with others? A text here. A face-time there. A hand-written note or a present in the mail. There are ways to show others they matter to you, that don't equal over-committing or hurting people you love.
I’ll leave you with the reminder that the best gift you can give your children and yourself is presence: true presence. In the hustle and bustle of this holiday season, come home to your heart, and enjoy.
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