Have a doable holiday season
Sunday, December 2, 2012
In anything at all, perfection is finally attained not when there is no longer anything to add, but when there is no longer anything to take away…” Antoine de St. Exupery in Wind, Sand and Stars.
I have a friend who told me that when she was a new Waldorf early childhood teacher, she would often stay up late to prepare for her class the next day. Barbara Patterson, author of Beyond the Rainbow Bridge, told her that it was better to have only one beautifully polished apple on her season’s table than to have all sorts of beautiful things that she made but be too tired to be present with the children. What the children really needed was for her to be fully with them. She took that advice to heart. By the time I met her, she had been teaching for many years and had many beautiful things she had made for her classroom, but she did a little at a time and over the years it added up. It is important to begin where we are at. Over time we can create many things-- crafts, artwork, traditions, etc. But we don’t have to do it all this year. Kim Payne talks about choosing between what is important and what is doable. He recommends choosing what is doable. What are you doing this year that is doable?
I remember having not fun times with my young children where I had decided that there was something we needed to do or celebrate and it just wasn’t working. But I had it stuck in my mind that this is what we were going to do and it was going to be fun. So even if it wasn’t fun, we were doing it anyhow, darn it, because it was fun in my mind when I thought of it. Have you ever done that? Later I wondered why I was so stuck in my idea instead of being in the reality. These situations usually ended with me being upset and crabby—the girls, too, not surprisingly. I am much better now at planning and then going with the flow, but it has taken me a long time to learn. It is really better to do less and be able to be present with family and friends. Sometimes, of course, we run up against other peoples’ expectations and that can be more challenging.
Anyhow, the holiday season is upon us with all of its joys and challenges, its magic and excess. How are you celebrating?
This week and next—bring your winter coats that you no longer need—we will bring them to the Kovler Center
December 21—Last day of Fall session
January 7—Winter session begins