Thursday, December 1, 2011

Joie de Vivre

Whoops!  The beginning of Advent has come and gone, and I still haven't posted about my joie de vivre (thanks, Julie!) Advent plan. 

It's true, we were visiting my family in Ohio last week for Thanksgiving, which left little time for all things Internet. But the real reason I haven't posted is because, in the words of Pedro in Napoleon Dynamite, I don't have much to say.
If you read my blog, all of your wildest dreams will come true.
Blarg! I racked my noggin' trying to come up with a plan that would not only revolutionize my life, but would also be easy to blog about and share with others, something that other people could even try if they wanted to.  At one point I was considering cutting up little pieces of paper and writing down things I'd like to do or try on them and then pulling one out each day of Advent.  But then I reckoned, "Weez, what if you select a paper that says 'try baking molasses cookies from mother-in-law's recipe' and then Maren calls you up asking if you want to have a playdate and you're torn between the completely obvious right choice and heading over to her house OR sticking to THE PLAN and politely declining because you have to make those cookies that day or all will be ruined?"  Needless to say, the idea never got off the ground; I never got so far as making a list of the activities I'd like to do.

But that's okay. It turns out that my idea of flooding December with every fun and interesting and cool thing I could come up with only demonstrates my essential problem: I'm looking for joy like I'm looking for a fix.  Don't get me wrong, it's not that baking amazing cookies or buying a new pair of jeans wouldn't be good or worthwhile.  They are things that I want to do and, when the time is right, I should do, because I've been wanting to bake those cookies for years and all of the jeans I own (except my maternity ones) are horrendous.  But it's not the fleeting little moments of goodness that will quench my thirst for joy -- it is the One to whom they all point, the very Source of all joy.
Beyond our wildest dreams.
And what better time than Advent to remind myself, again, for the googolplexillionth time, that there is only one Joy, one Love, one Hope Whom I seek? 

So here's my plan: just keep rollin', and keep focused on Christ.  Bake cookies when I can, go gift shopping here and there (great excuse to get out of the house!), chat or get together with friends when I get the rare chance, and prepare my heart for Christmas.  We sadly still don't have an Advent wreath, but Colin and I have been reading the daily Mass readings and accompanying reflections from the Word Among Us magazine each night, which has been very helpful.

Another helpful idea that I'm slowly embracing is that it is okay to do less than I planned.  For example, I've been accumulating Pampers "Gifts-to-Grow" points for the past year so that I could get some free Christmas cards from Shutterfly.  All I'd have to do is pick a design, add a photo of Elise, personalize the text, pay the shipping charges, and weeee!  Except, it's already December 1 and I still don't have a photo of Elise that I want to use. So you know what?  I'm not going to do it.  I'm just going to use regular cards, and I'm probably going to send less than I did last year!  And that is actually...a relief.  It's just not something I want on my plate this year, and I'm fine with that.
I def want this on my plate.
 Part of what gets me down sometimes is that I compare myself with others (boo) and berate myself for never doing enough.  That person bakes more!  That person can knit!  That person volunteers!  That person works and has a cleaner house than I do!  And so on ad infinitum.  Given that, it might sound strange that making little decisions to do less could be much help; obviously, I should be doing more to feel like a worthwhile human being!  Meh, not really.  Accepting my capabilities and proclivities and limitations for what they are is refreshing and cathartic.

So that's the dealio.  I'll be posting more on Advent in the coming weeks.  Maybe we'll even celebrate a saint's feast day somewhere in there!
St. Lucy's day is coming up on Dec. 13!  You'd better believe those are eyes on her plate.

1 comment:

  1. Oh dear. I want that cake on my plate right now. (Sorry, after seeing the cake all other thoughts went out of my mind.)