My first real post of my new blogging life. A fitting way to start the new year I think.
So, I've been thinking quite a bit about the stress of the holidays for many people. I've never had to worry too much as this is not a big family time for us as Hanukkah observers, but I feel empathy for many of my students and friends. Time spent frantically running around trying to make things "perfect" for family and friends. Nothing could be more stress-inducing than that one word, "perfect". It sets my teeth on edge just typing it.
Perfect implies no room for error. Do or die to get it right. The perfect present, the perfect meal, the perfect hostess. In some ways, perfection even elicits a sort of inhuman robotic quality to mind. Martha Stewart has a lot to answer for in my mind. (Just kidding. Kinda.)
I'll never forget the few times in my life I thought my life depended on doing something exactly right. Bringing home a newborn baby was one such episode. For the first few weeks of her life I fretted and worried more than I ever have in my life. If anyone so much as breathed on that child I broke down into tears fearing that she would be irreparably harmed. I had the pediatricians office on speed-dial. I once called because her hands were too cold, "didn't that mean something horrible was happening?" I asked the poor advice nurse. My daughter's first few weeks of life on this planet were cooked into a stew of anxiety, worry, and fretting over perfection. I think of this now and realize that my child is often anxious, worried, and concerned with doing things perfectly. Hmmmm. Maybe the way we approach things sets the tone? Maybe if yoga and meditation had been a part of my life way back when, my daughter would now be a relaxed and fearless adventurer? I don't know the answer really, but I do know that since I've let go of being the "perfect" parent I smile more and worry less. I know that life is going to throw us curve balls and my husband and I will either catch them or let them go. The world won't end and we'll be happier at the end of the game.
So, this very long-winded post is really about reminding you to take stock of how you're feeling right now and deciding if it's worth it to feel stressed and out of control for a few days or if maybe setting the tone of "good enough" will make the memories sweeter for a lifetime. What do you think? I'd love to hear from you on this.
Sending you all wishes for a joyful and relaxed holiday season and New Year.