I’m happy to be leaving the holidays behind me this year. Not that I intend to sound like a Scrooge; we all have our issues with this season, don’t we? I will spare you my rant about waste, consumption, out of control capitalism, etc. This year I am only blaming myself for the irritation I’ve felt. I ended up working too much over the final week before Christmas, and that will continue on through New Year’s Day. It is a situation I agreed to, and I’ve done my best to “serve the task,” but I’ve come up short of being my best self as the week wound down. I all but let it ruin the holiday for me, and that is no way to be. I’ll do my best to never feel that way again.
Reflecting on this past week as night settles on Christmas Day, I realize that it is how we handle time that seems to make the holidays so stressful. So much to do, so many tasks, so many appointments and extra responsibilities. Today I didn’t have any of that. I got up when I wanted to. I puttered around in my office. I got outside. I wrote a little. It was refreshing. It is too easy to fall into a trap of starting every day in a rush from task to task just to make possible the lifestyles we’ve come to expect, meanwhile sacrificing our ability to enjoy them along the way. Our relationships suffer. We suffer. It’s too much.
In the Daily Stoic some time ago I read that, “In his Meditations — essentially his own private journal — Marcus Aurelius wrote that ‘You could leave life right now. Let that determine what you do and say and think.’” I try and remember that, but failed this past week. Thankfully, with a new week starting tomorrow, and a new year after that, all is not lost. I have ample opportunity to try again.
Besides, Christmas Day turned out to be just fine.