I didn’t realize how much I was looking forward to a snow day until I looked out the window and saw my snowless front lawn. There’s something about being “stuck” in the house that calls to me. I do a lot of reading. I do a lot of thinking. I do an awful lot of napping – and that’s not awful.
I noticed recently that I’m tired a lot. If I go lay down for a few minutes, I wake up two hours later. I’m not doing any more work than normal. I’m sleeping through the night usually. But one thing I’ve learned is to pay attention to what my body wants. Right now, it wants sleep. Or at least, it wants more quiet time. More cuddling with the cats. More deep thinking and reading. Less people-centered activities and more Spirit time.
One of the funny things about the holiday season is that while the rest of nature settles down for a long winters nap, humans in our culture rev up and party hard. Now I’m an introvert, so I party hard by reading a whole series of books in one day. I’m just wild and crazy that way. But my philosophy teaches that if we live according to Natural Laws, which we learn by looking at Nature, we’ll be much happier, more effective and more abundant in general. So why do we crazy folk rev up when Nature is telling us to slow down?
The easy answers include consumerism and materialistic obsessions. It’s almost mandatory to be stressed out by what needs to get done to make a holiday successful. On my umpteenth trip to the grocery story right before Thanksgiving, I realized that I was comforting myself by affirming that the “stress” was part of the fun. WHAT?!!?
What would happen if we slowed down and had a mellow holiday season? I don’t know that I’d get all the shopping done, much less the Christmas cards. But in truth, I’m more interested in investing my money in getting debt free and Christmas cards have never taken all that long to do. Maybe I’m afraid my friends will be hurt if I don’t get everyone the perfect gift. Maybe I’m concerned that my colleagues at the Center will think I’m unprofessional if I don’t get something for everyone (don’t worry, guys, I already took care of you).
And maybe, just maybe, the oath of busyness that we seem to take in this culture is yanking at my chain. There seems to be an oath of obedience (that requires working really hard) that spiritual people take. It goes with the chastity and poverty thing, but that’s another whole set of issues). This holiday season, I’m breaking the oath. I’m going to be mellow, spend no more than what fits comfortably in my budget and let my gift to most folks be something intangible. A smile, a listening ear. Or maybe even just taking the time to nap so that I can be fully awake and functional when it’s time to connect with other humans, so that I can connect in joy.
Do you feel stressed by the holidays? Or by your schedule in general? Please comment about what you do and how it all works for you.