I can't believe how many times I've had to return to the grocery store these past few days because of my lack of being able to read my own handwriting on the list. I often tease that I have the trifecta of memory loss - motherhood, chemo brain, and age (I know I'm not "old", but I'm allowed to stretch a bit because of being menopausal).
Most days I can go about my business and not think too much about it, how I've had to work at trying to re-gain some of my cognitive function. But, during the holidays, it's difficult to manage expectations of myself and my abilities so that I can enjoy this time of year and not be overwhelmed by it. And, let's be honest, I also have to manage my expectations of others - I barely understand what I'm saying half the time, so it's not fair for the family to magically know what I'm thinking.
Isn't ironic how the holiday season is supposed to provide us time to reflect on memories shared with family and friends, yet, we stress out on wanting to create new memories so badly that we risk missing the good stuff entirely? The making of Christmas cookies for all the land and the creation of the perfect holiday card holds way too much power!
There is a trend on my Facebook feed right now of friends apologizing for not sending out their Christmas cards. A common thread was that they were in transition, had too much going on, and/or they'll get their act together next year -- you know, that thing called life. I wish we could all release one another from that feeling of needing to explain, apologize, or justify the lives we are living. What are we doing to one another!?! Perhaps our lists are too long to begin with -- we aren't Santa, there is no need to compete with the Big Guy (or each other).
Looking forward to 2016, let's all give each other a break. Let's make our lists of demands on ourselves and one another shorter. Do (give) what you can and be glad in it...no second-guessing, no guilt-tripping. And, as the New York Times pointed out, stop saying "I'm sorry" for things that truly aren't apology-worthy; I know I need to work on this one.
Cheers to you and your family! I wish you a joyful holiday and a peaceful (guilt-free) 2016. xoxo