Right now we are in full swing of the holidays. We've shopped, we've wrapped, we've stood in lines, we've baked and cooked, and we've socialized. We've made it through Christmas Eve and Christmas Day and now it is the morning after. We're relaxing, we've attempted to tidy up our houses to regain a little bit of order. We will undoubtedly eat leftovers for the next few days until the time comes when someone cries out, 'I need a hamburger; no more ham, PLEASE.'
During the holidays, including up through New Years, we try to catch up with friends and neighbors, and have family gatherings. For some, the holidays have looked a little different this year. I know it has in our house. We had a wonderful Christmas Eve dinner, if I do say so myself, but it was still different. In years past we played host to a larger extended family or close friends, but this year it was just 3 of us. We prepared the same dishes, decorated the house, went to a candlelight worship service, and watched Christmas movies on the couch. We missed having our whole immediate family here with us, but we understand that life changes; kids get married, start families of their own, and start new traditions (that perhaps do not mesh with ours). A family member passed this year and wasn't part of our holiday routine, and another family member is now in a nursing care facility which created yet another change.
The 3 of us slept in on Christmas morning and went through the rest of our day at a slower, more meandering sort of speed. Now it is Monday and we are all feeling a little lost. We have a couple of days off and want to make the most of them, but also aren't sure what to do. I do not have the desire, nor the energy yet today, to go shopping. I may do a little bit of Internet research for the best way to spend a gift card and perhaps venture out on Wednesday, lol.
The thing is, there is A LOT of hype that gets us up to the holiday (holiday music on the radio for one), but nothing that tells us what to do the 'morning after'. This morning my husband told me he saw one of our neighbors already taking their outdoor lights down. What? Seriously? I'm not ready to go that far. We have an entire year in between the holidays; meaning that a lot of change can take place during those 12 months. Relationships can change, for good or bad. Families can become bigger; we may have added spouses or new babies. As our small corner of the world changes, so do our traditions and the way we do things to make life special. Changes can happen literally overnight, just ask someone who has lost someone unexpectedly. In order for changes to become the new normal, though, we will need time. Thankfully, there is no time limit for a change to transition into a new norm. It won't happen over night. We'll have old memories to consider and new memories to create.
So, first off, how was your Christmas? What made it special? What was new about it? What, if anything, changed for you?
What are you doing today on this 'day after'? What does the rest of your week look like? Anyone that knows me well knows that I am a planner, a scheduler extraordinaire. I worked at a frenzied pace the entire week before Christmas and now I have a little time off. I could be curling up with a book, watching a movie, or sitting in my retreat room facing my laptop (oh wait, that's exactly what I'm doing right now). The point is I still feel a bit lost. When you're always used to your calendar being full you suddenly aren't sure what to do with an open slot; sorry if that sounds as pathetic as it presently looks on my laptop screen.
What is my big point today? Only that if you've experienced a big change this year (or even a small one) that has you feeling a little out of sorts and a little lost, that's okay. Take as much time as you need to face those changes head on, to try to understand them better, to appreciate and digest them, and to learn to accept them for what they are (or aren't). Given the right amount of time, your changes will transition into your new norm. Your holiday, this year or next, can be whatever you want it to be.