What We Take For Granted

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On my way to work this morning I was running the to-do list through my mind. The longer the list became, the more my blood pressure increased. It's the time of year when Christmas cards wish us Seasons Greetings and we pay lip service to the true meaning of the holidays. Lip service. We're all guilty of it. We become so wrapped up in finding the perfect present, having the perfectly decorated home, cooking the perfect meals, hosting the perfect parties. We completely forget about what is important. Just being with those we love. Making memories to hold close in our hearts. Laughing.

Go read this http://www.cbc.ca/canada/nova-scotia/story/2009/12/08/ns-delorey-dies.html

I'm sorry. If you're like me now you're crying. I know dear blog friends, my heart is breaking too. I can't help but wonder, how many perfect trees, how many perfect presents, how many perfect parties this family would give up to have their son with them this Christmas?

It is the nature of humanity to want more. It's how we evolve. If we could somehow wake up each morning knowing to the very core of our being that this might be our last day, this might be the last day we share with a loved one, how different would our lives be? How much more meaningful?

I'm by no means a hypocrite. I know I will post this post and then proceed to go out at lunchtime to the mall in search of another perfect present. I'll stress and worry about the cost of that perfect present. I'll curse at the idiot in front of me who insists on spending 10 minutes digging in her wallet for the correct amount of change.  I'll flip the bird to the guy who steals my parking spot. I'll continue adding to the "to-do" list until the length of it alone has the potential to drive me into a mental care facility for a much needed rest. I just wish there was a way to keep the image of this little boy forefront in my mind. To remind me that this shit is not the important stuff. The fact that I'm able to hug my kids and share this holiday season with them is what is truly important. The fact that I have friends to sit with in the evening, drinking wine and laughing is what's important -not how clean the house is or how perfect the hor d'ouvres are. 

Nora has a Christmas concert next week. I've been completely wrapped up in how inconvenient it will be to drive the 45 minutes to get to the venue for the concert on that particular day.  Obsessed with finding Nora the perfect outfit to wear.  Obsessed with putting on a great appearance so that all the other Mom's know I have my shit together, swoon over my shoes, and know that I am da bomb.  I totally lost sight of what was important. Being there, so my daughter could see me in the audience as she sang an off key rendition of Rudolp the Red Nose Reindeer. Helping make memories for her so that when she's grown and raising her own daughter she'll be able to say "I remember in sixth grade....." Smiling at her and clapping with glee and gushing over what a wonderful job she and her friends did. Just being....

One of my favorite sayings is, "Don't sweat the small stuff". How do you live that?

So here it is folks. Things I'm not doing this holiday season.

I'm not spending 4 days cleaning my house. Yes, four days. I'm retarded, I do not debate the issue. Rather I'm going to make sure the bathrooms are clean, the floor is scrubbed and the mirrors are free of fingerprints. If the fridge door isn't glistening, that's too fucking bad.

I am not going to kill myself stressing over the perfect gifts for the adults in my life.  I've thought of you, that's enough. If you don't like it, take it back, the receipt is in the box.

I am not going to beat myself up because every fucking inch of the house is not covered in decorations. I will not stay up till 4:00 in the morning hanging garland.

I will not spend a week trying to work around family schedules so that I can have the honor of spending an entire day cooking for them. Everyone is busy, I get that. If you can't come when it's convenient for me well than come another time. You may get a PBJ sandwich rather than a 5 course meal, but I will guarantee there will always be wine and good conversation.

There are lots of things I will do instead.

I will take my kids to the local pediatric unit with a bag full of teddy bears. They need to know how good their lives are.

I will sit with them and play video games, or board games, or whatever it is they want to do, rather than cleaning the house.

I will let Nora run through the house with her boots on because she's excited about playing in the snow. I'll cherish that excitement rather than seeing that the floors need to be scrubbed, again.

I will spend this holiday season marveling at the treasures in my life, rather than bemoaning the material treasures I don't  have.

Rest in peace little James.


Anonymous said...
December 8, 2009 at 1:08 PM

Thanks for reminding us of what's REALLY important this holiday season. I like your "to-do" list. Who cares if the house is a mess? Making memories with your children is what counts.

MaeRae said...
December 8, 2009 at 1:16 PM

Thank you, thank you...there are many times in life that you need to remember the important things such as life itself. My heart and prayers go out to these parents and family members.

Lee the Hot Flash Queen said...
December 8, 2009 at 1:28 PM

I have the perfect gift for the adults...SOAP! With their first initial!! AND I know where you can get it....hehehehehe

adrienzgirl said...
December 8, 2009 at 2:48 PM

I am with you. We often get swept up in all the rush rush rush. The hustle and the bustle.

I am spending this weekend with the kids listening to Christmas music, baking (with them) and playing games. ALL WEEKEND at their request. I am soooooo excited I can't stand it!

Danielle said...
December 8, 2009 at 3:39 PM

Great post! I agree.

Aunt Juicebox said...
December 8, 2009 at 4:13 PM

I saw this on another blog this morning, and I was crushed. I just can't imagine losing a child.

Kaylen said...
December 8, 2009 at 4:25 PM

This is so true...I can't stop this horrid timer in my head for when my son goes off to college, so I have been trying to treasure every second with him (which is hard if you have a teen!!). You just never know when something might happen! Very sad story. :(

Anonymous said...
December 8, 2009 at 5:36 PM

We are so alike...I don't know how to live that motto, but it's a good one.

I know I'm never going to be a person that makes huge self sacrificing contributions to this world. But I can at least try to make sure the people I love know how much I value and cherish them.

You go Mama - cuz you are Da Bomb!

Happy Hour...Somewhere said...
December 8, 2009 at 7:21 PM

I bet you have a fabulous Christmas this year just because you will be enjoying it instead of getting ready for it. Especially the cooking tip. I think that alone wrecks more holidays. I hate to be the 4th visit on a long list of people I love. I would rather wait until we can both have a good time...even if it is after Christmas.

Enjoy your treasures~!

Mad Woman said...
December 8, 2009 at 8:52 PM

My best friend's family knows little James's family.... it's a heartbreaking situation.

Your post is an excellent reminder to us all about what is REALLY important in our lives. Thank you!

gayle said...
December 9, 2009 at 12:08 AM

Why is it so hard for us to live in the moment...we all worry too much but it sounds like this year you have an excellent idea....I hope I can too

Carol said...
December 9, 2009 at 12:08 AM

I like your list of what you are not and what your are going to do...

Keeps things in perspective and I hope your holidays are grand!

JennyMac said...
December 9, 2009 at 3:51 PM

Love your perspective. I am not rushing...our son is only 2 and I want him to believe the holidays are fun. He wont if we act manic.

Margaret aka: Fact Woman said...
December 9, 2009 at 7:07 PM

I cried but this puts it all in perspective doesn't it. I'm following along now.

kys said...
December 9, 2009 at 8:54 PM

You are so right. I love this!

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