Monday, December 3, 2018

Slowing The Season and Self Care During The Holidays

Recently I've found myself a bit unsettled, which is perplexing to me. I know that this season can be
quickly lost in the hustle and bustle of all that it has become and forgotten for what it is.  But with the observance of Advent and the beginning of the Lord's Year, I feel blessed that I have these rhythms to ground me.

For me I think it has more to do with the changes that are taking place in our lives.  My baby is all grown up with a busy life and social schedule of her own.  But on the other hand, Bill and I are reunited again and will be spending the season together, and for that I am truly blessed.  Yet all of this, both the sad and the joyful, present change, and if I'm honest, change isn't something I've ever weathered well.

Even though by nature you might call me a dreamer or romantic, at my core I crave order and consistency, and in the absence of either, I can begin to become a bit unfurled.  Our lives are changing. We are embarking upon being "empty nesters", contemplating a life of travel and adventure for a few years or more, which is sad and exciting all at the same time.  In some ways I feel silly for even hesitating when I consider traveling and seeing this great country, but inwardly my heart longs for connection to a place, for home, and the familiarity and consistency of living out my days surrounded by the people and things that I love.  But even that isn't guaranteed.  I know from experience, life often takes our children far from us. Tomorrow isn't promised, and the important thing is to live your best life now.

I contemplated this over the weekend, realizing that with Kate working full time and in school, that our traditions will already have to bend a bit, to accommodate for her absence and time constraints. And while it's sad, and deep down I know its all good and will work itself out, I knew that in order for me to navigate these changes well, I needed a plan.

And so I devised a Holiday Self Care List. A little "personal rewards system", if you will.  Intentional outings and activities that I can look forward to each week that will help to soften the effects of the changes that are taking place in our lives.  Perhaps some of them will even become "new traditions", we shall see.

I haven't narrowed all of them down, but I did pick up some fingernail polish last week, a deep ruby red, and I think I might set aside a night to watch a few favorite old movies and give myself a manicure and pedicure.  I also recently purchased The Cozy Issue of Bella Grace magazine that I have yet to peruse.  I still have some crafting and decorating I want to do, and my traditional holiday baking. And Bill and I have made plans for several fun outings during this time as well, the most exciting of which is spending a day in Historic Grandin Village, having lunch at Taaza, my favorite Indian restaurant and then taking in a matinee showing of Mary Poppins Returns.

I'm also planning to do my own personal Advent, aside from the candles and scriptures that Bill and I are reading together. I did this last year, typically  in the afternoon, and it was so meaningful.  I plan to write a separate post with pictures of our Advent candles and I'll elaborate more on my personal Advent, then.

And now the duty of the day is calling.  I made up this cute little printable (above), to help me think through my "self care" plans during this season, and I'm making it available here in case, like me, you find yourself searching for some small meaningful ways to slow this beautiful season.  Just follow the link below!

Until then,

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