Call it the weekend-phenomenon. Good things seem to wrap up just as they are getting started. It’s the truth, and it hurts, but it wouldn’t be vacation if it went on forever.
A friend writes on Facebook:
Every morning during our break, our little boy has woken us up with a long snuggle and a game of “Cars Memory” (or two, or three) in bed. I am desperately going to miss this morning ritual when we go back to our working reality tomorrow. I have decided I want to be a millionaire so that we can all just stay home like this together forever. Any ideas?
Many families have enjoyed recent blessings of time together, parents with kids, kids with grandparents, cousins with cousins. This is what the holidays have come to wholly signify for so many of us. The essential goodness of all the festivities, planning, treats, and spangles funnels into the moment when we are able to put obligations aside and melt into it all with ones we love. Regardless of religion, world-view, status or location, most folks will tell you that it’s time with family or time at home that makes the holiday authentic and comforting.
So what to do when it ends? There’s been so much support in the form of free-time, good food, happy music and tradition. What happens when your husband goes back to work or your kids return to school, or your parents fly back to Oregon? What happens?
Here’s what happens: take a moment to breathe it all in. Breathe in what made the holiday special. Breathe in what makes The Now special too. Breathe in the blessings that made the memories, but also breathe in the blessings that make The Now elemental and pristine. Breathe in that you can breathe in.
If you need it, do something to spruce up your stale feeling toward routine. Use your smooth, earth-toned pottery coffee cup, or treat yourself to a steaming-hot and fragrant cinnamon roll. But friend, be warned: even the little lovelies melt in the face of weekend-phenomena. There will reliably come a time when calm and satisfaction must be found in the banal, immediate and not-so-fancy.
The careful way you make your bed with proper placement of the soft pillows on the smooth sheets. The precision of a freshly sharpened pencil during pressure-filled homework moments. The unfailing tidiness of your long list of unanswered emails. Those touchstones, as unattractive and tense and they may seem, are lovely too.
Keep space between the tasks; anxiety, worry and irritation must not rule the day. The weekend will come again, the vacation will return. Until then, don’t pollute The Now with disappointment.
It’s all good.
This is an original post to World Moms Blog by Jill Barth of Illinois, USA. She can be found blogging at Small Things Honored.
Photo credit to Ava Lowery. This photo has a creative commons attribution license.
This is a great reminder as I am leaving packing from my hotel room in sunny warm Miami Beach, FL to return to cold Baltimore, MD where my girls are staying with their grandmother. And then we have a day until we fly across the country to California. I have been recently been thinking “then what?” What am I going to do? You helped me find the answer – I guess just breath it all in – good advice! Thank you!
My siblings and I always talk about the post-holiday blues. We are spread out and don’t get together often, so when we do around a holiday, it feels even more special. The aftermath of not knowing when exactly we will be together again is a bummer. But as you point out, there is beauty in the details of regular life. I, for one, had a wonderful but totally exhausting holiday season, and I find myself with almost twice my normal energy this week, as everyone is back to their day to day routines and I can getting much accomplished on my time. Still, I will soob long for those get togethers again (just looked at possible vacation flights last night!). Thanks for the reminder to take it in stride.
Oops…”soob” should be “soon.” It’s still eary here 😉
Thanks for sharing your thoughts, here’s to a wonderful day — regardless of schedules, location and company.
Great post Jill! We just went back to school on Monday and it was so incredibly nice to not have a routine for once. To not have to rush around like a madwoman and feel like I could relax a bit. At the end of the break I was ready to get back into the routine. But of course now I miss the freedom and it is all bittersweet .
I enjoyed this post, Jill! Yes, let’s appreciate everything and not concentrate on what is fading away. I’ll need to check in on this one every once in a while!
Lovely reminder and thanks. Do you know the website/meme called “Grace in Small Things”? It’s run out of Canada by a writer schmutzie.com and your post reminds me of the posts there–gentle reminders that if we value where we *are* instead of where we want to be, think we *should* be, wish we were, that life will fall more easily into balance. At least until the first back-to-school-meltdown! : )
This is so true Jill. I read this as I am half way through a ski vacation which I know everyone will be sad to see end in a few days, esp the kids. I always tell them, it wouldn’t be a vacation if we did it all the time. 🙂
Love this post. Beautiful reminder to live in the now. Thank you for sharing 🙂