December 22, 2013

The Grinch is Coming to Town: A Reminder to Practice Self-Love During the Ho-ho-holidays.

Is it me, or do the holidays suck?

Admit it—just a little bit—they do.

Pleasing so many people that I have almost zero space left over for myself. Moving between party and function and schedule to schedule and my brain is fried and frazzled.

And then I get sick.

Okay, I didn’t—but that’s because I took zinc and bee pollen and rested every chance I could get—which wasn’t often. (I have a three-year-old.)

Yet, I know many who did get sick and, more, I know many who are heart sick.

Heart sick over missing loved ones during their short visits where everyone they know is crammed into a teeny tiny space.

Heart-achy over not having enough money for gifts.

Conversely, I know others who are so heart happy that I’m left feeling like the grinch.

For real, I’ve felt like the grinch this Christmas.

Because I don’t want to buy everyone I love one small item that my budget affords (even though I will and I’ll, ironically, do it with love). And I don’t want to drive five hours with my miserable toddler crammed into her carseat, for five minutes in a space with 20 different people. Also, I’m being selfish this year and—for the first time, perhaps, ever—I’m doing what I want.

So what do I want?

I want to wake up in my own bed in worn pajamas—and drink coffee with no bra on.

I want to eat the same shitty cereal that I eat for breakfast, day in and day out.

I want to watch my cheerful daughter’s face light up along with the tree’s lights—in my own living room.

In short, I want my every ordinary day, only a little more…sparkly.

A touch shinier.

A tad more joyful.

And I’m happy for this—I know that I’m not a grinch—because I love my life—my every day, ordinary, daily world, enough to find this to be my wish-upon-a-star, under-the-Christmas-tree ideal.

I am so thankful.

I’m thankful that—for the first time ever—I had the courage to tell those I love most that I won’t see them this year—unless they come to me.

And I’m writing—another thing I love to do—and I’m watching my child sing into her microphone while watching her favorite Christmas special (online and hooked to the TV because I have rabbit ears and no cable—and I’m thankful for this too).

I’m looking over at her and I know that I’m doing the right thing this year by doing what my little family needs from me (rather than what the rest of the world needs from me).

Because I wish this wasn’t true, but it is: can’t please everyone so I’ve got to please myself.

Alright, this might be slightly off. (Marginally too Scrooge-ish.)

Instead, let’s try this: can’t please everyone so I follow my heart.

And my heart says this:

Those who truly love me—and wish me a merry Christmas—want me to wake up, braless, in my favorite, cozy pajamas on my worn, red sofa.

They want me to eat the same crappy cereal that I look forward to every morning and, more, they know that my life is at home with an extremely active, tiny lady, and a hard-working man who has only the 25th off from work.

And everyone else?

Well, bah humbug.

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Editor: Rachel Nussbaum

Photo: Flickr

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Finnyfall Dec 22, 2013 5:31pm

Yes, yes and yes! No traveling and sleeping on pullout beds for us this year! And I’m going to enjoy every second of it 🙂

Angie Ducharme Dec 22, 2013 3:04pm

This was one of the most wonderful articles I have read in a long time. CONGRATULATIONS! I wish I had the courage to do that when my children were young. What a lovely combination of qualities you possess. 🙂

katyaarmock Dec 22, 2013 1:28pm

Lovely post. This is my husband's and my first Christmas at home. It feels wonderful! Although I am working on Christmas, but only to take care of some pets whose owners must travel, so I think that's a fair trade to spread some Christmas love to them.

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Jennifer S. White

Jennifer S. White is a voracious reader, obsessive writer, passionate yoga instructor and drinker of hoppy ales. She’s also a devoted mama and wife (a stay-at-home yogi). She considers herself to be one of the funniest people who ever lived and she’s also an identical twin. In addition to her work on elephant journal, Jennifer has over 40 articles published on the wellness website MindBodyGreen and her yoga-themed column Your Personal Yogi ran in the newspaper Toledo Free Press. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in geology, absolutely no degrees in anything related to literature, and she currently owns a wheel of cheese. If you want to learn more about Jennifer, make sure to check out her writing, as she’s finally put her tendencies to over-think and over-share to good use. Jennifer is the author of The Best Day of Your Life, available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. She’s also as excited as a five year old to announce the release of her second book, The Art of Parenting: Love Letters from a Mother, available on Amazon.