As much as I try, this time of year gets the best of me.
I am aware of all the strife and horrors in the world, and I see that my life is one of comparative comfort. I have no business complaining.
I’m going to say it anyway. The holidays are stressful for me.
I see myself walking on a tight rope. Throughout the year, I walk the tightrope while balancing three large boxes in my arms:
One box contains my family-
One box is work-
The third box is my house-
Each box is tied to the other, and if one slips, there is the possibility that I’ll drop them all.
The weight of these boxes varies… depending on the days various burdens. I walk my line precariously trying to get to the end of the day.
With the holidays, there is a fourth box. I have a hard time seeing over the top of the fourth box. The fourth box takes from the other boxes, but there isn’t enough to fill it.
The holiday box is also tied to the other boxes. The time required to prepare the house box isn’t there because of the work box. I can’t drop the work box, because it struggles to fund the family box. The family box is full of expectations right now, and wants that holiday box filled.
This is a ritual for me. The days tick by, and I haven’t started what needs to be done. Then on the day in December when I reach the zenith of my holiday stress, I stop to breath, and I remember that this is a box I’ve made heavier with my worries.
So, I will inflate the tree, and get to work. I’ll clean, decorate, shop, wrap, cook and eventually, I will forget about the work box for a couple of days, and enjoy the holiday box with my family box in my house box.
In a few weeks the holiday box will be condensed to be put back in storage in the house box.
I’ll be relieved because the three boxes I carry all year will seem much lighter, and my walk on the tightrope will seem much easier to balance…for a while.