And just like that, it’s December. This is one of my favorite times of the year. I love decorating for Christmas. I used to put up three trees, deck the entire house in garland, with each room having its own Christmas colors. It took me about a week to get it all up. I used to bake a lot, too.
A lot has changed. I miss all of that sometimes, but I’m doing good to keep Amos out of my tree this year. (I’m failing miserably. The little demon waits until I sit to watch TV before he begins his terror of the tree. He’s laughing at me chasing him with my water bottle. I can see it!). Change is the only constant in our lives. It’s learning to embrace change, or not push against it, that can make life easier.
I gave away most of my Christmas before our (brief) move to Colorado. I had to toss most of what was left during the flood of Hurricane Harvey. After that, I only got what I knew I was going to use. While I loved putting up all those decorations, it could also be stressful and anxiety inducing. Especially when I had a book or edits due and a party to host on top of all of that. It became too much. I sacrificed my own mental, emotional, and physical health just to get things the way they always were. By the time I did everything, including getting the book and/or edits in, I was too exhausted to be with my family. I didn’t take care of myself. My kids would’ve rather me been with them than have the decorations up. It’s so easy for us to think we have to do as much—or more—than we’ve done previous years. Especially if we’re having family or friends over and we want everything to look perfect. That’s when we really need to take a step back and ask ourselves is it worth pushing ourselves? What you should be asking is what extra steps we should be doing for self-care.
My kids have their own places now. My dad and oldest brother are gone. My mom is in an Alzheimer’s facility, and my brother lives two hours away. Change. There might not be any more big Christmases, no office parties to host from my ex’s company, none of my kids’ friends coming over for their parties and asking for my pumpkin pies. It’s a quieter Christmas now, but I like it. We still have our traditions like going to the movies after lunch on Christmas, eating gumbo on Christmas Eve, and watching our favorite holiday movies.
There has been so much change in my life since 2015. There were times I didn’t think I’d get through it, and other times I didn’t even realize so much was changing until I looked back. I’ll spend most of this month reflecting on 2021, writing my goals for next year, and lining up everything for my releases. I like who I’ve become. I wouldn’t have gotten here without all the good and bad (oh, so bad!) decisions, wins and losses, happiness and sorrows, ups and downs. Last year at this time, I was at one of the lowest points in my life, but look what a year has given me. It opened up so many opportunities and chances I wouldn’t have experienced if things hadn’t fallen apart.
No matter the changes for you this year, or this month, don’t fight them. The universe closes one door to open a window of new possibilities. I can’t wait to see what awaits all of us!
Here’s one of my favorite holiday songs:
“The state of your life is nothing more than a reflection of your state of mind.”
~ Dr. Wayne Dyer