Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Present

From Angie Hooper: Christmas, as usual, was different than the way I planned it.

Rather than the large family gathering I thought we were going to have, our table was surrounded by the usual five. We had expected others to join us, but a series of unexpected events (including a winter storm) resulted in our extended family canceling visits. In holiday seasons past, I have made myself miserable worrying over menus and whether ribbon matches the wrapping paper. This year, I had been on track to whip myself into a frenzy over side dishes when cancellations started. At a certain point, so many plans were up in the air, waiting on doctors' appointments and weather reports, that it started making more sense to wing it. It's not like me to wing it. I like making plans. Sometimes, thinking about how to do something perfectly and waiting for the perfect time takes me longer than actually jumping in and doing the thing itself.

"The ham is too small. If they all show up at the last minute, we'll end up with pad thai for Christmas dinner," I told Hoopdaddy a few days ago. He said that sounded perfect to him. So instead of putting the effort into imagining a perfectly orchestrated day, I set my intention to be present. We used video chat so some of the grandparents could see Baby Princess open her gifts. I got so excited about watching their gleeful unwrapping that I burned the breakfast. (And as a bonus, learned that being present works best when the stovetop is off.) We played in the snow, made a GF/CF pumpkin pie, and read books. We watched a movie and talked to Number One Son about whether the villain had a choice to be evil. I slowed down long enough to take a nap. I took pictures of my Son-Rise Program stepson Eric and got one when he was looking at the camera rather than in profile. All of the things that happen when I'm present, enjoying the good now instead of waiting for the perfect.

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